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268 METHOD OF RECITATION

western Kansas it is used for irrigation by means
of ditches. In southern Colorado and west of the
main chain of the Rockies, the Rio Grande, as it
flows southward through San Louis Park, is drawn
off in ditches to enrich this fruitful valley, and south-
ward into New Mexico the waters of this river are
used for irrigation. In northern Colorado and in
southern Wyoming the North Fork of the Platte
and its branches are used for irrigation, and large
reservoirs or artificial lakes, many miles in length,
have been constructed for the purpose of holding
the spring floods in reserve.

Third Step. Compare now these four rivers
the South Fork of the Platte, the North Fork of the
Platte, the Arkansas, and the Rio Grande as related
to the mountains and plains, as situated in reference
to the mining cities, and as illustrating facts of irri-
gation as now carried on. What is the relative im-
portance of the small streams as compared with the
large ones for purposes of irrigation ?

Fourth Step. In summing up the common features
of these river valleys we may observe that they are
all in an arid region, that they derive their water
supply from the mountains ; as they emerge into the
plains at the foot of the mountains their waters are
carried out to enrich the plains by means of artificial
channels. The smaller tributary streams are used in
a similar way. The presence of important mining
cities near these river valleys and in them makes a



ILLUSTRATIVE LESSONS 269

ready market for all the products raised by irriga-
tion. The present wealth and population of these
districts depend largely upon the irrigating ditches.

Fifth Step. The school children, having seen
clearly the conditions under which irrigation is
possible, and the means by which it is carried on,
will be able to extend its application over a number
of states and territories where similar conditions
of climate, soil, and surface features are repeated.
By a study of the maps and the descriptive parts of
their geographies they should be able to locate the
arid regions and determine what rivers are useful
for irrigation. Are the rivers of California irriga-
tion streams ? Of Utah ? Of Washington and Mon-
tana ? Finally locate the arid regions of the United
States and compare them in size with the portions
which have sufficient rainfall for purposes of agri-
culture. Could the rivers of your native state be
used for purposes of irrigation if rain were lacking ?
For example, the Illinois, the Hudson, the Minne-
sota, the Tennessee ? What have you heard of irri-
gating farms in Dakota and other states by means of
artesian wells ? Various attempts of this sort have
been made. What are the difficulties likely to be ?

In the later study of Africa, Asia, and South
America we may interpret plans of irrigation in
other lands and compare them with ours.



27O METHOD OF RECITATION



The Battle of King's Mountain and the Temper of
the Common People during the Revolutionary War

First Step. We will see how the backwoodsmen
of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia prepared
a surprise for Cornwallis and the British army.
After the battle of Camden, what was the condition
of things in the Carolinas ? Where was Gates's army ?
What was Cornwallis's plan ? Will the people of the
South attempt any further resistance to Cornwallis ?

A survey of the situation at this time will lead
the children to the conclusion that Cornwallis and
the British were in high hopes after the battle of
Camden, and that the Americans were scattered and
discouraged. Let the class study the maps and books,
and get a clear view of this discouraging situation.
Cornwallis seemed to be in full control of South
Carolina, and by cooperating with troops sent to
Virginia by Sir Henry Clinton was planning to bring
North Carolina and the whole South into complete
subjection to the royal cause. We will see how
the common people acted under these depressing
conditions.

Second Step. In the mountainous districts of
western Carolina, in Tennessee and Virginia, were
scattered settlements of backwoodsmen who had
never submitted to the king. Cornwallis now sent
Major Patrick Ferguson, with twelve hundred men,



ILLUSTRATIVE LESSONS 2/1

on a foraging march into the rough country of west-
ern North Carolina, with instructions to scour the
mountain region between the Catawba and the Yad-
kin, harass the patriots, encourage the Tories, and
gather in royalist recruits. At Charlotte, in North
Carolina, he was to rejoin Cornwallis's army. What
sort of country had Ferguson to travel through ?
Would the backwoodsmen be likely to disturb him ?
What sort of training in fighting had they had ?

As Ferguson marched into this wild region he
found the people very unfriendly. Instead of sell-
ing their provisions to British soldiers, they dis-
tressed them by shooting down stragglers and
messengers, and cutting off supplies from the Brit-
ish army. Neither Ferguson nor Cornwallis was
expecting serious opposition from large bodies of
American troops. Yet it was very difficult for the
British to march through such a rugged and wild
country. Besides, the Americans could sometimes
bring together considerable companies of swift
horsemen, who did great damage to detachments
of the British army.

The story of the battle of King's Mountain is
thus told in Irving and Fiske's " Washington and his
Country," pp. 423-427. Let the teacher tell the
story, throwing in questions when needed.

"This hostility of the patriots was a sore annoy-
ance to Cornwallis, depriving him of all intelligence
concerning the movements of Ferguson, whose ar-



2/2 METHOD OF RECITATION

rival he was anxiously awaiting. That doughty
partisan officer was on his way to join Cornwallis
when a chance for a signal exploit presented itself.
An American force under Colonel Elijah Clark, of
Georgia, was retreating to the mountain districts of
North Carolina, after an unsuccessful attack upon
the British post at Augusta. Ferguson resolved to
cut off their retreat. Turning toward the moun-
tains, he made his way through a rugged wilderness
and took post at Gilbert-town, a small frontier vil-
lage of log houses. He was encouraged to this step
by the persuasion that there was no force in that
part of the country able to look him in the face. He
had no idea that the behavior of his followers had
arrayed the very wilderness against him. (What sort
of treatment had the patriots in the South received
at the hands of the British ?) The scattered inhab-
itants of the mountains assembled without noise or
warning; a hardy race, half huntsmen, half herds-
men, inhabiting deep, narrow valleys and fertile
slopes, adapted to grazing, watered by the coldest of
springs and brightest of streams, and embosomed in
mighty forest trees. Being subject to inroads and
surprisals from the Indians, a tacit league existed
among them for mutual defence, and it only needed,
as in the present instance, an alarm to be circulated
through their settlements by swift messengers to
bring them at once to the point of danger. (Against
what Indians had the early settlers of this region



ILLUSTRATIVE LESSONS 2/3

fought ?) Now from the upland regions of Kentucky,
Virginia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas these bold
backwoodsmen assembled to the number of three
thousand, led by their militia colonels, Campbell,
Shelby, Williams, Cleveland, McDowell, and Sevier.

"Threatened by a force so superior in numbers
and fierce in hostility, Ferguson remembered the
instructions of Cornwallis, and breaking up his
quarters he pushed for the British army, sending
messengers ahead to apprise his lordship of the
danger. Unfortunately for him, his missives were
intercepted. (What might Cornwallis have done to
help Ferguson ?)

" Gilbert-town had not long been vacated by Fer-
guson and his troops when the motley host of moun-
taineers thronged in. The greater part were on
horseback. Some were in homespun garb, but the
most part in hunting shirts, occasionally decorated
with colored fringe and tassels. Each man had his
long rifle and hunting-knife, his wallet, or knapsack,
and blanket, and either a buck's tail or sprig of
evergreen in his hat. Here and there an officer
appeared in the continental uniform of blue and
buff, but most preferred the half-Indian hunting
dress. There was neither tent nor equipage, neither
baggage nor wagon, to encumber the movements of
that extemporaneous host. Prompt warriors of the
wilderness, with them it was 'Seize the weapon
spring into the saddle and away ! ' In going into



2/4 METHOD OF RECITATION

action, it was their practice to dismount and tie their
horses, so as to have them at hand for use after
battle, either to pursue a flying enemy or make their
own escape by dint of hoof.

" There was a clamor of tongues for a time at Gil-
bert-town ; groups on horseback and foot in every
part, holding hasty council. Being told that Fer-
guson had retreated by the Cherokee road toward
North Carolina, about nine hundred of the hardiest
and best mounted set out in urgent pursuit, leaving
those who were on foot, or weakly mounted, to fol-
low as fast as possible. Colonel William Campbell,
of Virginia, having come from the greatest distance,
was allowed to have command of the whole party ;
but there was not much order or subordination.
Each colonel led his own men in his own way. A
rapid and irregular march was kept up all night in
murky darkness and through a heavy rain. About
daybreak they crossed Broad River, where an attack
was apprehended. Not finding the enemy, they
halted, lit their fires, made their morning's meal,
and took a brief repose. By nine o'clock they were
again on the march. The rainy night had been
succeeded by a bright October morning, and all
were in high spirits. Ferguson, they learned, had
taken the road toward King's Mountain, about
twelve miles distant. When within three miles of
it, their scouts brought in word that he had taken
post on its summit. The officers now held a short



ILLUSTRATIVE LESSONS 2/5

consultation on horseback, and then proceeded.
The position taken by Ferguson was a strong one.
King's Mountain rises out of a broken country, and
is detached, on the north, from inferior heights by a
deep valley, so as to resemble an insulated promon-
tory about half a mile in length, with sloping sides
excepting on the north. The Mountain was covered
for the most part with lofty forest trees, free from
underwood, interspersed with boulders and masses
of gray rock. The forest was sufficiently open to
give free passage to horsemen. As the Americans
drew nearer, they could occasionally, through open-
ings of the woodland, descry the glittering of arms
along a level ridge, forming the crest of King's
Mountain. This Ferguson had made his strong-
hold, boasting that 'if all the rebels out of hell
should attack him, they could not drive him from
it.' (Why was this a strong position for Ferguson's
army ? How could the Americans best manage the
attack ?)

" Dismounting at a small stream which runs
through a ravine, the Americans picketed their
horses, or tied them to the branches of the trees, and
gave them in charge of a small guard. They then
formed themselves into three divisions of nearly
equal size, and prepared to storm the heights on three
sides. Campbell, seconded by Shelby, was to lead
the centre division ; Sevier with McDowell, the right ;
and Cleveland and Williams, the left.



2/6 METHOD OF RECITATION

" The divisions were to scale the mountain as nearly
as possible at the same time. The fighting directions
were in frontier style. When once in action, every
one must act for himself. The men were not to wait
for the word of command, but to take good aim and
fire as fast as possible. When they could no longer
hold their ground, they were to get behind trees, or
retreat a little, and return to the fight, but never to
go quite off.

" Campbell allowed time for the flanking divisions
to move to the right and left along the base of the
mountain, and take their proper distances; he then
pushed up in front with the centre division. About
four o'clock Campbell arrived within rifle distance of
the crest of the mountain, whence a sheeted fire of mus-
ketry was opened upon him. He instantly deployed
his men, posted them behind trees, and returned the
fire with deadly effect. Ferguson, exasperated at
being thus hunted into this mountain fastness, had
been chafing in his rocky lair and meditating a furi-
ous sally. He now rushed out with his regulars,
made an impetuous charge with the bayonet, and
dislodging his assailants from their coverts, began to
drive them down the mountain. He had not pro-
ceeded far, when a flanking fire was opened by one
of the other divisions ; facing about and attacking
this he was again successful, when a third fire was
opened from another quarter. Thus, as fast as one
division gave way before the bayonet, another came



ILLUSTRATIVE LESSONS

to its relief ; while those who had given way rallied
and returned to the charge. (Do you think Ferguson
could have planned his part of the battle better ?)
The nature of the ground was more favorable to the
rifle than the bayonet, and this was a kind of warfare
in which the frontier men were at home. The ele-
vated position of the enemy also was in favor of the
Americans, as it secured them from the danger of
their own cross-fire. Ferguson found that he was
completely in the hunters' toils, beset on every side;
but he stood bravely at bay, until the ground around
him was strewed with the killed and wounded, picked
off by the fatal rifle. His men were at length broken,
and retreated in confusion along the ridge. He gal-
loped from place to place endeavoring to rally them,
when a rifle ball brought him to the ground, and his
white horse was seen careering down the mountain
without a rider. (Could Ferguson with his men have
broken through the ranks of the Americans on one
side and have escaped ?)

" This closed the bloody fight ; Ferguson's second



in command, seeing all further resistance hopeless,
hoisted a white flag, beat a parley, and surrendered
at discretion. One hundred and fifty of the enemy
had fallen, and as many been wounded ; while of the
Americans, but twenty were killed, though a con-
siderable number were wounded. (Why, do you
think, had the British suffered more in killed and
wounded than the Americans ?) Among those slain



278 METHOD OF RECITATION

was Colonel James Williams, who had commanded
the troops of Ninety-six, and proved himself one of
the most daring of the partisan leaders.

" Eight hundred and ten men were taken pris-
oners, one hundred of whom were British regulars,
the rest loyalists. The rancor awakened by civil war
was shown in the treatment of some of the prisoners.
A court-martial was held the day after the battle, and
a number of Tory prisoners, who had been bitter in
their hostility to the American cause, and flagitious in
their persecution of their countrymen, were hanged.
This was to revenge the death of American prisoners
hanged at Camden and elsewhere. (Would you
expect the backwoodsmen to follow up this victory
by marching against Cornwallis ?)

" The army of mountaineers and frontiersmen, thus
fortuitously congregated, did not attempt to follow
up their signal blow. They had no general scheme,
no plan of campaign ; it was the spontaneous rising
of the sons of the soil, to revenge it on its invaders,
and, having effected their purpose, they returned in
triumph to their homes. They were little aware of
the importance of their achievement.

"The battle of King's Mountain, inconsiderable
as it was in the numbers engaged, turned the tide of
southern warfare. The destruction of Ferguson and
his corps gave a complete check to the expedition
of Cornwallis. He began to fear for the safety of
South Carolina, liable to such sudden irruptions from



ILLUSTRATIVE LESSONS 2/9

the mountains ; lest while he was facing to the north
these hordes of stark-riding warriors might throw
themselves behind him, and produce a popular com-
bustion in the province he had left. He resolved,
therefore, to return with all speed to that province
and provide for its security."

Third Step. (The class is supposed to have had
earlier in their history study a complete account of
Burgoyne's invasion, including the battle of Ben-
nington. Recall Burgoyne's invasion and the events
which led up to the battle of Bennington.)

The battle of King's Mountain at the South sug-
gests the earlier battle of Bennington at the North.
Under what circumstances did Burgoyne send Baum
on the raid against Bennington ? How did Baum
prepare to meet the attack of the Americans ? Bur-
goyne, after scattering St. Glair's army, followed up
his victory with sending Baum on a foraging march
toward Bennington. Compare this with Cornwallis
after Cam den.

Colonel John Stark and his Green Mountain boys
assembled voluntarily at Bennington to repel invaders.
Compare these with the backwoodsmen of Carolina
and Tennessee who assembled under the six colonels
at King's Mountain. The Tories and Indians at the
North had exasperated the country people by cruel-
ties. How had the Tories and British treated the
patriots at the South ? Baum took a strong position
on a hill and awaited the attack of the Americans.



28O METHOD OF RECITATION

Ferguson at King's Mountain did likewise. Stark
divided his army into three divisions and attacked on
three sides at once. In both battles the militia at-
tacked the British in a strong position and either
killed or captured the whole body. The British
leader was also killed or mortally wounded in each
battle.

What was the result of each of these battles in its
effects upon the movements of the principal armies ?
There were also certain points of difference worth
noticing. At Bennington two battles were fought on
the same day. At Bennington there were two leaders
of the Americans ; at King's Mountain, six, but they
were not regularly appointed officers in either case.

Fourth Step. As a result of this comparison we
find a remarkable similarity even in the lesser details
of these two battles, so far distant in place and time.
Although they were small battles and insignificant in
the number of troops engaged, yet they were very
important in their influence upon two important cam-
paigns. And what is also of much importance, they
throw much light upon the spirit which the common
people exhibited during the Revolutionary War.

At a time of great discouragement the people
themselves, Bunder their own neighborhood leaders,
collect in large numbers, with such arms and equip-
ments as they bring from their own homes, and attack
and capture veteran troops in strong positions. In
this respect exactly the same spirit and energy of



ILLUSTRATIVE LESSONS 28 1

character are shown by the backwoodsmen of Ten-
nessee, Carolina, and Virginia as by the Green
Mountain recruits and Yankee militia.

The common people, therefore, out of their own
love of liberty, and on account of their great courage
and energy, contributed much to the success of the
Revolutionary War.

Fifth Step^ Other battles of the Revolution may
be called up and measured upon this standard of
energy and patriotism as shown by the rank and file
of troops. Take, for example, Bunker Hill, Stony
Point, The Cowpens, Saratoga, and others. It is
sometimes said that a few men, especially Washing-
ton, bore the burden of the war. How far were the
spirit and energy of the common people responsible
for the final success ? Later in our history, both in
time of war and in the enterprises of peace, the
striking characteristics of the common people should
be studied and their influence upon important events
and movements observed and compared with earlier
manifestations of the popular will.

This idea can be carried over also into the arena
of political and social reform.

1 The early colonial history abounds in illustrations of this popular
energy as shown in Indian wars and in resistance to the tyranny of
royal governors.



282 METHOD OF RECITATION

Parable of the Tares

Matthew xiii. 24-31

Several generalizations are suggested and a few
are plainly taught by this parable. The tares were
sown in the night, when people were asleep ; so
wicked thoughts are sown when people are spirit-
ually asleep. The tares have an injurious influence
upon the good grain ; so bad thoughts and actions
exert an injurious influence upon good thoughts and
actions. When harvest time comes, the different
growths shall be judged by the fruits that they bear,
and hence, " By their fruits ye shall know them."
The householder seems patient in allowing the weeds
to stand; so God seems patient with the wicked
people. The notes ordinarily furnished in connec-
tion with this parable state that the tares are a poi-
sonous weed; so bad thoughts and actions act like
poison in our lives.

These are all truths, however, that, while sug-
gested by the parable, do not express the essence of
its thought. They are really subordinate thoughts,
and should better be neglected than receive much
attention. The plainest truth involved is that a sure
reward awaits the good and a sure punishment the
evil. And that is the thought that Christ himself
presents when he is called upon by the apostles to
interpret the parable. However, many a teacher
will feel convinced that there is another truth fully



ILLUSTRATIVE LESSONS 283

involved in the story, by means of which more in-
fluence can be exerted upon the child than by this
one just named. That is presented through the fact
that the householder commands his servants to let
the tares stand with the wheat, because the ser-
vants cannot remove the one without injuring the
other. This, interpreted, means that in this world,
though we would often like to banish evil from
among us, we do not know enough to separate it
from the good, and if we attempted to do so we
should make an abundance of mistakes. Hence, we
should let both grow together until the harvest, or
until the end of the world ; and we should not at-
tempt to judge and condemn people, thinking that
we see clearly what is good in them and what is
bad. The generalization, tersely stated, would be,
" Judge not, that ye be not judged." This is the one
chosen to be presented here according to the five
Formal Steps. The children are thought of as be-
ing at least ten years of age, and perhaps somewhat
older. The majority of the questions following, al-
though not all, could be given to ten-year-old chil-
dren.

Aim. Let us see what Christ meant by his story
about removing weeds from the wheat.

i. Have you found weeds in a garden of your own ?
How were they gotten rid of ? Why is that so nec-
essary ? Is there any danger to the other plants in
so doing ? Have you seen weeds growing in grain in



284 METHOD OF RECITATION

the country ? Where ? In what grains ? Is it more
or less dangerous to remove weeds from wheat than
from your flowers or vegetables in the garden ? Why ?
What, then, does the farmer do with them ?

2 a. Now let us listen to the story that Christ told
about removing weeds from the wheat. That was
in Palestine, and the particular weeds he mentioned
are called tares. They are said to look very much
like wheat. (Read Matthew xiii. 24-31.) (If time
allows, at least a portion of this parable could be
developed instead of read.) The children, after
hearing or reading the parable, relate the same prob-
ably two or three times, in order to see clearly the
concrete situation. Proceeding, we say, Why, then,
were the servants not allowed to pull up the tares ?
The chief answer is that in so doing they would root
up the wheat, because the tares stand so close to
the wheat that one could not be pulled up without
injury to the other.

2 b. Christ's disciples hardly knew what he meant
by this story, and they asked him about it. Do you
think you can possibly tell what is meant ? Let us
see. . He says that a man having a field of grain may
be compared with the kingdom of Heaven, If so,
whom might the sower represent? Answer Christ.
And what would the field be? Answer the world.
Who would be meant by the good seed ? Who by
the tares ? When will the harvest be ? Who are the
reapers ?



ILLUSTRATIVE LESSONS 285

3. Are there many tares or wicked people in the
world? Give examples, as thieves, murderers, etc.
Those servants thought it would be wise to separate
the tares from the wheat and gather them up ; have


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Online LibraryCharles Alexander McMurryThe method of the recitation → online text (page 17 of 21)