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The Overmountain Men were American frontiersmen from west of the Appalachian Mountains who took part in the American Revolutionary War. While they were present at multiple engagements in the war's southern campaign, they are best known for their role in the American victory at the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780. The term "overmountain" refers to the fact that their settlements were west of, or "over", the Appalachians —the range being the primary geographical boundary dividing the 13 American colonies from the western frontier. The Overmountain Men hailed from parts of Virginia, North Carolina, and what is now Tennessee.
The efforts of the Overmountain Men helped to solidify the existence of the fragile settlements in the Watauga, Nolichucky, and Holston river valleys, the legitimacy of which had been questioned by the British Crown for several years. Many Overmountain Men, including John Sevier, John Rhea, and Isaac Shelby, went on to play prominent roles in the establishment of the states of Tennessee and Kentucky. The foothold they gained on the frontier helped open the door to mass westward migration in ensuing decades.