In the afternoon of October 7, 1780, the Overmountain Men crept toward the British position on Kings Mountain in South Carolina led by Colonels Isaac Shelby, William Campbell, John Sevier, Benjamin Cleveland and James Williams. With Campbell was John Broddy. Broddy was Campbell’s aide or attendant throughout the American Revolution.
During the battle, Broddy, also spelled as Broady, accompanied Campbell into the fighting and moved forward as Campbell shouted, “shoot like hell and fight like the devil!” He retreated from the fighting soon after with Campbell’s horse so that Campbell could lead his men by foot. Because of their similar appearance, Broddy was fired upon as he was retreating, and several soldiers thought that Campbell had abandoned his men during the fight. After the battle, Colonel Phillip Greever dispelled those rumors.
After fighting at King’s Mountain, Campbell, with Broddy in accompaniment, fought with the Continental Army as they opposed the British forces’ advance into Virginia. When Campbell died in August 1781, Broddy returned to the Campbell’s farm in Virginia. Broddy was emancipated by Campbell’s daughter and son-in-law in 1793:
To all whom it may concern: Whereas my negro man John (alias) John Broady, claims a promise of freedom from his master General William Campbell, for his faithful attendance on him at all times, and more particularly while he was in that army in the last war, and I who claim the said negro in the right of my wife, daughter of the said General William Campbell, feeling a desire to emancipate the said negro man John, as well as for the fulfillment of that above-mentioned promise, as the gratification of being instrumental of prompting a participation of liberty to a fellow creature, who by nature is entitled thereto, do by these presents for myself, my heirs, executors and purposes the said negro man John (alias) John Broady from me forever. As witness my hand and seal, this 26th day of September, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three.
Broddy spent the rest of his life in Virginia and died in 1859 near Saltville, Virginia.