In his book, History of Southwest Virginia, 1746-1786, Washington County, 1777-1870, Lewis Preston Summers writes, “The writer is a native born son of Southwest Virginia, and has always felt a great pride in his country, and since reaching maturity has been interested in the history of this section.” Summers seems to have written this work in the year 1903 partly motivated by this “great pride in his country.” Further, he states, “In the schools but little has been taught in regard to the history of this portion of Virginia, as but a small part of its history has been preserved” and “scarcely any effort has been made to preserve it.” While other portions of the state had seen a preservation of its history up to the point of Summers’ work, the far western section had experienced the opposite. Summers then explains, “Being impressed with this fact, and prompted by a desire to preserve the past history of our people, he determined, a few years since, to collect the history of Southwest Virginia, in so far as it was possible, and to rescue the same from oblivion.” For his attempt to “rescue the same from oblivion” I am thankful. I am thankful because tucked within the pages of his historical account lies imprinted with old, black ink the names of a couple of the earliest Kilgores.
A History of Washington County: Charles Kilgore & King’s Mountain
A history of Washington County is important for use here because Scott County, Virginia, was at one point nonexistent as a county. The land was simply Washington County. Robert Addington notes, “In 1814 a petition was presented to the General Assembly, asking that parts of the counties of Washington, Lee, and Russell be formed into a new county…In accordance with the wishes of the petitioners a bill was introduced in the General Assembly authorizing the formation of a new county. This bill was enacted into law November 24, 1814.” Therefore, any history from the land of the present Scott County occurring prior to its conception will be contained within the history of Washington County.
One of the Kilgores mentioned in Summer’s book is Charles Kilgore. Charles Kilgore fought in the Battle of King’s Mountain in 1780. Summers writes, “The killed and wounded in the army of the mountain men were thirty killed and sixty wounded. Colonel Campbell's regiment of Virginians from Washington County met with greater losses than any other regiment engaged in this battle.” According to Lyman Draper, this regiment of Virginians under William Campbell was unique. He describes the men as “a very different class of men.” He continues,
Those men from the Holston under Campbell were a peculiar people—somewhat of the character of Cromwell's soldierly. They were, almost to a man, Presbyterians. In their homes, in the Holston Valley, they were settled in pretty compact congregations; quite tenacious of their religious and civil liberties, as handed down from father to son from their Scotch-Irish ancestors.
The Annals of Southwest Virginia: Charles and Robert Kilgore
In 1929, Summers took upon himself an even larger work. Numbering 1757 pages including the index, the Annals of Southwest Virginia 1769-1800 is an important resource. Summers expresses, “For a quarter of a century the necessity of rendering accessible the early records of our people has been felt, and there has been an increasing demand for a compilation and publication of the annals of this people during that time.” Additionally, Summers maintains,
The History of Southwest Virginia having been exhausted and now out of print, and the necessity for a revision of this history arising, and the matter having been considered by the author, it was felt by him that the demand of the present time was not so great for a revision of the History of Southwest Virginia as for a compilation and publication of the early records of our people. It was with this thought in mind that he began this work.
One more Kilgore, possibly Charles’ brother Robert, is referenced in the Annals as well. Acknowledged in the section First Surveys of Land in Washington County, Virginia is the total amount of 41 acres possessed by Robert Kilgore as of August 14, 1781. The land is said to have been settled in the year 1772 on the Clinch River.
In closing this post, I will restate the words quoted from Lord Macauley in the introduction to Summers’ History: “A people which takes no pride in the noble achievements of remote ancestors will never achieve anything worthy to be remembered with pride by remote descendants.” These are words worthy of consideration and practical implementation in the here and now.
 Lewis Preston Summers, History of Southwest Virginia, 1746-1786, Washington County, 1777-1870 (Richmond: J.L. Hill Printing Company, 1903), xvii.
 Robert M. Addington, History of Scott County Virginia (Johnson City: The Overmountain Press, 1992), 4.
 Summers, History of Southwest Virginia, 326.
 Lyman C. Draper, King’s Mountain and Its Heroes: History of the Battle of Kings Mountain (Cincinnati: Peter G. Thomson, 1881), 242.
 Hugh M. Addington, Charles Kilgore of King’s Mountain (Kingsport: Cecil L. Durham/Kingsport Press, 1935), 7.
 Lewis Preston Summers, Annals of Southwest Virginia 1769-1800 (Abingdon: Lewis Preston Summers/Kingsport Press, 1929), viii.
 Ibid., 1335.
 Ibid., 1057.
 Ibid., 1082.
 Ibid., 1226.
 Ibid., 1225.
 Summers, History, xvii.