In 1780, Major Patrick Ferguson had the misfortune to run into the worst possible men, vis a vis the British Army's plans for conquering the South.
Military historians who take an interest in the American Revolution spill a lot of ink (and I sometimes suspect blood) over something called The Myth of the Militia, which explains a lot of opposition to a strong, centralized army based on assumptions drawn from the battles of Lexington and Concord, and the slaughter of the Redcoats as they fled along Battle Road to the perceived safety of Boston.
Neither side in the debate ever seems to ponder the fact that the Over Mountain Boys who wiped out Ferguson's command was barely organized enough to qualify as militia, nor that the bulk of the American forces at Cowpens or Guilford Courthouse were militia in name and fact.
Maybe because the academics having the argument would have to pay attention to the Scots-Irish settlers who won that war, and who historically have made up the bulk of America's fighting men.
Further reading: Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America.