Monthly Archives: May 2022

Siege of Fort Watauga

Saturday and Sunday, May 21 & 22

10 am – 4 pm each day

 On Saturday, May 21st and Sunday, May 22nd, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park will host nearly 150 living history re-enactors for the 27th annual Siege of Fort Watauga. Colonial, British, and Native re-enactors will converge at the re-created Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals to relive the days when America’s first frontier was the land beyond the blue ridge.

Join us from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm each day as Sycamore Shoals once again becomes the scene of war during the Siege of Fort Watauga. Step back in time as you visit the fort, militia camps, British encampment, and Native American camp. Be immersed in the 18th century as you witness daily aspects of colonial frontier life. See the clash of two cultures as the attack on fort Watauga is recreated both days at 1:30 pm.

During the event, take advantage of colonial merchants selling period wares in “Sutler’s Row”. There will be several vendors offering a myriad of 18th century reproduction items for the colonial enthusiast or the primitive decorator including clothing, weaponry, replica housewares and military accouterments. Vendors this year include Ft. Vause Outfitters specializing in finished leather goods, Walnut Hill Embellishments showcasing 18th century reproduction and historically inspired jewelry, Trader Bob offering a wide selection of hides and pelts, Charles Carter Knives featuring an array of reproduction blades and knifework, and Old Goat Trader offering vintage and repurposed items.

Several Revolutionary War living history units will be in attendance and will make the 18th century come to life during the weekend. Units include the 2nd Regt. SC Continental Line, the South Carolina Rangers, and Musgrove’s Mill Militia all based in South Carolina, and British units; the 71st Highland Regiment, the British Legion, and the Southern Indian Dept. The host unit is the Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia based at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area. Also, enjoy musical entertainment from the Watauga Valley Fife & Drum Corps. Numerous individuals also participate in the event portraying many 18th century walks of life including Cherokee Natives, Backcountry Hunters, Farmers, Housewives, Commoners and Gentry.

Returning this year will be the Auction of 18th century reproductions and colonial inspired goods at 3:00 on Saturday afternoon. The auction is always an entertaining event and has become quite popular with re-enactors and members of the public alike. It’s a great buying opportunity for those in the living history hobby, the home decorator, or the general history buff. All proceeds from the auction go directly to offset the cost of producing the Siege of Fort Watauga event.   

For more information on this and other exciting events at Sycamore Shoals please contact the park at 423-543-5808, log on to tnstateparks.com/parks/sycamore-shoals or visit us on Facebook. Admission to the event is free so bring the entire family and see how your ancestors played a crucial role in our region’s history and in the formation of our nation. Witness the 18th century come to life, hear the rattle of muskets, smell the campfire smoke, and “Share in the Glorious Cause of Liberty” at the Siege of Fort Watauga. This event is sponsored by The Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia and The Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park. Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park is located at 1651 W. Elk Avenue in Elizabethton, TN.

Siege of Fort Watauga – Schedule of Events

Saturday, May 21

10:00   Militia Muster & Posting of the Colors – (Fort Watauga)

10:30   Salute to the Women of Watauga – (Sons of the American Revolution ~ Amphitheater)

11:00   Chickamauga or Cherokee: Was it a Choice? – (Mark Ledford ~ Native Camp)

11:30   “Our Daily Bread” Baking in the Earthen Oven –

(David Simerly ~ Fort Watauga Bread Oven)

12:00   Cherokee Cooking – (Sherry Finchum ~ Native Camp)

12:30   A Warrior’s Preparations – (Malaciah Taylor ~ Southern Indian Department Camp)

1:30     Battle Reenactment: “Siege of Fort Watauga – Part 1” & Revolutionary War Tactical Demonstration (Please move to the spectator viewing area 15 minutes prior to battle)

2:30     Kids Militia Drill – (Talbot’s Meadow)

3:00     Auction – (Visitor Center Gathering Room)

4:00     Event Closed for the Day – Join us tomorrow for another exciting day of living history!

Sunday, May 22

10:00   Event Opens

10:30   Militia Muster and Inspection – (Fort Watauga)

11:00   18th Century Worship Service – (Fort Watauga)

11:30   Chickamauga or Cherokee: Was it a Choice? – (Mark Ledford ~ Native Camp)

12:00   Cherokee Cooking – (Sherry Finchum ~ Native Camp)

12:30   “Our Daily Bread” Baking in the Earthen Oven –

(David Simerly ~ Fort Watauga Bread Oven)

1:30     Battle Reenactment: “Siege of Fort Watauga – Part 2” & Revolutionary War Tactical Demonstration (Please move to the spectator viewing area 15 minutes prior to battle)

2:30     A Warrior’s Preparations – (Malaciah Taylor ~ Southern Indian Department Camp)

3:00     Kids Militia Drill – (Talbot’s Meadow)

3:30     Retiring the Colors – (Fort Watauga)

4:00     Event Closed