Tag Archives: Fort Watauga

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

Overmountain Muster at Sycamore Shoals

September 25 & 26

Muster of the Overmountain Men brings Revolutionary War to life at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park!

The year was 1780, and the tide of the American Revolution was turning against the patriot cause.  The British, forced out of New England, gained new allies in the divided South, and won victory after victory in a bloody civil war.  Charleston had fallen to the British, American forces had crumbled at the battle of Camden, and things were looking very bleak for the cause of independence. Then the impossible occurred! Frontiersmen west of the blue ridge mountains began a long march, gathering an army along the way from the highlands of Virginia to the hills of South Carolina.  At a place called King’s Mountain, they destroyed British forces and opened the way for the final American victory at Yorktown.

The route they took from Virginia to South Carolina, we now know as the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.  Come celebrate with us as we re-live the muster of the Overmountain Men, which occurred at Sycamore Shoals over two hundred years ago.

Join us at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, September 25th & 26th for the Overmountain Victory Trail Celebration and Militia Muster. This weekend will be full of events centering around the story of the Overmountain Men and their historic gathering at Sycamore Shoals. It is a must-see for the entire family. From 10:00 am until 3:00 pm each day the Overmountain Victory Trail Association and the Washington County, NC Militia will present 18th century demonstrations and activities in and around Fort Watauga. Discover the vital role Sycamore Shoals played in the early frontier community, and how its significance would impact our nation’s history. Re-enactors in period clothing will be on hand throughout the weekend to share stories and demonstrations of that exciting and tumultuous time. 

At 1:00 pm On Saturday, September 25th the Overmountain Victory Trail Association will recreate the historic 1780 river crossing when Colonel William Campbell and 400 mounted militiamen from present day Abingdon, VA crossed the Watauga River at Sycamore Shoals to join Colonels Isaac Shelby and John Sevier in response to a threat from British Major Patrick Ferguson.  For the past 46 years Members of the OVTA have recreated this historic occurrence since 1975, following the same route and timetable as their legendary forebears from Abingdon, VA to Kings Mountain, SC.

Living history programming will continue Sunday, September 26th from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm with more presentations and demonstrations by the Washington County, NC Militia at Fort Watauga.

While enjoying the activities of the weekend, be sure to visit the award-winning museum and interpretive center, and don’t miss the park’s interpretive film “Sycamore Shoals – Story of the American Spirit”. Also visit the park’s Book and Gift Shop to take home a special souvenir or a gift for the history buff or avid reader in your family.  These fun-filled and action-packed events are sure to entertain and educate all ages. Most events are free of charge so bring the entire family and relive some of the most crucial days of the American Revolution. For more information about this and other exciting events contact the park at the following.

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

1651 West Elk Ave

Elizabethton, TN 37643

(423) 543-5808

https://www.tnstateparks.com/parks/sycamore-shoals

26th Annual Siege of Fort Watauga

Saturday and Sunday, May 15 and 16

On Saturday, May 15th and Sunday, May 16th, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park will host nearly 150 living history re-enactors for the 26th 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. Vendors this year include; Ft. Vause Outfitters specializing in finished leather goods, Windhil Woolens offering hand processed and dyed woolen goods such as yarn, blankets, and clothing, Walnut Hill Embellishments specializing in 18th century reproduction and historically inspired jewelry, Trader Bob offering a wide selection of hides and pelts, and Wintergreen Farms specializing in antique and original items. Several other vendors will offer everything from 18th century reproduction clothing and gear, to replica housewares and military accouterments.   

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, and the British Legion. The host unit is the Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia based at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park. Also, enjoy musical entertainment from The Sons of Liberty, and 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, Indentured Servants, Commoners and Gentry. This year we are excited to host the Scoundrels’ Alley who will represent the lowest class of colonial society and showcase the “dirty jobs” available in the 18th century through presentations entitled An Honest Days Work

Precautions will be taken to minimize the spread of Covid-19. All event activities will occur outdoors. Visitors are asked to stay 6 feet apart from other guests. Face masks are required inside all state park facilities. Face masks are recommended outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained. Park buildings are subject to closure if maximum capacity is exceeded. Restrooms will also close periodically for cleaning.  

Admission to the event is free and food concessions will be available. 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

A detailed schedule will be available soon!

This event is sponsored by The Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia living history organization and The Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park. 

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park 

1651 W. Elk Avenue

Elizabethton, TN. 37643


Phone:    423-543-5808   

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