Tag Archives: Washington County Regiment

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 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 24th & 25th for the Overmountain Militia Muster. This weekend will be full of events centering around the story of the Overmountain Men and their historic gathering at Sycamore Shoals. From 10:00 am until 4:00 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 2:00 pm on Sunday, 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 47 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.

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.  This fun filled and action-packed event is sure to entertain and educate all ages. The event is free of charge so bring the entire family and relive some of the most crucial days of the American Revolution.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24th

10:00 – Raising the Colors – Join the Overmountain Men inside Fort Watauga as they assemble for morning instructions, militia inspection and posting the flag.

12:00 – “Every Seventh Man” – Oral tradition states that the Overmountain Men left behind one in seven to guard the settlements as they went in search of the tory army. Witness the Watauga Home Guard drill and hone their skills as defenders of the frontier. Learn about the different firearms used in Colonial America.

1:00 – “Keep Your Powder Dry” – Join historic interpreter Lisa Bennett to hear the story of Mary Patton and learn about the making of gunpowder on the colonial frontier.

2:00 – Pension Court – See how veterans of the Revolution were compensated for their service to the new nation.

3:00 – Walking in Frontier Footsteps – Join Museum Curator Chad Bogart for a guided interpretive walk along the park trail as he recounts the story of the Overmountain Men and the campaign to Kings Mountain.

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

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25th

10:00 – Event Opens to the Public

11:00 – Frontier Worship Service – Join the families of the Watauga Settlement for Sunday morning service held in the courtyard of Fort Watauga.

12:00 – “Every Seventh Man” – Oral tradition states that the Overmountain Men left behind one in seven to guard the settlements as they went in search of the tory army. Witness the Watauga Home Guard drill and hone their skills as defenders of the frontier. Learn about the different firearms used in Colonial America.

1:00 – “Keep Your Powder Dry” – Join historic interpreter Lisa Bennett to hear the story of Mary Patton and learn about the making of gunpowder on the colonial frontier.

2:00 – Watauga River Crossing – TheOvermountain Victory Trail Association will recreate the historic 1780 river crossing when Colonel William Campbell and 400 militiamen from present day Abingdon, VA crossed the Watauga River at Sycamore Shoals to join Colonels Isaac Shelby and John Sevier in response to the threat from British Major Patrick Ferguson.

3:00 – The Story of the Overmountain Men – Hear the legendary story of the campaign to Kings Mountain and the patriot victory that turned the tide of the American Revolution. Presented by the Overmountain Victory Trail Association

4:00 – Retiring the Colors: Event Closed – Thank you for joining us for a great day of frontier living history. Join us next time!

For more information, contact

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

1651 West Elk Ave

Elizabethton, TN 37643

(423) 543-5808

www.tnstateparks.com/parks/sycamore-shoals

www.sycamoreshoalstn.wordpress.com

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

The Overmountain Institute – March 6 – 8

On March 6th through 8th, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park will hold the second annual installment of the popular event entitled “The Overmountain Institute”. This new approach to sharing the regions rich cultural heritage gives participants the chance to get a closer more in-depth look at life on the 18th century frontier with a focus on the area known as the Watauga Settlement in the late 1700s.

Sycamore Shoals will be partnering will several skilled heritage interpreters, living historians and expert craftsmen who will bring life in the 18th century Watauga settlement to new light through a series of demonstrations, workshops, seminars, and hands on activities. Gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the lives, hardships and accomplishments of the early settlers and native Cherokee who called this area home over two centuries ago.

The weekend activities kick off on Friday, March 6th at 7:00 pm with an after-hours presentation entitled “Finding Ourselves on the Frontiers” – An Evening with Captain James Robertson. Chad Bogart will portray early settler and militia leader James Robertson, and share an incredible first person account of experiences in the Watauga Settlement as told by the man who would later be known as the Father of Tennessee! Chad has presented living history programs and historic character demonstrations at over 60 local, state, and national historic sites for the past twenty three years. He serves as the Museum Curatorial Assistant at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park. A reception and light refreshments will follow the presentation.

Saturday, March 7th will be filled with six, one-hour presentations on unique aspects of life in this area over two centuries ago. Sycamore Shoals is proud to host these skilled heritage interpreters who present life on the 18th century frontier in such a way that participants cannot help but feel as if they have actually touched the past. Saturday’s presentations include the following;

“Skrimshaw – 18th Century Powder Horn Art” presented by Steve Ricker. Steve is well known for his fine handcrafted powder horns, hunting bags, knives, and other 18th century accouterments. He will share the age old skill of scrimshaw, the beautiful scrollwork, engravings, and carvings done in bone, ivory, or horn. Steve is from Greeneville, TN and serves as the interpretive program director for the Overmountain Victory Trail Association.

“Betty Harper – Frontier Midwife” presented by Emily Burns. Emily is from Richmond, KY where she works as an 18th century foodways interpreter at Fort Boonesborough State Park. Emily will portray Betty Harper and will share the skills and travails of a frontier midwife.

“Men of Measure – Surveying in Colonial America” presented by Mel Kent. Mel is a resident of Fort Mill, SC. After 20 years of Civil War reenacting and a move to South Carolina he started reenacting the colonial period in 2009. Since he discovered surveying, he has found a period vocation that satisfies all his interests in history, science, and antique shopping for period equipment. Mel will explain the equipment and techniques of the colonial era surveyors.

“Frontier Fashion – Basic Attire of the late 18th Century” presented by Melodie Daniels. How can we really know what our ancestors wore? Using a variety of primary sources, Melodie will walk you through a display of 18th century reproduction clothing for gentlemen, ladies, and children. Melodie is a homeschooling Mom from Limestone, TN who has a passion for history education and all things 18th century.

“Overmountain Melodies – The Music of the Frontier” presented by The Sons of Liberty. Brothers Daniel, Noah, and Joshua Smith, from Jonesville, VA, began reenacting and playing the music of the eighteenth century in 2014. They have a ten-year background in classical violin performance and offer a unique sound enriched by their dynamic arrangements of traditional American songs.

“Nathanael Greene – The Southern Campaign” presented by Taylor Osborne. Taylor comes to us from Hickory Ridge Living History Museum in Boone, NC where he serves as a historic interpreter. Taylor will portray Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene and give his perspective of the Revolutionary War in the south.

 

The Overmountain Institute is designed to engage all five senses. As part of the Saturday experiences, participants will be treated to an 18th century inspired lunch cooked over the open hearth which is included in the ticket price. Guests may also choose to pack their own lunch or elect to eat off site at one of the many restaurant options in town.

Sunday, March 8th may be the last day of the institute, but it will not be short of activities. The day will begin at 11:00 am with a frontier worship service held within Fort Watauga. The rest of the day will be dedicated to ongoing demonstrations, displays, talks, and presentations of daily aspects of colonial frontier life. Feel free to spend as much or as little time as you like with an array of knowledgeable regional heritage educators and living history interpreters. Also, visit our award winning museum, and shop in our well stocked book and gift shop.

The Overmountain Institute is limited to 50 participants. The fee to attend is $50.00 per individual and covers all three days of activities and an 18th century inspired lunch on Saturday. To register please visit liberty.ticketleap.com/omi2020/ .You do not want to miss this opportunity to meet and learn from some of the most gifted living history educators in the community. Come see how you can make history and “…share in the glorious cause of Liberty” at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.

The Overmountain Institute is sponsored by the Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park and the Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia.

 

The Overmountain Institute

Schedule of Events

 

Friday, March 6

6:00 – Doors Open

7:00 – “Finding Ourselves on the Frontiers” – An Evening with James Robertson

An incredible first person account of experiences in the Watauga Settlement as told by the man who would later be known as the Father of Tennessee!

Presented by Chad Bogart, Museum Curatorial Assistant: Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

8:00 – Reception

9:00 – Close

 

Saturday, March 7

9:00 – “Scrimshaw” – Powder Horn Art of the 18th Century: presented by Steve Ricker

10:00 – “Betty Harper” – Frontier Midwife: presented by Emily Burns

11:00 – “Men of Measure” – Surveying in Colonial America: presented by Mel Kent

12:00 – Lunch Break

1:00 – “Frontier Fashion” – Basic Attire of the late 18th Century: presented by Melodie Daniels

2:00 – “Overmountain Melodies” – The Music of the Frontier: presented by the Sons of Liberty

3:00 – “Nathanael Greene” – The Southern Campaign: presented by Taylor Osborne

4:00 – Close

 

Sunday, March 8

11:00 – Frontier Worship Service

12:00 to 4:00 – Ongoing presentations, displays, and demonstrations of 18th century frontier life

4:00 – Close

 

 

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park

1651 West Elk Avenue, Elizabethton, TN 37643

423-543-5808

http://www.sycamoreshoalstn.org

tnstateparks.com/parks/sycamore-shoals