Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sept 27: Hiking the Roan

Sept 27, 2008: The OVTA leaves the Shelving Rock for its annual trek up and over the Roan Mountain, following in the footsteps of the Patriot Militia that took this route over the mountain back on this day in 1780.

The Shelving Rock as it is today. This is the location of the Sept 26th campsite. Here the Patriot Militia stored its gunpowder to keep it out of the weather as it was pouring rain when they camped here 228 years ago.

Today's group of OVTA hikers getting ready to head up the Roan Mountain. This is one of the most picturesque hikes along the Trail. I get a sense, when I reach the top, of what those men felt back in 1780. They new that once they crossed over the crest of the mountain and headed down the other side they new they may never return and if they did return, they did not know what they would come back to. British agents had been enticing the Indians to attack the frontier and with the militia gone, would there homes be protected? Also, what if Maj. Patrick Ferguson made good on his threat and came across the Mountains to "lay waste to our fields and farms with fire and sword"?

The OVTA Marchers heading up the Roan. The weather today has been threatening and we fear we may not be able to make it all the way to the crest.
Richard making his way. The incline is getting steeper.

And steeper !!!! But more beautiful with each step.
Steve and Mel take a break at the Lazy boy rock.

The crest is now in the clouds. We will not be able to go much higher for safety concerns.We look like ants on an anthill.

Jerry, Shirley and others on the Roan Mountain

View looking back down into the valley. This was very much like it was in 1780.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Cloudland Elementary School program Sept 26

September 26, 2008: The OVTA has their first school program at Cloudland Elementary School in Roan Mt. TN. This program was to be held at the Sept 26th campsite at the Shelving Rock but due to rain, we had to present the program at the school.

The Shelving Rock is located on the way to Roan Mountain State Park. The Patriot Militia placed their gunpowder under the Shelving Rock to keep it dry as it was raining when they passed through here September 26, 1780.
Tom Holmes of Flowery Branch, GA begins the program with "The War Comes to the South"

Mike Dahl continues the Story of the Campaign to Kings Mountain.

We take a prisoner along the way.

A great time was had by all and the kids got some education along the way. The Overmountain Victroy National Historic Trail passes right through their community and they know little of the history the Patriot Militia played in procuring our freedom in 1780
On to our campsite at the Shelving Rock.


September 26: Reverend Doak delivers firey sermon at Sycamore Shoals

On September 26 Reverend Samuel Doak delivered a fiery sermon to the Patriot Milita prior to sending them off on their historic campaign to the Battle of Kings Mountain that occurred on October 7, 1780.

The Patriot Militia was heading out on a campaign they did not know if they would return, and if they did return, they did not know what they would find when they got back. British agents had been provoking the Indians to attack the frontier. This was the FRONTIER and many of the able bodied men were leaving to put down the threat of British Major Patrick Ferguson. His threat was that he was going to cross over the mountains, hang the leaders of the overmountain settlements and lay waste to their fields and farms with fire and sword.

These men were leaving their families and homes. They needed support and they got it from Reverend Doak's fiery words.

Reverend George Cobb, who hails from Alabama, delivers Reverend Doak's sermon to the Militia.

The words that set the stage for the militias long campaign and battle. The sermon ends with the words, With the Sword of the Lord and of Gideon.

The OVTA listens to the sermon

The militia prays.

From here the militia heads up the Roan Mountain to cross over the mountain at Yellow Mountain gap.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Crossing the Watauga in to Sycamore Shoals

September 25, 2008: The OVTA crosses the Watauga River and enters Sycamore Shoals, Elizabethton, TN. just as the Patriot Militia did, on this day, in 1780. They crossed the river coming in from Virginia. Col. William Campbell's Virginia militia consisted of 400 men.

They came to Sycamore Shoals to meet up with militias from the other overmountain settlements to answer the threat of British Major Patric Ferguson which was to cross over the mountains and lay waste, with fire and sword, to their fields and farms.

This was the largest OVTA group to cross the Watauga since the historic 1980 campaign. It was a sight to see.

After marching from Rocky Mount to the town of Watauga, we came to the Watauga River.

The OVTA Militia preparing to enter the river.

Whew!! the waters of the Watauga are cold and DEEP TOO!

The Marchers making it across.

We stop in the middle of the river to fire a ceremonial volley in respect of the crossing on September 25, 1780.

The crowds awaiting on the far side of the river.

The Marchers being helped out of the River. We had a large group at Sycamore Shoals to watch the crossing.

Mike Dahl recognizes Adam as being the youngest to cross the river this year.

We even had spectators hanging from the trees to see this historic recreation.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Candlelight Tour at Rocky Mount September 25, 2008

September 25, 2008: Rocky Mount State Park hosts a candlelight tour by the OVTA. The OVTA presented a candlelight tour of "The Story of the Campaign to the Battle of Kings Mountain". Emphasis was place on the TN (then the state of North Carolina) militiamen that mustered in at William Cobb's home place at Rocky Mount. They then marched to the Grand Muster at Sycamore Shoals.

From there this Patriot Militia went on to defeat the British at the Battle of Kings Mountain on October 7, 1780.

Steve Ricker prepares for the candlelight tour.

The candlelight tour begins with "The War Comes To the South" presented by Tom Holmes and other OVTA members.

Mike Dahl engages the crowd.

Steve Ricker presents the dismay when Ferguson could not be found at Gilberttown. This was a great disappointment to the Patriot Militia. But they would not fail. They would press on and defeat Ferguson at the Battle of Kings Mountain.

Paul Carson, superintendent of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, presents the re-certification to the managers of Rocky Mount State Park.

The crowd engages the OVTA to ask questions concerning the part Tennesseans played in the campaign to the BATTLE OF KINGS MOUNTAIN.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bluff City Middle School Marches in to HISTORY

Bluff City Middle School turned out in force to hear the OVTA present The Story of the Campaign to the Battle of Kings Mountain. This is important to Bluff City Middle School as the route the Overmountain Men took on this day in 1780 went right through their school. When these students walk the halls of their school, they are walking in the footsteps of HISTORY.

Bluff City Middle School turns out in force to hear the The Story of the Campaign to the Battle of Kings Mountain.

Afterwards the whole school was mustered in and formed up in columns of 4 and marched through town and down to the City Park on the river to participate in the Certification of Choat's Ford.

What a turn out !!!

Some of the students (characters) in my company of militiamen. A good time, and some education, was had by all.

Bluff City Middle School IN THE LEAD as they walk in to history

The OVTA visits the Pemberton Oak

The Pemberton Oak once stood where only the stump remains. This once stately White Oak (Quircus alba) was estimated to be between 500 and 600 years old.

Captain Pemberton mustered his militia under this tree in 1780 and set off to join the growing army that was to muster at Sycamore Shoals (in today's Elizabethton, TN) and then to march over the mountains to ward off the threat of Major Patrick Furgeson and his Tory Army.

The OVTA gather with Mrs. Sue Vaughn at the stump of the Pimberton Oak. Mrs.Vaughn and her family have been the owners if this Oak for many years and has overseen its care. Age finally took its toll on the great oak and it fell in 2002.

The OVTA fire a volley in respect of this great oak and the history it has seen.

Abingdon Schools see the Overmountain Men off

It is September 24th, the day the Overmountain Men left the Muster ground on their campaign to the battle of Kings Mountain.Today Abingdon schools were there to see them off.

The school children had the opportunity to march alongside the Overmoutain men as they set out on their journey.

Abingdon 4th graders muster in and prepare to begin the march to the Battle if Kings Mountain

The school children march off with the Overmountain Men as the 2 week journey begins.

Alas, it is time for them to waive goodbye to their heroes.
Many thanks to the city of Abingdon and the surrounding school systems for making the past 3 days possible. It has been quite an educational experience for one thousand plus students.
Now on to Bluff City. The Campaign to the Battle of Kings Mountain has just begun. We will not stop until we catch up with Major Patrick Furgeson and his Tory Army and defeat them.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Washington Co. VA 4th graders come to the Muster Ground

What a day! We had a bunch of 4th graders hear the Story of the Campaign to the Battle at Kings Mountain. They met up with us at the Muster Ground in Abingdon, VA.
The Muster Ground is the location where, in 1780, the Washington County Militia was called to answer the threat of Major Patrick Furgeson and his Tory army. They had threatened to cross the mountains, hang the leaders of the Overmountain settlements and lay waste to their fields and farms with fire and sword.
The Washington County 4th graders arrive. They are an army unto themselves.

Anticipating the gun firing. Look at their faces !!

Home schoolers are welcome also

Ring toss. It is harder than it looks.

Nothing better than dancing to the music.

Artie O'Neal making fire with flint and steel. Look at the faces studying his work. Looking for that spark and glow of red.

Lorraine and Lee give instruction on Rev War games

Enjoying the Rev War era music. This station is really enjoyed. Ryan, Dakota and Bill did a great job

Look at the determination on this guys face as he is trying his hand at bayonet drill. That apple is mighty small. Good job !!!!

Washington Co. Va 4th graders testing theirskills with a Revolution War era game

Tomorrow we head sown the Trail where we will be stopping by the Pemberton Oak and then move on to Bluff City where we will be presenting a program to the schools there.
From there we will be doing a program at Choat's Ford and then on to Rocky Mount for a dedication and candlelight tour program. Check our web site for our schedule and come join us.