Musings: Independence Day Muster, June 27-28


An important event that the Regiment does is the Fourth of July muster which was held at the end of June. It was rainy and rather nasty weather, especially on Friday night when the whole earth seemed to be deluged and it seemed that Noah’s ark was going to come floating by, carrying two of everything except a couple of Patriots. It was quiet that night. I shared my space with Bucky and Matt Simmerly who were stuck with me in cabin 4. All of us wondered whether the fly in front would hold, as it was precariously rigged to the front of the cabin and had a rather large swag in it. The grounds of the fort were becoming Lake Watauga and the water crept inexorably closer to the door. Fortunately the fly held and provided everyone with much needed shelter and shade as the weekend progressed. Dan Akerblom set up the tavern and it looked SWEET. The Bennetts were in the Talbot house and cozy was the best way to describe it. I worried about Kim and Earl down in the woods but they seemed well protected by the trees. It was a cooking weekend for me. I dug out a perfect cooking pit and as all set to cook outside as people would have on hot summer days but with the rains coming and going, that was not meant to be. It was a bit sweaty in the cabin but it’s good for the soul.

SHADE AND PROTECTION IN FRONT OF THE HILLBILLY HILTON

SHADE AND PROTECTION IN FRONT OF THE HILLBILLY HILTON

Ken and Tammy Markum

Ken and Tammy Markum

Saturday was cool and the rains held off until after the event closed. Jennifer Bauer spun wonderful wool in front and the members gathered to raise the colors and set the tone for the day. To all of us, this day is important. When J.C. Davis read the declaration to the crowd, one could feel goosebumps. I saw three generations, J.C., Jason and his son and realized that some of the same complaints raised by Jefferson are now resurfacing and as I observed the public, placidly listened to the reading,I wondered if they could feel the winds of change the way I did. Looking at the Davis family, I wondered how long this great country would endure, as it is flapping in a moral breeze. I wondered if Jason’s son and the other children would enjoy the freedoms that we seem to have taken for granted. I wondered if people actually realized how precariously our nation stands on the slippery slope between a cherished republic so hard won and a self -imposed “politically correct” tyranny created by those with agendas who want to dismantle this country, adjust or erase our history and moral structure.This is allowed because of public apathy, lack of knowledge of the past, lack of interest in the future except what people can get,and politicians who have lost sight of the common good. I wondered if they realized that freedom, like entitlements, isn’t “free” and they are paid for by a stalwart and hard working few holding together the hapless many. In the midst of all the huzzahs, musket firing and drumming,these were  sobering thoughts that stuck with me the whole weekend. Then I saw the children and newer members . Dan enlisted two fledgling carpenters (Ivan and Cohen Daniels) and all three built a wonderful pie shelf to fit in the window of the cabin. I saw all these children and thought maybe they will figure it out;they are living this history and will remember.

Jennifer Bauer and her beautiful grandchildren

Jennifer Bauer and her beautiful grandchildren

Cohen Daniels, apprentice carpenter, helping Dan Akerblom install a pie shelf for blackberry pie and other delectables coming through.

Cohen Daniels, apprentice carpenter, helping Dan Akerblom install a pie shelf for blackberry pie and other delectables coming through.

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MAJOR BOGART SPEAKS: CROCKETT DAYS EVENT HELP


To the Washington Co. Militia,

I just talked with Bill Knapp, Manager at Davy Crockett Birthplace, and he is in dire need of help for the Crockett Days event August 15-16. A lot of the State help he had last year will not be available this year, and one of his rangers is out on medical leave for three months. Please let me know if you plan to attend and what Type of demonstrations or programs you are willing to do. The folks at Crocket Birthplace are always helping us out at Sycamore Shoals now is the time for us to repay the kindness. Let me know ASAP.

Thank You,

Major Bogart

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Independence on the Frontier , Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, June 27th & 28th  


Framing the Declaration of Independence

Framing the Declaration of Independence

Step back in time 239 years to a colorful revolutionary world and witness life as it was on the 18th century frontier during a very tumultuous time. In the summer of 1776 colonial leaders met in Philadelphia to draft a document that would forever change the world. As our guest to Fort Watauga, you too can be part of the excitement as news of American Independence reaches the colonial frontier. What did the colonists think about a new nation? Walk among historical characters and hear their varied reactions to the Declaration, from fear of war to the hope of a brighter future.

The Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia, host living history organization at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, will be encamped in and around Fort Watauga giving visitors a glimpse of life in 1776. A myriad of activities will unfold throughout the weekend such as militia drill and training, artillery firing demonstrations, open hearth cooking, tomahawk throwing and a special reading of the Declaration of Independence on Saturday at 1:00 followed a short celebration.

Get an early start on your Independence celebrations and bring the entire family out for a weekend full of history, patriotism, education, and family fun. The event will run from 10:00 until 4:00 on Saturday, June 27th and 10:00 until 3:00 on Saturday, June 28th.  Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area is located at 1651 W. Elk Ave. Elizabethton, TN 37643. For more information about this event please contact the park at 423-543-5808 or log on to these websites: http://www.sycamoreshoalstn.org or http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/sycamore-shoals

Independence on the Frontier: Schedule of Events

 

Saturday, June 27th     

10:00 – Raising the Colours:  Start the day off with a bang as the militia falls in for inspection

and raises the flag with a patriotic ceremony.

10:30 – Wataugan Footsteps: Join Gillian in the visitors center and learn about an important

woman on the frontier, Ann Robertson, who played a crucial role during the siege of Fort

Watauga in 1776.

11:00 – “Fix Bayonets”: Join Mr. Davis of the Continental Army and learn about the uses and

tactics of the bayonet, one of the most feared weapons used in the Revolutionary War! Then cheer on the Militiamen as they test their skill and aim with this 18th century weapon.

12:00 – “Echoes of Revolution”: The Watauga Valley Fifes & Drums perform martial and field

music of the Revolutionary War.

1:00 – Reading of the Declaration of Independence: Join in the excitement as the document

declaring our freedom from Great Britain is read publicly inside Fort Watauga. A short

celebration will follow.

2:00 – Kids Militia & Rubber Band Rifle Shoot: Attention all able bodied kids! Fall in and

drill with the Washington Co. Militia. Then join in the fun of an old fashioned rubber

band shooting match!

3:00 – Artillery Drill and Demonstration: Learn about 18th century artillery as the Militia fires

the Fort’s Cannon.

4:00 – Militia Drill & Retiring the Colours – The Washington County Militia demonstrates the

tactics and firearms used during the Revolutionary War, and then retire the flag for the day.

Camps Close to the Public: Join us tomorrow for another exciting day of 18th century

living history.

 

Sunday, June 28th    

10:00 – Raising the Colours:  Start the day off with a bang as the militia falls in for inspection

and raises the flag with a patriotic ceremony.

11:00 – Worship Service: Join us for Sunday Service held inside Fort Watauga.  

1:00 – Kids Militia: Attention all able bodied kids! Fall in and drill with the Washington Co.

Militia.

2:00 – Artillery Drill and Demonstration: Learn about 18th century artillery as the Militia fires

the Fort’s Cannon.

3:00 – Militia Drill & Retiring the Colours: The Washington County Militia demonstrates the

tactics and firearms used during the Revolutionary War, then lowers the flag for the day.

Ongoing Activities Throughout the Weekend Include…

18th Century Cooking Techniques and Foodways – Colonial Carpentry – Wool Spinning and Fiber Arts – Flintlock Rifle and Musket Firing Demonstrations – Colonial Woodsmen Skills

And Much More!

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CASTING CALL FOR “LIBERTY!” COMMERCIAL THIS COMING THURSDAY, JUNE 11


Jennifer Bauer sent this message from Joe Greene, director of “Liberty!”.

All Liberty cast and crew and members of the Washington CoMilitia,

I have some great news.

Thursday June 11th we will be shooting our first new commercial spot for this year’s show.

We will also be using this time to shoot a longer video to post on our website and Facebook page.

If you are a main character we really need you to be there. Especially John Sevier, Bonnie Kate, Mr and Mrs Carter, Robert and Mary Young, Rev. Doak, Bess, Chester, Robertson’s, all Indians, and anyone wanting to play British soldiers. We would also love to have all walk-ons come and be a part as well.

We will have our normal rehearsal at 6, then about 7:30 or a little before, we will move down to the fort to start shooting. So please come out and help us make this as big as possible!

Thanks in advance, Joe Greene.

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21st Annual Seige of Fort Watauga. May 16-17, 2015


Pensive and watching

Pensive and watching

This weekend marked the 21st annual Siege of Fort Watauga. Each year, the complexion of the event has been different but this one, by far, has been the best for so many reasons.  The weather was clement; Friday was sunny and clear, Saturday was hot but dry and the rains held off Sunday until long after the event was done, but that’s not why it was so good. I’ll let the Johnson City Press and the master’s thesis written by Brian Patrick Compton , whose links are below, tell the story of the three pronged Cherokee siege which trapped one hundred-fifty people inside the fort for twenty days or so and how they managed to overcome three hundred very angry warriors with only five pounds of black powder and buckets of boiling water. What was interesting was what I saw in recreating the spirit of the place and its inhabitants and the number of youngsters who are keeping the story alive.

Many of the sutlers came from their stay at Martin’s Station the previous week and they were in place by Friday when the rest of the re-enactors came and set up throughout the day. One could hear excited voices and the clang of hammer on metal as tents were set up. All the cabins were manned and everyone was ready to roll. The most interesting was the Tory public house set up in the man cave. So what if they were loyalists? Will Caldwell, Kurt Stevens, Ethan Walling and others did a wonderful job capturing the feeling of a public house. I have to say though, that after hours was kind of staid by my standards .  I was next door and was was expecting to hear God knows what from these twenty-somethings. I was kind of hoping to live my youth vicariously by listening.  I was in my twenties once and I can remember kicking up my heels a bit. Instead, there was quiet conversation, plenty of laughter and the clinking of glasses. Whoopee!

Games, food and fellowship abounded at the Loyalist public house.

Games, food and fellowship abounded at the Loyalist public house.

pooped

RELAXIN’

There was a larger than normal number of participants, ranging from Brits to Tories, Natives and civilian impressions. What was so interesting was number of different 18th century living skills being demonstrated all over the park. There was salt making, chair caning, sewing, flax processing, hearth

German stuffed noodles in broth on Saturday and hasty apple fritters on Sunday at the Ramona Inn :o)

German stuffed noodles in broth on Saturday and hasty apple fritters on Sunday at the Ramona Inn :o)

and open fire cooking, leather working, children games, adult games,  weaving, spinning, weaponry, native living and of course, relaxatin’.  Between the two days, more than a thousand visitors came to view the battle recreations and visit with the reenactors, a very satisfying turnout.

When Saturday broke and the call to arms was made, there was musket toting militia almost equal in number to the original seventy five that were there in 1776. The line, crooked as it was, stretched from Blockhouse to near the back gate. (we need to have a tee shirt made,boys, with “Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia” in colonial lettering printed in a crooked line on the front and “We don’t do straight lines” printed on the back. Just sayin’)

Waiting for orders; look who's  at the end of the line?

Waiting for orders; look who’s at the end of the line?

On Saturday, the group recreated the ladies out in the field, the native attack and capturing of Lydia Bean. Strategic placement of men and ladies  with John Moss’s SC rangers, Militia members and those from the Anderson Blockhouse filled the wall and the field; shot was abundant and the smoke hung heavy over the field. The Brits, Loyalists and natives were a formidable group and it still gives me chills as I think of the natives streaking over the field with the sound of their war whoops still ringing in my ears. There was one young fellow especially who startled the living bejaysis out of me.

Charcoal streak!

Caleb and the Charcoal streak!

The native who I think is Kurk blended in to the tree canopy and the fort walls and it gave me a start to see him try to force his way into the Talbot House on Sunday . Fortunately for the Talbots, though, the natives at the door were soundly repelled! It was touches like this that made this event especially interesting.

I bet those natives had a pounding headache after they got pounded!

I bet those natives had a pounding headache after they got pounded!

Sweet sounds!

Sweet sounds!

There were other things that made a difference as well. On Saturday and Sunday, after the battle, the Fife and Drum Corp gave what I thought was almost a concert and on Saturday, there were three brothers from Jonesville , VA, who played violins and sang. It was pure heaven to listen to the Corp and these fine young gentlemen. Besides the usual doings, at 2 PM on Sunday, the ladies provided a fine tea for all and sundry. Dainties of all kinds appeared and  like the loaves and fishes, it fed the multitude,

It seems like we fed thousands at the tea.

It seems like we fed thousands at the tea.

The Fife and Drum Corp outdid themselves this year! Many visitors commented on how wonderful they sounded

The Fife and Drum Corp outdid themselves this year! Many visitors commented on how wonderful they sounded

The most interesting thing about this particular event was the number of children who were there. One could see them playing in and around the fort on both days. There was the sound of light  young voices, lithe bodies zooming around like fireflies and every where they landed, there was laughter and smiles. It gladdened our hearts to see these young people, from toddlers to twenty-somethings, So many of the members have worried that when we go, the story might die. But after seeing the amount of young people  taking part, I think the future of telling the story of the intrepid people who settled this place will be forever insured.

Keeping the story alive!

Keeping the story alive!

Melodie Daniels and one of her "man-cubs". so cute!

Melodie Daniels and one of her “man-cubs”. so cute!

Pearl

Pearl

A beauty!

A beauty!

Younger and older; our story lives!

Younger and older; our story lives!

Interesting and scholarly master’s thesis :Revised History of Fort Watauga.

http://dc.etsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2260&context=etd

Johnson City Press:

http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/article/126642/living-history-sycamore-shoals-strives-for-accuracy-in-siege-of-fort-watauga-event

Watch the full Sunday battle!

Photos from JD Douglas and Ken and Retha Reece. Thanks for taking such beautiful pictures. It was tough to choose from so many wonderful shots! A special mention goes to thanking Earl Slagle. He has been working diligently on making the cabins look totally beautiful and authentic by framing the sides of all the buildings, fixing and insulating the eaves. It’s astounding what this man has done and many visitors commented on how beautiful the fort is.

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21st Annual Siege of Fort Wautaga, May 16 & 17, 2015


Militia is looking good

Militia is looking good

21st Annual Siege of Fort Watauga

May 16 & 17, 2015

On Saturday, May 16th and Sunday, May 17th, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area will host nearly 200 living history re-enactors for the 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.

The Siege of Fort Watauga is a live retelling of the Cherokee attack brought on the settlers of the Watauga valley in the summer of 1776. At Sycamore Shoals, Fort Watauga offered protection to nearly 200 settlers during a two-week siege led by Cherokee War Chief, Old Abram, and 300 warriors.

Sycamore Shoals will once again be the scene of war during the Siege of Fort Watauga. The event lasts from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturday, May 16th and10:00 am to 3:00 pm on Sunday, May 17th. Step back in time as you visit the fort, militia camps, British encampment, and Native camp. Be immersed in 18thcentury frontier life as you witness daily aspects of colonial culture. See the clash of two cultures as the attack on fort Watauga is recreated both days at 1:00 pm. Also, attend our auction of 18th century reproductions on Saturday.

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 Zettlemoyer Pottery offering reproduction redware and other 18th century pottery items, Trader Bob offering tanned animal pelts and hides, Ft. Vause Outfitters specializing in finished leather goods, and several other vendors offering everything from 18th century reproduction clothing, weaponry, and original antiques, to replica housewares, hand-carved wooden items, 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 First Maryland based in Hendersonville, NC, Musgrove’s Mill Militia and the South Carolina Rangers based in upstate South Carolina, and two British units; the 42nd Light Infantry and the North Carolina Highland Regiment. The host unit is the Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia based at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area. Numerous individuals also participate in the event portraying many 18th century walks of life including Cherokee Natives, Backcountry Hunters, Farmers, Housewives, African Slaves, Commoners and Gentry.

For more information on this and other exciting events at Sycamore Shoals please contact the park at 423-543-5808 or visit the park’s website atwww.sycamoreshoalstn.org. 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. Hear the rattle of muskets, smell the campfire smoke, and see the 18th century come to life 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 Area.

Siege of Fort Watauga 2015 Schedule of Events

S A T U R D A Y,  M A Y  16th

10:00   Camps Open.

10:30   Raising the Colors & Militia Inspection (Fort Watauga)

11:00   Kids Militia Drill (Talbot’s Meadow – in front of Fort Watauga)

11:30   Colonial Games (Fort Watauga)

12:00   “Ms. Jane”, Colonial Frontier Slave Narrative: Ms. Lynette Stuart (Fort Watauga)

1:00     Battle Reenactment: “Siege of Fort Watauga”

2:00     “Recruitment of Children into His Majesty’s Service” (British Camp)

2:30     Field Music: Watauga Valley Fifes & Drums (Fort Watauga)

3:00     Auction (Visitors Center)

4:00     Salt Making on the Frontier: Mr. Jim Boardwine (Fort Watauga)

5:00     Camps Close. Please join us tomorrow for another exciting day of living history!

S U N D A Y,  M A Y  17th

10:00   Camps Open – Worship Service (Fort Watauga)

11:00   Militia Inspection (Fort Watauga)

11:30   Colonial Games (Fort Watauga)

12:00   “Ms. Jane”, Colonial Frontier Slave Narrative: Ms. Lynette Stuart (Fort Watauga)

1:00     Battle Reenactment: “Siege of Fort Watauga”

1:30     Field Music: Watauga Valley Fifes & Drums (Fort Watauga)

2:00     Ladies Tea & Sunday Social – Everyone Welcomed (Fort Watauga)

3:00     Retiring the Colors (Fort Watauga) Event Closed. Thank you for coming!

O N G O I N G   A C T I V I T I E S   T H R O U G H O U T   T H E   W E E K E N D 

Cherokee Lifeways and Demonstrations, Colonial Games, Salt Making, Tavern Keeping, Leather Work, Weaving, Food Preservation, Lard Rendering, Hand Sewing, Knitting, Flax Processing, Colonial Music, Open Hearth Cooking, Flintlock Firearms Demonstrations, 18th Century Militia Encampment, British Camp, And Many More Aspects of 18th Century Life!

18TH  C E N T U R Y   M A R K E T   F A I R

Ft. Vause Outfitters, Daniel Boone of Kentucky, Zettlemoyer Pottery, Grubbs Station,

Wintergreen Farms, Roy Carter, Trader Bob, Squirrel Town Traders, Johnson and Moffett, McDuffies Trade, Shaun Harley: Pewterer

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, 1651 W. Elk Ave. Elizabethton, TN 37643

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MAJOR BOGART SPEAKS: The Siege is Upon Us and Auction Items


Moving the line

Moving the line

To the Washington Co. Militia,

The Siege of Fort Watauga is in 15 days. Can you believe it?!  It promises to be a great event as we have some new sutlers coming, some new participants taking part, and of course all our old friends will be together again. As the host unit for this event let’s do what we do best, and that is make our guests feel welcomed and appreciated.

As usual I will need some help setting up and serving the dinner on Saturday Evening. Please let me know if you can lend a hand.

I would also like to have an information table this year with schedules, maps, a donation box, and general direction for people with questions. Let me know if you would be willing to tend the information booth for a time during the weekend. I’m thinking two hour increments each day: 10-12, 12-2, and 2-4. I am also going to ask the friends group to help with this.

I am still putting the schedule together so if you would like to do a program, presentation, talk, seminar, or display please let me know ASAP. We want this event to showcase the best we have to offer as living historians. You all are a very talented and knowledgeable group of people and the park is blessed to have you.

As always if you have any thoughts, questions, comments or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me any time.

I am starting to get a few auction items in. However, we are nowhere near where we need to be. Please, if you can, dig around and find some of that “stuff” you no longer use (period correct of course) and donate to a very worthy cause.

Thank You,

Major Bogart

Thank You,

Major Bogart

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