200th Anniversary of the Start of the War of 1812 Celebrated at Fort Watauga Saturday, June 16

War Again!

Two hundred years ago today , the Congress of the United States declared war on Great Britain and intitiated the War of 1812. While it’s not considered as a forgotten war like Korea, it’s one that served as a footnote until this year when more and more reenactment groups are amping up their repetoire to include this time period. The Washington Country Regiment known as the 1st Regiment of the East Tennessee Militia during this time period has good reason for including this time period as a permanent feature of the  group. Sabine Hill, built around 1818 ,  is included as part of the historical site and according to Jennifer, is one of the finest original Federalist style building still in existence  in the country.

Members of the 1st Regiment met together on Saturday, June 16th, to commemorate the event. It was a cozy event with approximately 12 members present but so much fun. For one thing, we all examined each other in new kit. For the most part, the men from this era in the backwaters still dressed in their hunting and farming clothes but ladies’ ware certainly was more revealing. Period music echoed over the park as the Fife and Drum practiced new and old tunes. The public was treated to flintlock musket and rifle demonstrations, and the cannon crew looked very smart when they shot the cannon and Major Bogart explained the function of heavy artillery and its importance in this predominently naval war. The highlight of the day was at 1 PM  when the Major read the declaration of war against Britain making this conflict a formal event.

The 1st Regiment of East Tennessee Militia looked wonderful as they drilled. Movements were precise and crisp and in the afternoon, Major Bogart and militia members gave a talk about the war, Tennessee’s position, important Tennessee figures who commanded and the clothing and accoutrements of the era. I have to say that the audience was very interested and appreciated.

The Johnson City Press printed a terrific article about this event. Check it out. http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/News/article.php?id=100872

Unrestored (as of yet) Sabine Hill built by Mary (“Polly”) Patton Taylor, widow of Gen. Nathaniel Taylor, of the War of 1812. Both are buried in the cemetery nearby. Among their great-grandsons were Governors Alfred A. and Robert L. Taylor, of Tennessee, and Nathaniel Harris, of Georgia.

Cannon Fire!


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Filed under 2012 Militia Activity, Sycamore Shoals Historical Site

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