2016 Winter Militia Muster, Feb. 6-7

fort winter

Fort Watauga in winter

Winter musters are usually miserable affairs. It is sub FREEZING, snowy, wet, and those who participate are not your typical sunshine patriots. This year the muster was on Feb. 6 and 7 and the weather, while coolish, was hinting at a stellar spring to come.

On Friday, those who were setting up the cabins and camps arrived to a dry fort . The Tavern was up for grabs but the Bennetts did their usual wonderful job making the Talbot House look prosperous and warm. (click on the pictures to see the captions) Somewhere in the preceeding month, Earl Slagle upgraded the Longhunter lean-to to a more secure structure and he and Kim had a very impressive camp there complete with a bear claw that Kim skinned, hanging from one of the poles. Bucky Simerly set up a primitive digs in the man cave and it was very comfortable. Doug Ledbetter and Bill White did a superlative job making the last cabin warm and inviting.

When there’s not much going on, my thoughts turn to COOKING and along with Lisa Bennett, we just about fed the whole militia. I’m thinking that the hillbilly Hilton is rapidly becoming a publik house, yet unnamed, but perhaps someone will make me a sign “The Cock and Bull”. There was fun, frolic and eating all day for two days.

Becky and John Garrou were in the visitor’s center with their fine display of period drink. It’s a great idea and serves two good functions. One is to get Becky out of the cold, yet she still can participate and the other is to welcome guests to the museum and to the doings of the day. The only thing is I miss being with her when she’s up there. I need a sign on the door… “visiting the Carters”… or something like that.

There was no set theme; mostly it was military drilling with practicing various commands and marching. I have often threatened to have a shirt made with the militia logo on the front printed crookedly and in the back, the sentence “Militias don’t do straight lines” but I have to say, the boys looked spectacular as they followed the officers’ commands.

straight line

BY GAD!!!  Straight Lines!!



Besides drilling and drilling, there was an artillery demo which always is a big hit.


Ready, aim, Fire at Will!

ethan not will



The most notable thing on Saturday was the special recognition program at Noon. Several junior ROTC cadets from the Carter County high schools including Elizabethton High were recognized at a special and well attended ceremony. It was a pleasure to see these young people take the mantle of leadership.

The Watauga Fife and Drum outdid themselves on Saturday. There was a full compliment and they performed a medley of new songs. Hats off to the FIFE AND DRUM!

Sunday was a very quiet day. I bet there were only 20 visitors the whole day in spite of the fact that it was warm and beautiful. The Talbot House was packed for service and Dave Doan gave a beautiful homily about the meaning of Ash Wednesday. One has to hand it to him. Dave was sick, getting over a nasty stomach flu but was there and preached wonderfully. It , like Saturday, was a good day for laughter and seeing old friends and meeting new.

Thank you, Retha Reece, Doug Walsh and Tim Massey for taking such wonderful pictures.


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From Jennifer: Date Change of Carter Mansion Muster

Dear Friends,

The date of our annual Carter Mansion Celebration and Muster has been changed to Saturday and Sunday, April 2nd and 3rd, 2016. The times of the event will be from 10 am til 4 pm on Saturday and 10 am til 3 pm on Sunday.   The previously announced dates were the following weekend of April 9th and 10th and we apologize for having to make this change.

We hope you will add this weekend to your calendar and join us at Tennessee’s oldest standing frame house; a site full of late 18th century history and beauty.  The two day event will highlight the history of Carter County’s finest historic structure, along with traditional arts and family fun at the home of the historically prominent Carter family. Travel back to the 1780’s and tour the Carter Mansion. Witness living history re-enactors demonstrating aspects of 18th century life, and see local craftsmen showcasing traditional skills.

For additional information, please contact Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park at 423-543-5808.  The Carter Mansion is located at 1031 Broad Street in Elizabethton, Tennessee

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Good Afternoon Everyone,


First I want to thank everyone that came out for the Winter Militia Muster this past weekend. I enjoyed everyone’s company and we got in  a lot of good drill and artillery training. Thanks Ramona and Lisa for all the delicious food and refreshment. Each cabin was alive with activity, and Earl and Kim had a great looking hunters camp in the woods. Also many thanks to the Fifes & Drums for some great music this weekend.


As many of you remember. The Walnut Grove event last October was cancelled due to torrential rain and flooding. The make-up date for the event is March 5-6. I need a count of who plans to go ASAP so I can let the event coordinators know our numbers.


Also, as stated this weekend, the Carter Mansion Celebration will have to be moved to accommodate the event at Cumberland Gap. The only date that is good for the park is the first weekend in April. The 2nd and 3rd . This will be the weekend after Easter and the weekend before Cumberland Gap. Also, on the weekend of the 16th and 17th , Davy Crockett Birthplace will be hosting a primitive encampment weekend for the OVTA. Below is a schedule from now until May.


March 5-6: Walnut Grove, Roebuck, SC

April 2-3: Carter Mansion Celebration

April 9,10,11: Cumberland Gap

April 16-17: Davy Crockett OVTA weekend

April 30 – May 1: Blockhouse Event, Natural Tunnel State Park

May 7: Kickoff to the Frontier Expedition Event. SSSHP

May 13,14,15: Martin’s Station

May21-22: Siege of Fort Watauga


Lots to plan for!


Also looking down the road quite a bit…

This one may come as quite a surprise. I know that many of you have expressed an interest in putting on a Haunted event in October. I spoke to Jennifer about it and she is really excited. If you think this is something that you would be interested in helping with please let me know. As of now, the likely date for such an event will be Saturday, October 29th. I think if we put it in a historical context it might spark some interest in the young folks. I don’t know…maybe something along the lines of the “ZOMBIE INVASION OF 1776” !!!


Quite a bit to think about, I know, but all fun stuff indeed. Thanks again and I look forward to our next meeting.


Take Care,

Col. Bogart

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From the Office of the Colonel: Dues are Due


Time is now.

A friendly reminder that Dues are Due.  The deadline is February 29th so what better time to pay than this weekend at the Muster!


Individual dues are $25.00 and family dues are $35.00. As always $10.00 of your payment goes to pay for insurance and the remainder goes into the general fund.

Please remember, only Full Members pay dues. Trial Members do not.

Please make checks payable to “FSSSHA” (Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area).

On the memo line of the check please write “Militia Dues”.

Please send dues to Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, Attn: Washington Co. Militia 1651 W. Elk Ave. Elizabethton, TN 37643.


If you plan to pay this weekend, you may pay me directly or leave your payment at the front dest to be placed in my office.


Thank You,

Col. Bogart


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Good Morning Everyone,


The maintenance staff at the park has been working on the grounds around the outside of the fort near cabin #5. The area has been re-graded, and sewn in grass seed. The area has been closed off with fence rails, but may not be as visible in the dark. If you plan to unload your vehicle this weekend and normally drive around that side of the fort, please be advised that this area is off limits.


Hope to see you this weekend,

Col. Bogart


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Winter Muster This Weekend



On February 6 and 7 Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park in Elizabethton, TN will present a weekend of 18th century living history. The Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia, the park’s host living history organization, will be encamped in and around Fort Watauga providing visitors with a glimpse into our Revolutionary past. Walk among settlers and native peoples who share stories of our history through talks, skits, and demonstrations of 18th century life.

The Washington County Militia provides many historic programs throughout the year at Sycamore Shoals. This particular event will focus mainly on the daily tasks and activities associated with a frontier militia muster. A muster was a monthly gathering of colonial militias to drill and train for military action. The Watauga settlement, in the 18th century, was a remote backwoods community, far removed from the towns and cities in Britain’s American colonies. The frontiersmen had to be on alert and ready to defend their settlement, or raise a force to travel over the mountains to the aid of their fellow patriots.

Join the reenactors of the Washington County Militia at Fort Watauga as they present a myriad of programs and demonstrations showcasing life on the 18th century frontier. Also witness the militia as they present flintlock musket firing demonstrations, 18th century artillery demonstrations, and military drill. Bring out the entire family for this free event, and enjoy an exciting, entertaining, and informative day at the beautiful and historic Sycamore Shoals State Park.

The event takes place on Saturday, February 6th from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm and Sunday, February 7th from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area is located at 1651 W. Elk Avenue in Elizabethton, TN. A detailed schedule will be available on the park website or you may call the park at 423-543-5808. Visit the park websites athttp://www.sycamoreshoalstn.org or http://tnstateparks.com/parks/about/sycamore-shoals.

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January 27, 2016


To the Washington Co. Militia,


Let me begin with wishing you all a very happy 2016. It’s hard to believe that a new year has already rolled around. I trust that everyone had a wonderful Christmas season and that you are well and happy in the New Year. The first weekend of the month at the fort was wonderful. Thank you so much for all who attended and made our Old Christmas a grand event. Beautiful and unseasonal weather made for an enjoyable time for both visitors and participants alike making it a great start to the New Year.


2015 was a banner year for the unit. Early in the year, nineteen of our number representing the 1812 portion of our family attended the Bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans, and once again our unit stepped up to the plate to save the day for our brethren in Louisiana.  April saw a well-attended event at the Carter Mansion Celebration and a good showing from our group at the Blockhouse at Natural Tunnel. The May Siege was very well attended and the battles this year were the best yet. The event that sticks out in my memory for this past year is the September Muster. Even though it took over a year of planning, partnering with the Tennessee State Guard for the event was indeed worth it. The ceremony following the river crossing was very moving and memorable.  The Military Timeline event has grown tremendously, and it was a very enjoyable time despite the weather. Finally, we closed out the year with a wonderful and well attended Christmas event at the Carter Mansion.  My sincerest and heartfelt thanks to all who have made 2015 a great year for this unit!


As for me personally, 2015 was a very busy, eventful and life changing year. Topping the list is my marriage to the beautiful and charming Mrs. Bogart (whom Cohen Daniels refers to as Mrs. Chad). Anna and I are very grateful to you, our militia family, for all the lovely gifts and personal expressions of support and congratulations. We moved into our 1920 farmhouse and have had a wonderful start to what I hope is a long and healthy life together. In November I began my new position at Sycamore Shoals as the Museum Curatorial Assistant, and will be devoting a greater portion of my work to the stewardship of the Exhibits and our Historic House Museums (the Carter Mansion and Sabine Hill). However, my most humbling event of the past year was being chosen as the new Colonel of our Militia. This came about after Bob McCroskey’s decision to step down as our commander. Bob’s leadership started what I hope will be a long legacy of living history excellence in this area, and it will be an incredible privilege to serve you and lead this outstanding group into the future.     


I am very excited about 2016. Lots of new opportunities are on the horizon and a few surprises as well! We are already off to a great start with a fantastic Old Christmas event as mentioned earlier. Also, fifteen of us went back to Chalmette, LA and attended the 201st anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. We were not only honored to raise and lower the site’s huge 15 star flag, but also fielded two complete gun crews to man and fire one of the artillery pieces on Line Jackson. It is indeed another feather to add to our cap. I am so proud of our unit and I know that this will be a great year for us all! HUZZAH!!!


Along with the New Year come a few obligations that must be taken care of. Dues are due and the deadline is February 28th. Individual dues are $25.00 and family dues are $35.00. As always $10.00 of your payment goes to pay for insurance and the remainder goes into the general fund. Please remember, only Full Members pay dues. Trial Members do not.  Please make checks payable to “FSSSHA” (Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area). On the memo line of the check please write “Militia Dues”. Please send dues to Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, Attn: Washington Co. Militia 1651 W. Elk Ave. Elizabethton, TN 37643.


I am also obligated to provide the unit with a yearly financial report. The 2015 quarterly reports are attached with this message. Hard copies along with the 2015 receipts are available in my office at the park should anyone wish to look them over or have a copy.


Thank you all so much for everything you do to make the Washington County Militia what it has become. I look forward to working and reenacting with you in the coming months. Let’s make 2016 the greatest year yet for our organization.


Take Care,


Colonel Bogart

ED NOTE: The financials were emailed as separate documents. If you are a member and did not receive this email, please notify Chad Bogart at the historical site.

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