Tag Archives: 18th century Tennessee history

April Muster: Carter Mansion Celebration, April 2-3


Saturday, April 2 & Sunday, April 3   

Ramona Invidiato

 

Travel back to the 1780s… The American colonies have declared Independence, but the outcome of this bitter struggle is still in question. Hardy frontiersmen have crossed the mountains in defiance of British law and have carved out homes in the wilderness. Conflict is rising between American Patriots, Loyalists who support the Crown, and native Indians who struggle to retain their way of life. But the people of this time still find cause for celebration and merriment so come out and see it all come together at the oldest frame house in Tennessee.

The Historic John and Landon Carter Mansion, built ca. 1775-1780, boasts beautiful over mantle murals, hand carved moldings and raised panels making it one of the most treasured sites in Tennessee history. The house is the only surviving link to the famed Watauga Association, the democratic government set up by the early settlers in the Watauga Valley. The home’s builder, John Carter, served as a chairman of the Association.

The Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia, Sycamore Shoals’ host living history organization, will be celebrating its seven-year anniversary during this exciting celebration! The Militia will be encamped on the grounds of the Carter Mansion and will present demonstrations of the daily lives of 18th century backwoods settlers. As part of the activities a re-enactment of a small battle between Patriots and Tories will be presented each day.

Local craftsmen and artisans will be on hand throughout the weekend showcasing and demonstration traditional arts and crafts. Other activities throughout the weekend will include Tours of the Carter Mansion: Tennessee’s oldest frame house, Militia Drill, Musket and Rifle demonstrations, Traditional Music, Storytelling, Colonial Military Music by the Watauga Valley Fifes and Drums, and much more. Come join us for a weekend of History, Entertainment, and Family Fun!

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Filed under 2011 Militia Activity, 2016 MILITIA ACTIVITY, Carter's Mansion

MAJOR BOGART MISSIVE: CARTER MANSION CELEBRATION, APR. 3-4


Good Afternoon,

 

First, I wish to thank all that were able to go to Walnut Grove this past weekend. It was a most enjoyable time and the site manager and our host (the SC Rangers & Capt. Moss) were very appreciative of our assistance and presence.

 

The Carter Mansion celebration is coming up soon. April 2-3. You may recall that we decided to scrap doing the Colonial Skills and Trades in February on account of the unpredictable weather, and chose to present them at the Carter Mansion Celebration instead. This is a great time to showcase these types of programs. The weather is warming up and there is no lovelier place than the Carter Mansion. Please let me know if you would like to present a program, display, or talk that weekend. I am open to new ideas and comments.

 

As usual we will be doing the salute to the Carter Family in the cemetery Saturday morning and the Skirmish both days at 1pm so come prepared to shoot.

 

Thanks,

 

Col. Bogart

 

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Filed under 2016 MILITIA ACTIVITY, Carter's Mansion, Officer Communication

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.

lineboom

Ready, aim, Fire at Will!

ethan not will

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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OVERMOUNTAIN VICTORY TRAIL MARCH, SEPT.25-27


To those who lived in the Eastern Appalachians in the last decades of the 1700’s, the Revolutionary War was a distant drumbeat being fought and stalemated somewhere up north. For these people, it was an echo in the mountains that surrounded their hard scrabble lives. For the most part, though there were others, these early settlers on the frontier were not English, per se,  but came from the large Irish territory, the Ulster Plantation. These Scot-Irish whose ancestors where already displaced once, ignored the Royal Proclamation where George III promised the indigenous peoples that there would be no British subjects settling permanently west of the  Alleghenies and dug out a tenuous  life in the wilderness and lived as they wished.

The call of war sounded closer when the British decided to end the stalemate , invade the Southern colonies thus splitting the colonies and the resistance with the hope of ending the war. They banked on loyalists fighting along side the British soldiers. What they didn’t bank on was the ragtag group, these “mongrels”, “barbarians” , these “Backwater Men” as Major Patrick Furgeson  disparagingly called them, who sometimes appeared in the low countries, who fought like devils with their strange Indian cries, who could fell a deer at 200 yards, who harbored rebels and their families in the depths of the mountains and lived to fight another day. The sound of war was made crashingly real when Furgeson,commissioned by Cornwallis to subdue the rebels on his western flank,  out of frustration, threatened the leaders of this group by saying  If the Rebels “did not desist from their opposition to the British arms,” he would “march his army over the mountains, hang their leaders and lay their country waste with fire and sword.”  This enraged the leaders of these very independent people who mustered over a thousand men and set off on a 330 mile journey in a nine day march which brought defeat to the Tories and death to Furgeson. These men  set off ,not to fight for a nation but to defend their cabins and farms and the mountain life they valued.

Why they fought! (Timothy L. Overman and son)

Why they fought! (Timothy L. Overman and son)

Every year in September, The Washington County Regiment , in conjunction with the OVTA (Overmountain Victory Trail Association) , holds its commemoration of the Overmountain Men’s gathering at Sycamore Shoals. This year it was held on September 25 through 27th. It threatened rain all weekend, so much so that the school day scheduled for Friday was cancelled. The day turned out sunny, however and the historic site hosted the Tennessee State Guard who were on maneuvers at the park. I didn’t stop for a head count but I bet there was a hundred  if there was one, and It was really cool to see them mass together, so erect and so serious. The Watauga Valley Fife and Drum leading the way, the Militia, distaff members and the whole company of Guard participated in crossing the Watauga as the Overmountain Men did 235 years ago. Prior to the crossing, Steve Ricker told the story of the battle of Kings Mountain to a rapt audience and the Reverend Doak, played by George Cobb, gave that rousing sermon which rededicated the men and brought the men’s determination to a fever pitch.

Steve Ricker telling the story to a captivated audience.

Steve Ricker telling the story to a captivated audience.

Interesting perspective of the crossing with Superintendent of the National parks in the south, John Slaughter, in the foreground.

Interesting perspective of the crossing with Superintendent of the National parks in the south, John Slaughter, in the foreground.

The militia, members of the OVTA and the Tennessee National Guard crossing the river

The militia, members of the OVTA and the Tennessee National Guard crossing the river

It speaks for itself!

It speaks for itself

After the crossing the Overmountain Men , followed by Representatives of the First Tennessee Regiment (War of 1812) and then the whole contingent of the Tennessee State Guard assembled in the ampitheater for a short program. It brought home that there has been a continuum of volunteer service protecting communities here and wherever they are needed for the last 235 years and that these last are the inheritors of a grand tradition. One member of the Guard  sang the most beautiful rendition of the national anthem I’ve ever heard and there were speeches. Then three guardsmen were singled out for recognition for excellence.

Scott Smith who lives in Church Hill, TN, was one of the three who received an award of excellence.

Scott Smith who lives in Church Hill, TN, was one of the three who received an award of excellence.

The Guard, the OVTA and the National Park Service all had display stations at the visitors’ center and they stayed all weekend, providing the public with information and answering questions.

Saturday was another one of those days, threatening rain which never came. There was good traffic throughout the weekend where people came and saw various displays of 18th century living. one of the more interesting ones , I though, was Ken and Retha Reece’s display of trekking equipment and how one made pemmicin to take on trips. There were militia drills throughout the day and the crowd pleasing cannon demonstration in the latter part of the afternoon.

Fine tradition of service over time

Fine tradition of service over time

After the public left for the day, many of the members went to the burial site of Mary Patton who provided the excellent black powder for the Overmountain Men. She was remembered in a moving ceremony culimnating in a military salute and the pouring of black powder on her grave.

Sunday was less fast paced and more relaxed. Under cloudy skies, George Cobb preached the sermon explaining the references to the sword of Gideon and Macedonia. The park was lightly attended which was just as well as the militia got together for the first time, and actually was able to socialize.

My breakfast buddies and I having biscuits and apple butter or molasses Sunday morning.

My breakfast buddies and I having biscuits and apple butter or molasses Sunday morning.

I think the members were gathering their reserves to see the changing of officers in the afternoon. At 3 :30, Colonel Bob McCroskey stepped down as Colonel of the Militia and passed the baton to now Colonel Chadwick Bogart. It was very moving to hear Bob enumerate the accomplishments of the regiment over his six-year tenure, listen to his reasons for stepping down and read Chad’s commission to him and all assembled. Chad had tears in his eyes and he accepted the commission and praised Bob for his service, His first command , though, was to the distaff members as he bellowed ” you WILL Wear modesty cloths at ALL TIMES”. The verdict? Yep, he has what it takes as every woman looked down at her chest to see that her cloth was put on correctly.

It was a busy weekend, full of fun and emotion as the Washington Co. Regiment of North Carolina Militia, the OVTA and the TN State Guard met together to commemorate one of the most important events in the Up Country of North Carolina.

Pam Eddy and Lisa Bennett pouring black powder of Mary Patton's grave

Pam Eddy and Lisa Bennett pouring black powder of Mary Patton’s grave

Salute at Mary Patton's grave

Salute at Mary Patton’s grave

Colonel McCroskey presenting the new colonel with his commission

Colonel McCroskey presenting the new colonel with his commission

Colonel Bogart accepting his commission, praising the militia and the willingness of its members to do whatever it takes to further the goals of the historic site and do it with willingness and humor.

Colonel Bogart accepting his commission, praising the militia and the willingness of its members to do whatever it takes to further the goals of the historic site and do it with willingness and humor

George Cobb showing Pam Eddy and myself the reference about Macedonia in Acts from the New Testament crafted by James Moore.

George Cobb explaining to Pam Eddy and myself the reference about Macedonia in Acts. The Bible in my hands is  the New Testament crafted by James Moore.

The passing of the baton.

The passing of the baton.

Colonel McCroskey explaining to the crowd that he felt the Militia needed a constant presence from a Militia leader and that his health prevented him from being with the group especially in inclement conditions.

Colonel McCroskey explaining to the crowd that he felt the Militia needed a constant presence from a Militia leader and that his health prevented him from being with the group especially in inclement conditions.

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Filed under 2015 MILITIA ACTIVITY, Sycamore Shoals Historical Site

OVERMOUNTAIN VICTORY MUSTER COMING UP THIS WEEKEND, SEPT. 25-27


Overmountain men fighting at Kings Mountain, the turning point of the War. fought  in the Southern Theater.

Overmountain men fighting at Kings Mountain, the turning point of the War. fought in the Southern Theater.

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area Presents:

The Overmountain Victory Trail Celebration

Friday, Saturday and Sunday,

September 25, 26 and 27

It was the year 1780. The tide of the Revolution had turned against the colonists.  The British, forced out of New England, gained new allies in the divided South and won victory after victory in a bloody civil war.  Charleston had fallen, and American forces had crumbled at the battle of Camden. But then the impossible occurred…The frontiersmen of the western mountains began a long march, gathering an army along the way, from the highlands of Virginia to the hills of South Carolina.  There, at a place called King’s Mountain, they destroyed an army 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 Trail.  Come celebrate with us as we recreate the muster of the Overmountain Men, which occurred here at Sycamore Shoals over two hundred years ago. Re-enactors in period clothing will be on hand throughout the weekend to share stories of the excitement and danger of that tumultuous time.

The celebration kicks off at 2:00 pm on Friday, September 25th as the Overmountain Victory Trail Association recreates the historic Watauga River crossing. For the past 40 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.

In conjunction with the OVTA crossing, the Tennessee State Guard will be celebrating their 235th anniversary as they trace their inception to the gathering of the Overmountain Men at Sycamore Shoals in 1780. Tennessee State Guardsmen will join the OVTA in the recreation of the Watauga River crossing. Following the crossing the Tennessee State Guard will hold a timeline Pass in Review showcasing the guard’s involvement in Tennessee’s military history.

The celebration continues both Saturday and Sunday as the Washington County Militia present living history demonstrations and activities in and around Fort Watauga.  Also, as part of the weekend’s activities, join us as we celebrate National Public Land’s Day on Saturday, September 26. At 1:00 pmjoin Historic Interpreter Chad Bogart on a special guided walk through the grounds of Sycamore Shoals and along portions of the walking path. Discover the vital role Sycamore Shoals played in the early frontier community, and how its significance would impact our nation’s history. Hear the story of the Overmountain Men and their historic gathering at Sycamore Shoals.

It will be a fun filled and action packed weekend sure to entertain and educate all ages. Admission is free so bring the entire family and relive some of the most crucial days of the American Revolution.

EVENT SCHEDULE

 

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25th

 

2:00Watauga River CrossingMembers of the Overmountain Victory Trail Association and the Tennessee State Guard recreate the historic crossing of September 25th, 1780.

Following the Crossing – TN State Guard Timeline Pass in Review – The Tennessee State Guard celebrates its 235th anniversary by showcasing their involvement in the state’s military history. Program presented in the Fort Watauga Amphitheater.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26th  

 

9:00“The Sword of the Lord and of Gideon”Join The Overmountain Men inside Fort Watauga as they assemble for morning colors and then listen to the stirring words of Reverend Samuel Doak as he delivers his famous sermon and prayer. The militia then departs in search of Patrick Ferguson and the tory army.

 

11:00“Gearing up for War” – Join Ken and Retha Reece inside Fort Watauga and learn about the gear, equipment, and food carried by the Overmountain Men in their campaign to Kings Mountain.

 

12:00 – “Echoes of Revolution” – Join the Watauga Valley Fifes and Drums for an exciting glimpse into the musical world of the 18th century.

 

1:00 – “Trail Talk: Walking in Frontier Footsteps” – To celebrate National Public Lands Day, join historic interpreter Chad Bogart for a guided walk along the park trail as he recounts the story of the Overmountain Men and their historic gathering at Sycamore Shoals. Program begins at Fort Watauga.

 

2:00 – “Life on the Homefront” – Come to the Talbot House for a look at the woman’s role on the 18th century frontier. See how the women and children fared after the militia had marched off in search of Patrick Ferguson and the Tory army.

3:00“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.

4:00Camps Close – Join us tomorrow for another exciting day of life on the colonial frontier!

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 27th    

 

10:00Worship Service – Feel free to join the militia for Sunday morning service held in the courtyard of Fort Watauga. Following the service witness the Washington County Militia fall in for inspection of arms, and orders are given for the day.

 

12:00Artillery Demonstration – Join members of the Washington County Militia as they fire the fort’s cannon and talk about artillery in the 18th century.

1:00 – “Life on the Homefront” – Come to the Talbot House for a look at the woman’s role on the 18th century frontier. See how the women and children fared after the militia had marched off in search of Patrick Ferguson and the Tory army.

 

2:00“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.

 

3:00Retiring the Colors – Camps Close – Thank you for joining us for a great day of frontier living history. Join us next time!

 

ONGOING ACTIVITIES FOR BOTH DAYS INCLUDE:

Open Hearth Cooking – Flintlock Musket & Rifle Demonstrations – Tavern Life – Militia Drill

Colonial Music – Leatherwork – Wool Processing – Colonial Games – 18th Century Camp Life

And Much More!!!

 

All activities are weather dependent. Schedule is subject to change or cancellation.

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MAJOR BOGART SPEAKS: SEPTEMBER MUSTER SCHOOL DAY SCHEDULE


Good Morning everyone,

We now have our nine stations and station leaders set for the September School Day on the 25th.

Stations are as follows…

Revolutionary War Weaponry – Tony DeVault

Colonial Games – Kay Milsaps

Colonial Handwriting – Ramona Invidiato

Hides and Tanning – Kim Palmer & Earl Stalge

Trail Foods and Overmountain Man Gear – Ken & Retha Reece

Colonial Clothing – Worley & Lisa Bennett

Fort/Cabin Life – Chenoa Patton & Rachel Bennett

Artistry – Richard Luce

Museum/Gift Shop – Park Staff

STATION LEADERS*** Have your station set up and ready to go by 9:00 am Friday, September 25th.

Rotations are 15 minutes each. Rotations begin at 9:30. Lunch Break 11:00 – 12:00. Rotations end at 12:45

Thank you to all who volunteered to assists in this event. We couldn’t do it without you.

As always please contact me with any questions, comments or concerns.

Y.M.O.S.

Major Bogart

Chad A. Bogart

Historic Interpreter

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area

1651 W. Elk Ave.

Elizabethton, TN 37643

423-543-5808 ext. 107

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MAJOR BOGART SPEAKS: SEPTEMBER MUSTER AND SCHOOL DAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2015


ED NOTE: The September muster is September 26-27. The school day and TN State Guard program is Friday, Sept. 25.

Good Afternoon Everyone,

The September Muster and School Day is fast approaching.

The School day will be Friday, September 25th from 9:00 until 1:00.

I need to know if anyone is willing to operate a station during the school visit. We need 9 stations. The rotations will be 15 minutes each. There will be a break for lunch. The OVTA will be lending a hand this year as well.

Please let me know if you can provide a station and what you would like to present.

This is going to be a very busy and hectic day as the kids will be leaving around 1:00 – the River Crossing is at 2:00 (100 TN state guardsmen will be crossing with the OVTA) – then, the TN state guard march-in and presentation will follow the crossing.

This brings me to another point. For the TN State Guard “March-In” they want a timeline represented in the parade. We will be representing Rev. War Militia and 1812 period. I need to know how many of you are willing to participate in this and which era you wish to represent. Remember, this is directly following the crossing on Friday the 25th, so I’m guessing it will be around 3:00 pm at the park amphitheater.

A lot to process I know, but it will be a day to remember I’m sure… for many reasons J

Let me know what you can do. Anything you can provide will be greatly appreciated, as always.

I remain your most obedient servant,

Maj. Bogart

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