Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Celebrating the 237th Anniversary of the Muster in Abingdon and the Battle of Kings Mountain

Celebrating the 237th Anniversary of the Muster in Abingdon and the Battle of Kings Mountain

Hear ye!  Hear ye!  Overmountain Men and Living Historians will come to life at the Overmountain Victory Celebration, to be held September 23-24, 2017 at the Abingdon Muster Grounds.   This event will highlight the importance of the Washington County, Virginia militia and the Revolutionary War Battle of Kings Mountain, 1780.  Throughout the 9 acre park, there will be educational stations and demonstrations related to life in backcountry Virginia during colonial times.

On September 23, 2017 at 10:00 a.m., we will have a ribbon cutting ceremony, celebrating the completion of the Wolf Creek Stream Bank Restoration.  The restoration focused on the stretch of Wolf Creek which runs through the Abingdon Muster Grounds, a site which is owned by the Town of Abingdon and is certified by the National Park Service as the northern terminus of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.  This restoration project helped stabilize the stream bank, improve the hydrology, create habitat and re-introduce native species of plants and trees.  Now that the restoration is done, this section of Wolf Creek is a prime location to support the “Trout in the Classroom” program. Many partners came together to restore the Wolf Creek stream bank, including: Town of Abingdon Virginia, Mountain Empire Chapter-Trout Unlimited, Virginia Department Game and Inland Fisheries, Virginia Department of Forestry, Upper Tennessee Roundtable, National Park Service-Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, Carter Land and Water and the Virginia Chapter-Overmountain Victory Trail Association.

Living History stations will be open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on September 23, 2017.  Visitors can walk the historic Muster Grounds and engage with historians portraying the Overmountain Men, backcountry women and children, Cherokee Peace Chief Attakullakulla, Timothy the Irish Linen maker, blacksmiths, redware pottery artisans, the Muster Grounds Musick Fife and Drum Corps, and much more!

The Overmountain Victory Trail Association (OVTA) will perform the story of the Overmountain Men and the Battle of Kings Mountain at 11:00 a.m. on September 23 and again at 10:00 a.m. on September 24, 2017.  After their presentation, the OVTA will begin their journey down the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, spending more than two weeks following the route of the Overmountain Men to the battle of Kings Mountain.  The OVTA will perform this story to over 10,000 people during the commemorative campaign.

This event has activities for the whole family!  Join the Overmountain Victory Trail Association, Blacks Fort Chapter-DAR, and General William Campbell Chapter-SAR as we bring history to life.

If you would like more information about this topic, please call 276-525-1050 or email lhunter@abingdon-va.gov

Certified by the National Park Service as the northern trailhead of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, the Abingdon Muster Grounds is a picturesque 9-acre park with significant history.  When a call was issued for militia to respond to British Major Patrick Ferguson’s threat that, “he would march his army over the mountains, hang their leaders, and lay their country waste with fire and sword,” men from all over the region moved into action.  Under the leadership of Colonel William Campbell, 400 Virginians set out to join patriot militia from modern-day Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.  After a two week campaign, the Overmountain Men fought the Battle of Kings Mountain with overwhelming success.  Thomas Jefferson said it was “the turn of the tide of success which terminated the Revolutionary War, with the seal of our independence”.  
The Keller Interpretive Center, located at the Abingdon Muster Grounds, houses southwest Virginia’s premier Revolutionary War exhibits.  Artifacts associated with backcountry Virginia and the Battle of Kings Mountain are on display.

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