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NPS celebrates march of Overmountain men to pivotal Revolutionary War battle

The National Park Service is hosting the annual Overmountain Victory Celebration on the grounds of the Museum of North Carolina Minerals at milepost 331 on the Blue Ridge Parkway on Saturday.

The living history encampment celebrates the crossing of the Blue Ridge Mountains by the Overmountain Men on their way to a pivotal battle with British forces at Kings Mountain that turned the tide of the Revolutionary War in favor of the forces for Independence.

In the fall of 1780, during the Revolutionary War, the American fight for independence was struggling. British Major Patrick Ferguson demanded allegiance to the King of England from the people living in the Carolina backcountry and the Appalachians. Referred to as the Overmountain area, these settlements were west of — or “over” — the Appalachian Mountains. At that time, this was the boundary dividing the thirteen American colonies from the western frontier. The Overmountain area included parts of North Carolina, Virginia and what is now Tennessee.

The encampment is open to the public Saturday, Sept. 17, beginning at 10 a.m. Guests are invited to stroll through the encampment to take part in various demonstrations and visiting with re-enactors. Additional scheduled presentations include: 

  • 10:30 a.m. A Period Exposition on the Science of Gunpowder. Attend a lecture by a volunteer in the character of English chemist and natural philosopher Joseph Priestly regarding the science of gunpowder. 
  •       11:30 a.m. Taverns. Historian and author Michael Hardy will discuss the importance of taverns in the social, political, and travel lives of colonial America. 
  •       12:30 p.m. Medicinal Plants. Remedies for sickness, injuries, and other ailments were found in the plants of the forests, fields, and gardens of the Colonial era.

The event concludes Saturday evening with candlelight encampment tours from 7 to 9 p.m.