Sycamore Shoals

Visit to Sycamore Shoals State Historical Park, Elizabethton, TN. Includes references to the Overmountain Men's King's Mountain Campaign and Victory Trail.

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Location: United States

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area

Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, Elizabethton, TN Posted by Picasa

The Sycamore Shoals State Historical Area was established to preserve and pay tribute to the Native Americans, and early Frontiersmen, who utilized the shoals as a primary Watauga River crossing, and the surrounding fertile flat lands to establish villages, then settlements. The Shoals have a long "history", the most noted of which involved the Transylvania Purchase, and King's Mountain Muster.
(Events) Othern Points of interest in Tennessee: State Parks

Overmountain Victory Motor Route (Map)

The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, Commemorative Motor Route Posted by Picasa

(click map for larger image)

The OVMT map provides the driving route most closely following the actual path taken September 25 - October 7th, 1780 by the Overmountain campaign from Abingdon (Wolf Hills) Virginia to Kings Mountain South Carolina.

Roan Mountain, Highpoint of Overmountain Trail

Roan Mountain, highpoint of the Overmountain Trail. Posted by Picasa

Roan Mountain, located along the North Carolina and Tennessee border, reportedly received its name from a frequent visitor, Daniel Boone, riding his reddish colored, "roan" horse. The "Balds" of the Roan refer to the treeless peaks covered with grass and rhododendrons. The highest of these rises 6286 feet.
Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
National Historic Trails - Overmountain Victory

The Overmountain Men at Sycamore Shoals

The Overmountain Men at Sycamore Shoals Posted by Picasa

The 1,100 "Overmountain" men who gathered at Sycamore Shoals September 25th, 1780 had no single, established commander. They did have, however, a strong single purpose, to confront, and defeat, the hated British commander, Major Patrick Ferguson. The leadership of the gathering fell on the shoulders of four Colonels, Charles McDowell, John Sevier, Isaac Shelby, and William Campbell. Leadership was alternated during the 11-day march to King's Mountain, South Carolina, but the Senior Officer, William Campbell was in overall command during the actual Battle of King's Mountain.

Valentine Sevier at Sycamore Shoals

Valentine Sevier and his contribution to Fort Watauga, and the American Revolutionary cause. Posted by Picasa

Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals

Fort Watauga, established 1776 along the Watauga River Posted by Picasa

The original Fort Watauga was built in 1775 and helped save the settlement when in the summer of 1776 the Cherokee Chief, Dragging Canoe, attempted to overtake the fort and capture, or kill, its occupants. Following an unsuccessful two-week seige, he withdrew. More on the life of Dragging Canoe: (1) (2)

Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals

Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals, Elizabethton, TN Posted by Picasa

The early frontier forts and stations were a combination of log cabins, stockades, and palisades. Portholes were cut in order to see through and fire muskets at the invading enemy. Supplies, weapons, and ammunition were stocked inside the fort in order for the occupants to endure a seige.

Sycamore Shoals on the Watauga River

Sycamore Shoals on the Watauga River Posted by Picasa

These natural shoals provided the best crossing point on the Watauga River over which the settlers moving down the Great Wagon Road entered the Watauga and Yadkin valleys. The shoals became the best gathering point for native americans and settlers because they were also located in the center of flatland cleared through generations of farming.

Muster of the Overmountain Men

Muster of the Overmountain Men, September 25, 1780 Posted by Picasa

The men under the command of Colonels Campbell, Shelby, and Sevier gathered at Sycamore Shoals for the march to King's Mountain, SC. When the army reached the McDowell plantation at Quaker Meadows, present day Morganton, NC, additional North Carolina militia under Joseph Winston, Andrew Hampton, William Chronicle, and Joseph Hambright joined the Overmountain Men. Before reaching King's Mountain, the remaining troups from South Carolina and Georgia joined the ranks. These men were commanded by William Hill, Edward Lacey, and James Williams of South Carolina, William Candler with the small contingent from Georgia. Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail

Sycamore Shoals Overmountain Men

Sycamore Shoals gathering point for the Overmountain men King's Mountain campaign, September 25, 1780 Posted by Picasa