Monday, October 3, 2011

Rev. Samuel Doak's Sermon

On September 26, 1780 Reverend Samuel Doak gave a firey sermon at Fort Watauga at the Sycamore Shoals (in today's Elizabethton, TN) to send off the Patriot Militia to find Maj. Patrick Ferguson. This is that sermon as presented to the OVTA Militia on September 26, 2011. The Reverend George Cobb is portraying Rev. Doak.

Click on the link below to see this sermon:

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

2011 March Plans

Greetings all of you OVTA Bloggers out there!!!!

It has been a while since I have posted anything and I thought Iwould get you caught up with the calendar for the upcoming 2011 OVTA ANNUAL MARCH at

Please go to the March Calendar and make your plans to be with us on this year's March. We are looking forward to your participation. We have a full 2 weeks of events and we are here to "KEEP THE STORY ALIVE" of what those men and women did 231 years ago.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

9/28/09 Dinner and Story at the Orchard at Altapass

SEPTEMBER 28, 2009
Every year, since I can remember, Bill Carson, the proprietor of the Apple Orchard at Altapass, has welcomed the OVTA. Bill provides the marchers with a great supper and then we proceed to tell the Story of the Campaign to the Battle of Kings Mountain. On the following day we will have hundreds of school students from the surrounding schools come to the Apple Orchard for hiking along the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail and story telling and a whole lot of educational programming.

Many THANKS to Bill Carson and his staff for all of their support, efforts and did I say great food.

A view of the Orchard at Altapass from the Blue Ridge Parkway near Spruce Pines, NC. This area is where the Patriot Militia had split their forces with Sevier and Shelby's men passing by this spot on their way to Heffiner Gap to drop off of the mountain and rejoin the Virginians near Morganton, NC at Quaker Meadows.
Bill Carson, left, and the Principal of Riverside Elementary School.

Dinner is served and a great meal it always is. This is one thing we never take for granted. The communities along the Trail take great care of the Marchers and we never seem to miss many meals.
Dinner is enjoyed !!!!!
The Story begins with the War comes to the South by David King.
Bill, from Missouri, preparing to give Doaks Sermon. We had OVTA marchers from 11 or so different States join us this year. Some from as far away as Texas and Minnesota.
The Story continues.
The Ladies tell of the experiences of the wives and children during the Campaign.
Steve Ricker closes the Story. To paraphrase him: "We are the keepers of this Story but we did not write it. It was written on October 7, 1780, on a hillside in South Carolina, with the sweat and blood of the men that fought and died there."
The OVTA welcomes any and all that love the history and the story of the men and women that participated in the Campaign and Battle of Kings Mountain. Come join us. You do not have to have an ancestor that fought in the Battle to be a part of this great experience. Nor do you have to dress in period clothes. The OVTA IS WORTH INVESTING IN !!!!!!
A link to the Orchard at Altapass website:

Monday, October 5, 2009

9-28-09 Robert Sevier Grave Site

September 28, 2009: Hike in to the grave site of Robert Sevier

Robert Sevier was wounded at the Battle of Kings Mountain and was told that if he traveled that he would die within 7-8 days. Sevier stated that with a name like Sevier and if he stayed put and was captured by the British he was as good as dead. So he elected to travel back with the Overmountain Men. Sure enough, on the 7th day he passed away from the wounds he had received on October 7, 1780 at the Battle of Kings Mountain.

Where Robert Sevier died was where he was buried. This spot is on private property and the owners of this property allow us to visit the grave site 1 day a year. This year we brought with us some 500 plus 4th grade school students. We hike some 3 miles or so and we told the story of Robert Sevier and the Campaign to the Battle of Kings Mountain as we hiked.

The students gather. They are coming off of the buses for a hike and learning event. We broke up in to 3 groups and each group went down the trail while being told the Story of the Campaign to the Battle of Kings Mountain.

Hiking the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail with the Overmountain Victory Trail Association while learning the history of the site is a rewarding experience. This experience was enhanced this year with a grant that was awarded to the National Park Service from the National Parks Foundation which was funded by the Coca-Cola Company. The National Park Service partnered with the Overmountain Victory Trail Association to administer the grant funds. We used the grant funds to provide transportation to the schools to get the students to the trail for some hiking and learning. Many thanks to the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, the Coca-Cola Company and the Overmountain Victory Trail Association. This is truly an effort worth investing in. Hip-Hip-Huzza !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Students, teachers and the OVTA hiking the Trail and keeping the STORY alive.

One of the groups stops to hear of the life a Patriot in 1780.

The scenery was grand. This is one of the most picturesque sites along the OVNHT.

After the hike and learning, the kids loaded up on the school buses and had to return to the real world. We trust that fun was had by all and that they will carry a little of the 1780's back with them.
The OVTA is now off to the Orchard at Altapass for an evening program hosted by Bill Carson. Many THANKS to Bill for his efforts and kind assistance.

9-27-09 Carver Gap/Roan Mt Hike

Well, we just got through programming some 300 students in Polk County, NC. Due to the weather we had to go into the school and do our programming instead of hiking down to Alexanders Ford. I will have a post on this soon with pictures.

September 27, 2009: Well due to bad weather on the mountain we split our forces with some of us going up to Yellow Mountain gap from the NC side and seeing if we could get up to the balds where the Patriot Militia mustered on this date in 1780. The Militia encountered snow "shoe mouth deep" on top of the mountain. They also realized that they had 2 deserters that had left them to warn Maj. Patrick Ferguson that the Patriot Militia was in pursuit. The others took the trail more travelled and went up to Carver's Gap. This is about 4 miles from Yellow Mountain Gap, therefore off of the OVNHT but it is a bit safer for those that chose this route. The pictures below show some of the sites at Carver's Gap:

The annual OVTA group shot at the visitors center at Roan Mountain State Park. This not the whole group, some of the others were off site.

The trek up Carver's gap begins in the parking area at the gap. This is Sarah and our youngest recruit, Reece. As you can see we are dressed warmly as you never know what the weather will do at these altitudes.

We proceed up the mountain

Note the clouds and mist in the background. It is also very breezy
At an overlook we spot Tories on the horizon

Reece is on top of the world

We return to base camp to find that the group that took the historic route had a great and safe time. We all came back together and headed down the trail. In 1780 the Patriot Militia camped on the North Carolina side of the Roan Mountain. We travelled on down to camp at Riverside Elementary School and to get ready for our hike, with some 500 plus students, to the grave of Robert Sevier on Monday morning.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

9-26-09 The Shelving Rock Campsite event

September 26, 2009, the OVTA traveled to the Shelving Rock campsite. This property is owned by the Tom Burleson family and we are in the process of purchasing the property to protect it. This is one of the last campsites that has been relatively untouched and is much the same as it was in 1780 when the patriot militia camped here on September 26, 1780. It rained then and it rained on us.

Mr. Tom Burleson welcomes the crowd that came for a day of fun and history at the site. Unfortunately the weather hampered the events but not the spirits.
The crowd gathers.
We have a horse shoeing demonstration. At this site, in 1780, was here horses were shod while the Patriot Militia camped. They also placed their gun powder under the shelving rock which is located adjacent to the camp site.
The OVTA prepares to be a part of the festivities. The rain kept coming.

Former State Senator Bob Burleson address' the crowd.

And then the main event, Rep. Phil Roe addressed the group and expressed his appreciation for all of the efforts of the Burleson family, the Roan Mountain Citizens Club, his constituents and the OVTA in working towards keeping the STORY alive through preservation and education.
OVNHT Superintendent Paul Carson congratulates Tom Burleson on getting the Shelving Rock campsite listed on the National Register of Historic places

Part of the OVTA crew.

The event, even hampered by the weather was enjoyed by all. Many thanks to Tom Burleson and all of the folks of the Roan Mountain Citizens Club.

9-25-09 Sycamor Shoals program

On September 25th the OVTA programed many of the local schools at Sycamore Shoals in Elizabethton, TN. Many of the school children hiked in via the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail and we had the reenactment of the Nolichucky men coming in to the muster under
Robert Sevier and Isac Shelby. They were met by the Virginians under William Campbell.

The Students being sworn in to the Patriot Militia by Capt. John Sawyer.

The students being given a bit of the history and the plans for the day. The plans included stations along the Trail and inside the fort on various aspects of life in 1780.

The Fife and Drum Corp playing period songs for the students.

The Fife and Drum Corp. playing along the palisade of the fort wall.

In come the Virginians for the muster and then to campaign on to the Battle of Kings Mountain.

Students hear the story of the Campaign to the Battle of Kings Mountain as presented by the Overmountain Victory Trail Association members.
A flintlock firing demonstration Our youngest recruit.
Reverend Doak presenting his fiery sermon

The day was a great one. We were rained on a little but it did not dampen the environment for learning or hiking. Hip- hip-Huzza !!!!!!!!!!!
Many thanks to the Staff at Sycamore Shoals for a great day and to the schools that participated.
Also many thanks to the Coke-A-Cola company and the National Parks Foundation and the National Parks Service for their support. Many thanks to Paul Carson, Superintendent of the OVNHT.