Weekend set for the Siege of Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals State Park

Published 3:52 pm Thursday, May 19, 2022

Sycamore Shoals State Park is set to host 150 living history re-enactors on Saturday and Sunday for the 27th annual Siege of Fort Watauga.

The Siege of Fort Watauga is a live retelling of the Cherokee attack brought upon the settlers of the Watauga Valley in the summer of 1776. At Sycamore Shoals, Fort Watauga offered protection to nearly 200 settlers during a two-week siege led by Cherokee War Chief Old Abram and 300 warriors.

Activities will begin at 10 a.m. each day and continue until 4 p.m. as visitors can step back in time to visit the fort, militia camps, British encampment, and Native American camp.

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Guests will be immersed in the 18th century as they will be able to witness daily aspects of colonial frontier life and see the clash of two cultures as the attack on Fort Watauga is recreated each day at 1:30 p.m.

Colonial merchants will also be selling wares from the time period in “Sutler’s Row” where vendors will be offering a myriad of 18th-century reproduction items for colonial enthusiasts or the primitive decorator including clothing, weaponry, replica housewares, and military accouterments.

Some of those vendors this year include Ft. Vause Outfitters specializing in finished leather goods; Walnut Hill Embellishments showcasing 18th-century reproduction and historically inspired jewelry; Trader Bob offering a wide selection of hides and pelts; Charles Carter Knives featuring an array of reproduction blades and knife works; and Old Goat Trader offering vintage and repurposed items

Several Revolutionary War living history units will be in attendance, including the 2nd Regt. SC Continental Line, the South Carolina Rangers, and Musgrove’s Mill Militia all based in South Carolina, and British units; the 71st Highland Regiment, the British Legion, and the Southern Indian Dept. The host unit is the Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia based at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area.

Also, musical entertainment will be provided by the Watauga Valley Fife & Drum Corps.

Returning this year will be the Auction of 18th century reproductions and colonial inspired goods at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. The auction is always an entertaining event and has become quite popular with re-enactors and members of the public alike.

It’s a great buying opportunity for those in the living history hobby, the home decorator, or the general history buff. All proceeds from the auction go directly to offset the cost of producing the Siege of Fort Watauga event.

Saturday, May 21
10 a.m. — Militia Muster & Posting of the Colors (Fort Watauga)
10:30 a.m. — Salute to the Women of Watauga (Sons of the American Revolution ~ Amphitheater)
11 a.m. — Chickamauga or Cherokee: Was it a Choice? (Mark Ledford ~ Native Camp)
11:30 a.m. — “Our Daily Bread” Baking in the Earthen Oven (David Simerly ~ Fort Watauga Bread Oven)
Noon — Cherokee Cooking (Sherry Finchum ~ Native Camp)
12:30 p.m. — A Warrior’s Preparations (Malaciah Taylor ~ Southern Indian Department Camp)
1:30 p.m. — Battle Reenactment: “Siege of Fort Watauga – Part 1” & Revolutionary War Tactical Demonstration (Please move to the spectator viewing area 15 minutes prior to battle)
2:30 p.m. — Kids Militia Drill (Talbot’s Meadow)
3 p.m. — Auction (Visitor Center Gathering Room)
4 p.m. — Event Closed for the Day

Sunday, May 22
10 a.m. — Event Opens
10:30 a.m. — Militia Muster and Inspection (Fort Watauga)
11 a.m. — 18th Century Worship Service (Fort Watauga)
11:30 a.m. — Chickamauga or Cherokee: Was it a Choice? (Mark Ledford ~ Native Camp)
Noon — Cherokee Cooking (Sherry Finchum ~ Native Camp)
12:30 p.m. — “Our Daily Bread” Baking in the Earthen Oven (David Simerly ~ Fort Watauga Bread Oven)
1:30 p.m. — Battle Reenactment: “Siege of Fort Watauga – Part 2” & Revolutionary War Tactical Demonstration (Please move to the spectator viewing area 15 minutes prior to battle).
2:30 p.m. — A Warrior’s Preparations (Malaciah Taylor ~ Southern Indian Department Camp)
3 p.m. — Kids Militia Drill (Talbot’s Meadow)
3:30 p.m. — Retiring the Colors (Fort Watauga)
4 p.m. — Event Closed