Roger Bowers authors book on Watauga Settlement pioneer, Leonard Bowers
Published 12:40 pm Thursday, September 15, 2022
…will be at Sycamore Shoals for book signing
Carter County celebrates its Revolutionary War heritage every Sept. 25 with the reenactment of the 1780 Gathering of the Overmountain Men. And, this year a descendent of Revolutionary War soldier Leonard Bowers will be on hand to promote his new book “LEONARD BOWERS: A Revolutionary War Soldier and East Tennessee Pioneer.”
Roger Bowers, who now lives in DeLand, Fla., has been invited to a book signing at next weekend’s reenactment event. The book signing will take place in the lobby of the Sycamore Shoals Park gift shop.
Bowers is an ancestor of the Elizabethton pioneer, Leonard Bowers, and has spent several years researching his family roots. The book covers little known details of Leonard Bowers’ life and travels. It covers the battles he fought during the Revolutionary War (1778-1781) against the British and the Loyalists’ Militia; his capture by the British and then rescue by Francis Marion; his muster out of the Continental Army in 1781; and his return to Hagerstown where he was raised.
Leonard Bowers soon migrated south, traveling down the Old Wagon Road to the Watauga Settlement in 1882 which is now known as Carter County. On his earlier visit to the Watauga Settlement, he was part of the 1,000 Overmountain Men that mustered at Sycamore Shoals and fought in the Battle of Kings Mountain.
Leonard Bowers was also a prosperous farmer and slaveholder who lived in Siam with his wife, Rebecca Nave, on the old Teter Nave farm that his wife inherited. The old house stood on the site of the J. Byrd Nave house in Siam. Leonard and his wife are buried in the old Teter Nave Cemetery, now called the Hess-Nave Cemetery located behind the Lowell Tedder home in Siam.
Roger Bowers said he and his late wife, Maria, began researching the Bowers’ line in the late 1970s. “Of course, our research intersected with Robert Nave, who is a well-known genealogist and descendant of Leonard Bowers,” said Roger. “Our research took us to the Carter County Courthouse where we looked up deeds and other records. We also traveled to Knoxville and Utah to do research. We lived in Elizabethton for several years so it was convenient to search local records.”
Bowers, who is proud of his family roots, said at the time he was doing the research he never thought about writing a book. “It just happened. I had to do something with the material I had collected,” he said with a chuckle.
In his earlier years — in the 1970s — Roger Bowers played Bozo the Clown for WJHL-TV. He then went to the U.S. Army and later worked for the National Security Agency for five years. Most of his working career has been spent in marketing.
Bowers said he learned through his research that he has lots of cousins, many of whom live in Elizabethton. He has written throughout his entire life, mostly short stories and poetry, and recently wrote, directed and performed in three one-act plays.
He hopes to meet many of his cousins at the book signing next weekend when the muster of the Overmountain Men is re-lived at Sycamore Shoals Park — and he hopes to sell a few books, too!