History of Overmountain Victory Trail to be on display Monday

Interpretative Ranger William Caldwell with the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail will be coming to the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library Monday to talk about the Overmountain Victory Trail, its history and the people who marched in one of the most historic moments of the American Revolution.

Caldwell said the presentation is structured as an introductory course about the trail, but it will feature more than just the basics.

“It will talk about the American Revolution in the southern colonies, a lot about the people who used the trail,” Caldwell said.

He said the crossing and the surrounding events are significant because of who it was who participated.

“You have these various, scattered community leaders,” he said. “When they are threatened by the British, they rapidly communicate with each other.”

Sycamore Shoals, he said, was one of the gathering points for American forces during the war.

More than just the general history, however, Caldwell’s presentation will highlight the individual stories surrounding the events, especially the American leaders who are responsible for the victory.

“There is nothing more American than a good frontier story,” Caldwell said.

This is possible, he said, because many records of the event are still in good condition.

“A lot of information has been saved, like letters and journals,” he said.

The eventual Battle of King’s Mountain, he said, was a major turning point in the war. Before that, the British were winning in the South.

“This [battle] sends shockwaves through the British,” Caldwell said.

Those who want to come to the library next week to hear these stories, he said, will have extra incentive to do so, as this history relates to Elizabethton and Carter County personally.

“Those in Elizabethton should really feel ownership of this story,” he said. “It is very much a story of Elizabethton.”

The story of the battle, and by extension the war, represents a crucial component of the history and culture of the region.

“This happened in our communities,” Caldwell said.

Nowadays, he said a person can drive all the way along where the trail stood.

The event itself will take place Monday, Feb. 10, at 5:30 p.m., and he said it will run about an hour long.

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