2019-02-07 / Front Page

Revolutionary Days offers weekend full of activity for 240th anniversary

By ALEX ZAPETIS
staff writer


The Patriots and the Loyalists will shoot it out in Fort Washington Park this weekend as they reenact the decisive Battle of Kettle Creek. A full summary of weekend events is on page 12. The Patriots and the Loyalists will shoot it out in Fort Washington Park this weekend as they reenact the decisive Battle of Kettle Creek. A full summary of weekend events is on page 12. The 240th anniversary of the Revolutionary War Battle of Kettle Creek is quickly approaching. Washington will be hosting events this weekend, February 8-10, to commemorate the battle and it will offer a variety of uniquely authentic festivities. Sponsored by the Georgia Society Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), the weekend-long remembrance seeks to honor those fearsome and valiant patriots that successfully served to hinder the plans of British invaders encroaching on Wilkes County soil and the Georgia Colony.

Adults and children alike are invited to enjoy a weekend of musket firings and a battle re-enactment behind The Square. There will also be people in period dress conducting leather working and showcasing furs and artifacts that represent Colonial life.


A previous Elijah Clarke Day celebration had a marching regional color guard and militia, led by State Color Guard Commander Bill Palmer of the Button Gwinnett Chapter Sons of the American Revolution, which combined to assembled vibrant flags symbolizing the strength and courage of those Revolutionary and American patriots. This same type of ceremony is expected at this year’s ceremony, slated for this Friday, February 8, beginning at 10:30 a.m., at the Elijah Clark State Park to which the community is invited. A previous Elijah Clarke Day celebration had a marching regional color guard and militia, led by State Color Guard Commander Bill Palmer of the Button Gwinnett Chapter Sons of the American Revolution, which combined to assembled vibrant flags symbolizing the strength and courage of those Revolutionary and American patriots. This same type of ceremony is expected at this year’s ceremony, slated for this Friday, February 8, beginning at 10:30 a.m., at the Elijah Clark State Park to which the community is invited. “In taking part in our events, we hope that people will understand just how involved Wilkes County was in the Revolutionary War,” Chairman of the Kettle Creek Battlefield Association Walker Chewning said. “The Battle of Kettle Creek was a very decisive and important victory that has not been published about that well.”

On Friday, walking tours of the Kettle Creek Battlefield site will be available to the public. They will be complete with marked trails and interpretive signs. Informational guides will be available in the afternoon.

The tour will highlight uncovered gravesites of soldiers that were buried where they fell on the battlefield. The graves, as well as other new information, were discovered thanks to ground penetrating radar, XRF analysis, and cadaver dogs, and correspond to the findings of the 2009 Lamar Institute archaeological survey of Kettle Creek.

The day begins at noon with a description of the 1779 Battle at Kettle Creek by Lt. Col. Allen Burton, Professor of History at Augusta University.

Chewning will be giving guided tours of the War Hill Loop Trail beginning at 12:30 p.m.

The day continues with a demonstration of cannon firing, musket loading, and firing on War Hill by Elijah Clarke Militia, Georgia Society Sons of the American Revolution. This event will begin at 1:30 p.m.

There will be a traveling trunk presentation of Colonial items for home use as well as needs for daily survival at 2 p.m. It will be presented by Compatriots Rick Reese of the Piedmont Chapter and Shep Hammack of the Mount Vernon Chapter GA SAR.

Friday’s events will end with the annual banquet at 6 p.m. The Kettle Creek Battlefield Association, Georgia Society SAR, and Kettle Creek NSDAR will host the banquet with a Revolutionary War program in honor of the Kettle Creek Patriots. The dinner cost is $35 a person.

“People can see what colonial life was like and what all they accomplished during that war,” Chewning said.

Saturday’s events will begin at 9 a.m. as the Georgia Society SAR Elijah Clarke Militia Honor Guard raises the 1776 Colors of the Revolutionary War on the Wilkes County courthouse flag pole and engages in a musket salute.

The SAR combined Color Guard and Militia is set to salute and honor the Wilkes County Militia – the Heroes of the Hornet’s Nest – and all Revolutionary War Patriots at 10 a.m., which will kick-off the annual Revolutionary War Parade that begins at 10:45 a.m. Adults and children alike are welcome to participate in the gallant march around The Square, and must assemble behind the courthouse by 10:30 a.m. in order to march.

A dramatic re-enactment of the Battle of Kettle Creek will begin at 11 a.m. in Fort Washington Park behind the courthouse. Black-powder and muskets will lead the SAR Elijah Clarke Militia into victory.

Following the battle re-enactment, a closing musket salute will aid in lowering the Revolutionary War Colors, as the present-day National Colors are raised in their place.

From 9 a.m. until noon, The Square will act as a host to living history displays and Colonial re-enactors.

Furthermore, the community is invited to the Kettle Creek Battlefield at 2:30 p.m. for pageantry and wreath presentations to honor the Heroes of the Hornet’s Nest for the 1779 success in Loyalist resistance.

The ceremony will feature the Continental Army, Georgia Militia, musket volley salutes, SAR, along with the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Children of the American Revolution, hereditary organizations, state and national officials, and the high school JROTC.

On Sunday the public is invited to attend a Colonial-style church and memorial service that will also honor the Wilkes County Militia, along with the S.C. Upper 96 Militia, who fought together at the Battle of Kettle Creek.

The service begins at 9 a.m. and will be held at The Episcopal Church of the Mediator in downtown Washington.

Return to top