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25th Annual Siege of Fort Watauga

May 18, 2019 - May 19, 2019

25th Annual Siege of Fort Watauga

May 18 – 19, 2019

On Saturday, May 18th and Sunday, May 19th, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park will host nearly 200 living history re-enactors for the 25th annual Siege of Fort Watauga. Colonial, British, and Native re-enactors will converge at the re-created Fort Watauga at Sycamore Shoals to relive the days when America’s first frontier was the land beyond the blue ridge.

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.

Sycamore Shoals will once again be the scene of war during the Siege of Fort Watauga. The event lasts from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturday, May 18th and 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on Sunday, May 19th. Step back in time as you visit the fort, militia camps, British encampment, and Native American camp. Be immersed in the 18th century as you witness daily aspects of colonial frontier life. See the clash of two cultures as the attack on fort Watauga is recreated at 1:00 pm on Saturday and 2:00 pm on Sunday. Also, attend our auction of 18th century reproductions on Saturday.

During the event, take advantage of colonial merchants selling period wares in “Sutler’s Row”. There will be several vendors offering a myriad of 18th century reproduction items for the colonial enthusiast or the primitive decorator. Vendors this year include; Zettlemoyer Pottery specializing in hand crafted red ware and stoneware pottery, C. Read Apothecary carrying perfumes, ointments, and creams, The Kentucky Trading Post offering 18th century reproduction clothing and accouterments, Ft. Vause Outfitters specializing in finished leather goods, Windhil Woolens offering hand processed and dyed woolen goods such as yarn, blankets, and clothing, Walnut Hill Embellishments specializing in 18th century reproduction and historically inspired jewelry, and several other vendors offering everything from 18th century reproduction clothing, weaponry, and original antiques, to replica housewares and military accouterments.

Several Revolutionary War living history units will be in attendance and will make the 18th century come to life during the weekend. Units include the 1st Maryland based in Hendersonville, NC; Musgrove’s Mill Militia and the South Carolina Rangers based in upstate South Carolina, and British units; the 71st Highland Regiment, and the British Legion. The host unit is the Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia based at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area. Also, enjoy musical entertainment from The Sons of Liberty, and the Watauga Valley Fife & Drum Corps. Numerous individuals also participate in the event portraying many 18th century walks of life including Cherokee Natives, Backcountry Hunters, Farmers, Housewives, Indentured Servants, Commoners and Gentry.

For more information on this and other exciting events at Sycamore Shoals please contact the park at 423-543-5808 or visit the park’s website at www.sycamoreshoalstn.org. Admission to the event is free so bring the entire family and see how your ancestors played a crucial role in our region’s history and in the formation of our nation. Witness the 18th century come to life, hear the rattle of muskets, smell the campfire smoke, and “Share in the Glorious Cause of Liberty” at the Siege of Fort Watauga. This event is sponsored by The Washington County Regiment of North Carolina Militia and The Friends of Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area.

Schedule of Events


Saturday, May 18th

10:00   Posting the Colors

11:00   Butter Making

11:30   Early American Music with the “Sons of Liberty”

12:00   Our Daily Bread: Baking in the Earthen Oven

1:00     Battle Reenactment: “Siege of Fort Watauga – Part 1”

1:30     18th Century Field Music: Watauga Valley Fifes & Drums

2:00     Patience Cooper: Enterprising Woman of the Frontier

3:00     Auction (18th century reproductions, clothing, housewares, books and much more)

4:00     Living History Camps Close for the day.


Sunday, May 19th

10:00   Event Opens.

10:30   Militia Muster and Inspection

11:00   18th Century Worship Service

12:00   Early American Music with the “Sons of Liberty”

12:30   Medicinal Plants and Frontier Naturalists

1:00     Our Daily Bread: Baking in the Earthen Oven

2:00     Battle Reenactment: “Siege of Fort Watauga – Part 2”

2:30     18th Century Field Music: Watauga Valley Fifes & Drums

3:00     Retiring the Colors

Ongoing Demonstrations & Activities Throughout the Weekend

Native American Camp, Colonial Games, Medicinal Plants, Salt Making, Frontier Public House, Blacksmithing, 18th Century Laundress, Colonial Land Surveying, Weaving, 18th Century Market Faire, Hand Sewing, Flax Processing, Woodworking, Colonial Music, Open Hearth Cooking, Flintlock Firearms, Militia Encampments, British  Loyalist Camp, And Many More Aspects of 18th Century Life


May 18, 2019
May 19, 2019
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Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park
1651 W. Elk Avenue
Elizabethton, TN 37643 United States
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