Sunday, May 31, 2009

Thomas Jefferson would be so proud of his campus at the University of Virginia. It is growing again and when outside and one looks around, the green mountains still stand over it. I took Interstate 81 and Hwy 64 into Charlottesville. I thought I would eventually pass out of the mountains, but they were large, green and magnificent all the way.

I am finding more time to write than I imagined. We are sharing "shifts" kind of. This surgery is major. I am so thankful it went as well as it did, but we have more to get through.

I snatch time looking around the internet and I particularly love the website I gave you from Mr. Shelby. It is FULL of information.

Particularly, note this section from Lt. Alair's diary. He was a loyalist captured at Kings Mountain. This section of the diary details the crossing over from S.C. and NC. It is filled with little snapshots worth thinking about.

Thursday, 17th. Got in motion at nine o'clock in the morning, and marched six miles to a Rebel Col. Winn's plantation. Winn is at James Island, a prisoner.
Saturday, 19th. Lay at Winn's plantation. An express arrived from Camden with the agreeable news of Lord Cornwallis' attacking and totally defeating Gates' army on the morning of the 16th; twelve hundred were killed and wounded, left on the field; and one thousand prisoners, eight brass field pieces taken, being all the Rebels had in the field, several stand of colors, all their ammunition wagons, a hundred and fifty wagons of baggage, provisions, and stores of different kinds. All this with the trifling loss on our side of not more than ten officers killed and wounded, and two or three hundred non-commissioned officers and privates. We received orders to pursue Sumter, he having the only remains of what the Rebels can call a corps in these parts at present. At six o'clock in the evening our wagons were ordered forward that we might pursue Sumter with vigor. At seven we got in motion. That very moment an express arrived from Col. Innes', who was on his way from Ninety Six to join us, informing us that he had been attacked by a body of Rebels at Musgrove's Mills on Enoree river; that himself, and Major Fraser of his regiment, were wounded, as were Capt. Peter Campbell, Lieuts. Chew and Camp, of Col. Allen's regiment. He wished for support as many of the militia had left him. This, to our great mortification, altered the course of our march. At eleven at night, we got in motion; marched all night; forded Broad river at sun-rising.

Sunday, 20th. Proceeded four miles, and took up our ground at Peter's creek, where we lay all day, fatigued with our night's march, being eighteen miles. While we lay at Col. Winn's, a Mr. Smith was executed for joining the Rebels after he had taken protection, and been allowed to embody himself with our militia.
Monday, 21st. Got in motion at one o'clock in the morning, and marched six miles to a Rebel Capt. Lipham's on Padget creek. Took up our ground at five o'clock in the morning. This morning was so cold that we were glad to hover round large fires as soon as we halted. About one o'clock a Mr. Duncan came to our camp with the agreeable news that Col. Tarleton, with three companies of the Light Infantry, and the Legion Cavalry, fell in with Sumter about twelve o'clock on Saturday, the nineteenth.* He found them all asleep after the fatigue of two nights' rapid retreat. Their horses were all at pasture. The first alarm was the Light Infantry firing upon them. Col. Tarleton, with his usual success, gained a complete victory over Gen. Sumter; took two brass field pieces, made two hundred and fifty prisoners, eight hundred horses, thirty wagons, and retook a hundred of Brown's men that were captured at Hanging Rock. Captain Duncan made his escape from the Rebels during the engagement, he being a prisoner. Got in motion at eleven o'clock in the evening; marched ten miles to Tyger river; forded it at break of day.

* It was really the preceding day, Friday, 18th.—L.C.D.

Tuesday morning, 22d. Continued our march four miles to Harrison's plantation, on Fair Forest, where we halted.

Friday, September 1st. Still remained at Culbertson's. Maj. Ferguson joined us again from Camden with the disagreeable news that we were to be separated from the army, and act on the frontiers with the militia.

Saturday, 2d. Got in motion at eleven o'clock in the morning; forded Fair Forest river, and marched ten miles to the Iron Works, on Lawson's Fork of Pacolet river. Here was a Rebel militia-man that got wounded in the right arm at the skirmish at Cedar Springs, the eighth of August. The bone was very much shattered. It was taken off by one Frost, a blacksmith, with a shoemaker's knife and carpenter's saw. He stopped the blood with the fungus of the oak, without taking up a blood vessel.
Sunday, 3d. My friend Johnson and I bathed in the stream at the Iron Works.

Monday, 4th. Got in motion at six o'clock in the morning, and marched ten miles to Case's creek, where we halted all night.

Tuesday, 5th. Got in motion at five o'clock in the evening, and marched a mile and a half to Pacolet river, and halted. The fresh was so high we could not ford the river. I took lodging, with my friend Johnson, who was very unwell, at one Coleman's, who is a very warm Tory. His wife and all her children have been stripped of all their clothes, bedding, and other furniture. She was mother of five children in two years.

Wednesday, 6th. Got in motion at eight o'clock in the morning; marched six miles to Buck's creek; dined at one Nelson's. Here was a hearty old man, named William Case, a hundred and nine years old. He is a native of New England. Talks very strong; gives some faint description of New England. His memory began to fail seven years past; he lost his eyesight about eighteen months past; is otherwise very hale; walks amazingly spry, and danced a jig.
Thursday, 7th. Got in motion at seven o'clock in the morning; crossed Buck creek, and the division line of South and North Carolina; marched six miles farther, and halted. Maj. Ferguson, with about fifty of the American Volunteers, and three hundred militia, got in motion at six o'clock in the evening, and marched to Gilbert Town in order to surprise a party of Rebels that we heard were there. Capt. DePeyster and I remained on the ground we took in the morning, with the remainder of the American Volunteers and militia.

Tuesday, 12th. Maj. Ferguson, with forty American Volunteers and one hundred militia, got in motion at two o'clock in the morning, and marched fourteen miles through the mountains to the head of Cane creek, in Burke County, in order to surprise a party of Rebels we heard lay there. Unfortunately for us, they had by some means got intelligence of our coming, in consequence of which, Mr. McDowell, with three hundred infamous villains like himself, thought it highly necessary to remove their quarters. However, we were lucky enough to take a different route from what they expected, and met them on their way, and to appearance one would have thought they meant sincerely to fight us, as they drew up on an eminence for action. On our approach they fired and gave way. We totally routed them, killed one private, wounded a Capt. White, took seventeen prisoners, twelve horses, all their ammunition, which was only twenty pounds of powder, after which we marched to their encampment, and found it abandoned by those Congress heroes. Our loss was two wounded and one killed. Among the wounded was Capt. Dunlap, who received two slight wounds. After the skirmish we returned to one Allen's to refresh ourselves. We got in motion about four o'clock in the afternoon, and countermarched about six miles to a Rebel Mr. Jones', where we halted all night.

Thursday, 14th. Lay still at Col. Walker's. The poor, deluded people of this Province begin to be sensible of their error, and come in very fast. Maj. Ferguson, with thirty American Volunteers, and three hundred militia, got in motion at six o'clock, and marched to the head of Cane creek, and halted at one Wilson's.

Friday, 15th. Capt. DePeyster and I, who remained at Col. Walker's with the remainder of the American Volunteers and militia, got in motion at six o'clock in the morning, and marched twelve miles to one Bowman's, near the head of Cane creek, and halted. This creek is so amazingly crooked that we were obliged to cross it nineteen times in marching four miles. Mrs. Bowman is an exceedingly obliging woman. She had a child about four years old, who had smoked tobacco almost three years. At four o'clock in the afternoon got in motion, and marched a mile and a half to Wilson's, where we joined Maj. Ferguson. At ten o'clock in the evening we got in motion, with the American Volunteers and five hundred militia, leaving Capt. Ryerson and Lieut. Fletcher, with two hundred militia, to guard the baggage, and marched fifteen miles to one John Forsyth's, on the banks of the Catawba, to surprise Col. McDowell. We arrived there about six o'clock in the morning of the 16th. Col. McDowell had left this place the 14th. We countermarched to one Devore's, and halted to refresh ourselves. At three o'clock got in motion; marched to Pleasant Garden Ford, Catawba river; forded it, and continued our march to one George Cathy's plantation, about a mile and a half from Devore's. Pleasant Garden is a very handsome place. I was surprised to see so beautiful a tract of land in the mountains. This settlement is composed of the most violent Rebels I ever saw, particularly the young ladies.

You Go, Girls! I liked reading the whole diary, but I thought you would like the notes Lt. Allaire made in bold type.

I'm going back in to the links of Mr. Shelby who I believe is really John Robertson.
He is involved with SCAR. I have not met with this group yet. I missed the Historic Roads Conference. I think GIS is the way to go with this Southern Campaign too. I'd like a visual or interactive map showing the two states and interesting sites that pop up on the map as a time line unfolds. I'd like to see that.

Two Brits have entered the hotel!!! Or maybe Austrailian. They are everywhere!!!(I'm in the lobby)

Where's waldo?

David Fanning in his own words. See page 207 - 9. Where did he hide his army after he was shot. ?

At the departure of my little army, I was left with three men; and in four days 17 more came to my assistance. I made enquiry respecting the loss of the Rebels, in the late action; and found that the inhabitants had buried 24, and that the wounded they had left were 90, besides those that went off and that my party had taken 10 prisoners. Of the number of the killed was Col’o Luttrell, and Major Knowles, who were inveterate enemies to the Loyalists.

The party we had engaged I found consisted of four hundred Continentals under the command of Col’o Maybin and Gen’l Butler.

In twenty-four days I found myself able to set up, and then dispatched four of my Captains Hooker, Rains, Knight and Lindly, to Wilmington for a supply of ammunition; and before their return, I had sent out, and embodied 140 men, during which time I heard of a quantity of leather, which was prepared for the use of the rebel army, and was ordered for Gen’l Green’s quarters at Camden.

I went to the place, and finding the leather agreeable to my information, I took enough thereof to equip the company completely, and ordered the rest to be destroyed.

On my return to Brush Creek, near where I had been secreted during my illness, occasioned by my wounds, I sent out spies for discovery. Two of them returned, in less than an hour, with the information of six hundred rebels, who were advancing for to attack me. But they proved no more than 170. Their accounts disheartened a number of my men. From my being in so weak a state, they apprehended I would not be able, to command them. However, they lifted me on my horse, and I formed my men
page 209 -------------------- there in two ranks and showed two fronts, as they appeared both in my front and rear; the fire continued for nearly an hour. I lost three men killed, and three badly wounded. The rebels had one killed and several wounded.

Where did he get the leather intended for Greene? Was it Swift Creek in Wake county?

Check this resource for great information from Mr. Shelby in SC.

Stormy weather

Walking up the street in Charlottesville, Virginia, I find a grand statue of George Rogers Clark on horseback with several others around. I've got to get a picture. It is the kind of statue I want of the Overmountain men.

There are heroes we know - Winston, Cleveland, Shelby, Campbell,... but I want four statues of heroes we don't know well. I want one statue from each orientation - north, south, east and west. I am in the East in Surry county. Along with Winston and Lenoir and Cleveland, we have Bowman, Lewis, Johnson, Herndon, Witherspoon, Gamble, Goforth and probably Williams who I discovered yesterday. I'm counting him because though he did not go to Kings Mountain, he was fighting Tories at home on the Shallow ford. I want all of these in some sculpture to walk around and contemplate.

They don't have to be in a fountain or anything, but you know in Rome, Italy, the fountains and statues became so famous, people throw money and make a wish. You can get a boyfriend for one coin, a husband for two or for three coins, a divorce. All of these opportunities draw crowds in catholic Rome. That might be economic development....

Okay, that was a complete segway, but people come for different reasons to contemplate the same art. Art is a draw if it is meaningful and beautiful.

If the four statues of four militias, like the four winds, were all in one site at the entry to the trail in NC, it would be an incredible contemplation site. Listen to the list of cultures merging to defend their new homes: Welsh, Irish, Scots, English, African, French, German, Dutch and even Polish if you include the rest of the southern campaign.

I know Africa is a continent but I can't tell you where the men originated. and I also know that I have not found Native Americans at Kings Mountain. I believe I read the Cawtabas were at Musgrove's Mill when the overmountain men were informed of the lost of Camden,SC. Still, what a mix!?

Ironically, if you took apart the British army, you'd have probably found the same mix. Certainly, there were all the UK men , Cherokee, some slaves fighting for their own freedom, and we know there were German mercenaries or Hessians

As I wrote our OVTA this week, the British sewed the wind and reaped a whirlwind coming at them from all directions. The whirlwind included soldiers from all parts of the globe, black and white, native and foreign. It was a storm that changed the world.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Black America in the Revolution

I have found a new contact extensively researching Warren, Vance, Franklin, Halifax etc.  She has a ton of resources which tie the stories together.

Most importantly she is researching African Americans including those of colonials times. She sent me several links which I will leave here for others to find and I want to bring out the this one in particular.  Taxes were a problem.  See a petition from 1771 by community members black and white.

The last link details the Halifax resolves, the first declaration of independence presented to the Congress.

I have one African-American story to relate.  Draper records in his book about Kings Mountain that a free black patriot, E. Bowman,  of Cleveland's men was declared by his captain, Lewis,  to have shot Ferguson. Since the record sent to Congress says that Ferguson was "stopped by Cleveland's brave men", the possibility exists that of the eight bullets that hit him, he was felled by Bowman instead of the fellow with the Sweetlips gun. I understand Sweetlips owner was in his sixties. I can imagine a younger man stepping back and not contesting the honor, but at least his captain expressed it enough to be known. 

I need to check my facts. The names and ages of these men are in Draper's book and I just don't have it at hand this morning.

I had the pleasure to presenting a brochure I made for our 225th anniversary campaign to Kings Mountain celebration in Elkin to the Tuskegee Airmen who attended.  Tuskegee Airmen were African American pilots in World War II. Today there are chapters of veterans including still some original pilots.

We honored men from the Revolution to our National Guard in Iraq in 2005. There was a parade, VFW, reenactors from the Civil War, The Tuskegee Airment, General Metz, and local soldiers' families. It was great.

But the greatest was sharing that information that a black soldier saved America. Who knows who exactly, but they were all there. 

The Revolution is amazing because of the diversity of men and cultures who reacted to throw off central oppression, at least the first step.


I am off to Virginia for my next surgery patient. If I can get on-line, I will write. I will be in Charlottesville, home of Thomas Jefferson for a couple of days. I don't know if I will get to see it, but maybe Carolina Rev. War connections will pop-up.

You guys please continue to write the Park Service with your comments. I don't think you actually have to be a resident of NC to record what you know about NC, so everyone write and tell your friends to write too.

Friday, May 29, 2009

One big happy family

Well I have looked at all those relatives of the Williams of Vance county. And guess what!

One Joseph Williams, known as the "Duke of Surry" is from Surry county where I now live. He is in fact a cousin to Col. James Williams killed at the battle of Kings Mountain from SC.  AND he commanded the whigs at the Battle of Shallowford I discussed earlier. How about that?

MAJ. JOSEPH WILLIAMS, a cousin of COL. JAMES WILLIAMS, killed at King's Mountain, was the youngest son of NATHANIEL WILLIAMS, who migrated from Wales to Hanover County, Virginia. Joseph lost his father when he was 15 years old, and was taken care of by a namesake, and kinsman, JOSEPH WILLIAMS, a merchant of Williamsboro, Granville County, North Carolina. JOSEPH WILLIAMS settled at the Shallow Ford of the Yadkin before the Revolution and died in August 1827, his widow surviving until 1832. 
For a time there was a general store at Williamsboro, then called Nutbush which was known as the
WILLIAMS & BURTON Store. The Burton was either COL. ROBERT BURTON, son-in-law of JUDGE JOHN WILLIAMS or his father HUTCHINS BURTON. Thus, there were two JOSEPH WILLIAMS who were prominent merchants in this section of North Carolina.

The following is a letter from his son ALEXANDER WILLIAMS of Greenville, Tennessee, written June 28, 1845, this being the postscript.
"I expect I received a letter from the same gentleman you speak of, from Baltimore, Mr. Lyman C. Draper, who wishes to know something of my father, and particular as to the battle between the WHIGS and TORIES fought near Shallow Ford of the Yadkin, at which battle my father headed and commanded the WHIGS. It is a little singular, history has never named this battle, although nearly 100 Tories were killed and only one Whig lost his life." A.W.

And did you know that Draper also said Joseph Winston was related to Patrick Henry? True. Col. Cleveland of Wilkes county claimed to be directly related to Oliver Cromwell. Hummm... probably not true. But here is another project. Who married who. Who was cousin/brother to who?  The revolution as Joseph Winston's mother said was a first little more than another "border war" between low-land Scots and English.   
How about the energetic minority?

Green Hill Place

A revolutionary site to see in Franklin county!

Paydirt!!! Vance, Warren, and Granville counties

I have found a site concerning several homes of Vance and Granville county currently restored or being restored.   I think it must be a treasure chest of Revolutionary information. I have contacted the owner and asked for help.

  • Montpelier Plantation, Granville NC
  • Cherry Hill Warren NC
  • Tusculum Plantation
  • Myrtle Lawn
  • Sneed Plantation
  • Vine Hill
  • Pleasant Hill

  • Why is it you find the treasure at the end of the day? More tomorrow or later.

    bon chance!

    Vance county

    There is an important man, well more than one of course, but one of special note concerning the Revolution. He is John Williams. 

    Williams, John, of Montpelier (1731-1799) — of Granville County (part now in Vance County), N.C. Born in Hanover County, Va., March 14, 1731. Double first cousin of Richard Henderson and Thomas Henderson; first cousin of John Williams,Nathaniel Williams, Jr.Robert Williams and Joseph Williams of Shallow Ford; father-in-law of Robert Burton; double first cousin once removed of Archibald Henderson; double first cousin once removed and uncle by marriage of Leonard Henderson.

    Vance county seems to be in need of a Revolution now. This native son must qualify it for some notice in the National Heritage Area.

    Who knows more about him?  And who are all those relatives?

    Electric Transportation

    Well, all morning is lost. The autosave is blinking on and off. I've lost all my talk to you. But, fortunately, I have links. So I will make a list.

    I heard Daniel Sperling speak yesterday at the Electrifying Transportation conference at NCSU. He quoted Thomas Jefferson that "a little revolution is not a bad thing" so I believe we have a compelling call to arms. He signed his book Two Billion Cars for me and I have come to give you the news.

    1. We have 1 billion cars in the world today. We will likely have 2 billion cars in the world in 10 years. 75% of the people in the world do not have cars and want them.

    2. Fossil fuels which propel the cars are killing the earth with CO2. CO2 is released when oil is burned. More cars driving overwhelms the ability of trees and the ocean to absorb the released CO2 which is the natural carbon cycle. The excess particles in the air reflect the radiating infrared rays back down to earth instead of out to space and speed up heating thus melting the polar ice, etc....

    3. We have to change - cars, fuel and mobility to eliminate excess carbon. Cars and Fuel are easier to change than mobility. See number one. I feel like the Native Americans watching the Europeans coming to North America. There are just too many people who still want cars and why not? They want what we have.

    4. We can do it, but the call to action is urgent...kinda like 1780.

    5. Electric cars have been around since almost the beginning. Mrs. Ford drove electric and would not consider riding around on explosive gasoline.

    6. We will not run out of oil. However, "the stone age did not end because we ran out of rocks" We will run out of cheap oil in about ten years, but then there is still the problem of all that carbon in the atmosphere.

    8. This is an idea whose time has come. On résiste à l'invasion des armées; on ne résiste pas à l'invasion des idées.- victor hugo.

    9. The difficulty in electric cars today is the storage of energy. Fossil fuels pack it in. Batteries can not quite do the same exactly at this time. The best batteries are lithium ion. Caution: we must not trade dependence on crude oil for dependence on lithium. 70% of the element lithium is in South America, and half of that is just in Bolivia. 20% is in China. Watch out Bolivia is all I can say.

    10. If you buy an electric car today, it will run on nickel hydride batteries and that will not hurt the electric grid. Next year you can probably get one with lithium ion. If it is so cool that all your neighbors buy one, it may disrupt the power supply. Utility companies are adjusting. But where is all that electricity coming from? They have an idea that you should plug up where ever you park and after the car battery is completely charged, that energy converting device on the car can pump the energy into the grid and create electricity. That will take time to design. But it is here on the horizon.

    11. Chelsea Sexton was there at the conference. She starred in "Who killed the Electric Car". Scary. She says we should call the militia out and go for it before the state of the world kills "your country with fire and sword". I mean, she really said let the first adopters have the cars, make them available and get thought the beta testing stage. We can't leave it out. We can't know the future. We have to do it now!! Sounds like Colonel Shelby. We all know this is coming. We have to get up and do something about it the way our Revolutionary fathers took action knowing a storm was coming.

    12. She also noted all the hand wringing about the batteries and designing the grid and all would not stop consumers if the cars were available, "fun to drive, very cool to own and drivers got some emotional perk from driving them- privileges" These things drive marketing even more than climate change. She is so right.

    13. NC is a hot bed for sustainable development and will be a leader in this change. The Research Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill --and Cary--) is one of the first cities of RMI's Project GetReady. Charlotte already has 70 alternative vehicles in its fleet. In Apex you can buy electric bicycles or buy a house and get an electric vehicle to go with it.

    NCCAR, NC center for automotive research, in Northhampton county is going full steam and I enjoyed bantering with the CEO who is English all about my trip a few years ago at Christmas and my blog here. Well we are friends and allies now. I love England. I'd go back to visit again and again. As for Northamption, it is not yet on the NPS list, but they believe Cornwallis went though there!!!

    I met another English guy marketing the bicycles from Apex. I warned him to find a way to overcome the preception that the bike was for drunk drivers caught who lost their license. I think you will have to market a helmet with it... like carrying a little dog in your purse gives you status...

    14. The Chevy Volt was there. Alan Taub from GM spoke in the morning but I missed him. I'm not too disappointed. They should have put True Textiles fabric in there. The interior looked like four high-school coaches in color-blocked wind breakers were sitting in the seats. The car was smaller than I expected. ANd, yes i am prejudiced. Still it will come out and hopefully someone will buy it. I don't know if it is cool enough to spend 40,000 dollars on. It looks like a Dad's sedan. I had lunch with a prof. from the community college in Pittsboro. He mentioned the Aptera (coming out in October still with True Textile fabric I hope) before I did. That deserves a look.

    15. Nissan was there and they are on target for an all electric car in 2010 built in Tennesee. It will require a hotwired 220 volt connection kind of like your dryer to be installed in your garage and inspected by your town. Every owner will have to have that or only drive the car every other day if they use 110 volt to get a full charge.

    16. And now back to Pres. Jefferson : I say, the earth belongs to each of these generations during its course, fully and in its own right. The second generation receives it clear of the debts and incumbrances of the first, the third of the second, and so on. For if the first could charge it with a debt, then the earth would belong to the dead and not to the living generation. Then, no generation can contract debts greater than may be paid during the course of its own existence.

    Save the planet.

    Tuesday, May 26, 2009


    A muster is a practice or preparation for eventual battle ... It was regularly practiced in colonial days all over the state. We have information that generally muster days turned into community festivals or general gatherings. But one day, in each area, in each county, in the late 1770s musters became critical and the partying stopped.

    We have one month before the map is closed to new counties in the National Heritage area. I am going to copy and paste my first blog here again and then resort to old technology to get the word out to counties, schools and clubs- the telephone. Then I have to find a job and get back to work. I will feel better chit-chating about all the connections I see with our Rev. War History, tourism, economic development and plain ol' life in NC if I make a big aggressive push to call all o' y'all and get a job.

    The National Parks Service has been instructed to study specific areas of South Carolina and North Carolina by the US Congress to create a National Heritage Area inside these states. Specific counties in SC have been named. However, all counties of NC might be considered for inclusion in the National Heritage Area as no specific areas were named to study in the bill.

    The NPS needs our input to find the historic sites, natural resources, towns and history of Revolutionary events in the counties to determine 1) if they warrant a National Heritage Area (NHA) designation (they do!!!!)and 2) which counties of NC to include. If areas in the two states are chosen as a National Heritage area, then all the revolutionary sites we can identify in those areas can be used to create sustainable economic development though local partnerships and organizations.

    The exact composition of groups who can form a partnership is not yet determined. These partnerships can be between non-profits, schools, for-profit businesses and government groups or any combination of these groups which have their basis in telling the story of the American Revolution. Perhaps individuals such as artists or songwriters may become partners with the National Heritage Area in order to promote or create something sustainable for economic development in the NHA.

    Some form of coordinating entity to administer the NHA needs to be found which best represents the interests of the people of NC and SC concerning the preservation and tourism promotion of Rev. War sites with the end concern of economic development. Perhaps a non-profit 501-3c corporation can emerge from all of you who comment on this blog over time. I would like to see that happen.

    This National Heritage Area then provides financial grants to seed economic development of all types and to improve the quality of life for area residents. The money to fund the NHA grants comes from the federal government and Congress may appropriate up to 1 million dollars per year for up to 10 years to the NHA for "seed" money for economic development. Then I guess, the NHA has done its job and dissolves or it generates its own capital in some way in order to continue.

    Congress is NOT required to appropriate any money to a NHA. The NHA is only a link between your great ideas and a funder- the Congress. In return, a certain economic spark creates jobs and the Congress gets its money back in the form of an increased tax base.

    Please check out the web site from the National park service. Make your suggestions to document revolutionary activity for specific places in your county to insure your county is included in the National Heritage Area.

    Many counties in the Eastern part of the state are not included at this time.

    Please write the park service and tell them about your site or what your site could become with the addition of NHA funds.

    Legislation authorizing the study is called Senate Bill 203.

    The suggestions from each county will continued to be accepted until July first and then the books are closed.

    Y'all pay attention! Wake county, Pitt county and Gates county are places of interest to me personally. What was the history of the revolution in these areas?

    PS. If I am the only one submitting details to the Park service, it will have no impact. Congress wants to see your willingness to grow your own homelands. It will have more impact for you to tell your stories and ask to be included.

    I hope all NC counties can discover something of significance that happened in their county during the period between 1766 and 1786. I just picked those dates. I think most revolutionary stories should fall between those dates, but share your story anyway even if it is different.

    Labels: READ FIRST: American Revolution in South and North Carolina

    Monday, May 25, 2009


    The bugle filled the gymnasium with Taps, a plaintive melody of good-night and also farewell to those lost in battle. It's Memorial Day in Elkin. I've never heard music in a gym that sounded beautiful, but never say never. The reverb swelled the tone but didn't interfere. It was far away and big like it was echoing off the mountain. Like the call to gather the militia. Come back. We need you.

    The VFW conducted a brief ceremony and a decorated veteran about his life-long experiences. Specifically he reminded us of the lives lost and these were just in the 20th century, not including Iraq or the Revolution or the American Civil War.

    WWI - 53,513 combat deaths I have a certificate sent to my grandfather by President
    Carter in recognition of his service in France
    WWII -       292,131 combat deaths Mom has a cousin whose name is listed in the Battleship USS North Carolina memorial lost in battle 
    Korea - 33,629 combat deaths RG's Dad drove an ambulance, was wounded, sent home and met RGs future mom in a hospital
    Vietnam - 47,378 combat deaths. Ben Long thoughtfully expressed interest this weekend in painting about Vietnam for Marines.

    War is hell. It is not something to be entered into lightly. It will demand sacrifice. It will rage and innocents will also be lost between the combatants.  

    I see this underlying theme in the life of Benjamin Cleveland of Wilkes county in the Revolution. He can best be described as a rascal and perhaps a good ol' boy. He hung Tories more often than not, though he could apparently be talked out of it on occasion. 

    The point is as at the beginning of the war, he thought nothing of it. But, at the end of the war, he hung a Tory on the Yadkin River who had previously kidnapped him and almost killed him. A young boy, Jimmy Gywn and his young black companion begged for the Tory's life as Ben's troops crying and cursing, strung the Tory up. Lyman Draper in Kings Mountain and Its Heroes said even Ben Cleveland had tears in his eyes explaining to the boys that this was a bad man and in bad times...  The sycamore tree stills extends over the Yadkin River in Ronda and you can see it as you paddle a canoe around the Roundabout.

    I don't know, I think Ben Cleveland had to just buck up and do his duty when in the past, he did it for revenge. I think now the horror of all of it was sinking in.  He must somehow be different after war.

    Once I had to testify in a capital murder case. I remember being so angry at the criminal for killing a young woman. His appeals went on for years. Every time there was a stay. Finally, one night at in early morning, I was working third shift designing alone and it came on the radio that he was executed. None of the anger was in me. I was exhausted and I cried for him too. I'm glad he's gone, I was afraid of him. But he never had a chance given his circumstances. What do you do? It's a sacrifice. Forgive me. Taps.

    Sunday, May 24, 2009

    Where is your bolo tie?

    Today we went to church in a tropical rain storm.  I'm thinking that Memorial day will be sunny if all this water is wrung out early.  

    RG wore his Johnny Cash look accented with a Turquoise bolo tie made for him by a Native American craftsmen about 15 years ago. Now, generally we have dressed up for church and he and Parker wear a regular suit and silk tie and I wear a suit and heels. But things are changing. Women wear pants regularly. Kids, especially teenage boys, sometimes wear jeans. 

    So I guess a bolo tie and Johnny Cash won't hurt even though he was told he looked like he was going to a cowboy funeral.

    Things change and things get mixed up and come out different.  This is creativity. This opens new possibilities as well.

    After church I cooked lunch and RG ran quickly to the grocery store to pick up a few forgotten items. That is a change we wouldn't have done back in the days when we were little.

    Importantly, while he was in the store, a Mexican family approached him and observed that they had seen him play this weekend (in that very outfit I imagine). They attended the Chickenfest in Wilkesboro. Anyway, they noticed him and told him they enjoyed the music. They have just moved here and were "there to just see what it was like at the Chickenfest." They were amazed at how fast the music was and told him again how much they enjoyed it. He thanked them for coming and welcomed them to the Yadkin Valley.  

    RG came home and told me how surprised he was they noticed him and stopped to speak.  I thought it was nice too. How about that? Mexican tourists for Americana Bluegrass.  

    I wondered if the turquoise tie was like an invitation to speak to a friendly person that was familiar to this new family. How many times have you been approached by new residents from another culture to compliment you here?  Perhaps, we just need to give folks an invitation to speak and attend with us. We should not ignore the potential for our stories to be interesting to other cultures as well.   And we should find happy-sad-funny-dramatic-awe-inspiring-practical details in our stories to make those connections to the intersecting cultures all around us.

    In fact, neighboring cultures do mesh and our story is their story, particularly of Mexico and Canada.

    North and South, Black and White, Native and Immigrant... they are precious.


    Benjamin Long was great! His drawings are so alive. I got unexpectedly kissed on both cheeks. That is a melding of cultures too since he has his feet firmly planted on two continents.  A nice change.

    I discussed my 1780 fresco dreams again with him. I also got to meet two associates of his I had corresponded with on email and I am reinvigorated.  

    He is one of the original founders of a school of Fine Arts in Asheville that is about total immersion in the methods of fine art, The Fine Arts League of the Carolinas.  I am wondering how to do all this. I want to go there and draw, learn to make a fresco, ...  But as my craft guild mentor reminds me, you must do to be an artist, so just start. Change yourself.

    Mix it up and change.  Find those meaningful connections in our Southern Campaign stories that will bring people to your county.  That is the benefit of a National Heritage Area. It can facilitate your dreams and connections to create something meaningful for guests, for business, for your home town.  

    It is important to press on with this endeavor. We have one more month before the National Park Service will have to finally close its admission to the map for Revolutionary events, people, places and natural resources. Then we get down to the hard business of assembling resources in those places on the map.  What are the resources from the time period you can share concerning the varying populations by nationality, heritage, race, gender or occupation. Start thinking about how you can use this cultural resource to expand your business or artistic passion. Just do.

    Where is your "bolo tie" revolutionary story, that unusual tale that can spark the imagination of people from all over the world?  Write to the NPS and tell them before June 30!  Don't be left out.

    Friday, May 22, 2009

    letter to Congress

    I didn't tell you about Benjamin Long. I told my Congressional Representative. So let me just tell you.

    Benjamin Long is certified living Master of buon fresco in the method of Michelangleo. He is a NC native son and a veteran.  He has an incredibly interesting story.

    He grew up in Statesville (home of the marvelous Carolina BalloonFest, Ft. Dobbs of French and Indian War fame, Gov. Vance's house, a very old plantation house still in operation, a Ben Long Fresco... and walk in the hanging place of that infamous Tom Dooley - he was famed by the women--).

    Look what I found, the oldest Pres. Church

    Thyatira Presbyterian Church in Salisbury, the capital of the backcountry still on its mission and invites tourists as well.  Gosh, it would be like when I saw the bones of Capuchin monks in Rome

    Churches were pivotable to the episodes of the Southern Campaign. I just found this one in Rowan county so I want to list it before I forget it.

    Speaking of churches, tomorrow I'm going to see an exhibition by Ben Long of drawings for his latest fresco for a church. The exhibit will be in Linville Galleries near Grandfather Mountain.He has frescoes in churches and in secular exhibits as well across the world now. The Blue Ridge Heritage area has funded a brochure to escort you around the mountains to see them all.  I, of course, want one in Elkin about ...guess what???  1780. well yes.  It would be National Art.  

    Benjamin Long is a certified living master. Did I already tell you about him? 

    Well I'll be a star-struck fan.

    What about those who left to serve?

    As I search the state, the story of the Revolution unfolds logically and is heavy to read. By the time most of the excitement emerged in the 1778-1782 period, many NC men had already left to join the Continental army or were decidedly loyalists. Their contributions to the southern campaign were in fact minimal because they were contributing to the northern campaigns or the relief of Boston or the defense of SC the first time around.  

    So I am searching in vain for battles or meetings in Gates County.

    Gates county is of interest to me because my mom has cousins there too. We know them well. We visited the grand homeplace in Gatesville occasionally when I was little. It had four floors with a ballroom on top. It sat at the end of a long drive between rows of pecan trees. I stayed a week as a little girl and I LOVED it. My 2nd cousins and 1st cousins once-removed are just the nicest people!  The house was stately and ancient by our standards by that time. But the stairway, two parlors and an entry big enough to count as a dance floor - it was just a castle to me.

    There were horses, cows, pigs, goats, lambs and we could jump off the front porch which as memory serves, was almost 7 feet off the ground, more than twice my height.   Our relatives left Pitt county to get this marvelous house, but the land was just not as rich as in Tarboro, so farming was not so profitable. 

    My cousins also still hold a reunion every year but they meet in Greenville where they originated. I remember them telling me as late as the 1930s they branded cattle and sent them out free to graze and then fenced in the gardens and orchard. I mean there isn't much there but land and sky hemmed in by the swamp and the cattle could always be found and herded home. I was just surprised by that.  That was a self-sustaining home and I LOVED it!

    We have a tinplate image of that home somewhere. Unfortunately the house itself burned in a fire in recent years. It went up in a hurry.

    Gates is named for Horatio Gates who was at once a hero and then a head-shaking shame at Camden, SC.  George Washington tried before the Revolution to drain the Great Dismal Swamp for timber. (Well, that didn't happen) Men left there to fight in the Continental Army, but the English did not go there as far as I know. 

    Now Gates County did see action and mustering in the second war of 1812, but that is not part of this study.  Maybe Merchant's Mill State Park had a revolutionary connection. I will write someone and ask that they look.

    Okay, last story - when RG and I got married we had a big church wedding and a musical extravaganza reception at the Foothills Arts Council building.  I knew that all the hillbilly music would just be a cultural experience to my flatland relatives (BUT! we had friends from Switzerland yodeling, Irish fiddling, Bluegrass of course, Bagpipes and  during the ceremony, our organist played that incredible French Toccata in F major by Charles-Marie Widor ...which we only get to hear at Easter)  so despite having done this before, I invited everyone.  I slipped in engraved "No gifts please" cards and created this little what-to-do in Elkin ( if you have to drive 5 hours to get here) brochure and map. 

    I had them going to Mt. Airy, to Stone Mountain, to Bethabara, and to the Wild, wild Wilkes, to wineries and to car shows. But you know what they said? "Oh, we know Elkin - Granddaddy used to shear the sheep, send the fleece to Elkin and get blankets back here in Gates county as payment to sell to his neighbors"  They came all the way here. They knew everything about it and they wanted to see the Chatham mill...after the wedding of course.

    Thursday, May 21, 2009

    Person county?

    Person County, Durham County. How can you be left out?

    General Greene appears to have stayed in a home in Person county after crossing the Dan and before Guilford courthouse. It was built during the rev. war by a Gen. Moore, the only one of his large prominent family to be a patriot. Is it still standing?

    And what about Stagville, in Durham?   tooo much for one day.

    Stars and Bees

    Bees and Hornets are critical to the world. Bees for their generous pollination work and Hornets for driving out Cornwallis. 

    This was on the news just this morning.  Old Salem has a Busy Bee Spring Festival you can go to this weekend and see how the Moravians lived during colonial days. They used about 3 beeswax candles each night so they kept bees and made a LOT of twinkling star-like candles. Apparently, you can do that this weekend in Winston-Salem. 

    Spring Festival:  Busy Bees

    May 23, 2009 throughout the Historic District

    Join us to celebrate Spring with a special emphasis on bees and honey.  Learn how important these insects were to our ancestors (& continue to be today).  Demonstrations & hands-on activities will include:

    • Making a beeswax candle
    • Using honey in the kitchen
    • Medicinal uses for honey
    • Bees & pollination in the garden
    • Making Shoemaker's Wax
    • Using Beeswax in trades

    Heritage Puppet Productions will present two puppet shows,"The Beekeeper and the Bees" during the day at 1:00 & 3:00 in the Horton Center.

    In addition to these demonstrations Old Salem is honored to host two local beekeepers, Buddy Marterre and Greg Norman.  Mr. Marterre will have an observation hive available in the morning and give a presentation on beekeeping.  Mr. Norman will present a talk on "Then and Now in Beekeeping" in the afternoon.  Cloe's Farm will be on hand to sell honey, bee pollen, honey straws & honey candy.

    May is a busy time in the gardens, and Old Salem's restored landscape will shine.  Visit the new garden shop at T. Bagge merchant to bring home a piece of Old Salem's historic landscape for your own garden.

    The Spring Festival has something for everyone & will be a fun day for the whole family.

    Also, a featured farm supply place I had no idea about was The Brushy Mountain Bee Farm. This company in Wilkes county has been around for 30 years making and supplying bee-keeping equipment which is known the world over. They are building a showroom, but it will not be open until next year, so put it on your list. I know it will be as big as Replacements, Ltd. in Greensboro.

    I myself remember going to the NC State Fair in Raleigh and wondering around by myself as a young  teenager released from parents and little fair-ride fanatic siblings to explore. I found the bee keepers and the hives. I guess I talked to them for more than an hour.  I found the queen. I heard how she is not really born, but made (!!!!!) because the drones feed her special royal jelly. Several of our friends are bee-keepers so we get homemade honey occasionally. With the emerging wine industry, not to mention all the gardening going on, bee-keeping would be a very cool hobby or little business.

    When PJ was little, a swarm of bees left their home with a new queen and filled the air around his friend's house in Hickory just as we drove up to play. We were instructed by frantic waving arms to drive in the other side of the circle driveway. By the time we arrived, the bees had settled into a ball about two feet off the ground on a tree trunk.  We got out of the car. We called the extension service and located a list of bee-keepers, one of whom went to my church. You never know who you know! Anyway, he came in his outfit and mask and he found the queen, put her in  a wooden box and aided with a smoking device he herded the bees into the box with her. A little percussion rhythm on the box had them marching right in. The 4-year old boys sat possibly six feet away and watched this process. Very cool.

    Bee stings are being investigated for medical therapy. We had a fellow speak at the Elkin Library in 2006 about his bees and his remission from a cancer after taking the stings just for their pain-numbing abilities. I have photos of his speech, but I can't remember his name. So I'll search or ask someone and get back to you.  But bees are little miracle workers. There is a new Honey Bee exhibit at the NC Zoo in Asheboro where you can go see them if you can't wait for the Fair. It opens on June 20th in time for Father's Day.

    Three last observations. The Moravians kept excellent records and must know how to do everything.  They have recently attracted our home state TV star,  Andy Griffith  to join the Moravian church in Mt. Airy  where he grew up from his home in Manteo on the Outer Banks near the Historic Albamarle.

    2) More speaking of stars, Greg Deering emailed RG last night to inform him that, Steve Martin was playing a Deering Banjo on the American Idol finale. He's pretty good on that thing.

    3) You can see more stars at the Cline Observatory located on the campus of Guilford Technical Community College. They have a free viewing every Friday night in Jamestown, NC. They have a new telescope.  

    This would be a interesting date weekend. You can tell a lot about a person by how they view the stars and react around honeybees.

    The first militia

    Awards were given out yesterday for the JROTC by many, many military organizations. PJ received a medal and a new ribbon and I took pictures of him by the flag. He was surprised to get it, but very pleased.  

    It dawns on me that OVTA should give recognition to JROTC and maybe even ROTC groups along the trail and then if we create supplemental trails as I mentioned yesterday, recognize those groups as well.  

    It also dawns on me that we have National support for our National heritage story from all these Military organizations. The DAR and the SAR were at the ceremony of course. The VFW and the National Guard were there. There are more I hadn't heard of, so I will go back and ask the Colonel who they are. ( I see the DAR website has a new resource of "forgotten" patriots of Native and African ancestry. )

    This reminds me to tell you a little story about the patch the National Guard wears. There is a hornet on it and leads to telling the story of Cornwallis being pestered out of Charlotte. I met a guardsmen at a speech given by Senator Broyhill at The  Patterson School in Caldwell county. (Note: Native American History at the school). The OVNHT goes right through the school grounds.  He told us that soldiers in Iraq liked to collect patches from the allies. He said the Scots particularly liked the Hornet patches because it reminds their English brothers of a "Scottish" victory over the English in America. 

    They just keep rubbing it in.  I tell you its hard to have English ancestry in Western NC.

    Wednesday, May 20, 2009

    National Parks Service Opportunity!!!!

    Reminder: Now Accepting Applications

    Got an Idea? 

    The National Park Service helps partners 
    plan successful locally-led
    outdoor recreation and natural resource 
    conservation projects.

    August 1 is the deadline for the next round 
    of assistance from our Rivers, Trails, and 
    Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program.

    Applicants are strongly encouraged to 
    discuss project ideas with RTCA staff 
    before submitting an application.

    Visit for more information. 

    National Park Service | 1201 Eye Street 

    (Org Code 2240) | Washington | DC | 20005

    Isn't this wonderful?  I think its time to make

    a trail of Martin Gamble's ride linking to the 

    OVNHT. We need the trail of the Surry Militia

    under Joseph Winston linked to the OVNHT.

    We need a trail of the Overmountain men

    coming back with their captives to Bethabara via

    the Catawba/Yadkin Rivers. We need a trail of Over

    mountain men from  Georgia and one from Tennessee 

    officially connecting to the OVNHT. We need a trail of

    the Tory raid on Oct. 14th of the Piedmont

    families at Shallowford while the rest of their men

    were coming back from Kings Mountain.

    And, I need a OVNHT visitor's center in each of the five 

    states. (This suggested by one of our wise and generous 

    tourism officers in NC). This would be Elkin and Abingdon,

    Virginia of course.  King's Mountain National Military Park

    already is a tremendous visitor's center on top of the 

    mountain in  SC itself.

    You guys in Greensboro and Winston-Salem can probably 

    find other trails to link to Guilford Courthouse since

    that is part of the National Park service.

    I think the NPS doesn't require trails connected

    with History, but we have so much!

    AHA! The trail of that dasteredly fiend Fanning

    across Wake county... a trail of Cornwallis to


    Trails serve as greenways for recreation and

    health initiatives. Devise your story, map your

    trail and call for help...