The Story - The Muster

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Chapter 4 - The Muster
"The Overmountain militiamen, readily heeding the call to arms, gathered in the fields of Sycamore Flats, spreading their individual campfires between the shoals of the river and Fort Watauga. . . . "

Music: Poet's Waltz

Audio Show

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Militiamen gather at Sycamore Shoals

Image by Randell Jones
Martin's Station, Wilderness Road State Park, VA, 2005

"Shelby brought 240 militiamen. Sevier brought just as many. " - from the audio file "The Story -The Muster" [View Additional File Details]

Some militiamen were already encamped at Sycamore Shoals

Image by Randell Jones
Sycamore Shoals SHS, Elizabethton, TN, 2013

"Colonels Charles McDowell and Andrew Hampton were already there from the North Carolina piedmont with 160 of their Burke County and Rutherford County militiamen after ambushing Ferguson at Cane Creek in mid-September." - from the audio file "The Story - The Muster" [View Additional File Details]

Virginians arrive at Sycamore Shoals

Image: "A Call to Arms" by Richard Luce
www.richardluce.com
used here by permission

"And, Colonel William Campbell brought 200 men from Abingdon, Virginia, after riding two days from their muster along Wolf Creek not far from Blackā€™s Fort. Their horses splashed across the Watauga River, fording at Sycamore Shoals to hardy cheers from the men already there at Sycamore Shoals." - from the audio file "The Story - The Muster" [View Additional File Details]

Women and families came to the muster

Images by Randell Jones
Sycamore Shoals SHA, Elizabethton, TN, 2013
Martin's Station, Wilderness Road State Park, VA, 2004

"Families came along as well. They came to help prepare these men for their expedition across the mountains. Women came to help ready their husbands, brothers, sons, and fathers to go off to war. Children came along as did those too old to fight. Everyone helped as they could. Some offered food; others brought a rifle or a fowler or offered a horse to some militiaman who would otherwise have to walk. " - from the audio file " They Story - The Muster" [View Additional File Details]

Mary Patton donated gunpowder she had made at her powder mill. .

Image by Randell Jones
Martin's Station, Wilderness Road State Park, VA, 2014

"The community of overmountain settlers provided what they could. They mended clothing and saddles, prepared food, molded musket balls, cleaned weapons. They groomed and shod horses. Mary Patton, a local powder maker, gave them 500 pounds of gunpowder." - from the audio file "The Story - The Muster" [View Additional File Details]

Anxious goodbyes

Image by Randell Jones
Martin's Station, Wilderness Road State Park, VA, 2012

"The farewells were anxious goodbyes, made with love and tears and hope while swallowing back the uncertainty of ever seeing their loved ones again." - from the audio file "The Story - The Muster" [View Additional File Details]

All music from "Blooming", copyright 2010, The Forget-Me-Nots
Recordings used by permission

"Before They Were Heroes at King's Mountain" by Randell Jones, 2011

Before they were heroes at King's Mountain, the Overmountain Men of Carolina and Virginia frontiers were challenging the Shawnees and the Cherokees, developing the fighting skills that garnered them the fearsome appelation, "The yelling boys." Lord Dunmore's War in 1774 and the campaigns against the Cherokees in 1776 and against the Chickamaugas in 1779 developed their capacity for traversing mountainous terrain and fighting tree-to-tree in fierce, hand-to-hand battles. Renegade British Indian agents on the frontier conspired to incite the Cherokees to attack the rebel colonists to force the trespassers back across the Alleghenies, where "the Father," King Geroge III, wanted his subjects to stay. The Battle of Great Bridge in 1775 built the reputation of the "shirtmen" for their expert marksmanship. The backcountry Patriots helped best the Scots Tories at Moore's Creek Bridge and the Loyalists at Ramsour's Mill. Five years into the American Revolution, the partisan, upcountry militiamen of South Carolina harassed the advancing British Legion and set the stage for the conflict in the Carolina piedmont that would destroy one-third of Cornwallis's army and turn the tide of the American War for Independence. All these skirmishes, battles, and campaigns during the six years before the fall of 1780 prepared these backcountry frontiersmen for the challenges they would face in their relentless pursuit of Major Patrick Ferguson--and before they were heroes at King's Mountain. Available at www.danielboonefootsteps.com [View Additional File Details]

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Randell Jones with The Forget-Me-Nots, “The Story - The Muster,” Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, accessed July 22, 2017, http:/​/​bythewaywebf.​webfactional.​com/​omvt/​items/​show/​43.​
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