Tom and I returned to Kings Mountain National Military Park to help with their 236th anniversary celebration. The Battle of Kings Mountain was fought on October 7, 1780, so the 236th anniversary celebration was held a week ago. When the weather cooperates, the anniversary celebration weekend draws over 12,000 people so they need all the help they can get.
Unfortunately this year the weather did not cooperate. We had a little thing called Hurricane Matthew sweeping the east coast. Here in the western part of South Carolina we got off easy – no flooding or high winds – but it did rain continuously on Friday and Saturday (more than 2 inches of rain). Friday was the actual anniversary celebration date and the festivities were to continue through the weekend.
Because of the rain the anniversary celebration was busy (about 5,000 guests over the three days) but many things had to be canceled. We carried on with the laying of wreaths and dedication of a new monument (more on that tomorrow). We set up extra tents. The people who showed up had a great time and they came prepared with umbrellas and rain gear. Tom gave a Battlefield tour in the pouring rain on Saturday. At the end he was soaking wet but everyone on his tour said it was great! We had to cancel a bluegrass concert and – most disappointing – the lantern tours of the battlefield.
Tom and I were really looking forward to giving the lantern tours. They happen after dark and are supposed to be the night after the battle. Re-enactors portray a doctor, a woman nursing wounded, a patriot guarding the loyalist prisoners, a soldier describing the battle, a boy looking for water, and Captain DePeyster who surrendered his troops after the commanding officer was killed. It sounded really cool and we had almost 500 people signed up to take the tours. When we canceled – the rain led to fewer re-enactors coming than we needed – we had to call everyone and let them know. I did half the calls and people were nice about it, although they were as disappointed as we were.
The 236th anniversary celebration ended up being a fun weekend that was less busy than it would have been without a hurricane. There are too many details to share in one post so I will be writing about it most of this week. Come back here tomorrow for more!