Sunday, January 27, 2013

Honoring the King of the Mountain, Kings Mountain National Military Park

Although Kings Mountain National Military Park was established in 1931, honoring the legacy of Kings Mountain runs much deeper.

Located near the border between South and North Carolina, the battle of Kings Mountain was an important turning point during the southern campaign of the Revolutionary War. A group of backcountry militia men overran loyalist forces under the command of Major Patrick Ferguson providing a much needed boost to the morale of patriot forces throughout America. This Military Park honors the patriot victory of October 7, 1780.

Original 1815 Chronicle Marker next to a replica

The first memorial to the battle appeared on Kings Mountain in 1815 with the dedication of the chronicle marker, the second oldest battlefield monument in the United States. Over the years a series of monuments and markers emerged on the slopes of Kings Mountain honoring the events that took place there. In 1909 the U.S. Monument was dedicated, towering 83 feet near the top of Kings Mountain. Despite the historic events of the battle and efforts to remember the sacrifices of the fallen through monuments, it was not until 1931 that congress created the Kings Mountain National Military Park.

U.S. Monument 

Rather than introducing new commemorative monuments, the National Park Service manages the Military Park to reflect the landscape and forest as it looked during the time of the battle. These efforts rely on the innovative use of controlled fires to burn the forest’s understory in an effort to return the site back to its appearance during the 1780’s. The growth and management of non-native plant species is also tightly controlled, which allows native plants to flourish in the Park. The natural environment in the Military Park looks very different from the surrounding areas, and gives visitors a unique glimpse into our past.  

Forests of Kings Mountain
Battlefield hiking trail

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