Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail

Audio Available:

OVERVIEW: Section 1 of 17: About this audio-described brochure

Section 1 of 17: About this audio-described brochure.
Welcome to the audio-described version of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail's official print brochure. Through text and audio descriptions of photos, illustrations, and maps, this version interprets the two-sided color brochure that visitors receive when visiting the Overmountain Victory Trail. The brochure explores the history of the trail, some of its highlights, and information for planning how to visit and explore the trail. This audio version lasts about 85 minutes which we have divided into seventeen sections, as a way to improve the listening experience. Sections 1 through 9 cover the front of the brochure and include information regarding the introduction to the brochure, an overview of the American Revolution and its move to the southern colonies, information about some of the leaders on both the Patriot and British sides and descriptions of some of their portraits, and ways and places to explore the trail today with descriptions of photographs of several locations. Sections 10 through 17 cover the back of the brochure which consists of a day-by-day account of the Patriots marching the trail, a map of where the trail stretches across South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia and what towns, cities, and parks the trail follows through.



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OVERVIEW: Section 2 of 17: Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail

OVERVIEW: Section 2 of 17: About the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.
The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail is a part of the National Park Service and is located in Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. It begins in two locations, a western head in Abingdon, Virginia, and an eastern head in Elkin, North Carolina. These trails merge in Morganton, North Carolina, and terminate at Kings Mountain National Military Park in Blacksburg, South Carolina. The Overmountain Victory Trail is actually two trails: the historic trail corridor and the 330-mile commemorative driving route which follows the historic trail as closely as possible. Portions of the trail are available for hiking, with the eventual goal of being able to hike the entire route. This trail, established in 1980, was the first National Historic Trail in the eastern half of the United States, and was created to help mark the two hundredth anniversary of the march to the battle of Kings Mountain in 1780. We invite you to explore the natural beauty that can be found along the trail; hear the rush of the rivers and trickle of creeks that the trail followed, feel the breeze and temperature drop as you climb the Blue Ridge Mountains, and engage with the sense of place knowing that you are traveling the same route the Patriot soldiers used on their daring mission hundreds of years before. For those seeking to learn more about the trail, stop at one of the parks with visitor centers and rangers along the way. To find out more about what resources might be available or to contact the parks directly, visit the "Accessibility and More Information" sections numbered 16 and 17 at the end of this audio-described brochure.



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OVERVIEW: Section 3 of 17: Front side of brochure

OVERVIEW: Section 3 of 17: Front side of brochure. The front side of this brochure is topped with a wide black National Park Service border and the title "Overmountain Victory." Below the border, the top one fourth of the page is a large painting of a gathering of Patriot soldiers about to embark on their journey down the trail, described in section 4. The below is divided into three sections of text providing information about the trail in the past and present. Section 4, "The American Revolution Moves South" tells about the American Revolution leading up to the march of the Patriots in the year 1780. Section 5 "Major Patrick Ferguson" describes a portrait of the British officer and the text accompanying it. Section 6 "Who Were the Backcountry and Piedmont Patriots?" gives a background of the culture and ethnicities of the communities that many Patriot soldiers came from. A row of photographs entitled "Sites Along the Trail" highlights six different locations along the trail, and is described in section 7. "Visiting the Trail Today" in section 8 makes suggestions of things to do when exploring different portions of the Overmountain Victory Trail. "One Trail with Many Partners" in section 9 lists the different parks that provide access to the trail as well as visitor centers and their contacts for more information.

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IMAGE and TEXT: Section 4 of 17: The American Revolution Moves South

 Section 4 of 17. The American Revolution Moves South.

DESCRIPTION:

The image is a wide sweeping oil painting done by Lloyd Branson in 1915, depicting the gathering of the "Overmountain Men" before beginning their march. It is a busy scene, with no apparent organization of the men. Young white men in their 20s and 30s are in a variety of colonial clothing, some with more formal three-sided cocked hats and tight knee-length stockings, others in long dirty overshirts and gray round fur caps on their heads. Most of the men are holding or carrying long rifles, their wooden stocks resting on the ground while small groups of men cluster together in discussion. All of their faces are happy and clean-shaven, some in slight smiles while others are fully grinning, denoting the confidence they feel in their undertaking and the almost jovial atmosphere of their gathering. Scattered through the group can be seen a few men wearing small leather pouches slung over their shoulders to carry bullets, along with cow horns on shoulder straps to carry gunpowder slung beside the small leather bags . Some of the men stand beside their horses, securing rolled up blankets full of supplies to the back of their leather saddles. Scattered among the men are women in long gowns with cloth caps of various colors covering their heads. These families are shown saying goodbye to their men as they prepare to mount their horses, with one hand on the saddle and a foot raised to the stirrups. Children are sprinkled throughout the scene as well, wearing miniature versions of their parent's clothing; one on the right is being directed by his mother towards where his mounted father is waving goodbye, while on the left a nursing mother converses with a fellow well-wishing wife. At the edges of each cluster of people are one or two scruffy brown and white dogs who have followed their owners to the scene. The eye is drawn to the middle of the painting where two men are mounted on tan horses with leather saddles. They are wearing three-sided cocked black hats with a faint glimmer of silver or gold edges, blue coats with tan edges around the collar and down the chest, tight tan pants extending to the knee, and knee length leather riding boots. Red sashes around their waist suggest these are men in leadership roles, and each one is reaching down to shake the hands of other men standing around them. In the background a group of men are walking away in two close lines, their rifles carried on their shoulders and rolled-up blankets tied upon their backs. One man of this group is running behind trying to catch up, while another small group of men wave to them and raise their hats to cheer them on. At the far left of the scene in the background can be glimpsed the edge of a river lapping against a thin rocky beach, while in the left foreground is the left flank of a large cow, covered in brown and white hair. The upper right corner of the painting has laid on it a quote, saying "The first link in a chain of evils that...  ended in the total loss of America," British General Sir Henry Clinton, Overall commander in North America. The bottom right corner contains the caption that follows.

CAPTION:

Mounted Patriots vs. Loyalists on Foot: As this Lloyd Branson painting ”Gathering of the Mountain Men at Sycamore Shoals” suggests, the overmountain patriots were mounted. Their number eventually totaled 2,000. Being on horses enabled them to overtake Major Ferguson and his loyalist forces once the latter knew they were in pursuit. For the final leg the patriots selected 900 of their best mounted and armed men. They surrounded the loyalists at Kings Mountain, defeating them decisively and frustrating Britain’s southern strategy.

CREDIT:

Tennessee State Museum Collection.


QUOTE: 

"The first link in a chain of evils that . . . ended in the total loss of America." — British General Sir Henry Clinton, Overall commander in North America.


RELATED TEXT:

By early 1780 the American Revolution was stalemated. Unable to subdue the northern colonies, the British turned south. Campaigning from Savannah, Georgia, taken in late 1778, the British took Charleston, South Carolina—and 5,000 patriots—in May 1780. Southern colonies now had no organized resistance to invasion. Soon most of Georgia and South Carolina were occupied, and in August the British again routed patriots at Camden, South Carolina. That meant North Carolina was ripe for invasion.

British strategy hinged on rallying Americans to fight for the Crown. War planners believed southern loyalists were many and would fight the patriots if the British gained control. At first the plan seemed to work. British Inspector of Militia for the Southern Provinces Major Patrick Ferguson was to recruit and train this hoped-for loyalist militia. At Ninety Six, a western South Carolina post, Ferguson raised and trained several regiments of loyalist militia to support British forces and to control the re-taken colonies.

General Lord Cornwallis, British commander in the South, started moving his army into North Carolina in September 1780. Ferguson and 1,000 loyalists were to advance along the western frontier to recruit more men, protect Cornwallis’s left flank, and deter Scotch-Irish frontier settlers from joining the patriots. Ferguson moved north and west, probing to Gillespie Gap, east of today’s Spruce Pine, North Carolina. He sent a verbal ultimatum to settlers west of the Blue Ridge: quit opposing British arms, or “he would march his army over the mountains, hang their leaders, and lay their country waste with fire and sword.” His demand was a strategic blunder. It forced Scotch-Irish frontiersmen—who largely stayed aloof from events to their east—into the patriot camp. Patriot militia leaders Colonels John Sevier and Isaac Shelby appealed to the patriot militia of southwest Virginia and northwest Virginia militiamen under Colonel William Campbell set out from Abingdon, Virginia. They reached Sycamore Shoals (in today’s Elizabethton, Tennessee) the next day, joining 400 men led by Sevier and Shelby, and 200 more led by Colonel Charles McDowell.

On September 26, this 1,000-strong mounted militia set out to the southeast. Their first goal: to join with North and South Carolina piedmont men at Quaker Meadows plantation near today’s Morganton, North Carolina. On September 30, 350 patriots from present-day North Carolina counties of Surry, Wilkes, and Caldwell met there with the over-the-mountains group. The patriot force would eventually total 2,000 men, most mounted, including militia from South Carolina and Georgia. En route the overmountain men had advanced through ridgelines climbing to nearly 5,000 feet. In Yellow Mountain Gap on Roan Mountain, September 27, snow was “shoe-mouth deep.” On a nearby mountain bald they fired a volley to celebrate crossing the Blue Ridge. But that day two men deserted to warn the British of their approach. On September 28 the patriots split their force so the loyalists—assumed nearby—could not elude them. They reunited September 30 west of Quaker Meadows, to hunt for Ferguson in vain for five days. Alerted to their presence and strength, Ferguson was retreating toward the main British army in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The breakthrough came October 5 as the patriot militia learned from South Carolina Colonel Edward Lacey of Ferguson’s retreat toward Charlotte. The next day 900 select mounted patriots—both overmountain men and piedmont men—set out in hot pursuit that would last all night. At Hannah’s Cowpens (South Carolina) they rested the horses, ate a light meal, and pondered their next move. That would be the decisive Battle of Kings Mountain, October 7, 1780. The British threat to North Carolina would be thwarted there, forcing a retreat of the main army to South Carolina.

Private citizens supplied only by themselves had marched 330 miles—mostly through bad weather, over terrain one must experience to appreciate—to attack and defeat Major Ferguson’s loyalists. The victory allowed a new patriot army to form under General Nathaniel Greene and to resist British moves in 1781. The revolution was back on track.

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IMAGES and TEXT: Section 5 of 17: Maj. Patrick Ferguson

IMAGES and TEXT: Section 5 of 17: Maj. Patrick Ferguson.

Section 5 of 17. Images of Major Ferguson and a Patriot militiaman.

IMAGE 1 of 2: Maj. Patrick Ferguson

DESCRIPTION: On the far right side of the page is a thin column of faded red. At the top of the column in fancy script is the title "Major Patrick Ferguson" and underneath a photograph of a small oval painted portrait, possibly from a locket on a necklace, with the thin gold edge of the frame barely visible. The portrait has a black background on the left, fading to light grey as you move right. The figure is shown from the chest up, a young white man turned to his left, but head turned slightly right to face the viewer. He is wearing a bright red coat, the uniform of a British officer during the mid-18th century. He has a black cloth tied closely around his throat, with black edges running down the front of his red coat, which is opened just enough to show the bright white ruffles of his shirt beneath. Crossing his chest are white straps running over each shoulder. As one of these straps reaches his right shoulder, it runs underneath a red strap of his coat decorated with gold edging. Close against his chest can be seen part of the handle of a sword. The handle is shiny polished brass, with a thin piece of metal curving around from the bottom of the handle to the top near where the blade connects. This curved piece of metal will protect the users hands when grasping the sword handle. His face is clean shaven, and light brown reddish hair cut short in the front and sides but grown long and pulled together running down the back of his neck. He has a prominent nose turning downwards towards the tip, dark calm eyes, and a slight smile forming at the corner of his mouth.


CAPTION:

Ferguson hailed from the Scottish highlands gentry. In Gaelic his name “Feargachus” means “bold.” He was cool and tenacious under fire. At Kings Mountain he was the only British soldier in a battle that was essentially civil war between patriot militia and his combined loyalist regulars and militia.

CREDIT:

Private collection, Scotland.


IMAGE 2 of 2: Patriot on horseback

DESCRIPTION: In the middle of the page dividing two bodies of text is a National Park Service painting of a Patriot militiaman, a white man around his late 30s. He is mounted on a brown horse, its mane and tail blowing as it trots into the wind. The man is bundled in clothing against the cold, his long off-white shirt visible beneath a large red blanket he has wrapped around himself. His feet in the stirrups are wrapped in layers of rags, and a grey handkerchief is wrapped around his head and ragged brimmed hat, bending his hat brim down on the sides and tying underneath his chin. His face shows signs of a beard starting to grow on his chin, and his nose and cheeks are turning red from the cold. His eyes are focused, brow furroughed and eyes squinted in concentration. Behind his saddle is a rolled up blue blanket and a leather bag, and slung across his back is his rifle, the long barrel protruding down to his right from underneath his red blanket cloak. The other end of his rifle, the wooden stock with a metal panel, sticks up beside the left side of his head. 

CAPTION:

Patriot crossing the mountains, pursuing Major Ferguson’s Loyalist Army.

CREDIT:

NPS / Louis S. Glanzman.

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MAP, IMAGES and TEXT: Section 6 of 17 Who Were the Backcountry and Piedmont Patriots?

MAP, IMAGES and TEXT: Section 6 of 17: Who Were the Backcountry and Piedmont Patriots?

OVERVIEW: There is a map and three portraits.

MAP: Map of the Southeast

DESCRIPTION: The image is a map of the English colonies along the Atlantic coast showing where the people from North Britain emigrated to. The map is focused on the states that border the Atlantic Ocean, with southern New York state on its northern border, southern Georgia its southern border, the Atlantic Ocean its eastern border, and extending as far west as to just show the eastern tips of Tennessee, Kentucky and half of Ohio. Each state is labeled with its name, and splotches of color to show where immigrants from North Britain tended to settle during the 18th century. From the top-down, there is a large spot of color over central and southwestern Pennsylvania, and a small spot in northwestern New Jersey. From Pennsylvania, a swatch of color extends southwest through parts of Maryland and West Virginia along Virginia's western border into its south-central area and into North Carolina. Two large color spots are in central North Carolina, with a small spot near the eastern coast. South Carolina's spots begin at the North Carolina border and extend over much of the state, bleeding over the southwestern border into Georgia. 

Description here

CAPTION:

Most immigrants from North Britain’s borderlands in the 1700s settled southern highlands areas, but some settled piedmont or low-country areas.

CREDIT:

Map at left based on a map by Andrew Mudryk in Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America, by David Hackett Fischer, New York: Oxford University Press, 1989, Page 637.


IMAGE 1 of 3: Isaac Shelby

DESCRIPTION: This image is the first in a series of three oval painted portraits. The first portrait is of Isaac Shelby from his later life after the American Revolution. It is a dark, almost black background. Shelby is shown from his chest up, wearing a black coat in the style of the early 19th century, with a high coat collar coming up his neck almost to his ears, and the body of the coat opened slightly to reveal his crisp white shirt and white neckerchief tied around his throat. The faint yellow edge of his vest can be seen following the edge of his opened coat. He is an older white man, with short white hair, clean shaven face, and a reddish complexion. A slight double chin is visible above his white tied neckerchief. He is turned to his right, but looking directly at the viewer with a serious expression, his left eyebrow raised either in curiosity or judgement.

CAPTION:

Isaac Shelby refused to stop and rest on October 6 after 36 hours of travel. He vowed to follow Ferguson into Lord Cornwallis’s lines if necessary. He later became Kentucky’s first governor.

CREDIT:

Kentucky Historical Society.


IMAGE 2 of 3: William Campbell

DESCRIPTION: This image is the second in a series of three oval painted portraits. This middle painting is of William Campbell how he would have appeared during the American Revolution. He is a white man in his late thirties, shown from the chest up, with a clean shaven face, sharp facial features, and long reddish brown hair pulled behind him and tied with a black string. On his head he wears a black hat with the three sides folded up into the "cocked" or "tricorn" style, a white edge running along the brim. His white shirt collar is visible above a piece of black cloth tied around his throat, and below the black cloth can be seen white ruffles from his shirt. Instead of a coat he is wearing an off-white "hunting shirt," a loose overshirt with a fringed cape that drapes over the shoulders. The front of the hunting shirt shows the fringed edge of the cape hanging down. Behind him can be seen the top of a wooded treeline in the distance, with a pale blue sky above.


CAPTION:

William Campbell, a Virginian, led the patriot army, chosen to command by his fellow colonels. He died in 1781, just before the battle of Yorktown.

CREDIT:

Robert Wilson.


IMAGE 3 of 3: John Sevier

DESCRIPTION: This image is the third in a series of three oval painted portraits. This last painting is of John Sevier at the end of the American Revolution. He is a middle-aged white man shown from the chest up, with a background that fades from dark in the left to light as you move right. He is wearing the uniform of an American general from the Revolution, a dark blue wool coat with light tan collar and edges running down the front, with large brass buttons at the corner of the collar and along the tan edges down his chest. Across the top of his shoulders are strips of gold decoration with two silver stars visible denoting his rank. As his coat is slightly open, the edges of a light tan vest can be seen with small brass buttons running along its edge, and a white ruffle from his shirt protruding out near his neck. Tied tightly around his throat is a white cloth. His face is clean shaven, with a few wrinkles along his forehead and face showing he is starting to age. He has a happy friendly expression, with rosy cheeks and a slight smile. His hair is pulled behind him, and covered in white-grey powder.

CAPTION:

John Sevier, widely known west of the Appalachian mountains, would be Tennessee’s first governor. This march and the ensuing battle built political fortunes.

CREDIT:

Tennessee State Museum, Tennessee Historical Society Collection. 


RELATED TEXT:

American patriot Patrick Henry exclaimed, “Give me liberty or give me death.” His mother called the American Revolution just more “lowland troubles.” She did not mean North America’s lowlands but the borderlands comprising the north of Ireland, the Scottish lowlands, and England’s northern counties. Most frontier people in the South were immigrants from those borderlands—which helps explain their strong reaction to Major Ferguson’s intimidating challenge.

Patrick Henry descended from the same stock as the overmountain folk. They had settled much of colonial America’s backcountry in serial mass migrations—250,000 people—in the 1700s. Two-thirds came between 1765 and 1775. In fighting Ferguson’s loyalists, they replayed five generations of similar conflict in North Britain, where so-called “borderers” had reacted violently  to generations of oppression—with little love lost on the Crown or on state-sponsored religion. The overmountain folk had largely remained aloof from the revolution—until Ferguson issued his ultimatum.

Called ”backwater men” here, overmountain folk made up 90 percent of the southern highlands Euro-Americans, dominating the culture even more than that figure suggests. They possessed fierce pride, were stoutly self-contained, and practiced a militantly non-hierarchical form of Presbyterianism. To them, everyone was a foreigner except neighbors and kin—as defined over generations of conflict in their North Britain homelands.

Arriving in America’s backcountry, they fought some of the most fierce Indian wars against some of the strongest, most war-like Indian groups. Even with the Indians subdued, the southern highlands retained their border character as a contested territory lacking established government or rule of law. The overmountain people’s heritage fit them to this anarchic environment. It suited their extended family system, warrior ethic, small-farm economy, and informal and self-enforced style of retributive justice. Writing of this American backcountry, historian David Hackett Fischer has observed that “The ethos of the North British borders came to dominate this ‘dark and bloody ground,’ partly by force of numbers, but mainly because it was a means of survival in a raw and dangerous world.”

Major Ferguson’s great mistake—it proved fatal for him and disastrous to British efforts to staunch the American Revolution—was to goad this borderlands heritage of the overmountain and piedmont settlers into championing the patriot cause so decisively.

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IMAGES: Section 7 of 17: Sites Along the Trail

IMAGES: Section 7 of 17: Sites Along the Trail.
A series of 6 color photographs show different portions of the Overmountain Victory Trail. 

IMAGE 1 of 6: Sycamore Shoals

DESCRIPTION: A color photograph. A wide gravel path divides the image up the middle as it follows the trail through a heavily forested area, the paths edges filled with yellow and brown fallen leaves. The trees leaves are bright green, with a few branches starting to show the color change of autumn. Most of the scene is heavily shaded by the large trees on either side of the trail, but a few areas of sunlight peak through and cast shadows upon the gravel. Two people, a man and woman, are walking the trail beside each other towards the viewer, wearing recreations of 18th century clothing. The man on the right is wearing a white long-sleeved shirt, a dark colored vest, and dark pants that cover his legs until just below his knees, showing his tight stockings that cover his lower legs. He is using a walking stick in his right hand. The woman on the left is wearing a bright white cloth cap covering her hair, and the brightness of her white apron contrasts the faded darker colors of her jacket and skirt she is wearing beneath the apron. 

CAPTION:

Sycamore Shoals

CREDIT:

NPS.


IMAGE 2 of 6: Cowpens

DESCRIPTION: This is a color photograph. A tan road of dirt and gravel makes a curve away from the viewer as it moves through a sunny grassy field to the left. A scattering of trees cast their shadows to their left across the field and road. They are a mixture of tall pine trees with green healthy needles, and deciduous trees who have yet to sprout new leaves in the spring. There is a noticeable lack of brush and smaller trees, with only the large trees and bright green grass filling the image.

Description here

CAPTION:

Cowpens.

CREDIT:

NPS.


IMAGE 3 of 6: Elkin Trail

DESCRIPTION: This color photograph is a close up of one of the trail markers placed along hiking portions of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail. Set in a lush grassy area, the marker is a square brown metal post topped with a slanted square metal panel. On the panel is blazed the trail's emblem: it is a white triangle with its sides bowed out. Within the border of the triangle is the text "Overmountain Victory" around the top, and "National Historic Trail" along the bottom. Within the triangle is a silhouette of a man carrying a long rifle down by his side, holding it with both hands, as if preparing to move into a battle. He is wearing a wide brimmed hat. The thin outline of a mountain skyline jaggedly works its way across the background behind him, and the year "1780" is printed to the right of him. A small portion of a dirt trail can be seen behind the trail marker.

CAPTION:

Elkin Trail.

CREDIT:

NPS.


IMAGE 4 of 6: Quaker Meadows

DESCRIPTION: The focus of this color photograph is a large old brick house. The faded bricks are accented by a wooden porch with a handrail built onto the front of the house painted a crisp white. There are two front doors evenly spaced across the front of the house, both flanked by a window to the outside edge, and all painted the same crisp white as the porch. The second floor of the home has four windows evenly spaced across, with small-paned windows, the frames all painted the same crisp white as the first floor wooden features. Obscuring part of the house is a towering large tree growing in the front yard, its lower limbs blocking half of the house's second floor and the roof, and the upper portion of the tree extending out of frame. On the side of the house is visible the attached large brick chimney, obscured by the branches of the same large tree as it near the edge of the roof. Back to the right side of the house is part of an additional outbuilding extending out of the image. It is made of the same bricks as the main house, and has the same white paint on a shuttered window and small half-door.

CAPTION:

Quaker Meadows.

CREDIT:

NPS.


IMAGE 5 of 6: Abingdon Muster Grounds

DESCRIPTION: This image is a color photograph of a grassy meadow, bright green in the sunlight. Bisecting the field from left to right is a small stream, with taller rough grass growing along its banks. The far side of the pasture is bordered by a tall treeline, casting shadows into the bright open space. In the foreground of the picture and running around the left side of the pasture is a fence made of stacked rails, zig-zagging its way along the field's edge and dividing it from a gravel driving path. Within the fence, located in the pasture, is a large boulder sitting by itself. On the far left side of the photo can be seen some parts of shadowy structures, their roof eaves just edging into view, and a large tree growing along the zig-zagging fence.

CAPTION:

Abingdon Muster Grounds.

CREDIT:

NPS.


IMAGE 6 of 6: OVTA Annual March at Sycamore Shoals

DESCRIPTION: This color photograph is focused on twelve people standing in a line knee-deep in a river, which fills two thirds of the image. The people are wearing 18th-century style clothing, with long puffy sleeves and wide brimmed hats, with cloth and leather bags hanging from their shoulders. They are carrying long rifles, aiming together up into the air to the left, with clouds of white smoke pouring out of the barrels showing they have just fired. The various colors of their clothing and the white clouds of smoke from their rifles is reflected in the rippling water around them. The far river bank behind them is wooded with tall trees, with leaves starting to turn colors in the autumn. 

CAPTION:

O V T A Annual March at Sycamore Shoals.

CREDIT:

NPS.

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TEXT: Section 8 of 17: Visiting the trail today

TEXT: Section 8 of 17: Visiting the trail today.

The 330-mile commemorative motor route uses public highways that may be closed locally for repair or weather conditions. The eventual goal: a 330-mile non-motorized route for hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, etcetera. Motor route segments are in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

With other area citizens, descendants of the patriots and loyalists formed the Overmountain Victory Trail Association (O V T A) to advocate designating a national historic trail, and Congress did so in 1980. Each year the association holds a reenactment march over a two-week period. For information contact O V T A at www.o v t a.org.

The reenactment is open to everyone. It proceeds both on foot and in cars, so those not wishing to walk may take part. The Trail is still being developed, but you may access some of the route. Trail sections become official via agreements with landowners. Trail logo signs identify all certified segments. Respect landowners’ rights; stay on the Trail.

Section 8.1 explains more detail about what activities are available along the trail. Section 8.2 reminds visitors about the safety risks and precautions while exploring the trail. Section 8.3 tells where to find more information about the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail. Section 8.4 describes the logo of the Overmountain Victory Trail, located on all manner of trail signs and brochures.

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TEXT: Section 8.1 of 17: Activities

TEXT: Section 8.1 of 17: Activities.

Along the Trail, federal, state, and local parks and forests offer museums, historical interpretive talks, commemorations, historic house tours, and a summer historical drama—at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area—as well as birding, boating, fishing, hiking, nature walks, swimming, rafting, and winter sports. Service animals are welcome.

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TEXT: Section 8.2 of 17: Safety

TEXT: Section 8.2 of 17: Safety.

Drive carefully—and never stop on road surfaces to look at scenery, wildlife, or a historic site. Pull off the road completely.

• Exploring on foot near roads, be alert to and cautious about traffic.

• Keep track of young children at all times.

• Learn how to spot poison oak, poison ivy, and other plants to avoid.

• Beware of snakes (including poisonous snakes) but don’t harm them. Do not place your hands or feet where you can’t see.

• Watch for spiders, bees, wasps, and hornets, and check yourself for ticks and chiggers in summer.

• Firearms regulations conform to state laws; see the park website for Park Management, Laws and Policies.

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IMAGE: Section 8.4 of 17: Overmountain Victory logo

IMAGE: Section 8.4 of 17: Overmountain Victory Trail logo.

DESCRIPTION:

This image is located on the bottom of the front page of the brochure, beside the section about how to get more information about the trail. It is shaped like a triangle but with sides that are bowed outwards. It has a thick white border, within which reads "OVERMOUNTAIN VICTORY" up the left side and down the right, and the bottom reads "NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL." Within the border is a silhouette of a man holding a long rifle with both hands, down by his waist at the ready. The faint shape of a bag can be seen hanging on his side, and the brim of his hat extends out from the sides of his head. Behind him in the background is the jagged outline of a mountainous skyline. Beside the man is the number "1780."

CREDIT:

NPS.

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TEXT: Section 8.3 of 17: More Information

TEXT: Section 8.3 of 17: More Information.

Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, 2 6 3 5 Park Road, Blacksburg, South Carolina 2 9  7 0 2. Phone number 864-936-3477. Website www.n p s.g o v / o v v i.

Visit www.n p s.g o v / n t s for information about the National Trails System. This Trail is an affiliated area of the National Park System. Please visit www.n p s.g o v to learn more about national parks and National Park Service programs in America's communities. 

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TEXT: Section 9 of 17: One Trail with Many Partners

TEXT: Section 9 of 17: One Trail with Many Partners.

Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail is part of the National Trails System, which is administered by the National Park Service. The trail is administered in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina; local governments; and historical societies and citizen groups. Trail Partners offering special events and interpretive programs and activities are listed here.


Abingdon Muster Grounds

1780 Muster Place

Abingdon, V A 2 4 2 1 0

276-525-1050

www.abingdonmustergrounds.com


Blue Ridge Parkway

1 9 9 Hemphill Knob

Asheville, NC 2 8 8 0 3

828-298-0398 for a recording

828-271-4779 for headquarters

www.n p s.g o v/ b l r i


Museum of North Carolina Minerals

Blue Ridge Parkway

Milepost 331

828-765-2761

www.byways.org/explore/byways/2280/places/28594


Cowpens National Battlefield

P.O. Box 3 0 8

Chesnee, SC 2 9 3 2 3

864-461-2828

www.n p s.g o v/c o w p


Fort Defiance

P.O. Box 686

Lenoir, NC 2 8 6 4 5

828-754-7095

www.fortdefiancenc.org


Historic Burke Foundation (Quaker Meadows)

P.O. Box 9 1 5

102 East Union Street

Morganton, NC 2 8 6 8 0

828-437-4104

www.historicburke.org


Kings Mountain National Military Park

2 6 2 5 Park Road

Blacksburg, SC 2 9 7 0 2

864-936-7921

www.n p s.g o v/k i m o


Kings Mountain State Park

1277 Park Road

Blacksburg, SC 2 9 7 0 2

803-222-3209

www.southcarolinaparks.com/park-finder/state-park/945.aspx


Lake James State Park

P.O. Box 340

Nebo, NC  2 8 7 6 1

828-652-5047

h t t p://i l s.u n c.e d u/parkproject/visit/l a j a /m a i n.p h p


Old Wilkes, Inc.

100 East Main Street

Wilkesboro, NC 2 8 6 9 7

336-667-3171

www.wilkesheritagemuseum.com


Pleasant Gardens (Joseph McDowell House)

Highway 70 West

Marion, NC 2 8 7 5 2

www.mcdowellnc.org


Rocky Mount State Historic Site and Museum

P.O. Box 160

Piney Flats, TN 3 7 6 8 6

423-538-7396

www.rockymountmuseum.com


Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area

1651 West Elk Avenue

Elizabethton, TN 3 7 6 4 3

423-543-5808

h  t t p ://state.tn.u s/environment/parks/SycamoreShoals


W. Scott Kerr Dam and Reservoir

499 Reservoir Road

Wilkesboro, NC 2 8 6 9 7

336-921-3390

www.s a w.u s a c e.a r m y.m i l/w i s c o t t/i n d e x.h t m

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OVERVIEW: Section 10 of 17: Back side of brochure

Sections 10 through 15 describe and narrate the back side of this brochure. It is entirely a map of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, explained in detail in sections 11 through 14. The brochure has a black border across the top with the title "Exploring the Trail Today." To the right side is listed "Days of the March, 1780" with a day-by-day account of where the Patriot soldiers were from September 24th until October 14th, broken down by day in section 15. The map is composed of a light brown line showing the historic route taken by the Patriots, and a dark brown line showing the modern driving roads that follow the trail. There is a legend in the bottom left corner, described in section 11. 

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MAP: Section 11 of 17: Exploring the Trail Today

 MAP: Section 11 of 17: Exploring the Trail Today.

DESCRIPTION: This is a map of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail. Its northern border is at the top of the page, showing part of southwestern Virginia and the border where Tennessee and North Carolina come together and meet Virginia. The western border of the map is Johnson City, Tennessee. The southern border is  Gaffney, South Carolina. The eastern border is Charlotte, North Carolina in the south, Statesville, North Carolina in the middle, and Jonesville, North Carolina two-thirds up the side.

This is an overview of the map. To hear more about the details of the western branch from Abingdon, Virginia to Morganton, North Carolina, listen to Section 12 which is divided into 7 parts. This portion of the trail passes through many protected forest areas, crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Appalachian Trail. To hear more about the eastern branch from Elkin, North Carolina to Morganton, North Carolina, listen to Section 13 which is divided into 4 parts. This section follows the Yadkin and Catawba Rivers. To hear more about the united trail from Morganton, North Carolina to Kings Mountain, South Carolina, listen to Section 14 which is divided into 6 sections.

The map shows the route of the trail. It is composed of two branches, one from the northeast at Elkin, North Carolina and another from the northwest at Abingdon, Virginia. The two branches meet in the center of the map at Morganton, North Carolina. The trail proceeds southwest through the map, before swinging tightly to the east at Alexander's Ford of the Green River in southern North Carolina near the South Carolina border, and proceeding southeast to Kings Mountain National Military Park. The map also shows modern roads and cities, identifying parks and public lands and what amenities are available. Two different color lines follow the trail, one lighter showing what the historic route is believed to be, and one darker showing what modern roads most closely follow the historic trail. Portions of the lighter trail have dashed sections, designating what parts are available for hiking. Names and dates along the trail tell the names of the campsites used by the Patriot soldiers, and the date they made camp there during their march. 

To hear more about the interstates and modern cities shown on the map, listen to section 11.1.

A legend in the bottom left corner of the map shows the scale to be 10 kilometers per 1 inch, or 10 miles for every 1 and 3 quarters inches. North is oriented to the top of the page. It explains the three different color lines on the map as was described: light brown for "Routes of the Patriot Militia," dark brown as "Commemorative Motor Route," dashed black lines for "Existing segments of Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail. It provides 6 symbols to help identify what amenities and facilities are available at different portions along the trail. Each one is a black square with a white symbol within it. A circle with a question mark inside it stands for "Information." A silhouette of the end of a picnic table stands for "Picnic area." A male and female silhouette with a vertical line between them stands for "Restrooms." A triangular silhouette of a camping tent stands for "Campground." The silhouettes of a person with a hiking stick in their hand and a backpack on their back stands for "Trailhead." A silhouette of the hiker figure standing in front of an information sign with a dotted line wrapping around the frame stands for "Self-guiding trail."


CREDIT:

NPS.

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OVERVIEW: Section 12 of 17: The Western Branch of the Trail: Abingdon to Morganton

OVERVIEW: Section 12 of 17: The Western Branch of the Trail, from Abingdon to Morganton.

This section describes 7 parts of the Overmountain Victory Trail that form the western branch of the trail, beginning in Abingdon, Virginia and ending in Morganton, North Carolina. This portion of the trail begins in southwestern Virginia, crosses through part of northeastern Tennessee, Cherokee National Forest, and Pisgah National Forest. It crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail. The 7 following parts will provide more detail about each portion of the trail, including where it travels, what it passes by and through, and what amenities are available at marked sites of interest. The parts are divided by what day the trail was historically marched by the Patriot soldiers in 1780.

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MAP: Section 12.1: Abingdon to Holston River, September 24th, 1780

MAP: Section 12.1: Abingdon to Holston River, September 24th, 1780. This portion of the western trail begins in Abingdon, Virginia and ends along the South Holston River in Tennessee. Abingdon is located in southwestern Virginia, just north of the Tennessee border. The North Fork Holston River runs north of the city from the northeast to the southwest, and the Middle Fork Holston River runs parallel to it south of the city. A text box pointing to city reads "Virginia Patriot Militia Depart, September 24, 1780." Below the box reads "Muster Ground," an interpretive center at the start of the trail, and symbols indicating the presence of an Information area, restrooms, picnic facilities, and hiking trails. As the historic route exits the city to the south, three dotted hikeable portions are shown labeled "Colonial Road," "Town of Abingdon Trail," and "Wolf Creek Trail." The driving route exits the city on highway 58, and heads southwest towards the Tennessee border where it turns onto highway 75. As the driving route continues shadowing the historic route into Tennessee, it uses highway 44 along the north shore of South Holston Lake, passing a site of interest labeled as "Pemberton Oak." The driving route turns northwest into Bristol, Tennessee on highway 421, before turning back southwest on highway 11E 19. At this portion of the trail, the historic route is following the South Holston River southwest along the north bank and includes a note reading, "Encampment September 24, 1780." 

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MAP: Section 12.2: Holston River to Sycamore Shoals, September 25th, 1780

MAP: Section 12.2: Holston River to Sycamore Shoals, September 25th, 1780. From the encampment on the night of September 24th along the South Holston River, the historic route continues to the southwest crossing the South Holston River at Choates Ford. Located here is a dotted section marking the hikeable "Choates Ford Trail" along the eastern edge of Bluff City, Tennessee, including symbols for picnic facilities and a self-guiding trail. The driving route continues southwest on highway 11E 19 out of Bristol, Tennessee, crossing the South Holston River into Bluff City, Tennessee, where it turns onto highway 19E towards Elizabethton, Tennessee. Located just west of the trail is marked an area of interest named Rocky Mount Historic Site with symbols for Information, restrooms, and picnic facilities. This site of interest is located near Piney Flats, Tennessee along highway 11E 19. Once the trail reaches Elizabethton, Tennessee, the historic route shows dotted lines for a hiking portion on the "Linear Park Trail", moving southwest towards another hikeable portion of trail, the "River Trail" in Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area. A group of text reads "Sycamore Shoals, Encampment September 25th, 1780. Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area, River Trail," with symbols for a Trailhead, Information center, restrooms, picnic facilities, and a self-guiding trail. Two additional sites of interest marked in Elizabethton, Tennessee are Carter Mansion in the eastern part of the city, and Fort Watauga Monument in the western part. 

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MAP: Section 12.3: Sycamore Shoals to Shelving Rock, September 26th, 1780

MAP: Section 12.3 Sycamore Shoals to Shelving Rock, September 26th, 1780. This portion of the western trail resumes from Elizabethton, Tennessee where it crosses the Watauga River at Sycamore Shoals and moves southeast. The driving route follows highway 362 to the south, closely following the historic route. As the trail enters Cherokee National Forest, an area of interest is marked to the west of the road titled "Gap Creek Monument." The trail turns hard left to the east onto highway 361, squiggling through the mountains onto highway 19E, passing Doe River Gorge and running parallel to the Appalachian Trail. The historic route shows a hikeable portion at "Roan Mountain Community Park Trail" and heads towards the next historic encampment spot labeled "Shelving Rock, Encampment, September 26, 1780, Roan Mountain State Park," showing symbols for an information center, restrooms, picnic facilities, campgrounds, and a self-guiding trail. The driving route follows highway 19E to the southeast, away from the southerly heading historic route, crossing the Appalachian Trail and into North Carolina and the town of Elk Park, North Carolina.
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MAP: Section 12.4: Shelving Rock to Roaring Creek, September 27th, 1780

MAP: Section 12.4: Shelving Rock to Roaring Creek, September 27th, 1780.

This portion of the western trail resumes with the historic route at Shelving Rock near Roan Mountain State Park in Tennessee, and the driving route in Elk Park, North Carolina. From Shelving Rock, the historic trail continues south through Cherokee National Forest towards the Tennessee and North Carolina state border. A dotted line shows a hikeable portion of the trail labeled "Birchfield Trail" along the western side of the Hampton Creek Cove State Natural Area. As this trail reaches the North Carolina state border, it intersects a dotted green line labeled Appalachian National Scenic Trail. This intersection is labeled "Yellow Mountain Gap," and the trail labeled "Yellow Mountain Trail." A site of interest is marked to the west along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, labeled "Roan High Knob, 6285 feet, 1916 meters." The historic route continues south to a spot labeled "Roaring Creek, Encampment, September 27, 1780." The driving route, which by this point has already entered North Carolina, resumes in Elk Park, North Carolina on highway 19 E. The highway turns south southwest and continues through Pisgah National Forest.

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MAP: Section 12.5: Roaring Creek to Cathey's Plantation, September 28th, 1780

MAP: Section 12.5: Roaring Creek to Cathey's Plantation, September 28th, 1780.

This portion of the western trail resumes with the historic route at Roaring Creek in Pisgah National Forest, after just having crossed the state border into North Carolina from Tennessee. The historic route continues southeast to a spot labeled "Bright's Trace," where it meets the driving route which is following highway 19 E southwest from Elk Park, North Carolina. The two trails continue south along the border of Pisgah National Forest following a creek and highway 19 E.. Once the trails exit Pisgah National Forest, they turn southwest following the creek to Spruce Pine, North Carolina. On the south side of the city of Spruce Pine is labeled "Cathey's Plantation at Grassy Creek, Encampment, September 28th, 1780."

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MAP: Section 12.6: Cathey's Plantation to North Cove and Turkey Cove, September 29th, 1780

MAP: Section 12.6: Cathey's Plantation to North Cove and Turkey Cove, September 29th, 1780.
This portion of the Overmountain Victory Trail resumes at Spruce Pine, North Carolina and the historic campsite of Cathey's Plantation at Grassy Creek. At this point the historic route splits into two different trails, one southern and one northern. The southern historic trail moves south out of Cathey's Plantation, passing the Museum of North Carolina Minerals and NPS Visitor Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Symbols indicate a information center and self-guiding trail are located here, with the title "Orchard Trail." The intersection of the Overmountain Victory Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway is labeled "Gillespie Gap." The historic route bows to the west but resumes its journey south into Pisgah National Forest, winding around mountains southeast to a spot labeled "Turkey Cove, Encampment, September 29, 1780." The driving route closely follows this southern historic trail south from Spruce Pine, North Carolina on highway 226, also passing the Museum of North Carolina Minerals and crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway. The northern historic trail moves east out of Cathey's Plantation, back-tracking for a short distance before turning southeast. The historic trail intersects the Blue Ridge Parkway at Hefner Gap, where a dotted line marks "Rose Creek Trail" as being available for hiking. The northern historic route continues south into Pisgah National Forest, coming to a spot labeled "North Cove, Encampment, September 29th, 1780," just on the south side of highway 221.

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MAP: Section 12.7: North Cove and Turkey Cove to Morganton, September 30th, 1780

MAP: Section 12.7: North Cove and Turkey Cove to Morganton, September 30th, 1780.

This portion of the western route  of the Overmountain Victory Trail resumes with the historic route split into two trails, a southern trail camped at Turkey Cove, and a northern trail camped at North Cove. The driving route is attempting to follow the southern historic trail, but takes some wider curves and detours around rough mountains. The southern trail, from its camp at Turkey Cove, follows a creek south through Pisgah National Forest for a few miles before turning east towards Lake James and Lake James State Park. Lake James State Park shows symbols for available information centers, restrooms, picnic areas, campgrounds, and self-guiding trails. As the trail approaches the lake, a dotted line denotes a hikeable portion of the trail labeled "Black Bear Creek Trail." The southern historic route is shown being beneath where Lake James is now, crossing through Lake James State Park following the north shore of the Catawba River to the east. The northern historic trail from its camp at North Cove leads east before a sharp turn south, located just to the west of Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. Two points of interest within the Wilderness Area are labeled "Linville Mountain, 3215 feet, 980 meters," and Linville Gorge. A Visitor Center for Linville Falls is located along the Blue Ridge Parkway to the north of where the Overmountain Victory Trail intersects. The northern historic route here is available for hiking, marked with a black dotted line, and labeled "Trail #308 and Road #1238." The northern historic trail continues south towards Lake James and Lake James State Park. As the trail reaches the lake, two different portions of hikeable trails are labeled. The first is labeled "1780 Trail," and the second "Paddy's Creek Trail," within Lake James State Park. The northern historic route crosses underneath Lake James and reunites with the southern historic route on the north shore of the Catawba River. The historic route continues following the river to the east into Morganton, North Carolina, leading to the junction with the eastern trail at a site labeled "Quaker Meadows McDowell House, Encampment, September 30th, 1780." Here are symbols for an information center and restrooms. The driving route resumes after just having crossed the southern historic route on highway 226. This highway merges with highway 221, and they together continue south through Pisgah National Forest. Upon leaving the Forest, the driving route passes a site of interest labeled "Joseph McDowell House, summer only," with symbols for an information center, restrooms, and a self-guiding trail. The driving trail crosses the Catawba River and continues south into Marion, North Carolina. Noted here is the location of the "McDowell County Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center" on the southwest side of the city. In Marion, North Carolina, the driving route turns east onto highway 70, following the Catawba River and heading to Lake James and Lake James State Park. The driving trail turns north onto highway 126, crossing the southern historic route, north back across the lake and into Pisgah Nationa Forest, crossing the northern historic route, squiggling around the north shore of Lake James, and resuming its eastward move into Morganton, North Carolina, where it crosses the historic route again and intersects with the eastern driving trail on highway 64.

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OVERVIEW: Section 13 of 17: The Eastern Branch of the Trail: Elkin to Morganton

OVERVIEW: Section 13 of 17: The Eastern Branch of the Trail: Elkin to Morganton.

This section describes 4 parts of the Overmountain Victory Trail that form the eastern branch of the trail, beginning in Elkin, North Carolina and ending in Morganton, North Carolina. This portion of the trail begins in north central North Carolina, follows the Yadkin River to Lenoir, North Carolina, and crosses the Catawba River into Morganton, North Carolina. It skirts along the edge of Pisgah National Forest, and features hikeable greenways and historic stops.The 4 following parts will provide more detail about each portion of the trail, including where it travels, what it passes by and through, and what amenities are available at marked sites of interest. The parts are divided by what day the trail was historically marched by the Patriot soldiers in 1780.

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MAP: Section 13.1: Elkin to Wilkesboro, September 27th, 1780

MAP: Section 13.1: Elkin to Wilkesboro, September 27th, 1780.

The eastern branch of the Overmountain Victory Trail begins in Elkin, North Carolina. A symbol in the town shows that a trailhead is located here. A box of text pointing to the town reads "Surry County Patriot Militia Depart, September 27th, 1780." A dotted black line shows that part of the historic route is hikeable here. The historic route exits the city to the southwest, following the north shore of the Yadkin River. As the trail follows the river into the city of North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, another dotted hikeable portion is marked. This section is labeled "Smoot Park Trail." The historic route continues into Wilkesboro, North Carolina, where it reaches a point labeled "Tory Oak, Encampment, September 27th, 1780, Yadkin River Greenway, Wilkes County." The driving route leaves Elkin, North Carolina to the southwest, closely following the historic route along highway 268. It takes a few zigs and zags as it enters Wilkesboro, North Carolina. A site of interest is marked "Wilkes Heritage Museum," with symbols for an information center, a self-guiding trail, and a trailhead. 

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MAP: Section 13.2: Wilkesboro along Yadkin River, September 28th, 1780

MAP: Section 13.2: Wilkesboro along Yadkin River, September 28th, 1780.

This portion of the eastern branch of the Overmountain Victory Trail resumes at the Tory Oak in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. The historic route continues following the Yadkin River southwest out of the city. A dotted black line marks a hikeable portion here labeled "Yadkin River Greenway, (Wilkes County)." Not far after leaving the city, the historic route enters W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir. Symbols show the presence of a trailhead, information center, restrooms, picnic areas, campgrounds, and a self-guiding trail. Two portions of hikeable trail are marked here with dotted black lines on either end of the park, but they are not connected, due to parts of the historic trail being underneath where the reservoir is now. After leaving the reservoir, the historic trail continues following the Yadkin River to the southwest until coming to a point marked "Encampment, September 28th, 1780." The driving route leaves Wilkesboro to the southwest on highway 268. It closely shadows the historic route, following the Yadkin River past W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir and coming to the labeled encampment site.

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MAP: Section 13.3: Yadkin River to Lenoir, September 29th, 1780

MAP: Section 13.3: Yadkin River to Lenoir, September 29th, 1780.

This portion of the eastern branch resumes from the encampment along the north shore of the Yadkin River. The historic route continues following the river to the southwest, passing a site of interest labeled "Fort Defiance." Symbols show this site has an information center, restrooms, and picnic areas. The historic route continues southwest, until the Yadkin River turns sharply northwest near the border of Pisgah National Forest. A dotted black line here marks a hikeable trail portion, labeled "Yadkin River Greenway, Coldwell County." The historic route turns south from here and enters the city of Lenoir, North Carolina to a point marked "Fort Crider, Encampment, September 29th, 1780." The driving route continues from its spot along the Yadkin River, to the southwest on highway 268 along the historic route, past Fort Defiance, until turning south on highway 321. This brings the driving route south into Lenoir, North Carolina and the encampment site. 

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MAP: Section 13.4: Lenoir to Morganton, September 30th, 1780

MAP: Section 13.4: Lenoir to Morganton, September 30th, 1780.

This section of the eastern branch resumes in Lenoir, North Carolina, at the Fort Crider encampment site. The historic route exits the city of Lenoir to the southwest, making a fairly straight line southwest, crossing a branch of the Catawba River, and entering Morganton, North Carolina. The historic route leads to the junction with the western branch at a site labeled "Quaker Meadows, McDowell House, Encampment, September 30th, 1780," with symbols for an information center and restrooms. To the east of this point is a dotted black line showing hikeable portions of the trail, labeled "Catawba River Greenway." The driving trail closely follows the historic route, exiting Lenoir, North Carolina to the southwest on highway 64 and 18. This brings the driving trail straight into Morganton, North Carolina to the southwest, where it merges with the western branch of the driving trail that enters Morganton, North Carolina on highway 126.

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OVERVIEW: Section 14 of 17: The United Trail: Morganton to Kings Mountain

OVERVIEW: Section 14 of 17: The United Trail: Morganton to Kings Mountain.

This section describes 6 parts of the Overmountain Victory Trail that form the united trail, once the western and eastern branches have merged. It begins in Morganton, North Carolina at Quaker Meadows, and ends at Kings Mountain National Military Park in Blacksburg, South Carolina. This portion of the trail leads south through part of North Carolina into South Carolina, passing several historic locations and through Cowpens National Battlefield. The 6 following parts will provide more detail about each portion of the trail, including where it travels, what it passes by and through, and what amenities are available at marked sites of interest. The parts are divided by what day the trail was historically marched by the Patriot soldiers in 1780. 

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MAP: Section 14.1: Morganton to Bedford's Hill, October 1st and 2nd, 1780

MAP: Section 14.1: Morganton to Bedford's Hill, October 1st and 2nd, 1780.

This portion of the Overmountain Victory Trail begins in Morganton, North Carolina, where the western and eastern bands of Patriots have merged at Quaker Meadows. From the campsite, the historic route travels southwest out of the city. A point is marked to the west of the trail, labeled "Pilot Knob, 2092 feet, 638 meters." A little further south past Pilot Knob is another spot, labeled "Bedford's Hill, Encampment, October 1st and 2nd, 1780." The driving route exits south out of Morganton, North Carolina on highway 64. It follows this highway to the next camp site, closely shadowing the historic route for most of its journey.

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MAP: Section 14.2: Bedford's Hill to Marlin's Knob, October 3rd, 1780

MAP: Section 14.2: Bedford's Hill to Marlin's Knob, October 3rd, 1780.

This section of the Overmountain Victory Trail resumes at Bedford's Hill, where the Patriots have been camped for two nights. This is just south of Pilot Mountain, and near the headwaters of the First Broad River which flows to the southeast. The historic route moves south from Bedford's Hill, traveling to the left of a yellow symbol shaped like a jagged star. The symbol is labeled "Battle of Cane Creek, Cowan's Ford, September 12th, 1780."  The historic route continues south along Cane Creek to another spot marked "Marlin's Knob, Encampment, October 3rd, 1780." The driving route had followed highway 64 from Morganton, North Carolina to Bedford's Hill, and continues following highway 64 southwest. The highway closely follows the historic trail, passing the site of the Battle of Cane Creek, and following Cane Creek to Marlin's Knob.

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MAP: Section 14.3: Marlin's Knob to Gilbert Town, October 4th, 1780

MAP: Section 14.3: Marlin's Knob to Gilbert Town, October 4th, 1780.

This section of the Overmountain Victory Trail resumes at Marlin's Knob, following Cane Creek south southwest through southern North Carolina. The historic route continues following Cane Creek to the south, passing a site labeled "New Britain Church." Cane Creek intersects and ends at the Second Broad River near this site, which flows from the northwest to the southeast. Areas of interest marked to the east are labeled "Biggerstaff's Old Fields, Red Chimneys, October 14th, 1780," and "Cherry Mountain, Flint Hill, 2040 feet, 622 meters." The historic route crosses the Second Broad River and continues southwest to a site labeled "Gilbert Town, Encampment, October 4th, 1780." The driving route resumes from Marlin's Knob on highway 64, and continues on highway 64 to the southwest, passing New Britain Church, crossing the Second Broad River, and closely following the historic trail.

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MAP: Section 14.4: Gilbert Town to Alexander's Ford, October 5th, 1780

MAP: Section 14.4: Gilbert Town to Alexander's Ford, October 5th, 1780.

This section of the Overmountain Victory Trail resumes at Gilbert Town, located north of Rutherfordton, North Carolina. The historic route is shown as having hikeable portions approaching Rutherfordton, North Carolina, and continuing through that city. The historic route enters the city on the north side and exits on the southwest, crossing the Broad River and coming to the next campsite marked along the Green River. These two rivers flow parallel to each other at this point, from the northwest to the southeast, merging together further to the southeast. The point is labeled "Alexander's Ford, Encampment, October 5th, 1780." A dotted black line here shows the route of a hikeable portion of the historic route, labeled "Alexander's Ford Trail." The driving route continues southwest from Gilbert Town, winding through the city of Rutherfordton, North Carolina, eventually exiting the city southwest on highway 108. The highway here has to cut far west across the Broad River and Green River, reaching an intersection with highway 9, a few miles to the west of where the historic trail is located.

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MAP: Section 14.5: Alexander's Ford to Cowpens, October 6th, 1780

MAP: Section 14.5: Alexander's Ford to Cowpens, October 6th, 1780.

This section of the Overmountain Victory Trail resumes at Alexander's Ford on the Green River, southwest of Rutherfordton, North Carolina. The historic route proceeds southwest from the river crossing. After crossing to the south of modern highway 74, the historic route shows a black dotted section available for hiking labeled "White Oak and Vineyard Trails." The historic route then turns to head southeast, gently moving in a serpentine pattern across the state border into South Carolina, through the town of Chesnee, South Carolina, to Cowpens National Battlefield located east of Chesnee. A point is marked here, and labeled "The Cowpens, Encampment, October 6th, 1780." A dotted black line is shown running through the park, and is labeled "Cowpens National Battlefield, Green River Road." Symbols indicate this location has an information center, restrooms, picnic areas, a self-guiding trail, and a trailhead. The driving route resumes a few miles west of the historic route, at the junction of highways 108 and 9. From this intersection, the driving route follows highway 9 to the southeast, closely following the serpentine route of the historic route. The driving route turns onto highway 1343, then highway 1102 before reaching the state border of South Carolina. Once crossing into South Carolina, the driving route is labeled as following highway 58, turning south onto highway 73, then turning east onto highway 101, then 146, then 144, and finally highway 11 which brings the route to Cowpens National Battlefield. 

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MAP: Section 14.6: Cowpens to Kings Mountain, October 7th, 1780

MAP: Section 14.6: Cowpens to Kings Mountain, October 7th, 1780.

This section of the Overmountain Victory Trail resumes at Cowpens National Battlefield, located at the intersection of highway 11 and highway 110 a few miles east of Chesnee, South Carolina. The historic route moves southeast to the northern edge of the city of Gaffney, South Carolina. A lake is located to the northeast of Gaffney, labeled Lake Whelchel, and shows a black dotted line marking a hikeable portion of the trail. It is labeled "Lake Whelchel Trail." The historic route continues moving east to the Broad River, flowing from the north to the south. The historic route follows the west bank of the river to the south for a few miles before crossing to the eastern shore. The crossing point is marked and labeled "Cherokee Ford." The historic route proceeds northeast from the river towards the state border of North Carolina, coming up along the west side of Kings Mountain National Military Park, before turning sharply southeast and entering the park. Within the park's borders is a yellow jagged star shape, labeled "Battle of Kings Mountain, October 7th, 1780." A black dotted line is shown within the park, and labeled "Kings Mountain National Military Park, Battlefield Trail." Symbols indicate this park has an information center, restrooms, a self-guiding trail, and a trailhead. Partially swallowing the National Military Park on the northern, eastern, and southern sides is Kings Mountain State Park. This park is indicated as having restrooms, picnic areas, campgrounds, and a self-guiding trail. North of these parks, across the state border into North Carolina, is marked Crowders Mountain State Park, with symbols for an information center, restrooms, picnic areas, campgrounds, and a self-guiding trail. North of Crowders Mountain State Park is the city of Kings Mountain, and east of the park is the city of Gastonia. The driving route resumes at Cowpens National Battlefield, and follows highway 11 to the east, closely following the historic route. When the historic route skirts the northern edge of Gaffney, South Carolina, the driving route continues on highway 11 southeast into the middle of the city to a point marked "Colonel Williams Grave." The driving route then exits the city to the northeast on highway 18, turning southeast onto highway 329, turning northeast to cross the Broad River on highway 29, sharp turn south then east onto highway 207 then highway 30, closely following the historic route northeast on highway 66, then turning southeast to enter Kings Mountain National Military Park on highway 216. The trail has now arrived at the Battle of Kings Mountain.

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MAP: Section 11.1: Modern interstates and cities.

MAP: Section 11.1: Modern interstates and cities.

MAP. This section describes some of the modern interstates and large cities seen on a map of the Overmountain Victory Trail. This will give you a better understanding of the length of the trail, where it is located, and what else can be experienced while exploring the trail.  In the bottom right corner of the map is Charlotte, North Carolina. Interstate 77 enters the city from the south, from Columbia, South Carolina, and continues north out of the city along the right edge of the map skirting the east side of Lake Norman and continuing through Statesville, North Carolina, Jonesville, North Carolina, and Elkin, North Carolina, before the highway exits the map along the upper right side. Elkin, North Carolina is the beginning of the eastern portion of the trail. Just south of Charlotte, the state border between North Carolina and South Carolina moves west along the bottom border of the map. Moving up the left side of the map halfway, interstate 40 enters the map coming from Asheville, North Carolina, continuing to the east through the middle of the map. Interstate 40 passes through Morganton, North Carolina, near the center of the image, where the eastern and western portions of the trail meet. Interstate 40 continues east through Hickory, North Carolina, and further east through Statesville, North Carolina at the eastern edge of the map where it crosses interstate 77, and continues off the map towards Winston-Salem, North Carolina. From Charlotte again, in the bottom right corner of the map, Interstate 85 enters Charlotte from off the image from the east, and moves through the city westward, crossing the Catawba River and South Fork Catawba River as it enters Gastonia, North Carolina. Interstate 85 continues west through Gastonia, turning southwest and passing south of the city of Kings Mountain, North Carolina and Crowder's Mountain State Park. Interstate 85 then continues southwest entering South Carolina and passing northwest of Kings Mountain National Military Park, where the trail ends, and Kings Mountain State Park. As Interstate 85 continues to move southwest through South Carolina, it reaches the northwestern side of Gaffney, South Carolina, when the trail follows the interstate for a short distance. Interstate 85 passes to the south of Cowpens National Battlefield, a park that the trail passes through. Interstate 85 then exits the bottom of the map where it is labeled that it continues towards Spartanburg, South Carolina (not pictured). Coming up from the bottom of the map from Spartanburg, South Carolina is interstate 26, heading to the northwest towards Asheville, North Carolina. As interstate 26 enters North Carolina, it passes to the east of Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock, North Carolina. Interstate 26 exits the map on its lower left side, but returns higher up on the left side as it curves from northwest to northeast, leaving Asheville, North Carolina, moving through Cherokee National Forest and into  Johnson City, Tennessee, then turning to the northwest again towards Kingsport, Tennessee off the upper left side of the map. Near the upper left corner of the map interstate 81 enters the map from Kingsport, Tennessee (not pictured), and continues northeast through Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia, through Abingdon, Virginia, where the western portion of the trail begins. Interstate 81 continues northeast through Abingdon, Virginia, and off the map towards the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.

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TEXT: Section 15 of 17: Days of the March, 1780

This section of text is located in the upper right corner of the map on the back of the brochure. It is a timeline of the historic march to the Battle of Kings Mountain. 

TEXT:
September 24

Virginia militia from Washington County, under Campbell, muster at Abingdon, Virginia, Sept. 24. This now marks the route’s western branch.


September 25

Shelby, Sevier, and Campbell muster Watauga and Holston valleys militia at Sycamore Shoals on the Watauga River, to join Burke County (North Carolina then) militia under Charles McDowell.


September 26

This Patriot group spends first night at the Shelving Rock, using its overhang to shelter gunpowder from rain. Also on Sept. 26, 350 North Carolina Patriot militia from Surrey and Wilkes counties, commanded by Colonel Benjamin Cleveland and Major Joseph Winston, muster at today’s Elkin, depart the next morning, and join up with other Patriots at Quaker Meadows.


September 27

Patriots cross Roan Mountain in recent snow, two to three inches deep, at 4,682-foot Yellow Mountain Gap, the highest point on the Trail. Two men desert here to warn Ferguson about the Patriot army. On Sept. 28 to Sept. 30 the Patriot force splits so that Loyalists can’t slip by, and then it reunites at Quaker Meadows.


October 1 and 2

Army stops to dry out and to prepare for battle expected soon. McDowell agrees to step aside, and Campbell takes command.


October 3

Army camps by Marlin’s Knob by Cane Creek. South Carolina Patriots under William Hill and Edward Lacey camp nearby at Flint Hill (Cherry Mountain).


October 4

At Gilbert Town, Army finds Ferguson gone, possibly headed toward Ninety Six in South Carolina.


October 5

Thinking they follow Ferguson, Army moves to the Green River, away from Kings Mountain. Small parties of Georgians under William Candler and North Carolinians under William Chronicle join the Overmountain men. With new news that Ferguson is headed east, Patriots decide to reverse direction and pursue.


October 6

Now convinced Ferguson heads east toward Charlotte, Patriots race to meet Lacey and Hill’s South Carolinians.


October 6, evening

At Cowpens the groups unite, select 900 best mounted and armed men to pursue Ferguson, eat hastily, and push on despite rain.


October 7

Patriot army crosses the flooding Broad River at Cherokee Ford at 8 am.


October 7, 3 pm

Patriots find Ferguson’s 1,000-strong Loyalist army atop Kings Mountain. In fierce fighting Ferguson and 120 loyalists are killed, with nearly all the rest wounded or captured. Patriots suffer 28 killed, 62 wounded.


October 14

On the return, at Biggerstaff’s Old Fields (Bickerstaffs or Red Chimneys), 30 Loyalists are tried. Nine are hanged.


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OVERVIEW: Section 16 of 17: Accessibility

OVERVIEW: We hope that this audio description of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail brochure helps you to explore and engage with this protected story from our history. Though there is not a museum or visitor center dedicated to the trail, the trail passes through many parks and facilities that may be able to provide additional accommodations or suggestions for how to best experience the trail. Whether you plan to hike the existing portions, or ride along the commemorative motor route, we hope that you take the time to surround yourself with some of the same sounds and feelings felt by the Patriots who risked everything in defense of their liberty. To find out more about what trail locations have visitor centers or museums, listen to section 9 of this description, entitled "One Trail with Many Partners." 


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OVERVIEW: Section 17 of 17: More information

ADDRESS:

Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail

2 6 3 5 Park Road

Blacksburg, SC 2 9 7 0 2


PHONE:

864-936-3477


WEBSITE:

www.n p s.g o v/o v v i


Visit www.n p s.g o v/n t s for information about the National Trails System. This Trail is an affiliated area of the National Park System. Please visit www.n p s.g o v to learn more about national parks and National Park Service programs in America’s communities.

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