The Stokes County Historical Society begins 2016, the 240th anniversary of America’s independence, with a special program about the Revolutionary War in the South on Sunday, January 17, at 2:00 p.m. at the Walnut Cove Public Library. Author and historian Randell Jones will present “Before They Were Heroes at King’s Mountain.”
“Many people are surprised to learn that the American Revolution was won during the Southern Campaign, and not just through battles fought in the North,” said Jones. “But North Carolinians, especially those in our area, well appreciate and prominently celebrate the role of such local patriot heroes as Major Joseph Winston and Colonel John Martin, both of whom lived in what later became Stokes County, and Captain John Stokes, who was honored by the naming of the county in 1789.”
On Jan. 17, Jones will tell the exciting story of the muster and march of the backcountry militia gathering from the overmountain regions and the piedmont of North Carolina to pursue and defeat the loyalist army of British Major Patrick Ferguson who had threatened to invade and destroy patriot settlements across western North Carolina. The courageous efforts of these brave militiamen (and the women who prepared them for battle) to muster and march for two weeks in the fall of 1780 resulted in the Battle of Kings Mountain. Thomas Jefferson later declared this victory to be the turning point in the American Revolution. The story of that heroic march is commemorated today along the 330-mile Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, the first national historic trail designated by Congress east of the Mississippi River.
During this meeting Stokes County Historical Society is giving away hardback copies of Roy Thompson’s Before Liberty to social studies teachers (including 4th grade teachers) in Stokes County public schools. Teachers planning to attend to receive a copy should email firstname.lastname@example.org. Others may purchase copies at the meeting; however, everyone can read the stories free, online at www.BeforeLiberty.com as they are posted weekly 40 years after they first appeared in the Winston-Salem Journal from July 1975 to July 1976.
The Jan. 17 program is made possible through a Road Scholars Speakers grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council (www.nchumanities.org). The Stokes County Historical Society (www.sc-hs.org) invites you to come start this new year with a look back at some of the history which has helped build our community and helped shape who we are as Americans, as North Carolinians, and as residents of Stokes County. You can join the SCHS during the meeting. Jones will have copies of his several history titles available for purchase and autographing. You can read more about his books at www.danielboonefootsteps.com.