STATESVILLE, NC – On the evening of Feb. 27, experience the harrowing night as it was 250 years ago when Cherokee warriors attacked Fort Dobbs. A special evening living history program will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Visitors will listen to the narrative of the battle by lantern light as the sounds of Cherokee warriors and gun fire fill the air.
“This will be a powerful experience for the whole family,” said Site Manager Beth Hill. “Visitors will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be at a site 250 years to the day and time where the struggle for America took place between Cherokee, provincial soldiers and settlers. It’s dramatic!”
The evening program is a special feature of Fort Dobbs’ living history weekend, Feb. 27-28. Costumed interpreters portraying provincial soldiers and Cherokee warriors will present musket and cannon firing demonstrations, and demonstrations of 18th-century military and American-Indian camp life that weekend.
The Cherokee’s perspective on the war will be discussed Saturday, and a talk on clothing supplied to American Indians through trade will be offered Sunday. Free programs run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. both days. Reservations are required, and space is limited for the evening tour. For information, call (704) 873-5882 or visit www.fortdobbs.org.
Fort Dobbs’ major event of this 250th year is the program War for Empire, April 10-11, featuring the re-enactment of the Feb. 27 attack along with hundreds of historical interpreters, 18th-century market activities, entertainers, and much more in this premier event.
When the French and Indian War began in 1754, the Cherokee were allies of Britain’s North American colonies. However, years of tension arising from the expansion of settlers onto Cherokee lands eventually resulted in violence, most notably with the murder of nearly 30 Cherokee in Virginia. A vicious cycle of retaliation by both sides quickly spiraled into open warfare. On Feb. 27, 1760, the garrison of 30 full-time provincial soldiers at Fort Dobbs defended their post against twice as many Cherokee warriors in a confusing nighttime skirmish. The war ended in 1761, when dozens of Cherokee villages burned and hundreds of American-Indians lost their lives.
The role of the fort and North Carolina in the French and Indian War (1754-1763), the first true world war, is an important chapter in the state’s colonial history. Fort Dobbs’ mission is to preserve and interpret the history of North Carolina’s only French and Indian War fort. It is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The fort is located just one mile from I-77 and I-40 in Statesville.
Fort Dobbs is part of the Division of N.C. Historic Sites and Properties within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information on Cultural Resources is available 24/7 at www.ncculture.com.
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