STATESVILLE, N.C. — Visit Fort Dobbs State Historic Site on Feb. 26-27 for a glimpse into military operations and camp life during the harrowing Cherokee War that pitted native warriors against provincial soldiers protecting English settlers on the country’s western frontier.
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 quickly spiraled into open warfare. As the Anglo-Cherokee War began in 1759, scores of English settlers in the Carolinas lost their lives and hundreds more fled the bloody frontier. Only a few scattered military outposts, such as Fort Dobbs, offered any sort of protection from war parties.
On Feb. 27, 1760, the garrison of 30 full-time provincial soldiers at Fort Dobbs defended their post against more than twice their number of Cherokee warriors in a confusing nighttime skirmish. The war would not end until 1761, when dozens of Cherokee villages burned and hundreds of American-Indians lost their lives.
Living history interpreters portraying provincial soldiers and Cherokee warriors will present musket and cannon firing demonstrations, as well as on-going demonstrations of 18th-century military and American-Indian camp life on the 251st anniversary of the battle. Free programs run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call 704-873-5882 or visit the Web site at www.fortdobbs.org.
Ft. 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., offering living history programs daily. Special events and living history weekend programs are offered throughout the year.
Ft. Dobbs is part of the Division of N.C. Historic Sites and Properties within the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, a state agency dedicated to the promotion and protection of North Carolina’s arts, history, and culture. For more information on Cultural Resources, visit www.ncculture.com.
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