Gunpowder, cannons and Revolutionary War heroes will be present in Lincolnton this weekend as the community unites for the annual re-enactment of the Battle of Ramsour’s Mill, with festivities set to kick off tonight.
This year marks the 234th anniversary of the historic fight between American Patriot militia (Whigs) and British Loyalists (Tories) on June 20, 1780, according to lincolncountyhistory.com.
The Whigs proved victorious over their enemy on a battlefield located about 400 yards west of modern-day North Aspen Street, where local resident Jacob Ramsour operated a gristmill, the site said.
Colonel Francis Locke led the Whig militia, and Lt. Colonel John Moore and Major Nicholas Welch led the Tories.
The Lincoln County Historic Properties Commission, which owns the famous battleground, and the Lincoln County Historical Association have hosted the re-enactment since the 1990s, with support from Lincoln County and the City of Lincolnton, local historians said.
According to LCHA director Jason Harpe, the battle was “pivotal” in helping “quell British sentiment in the South” during the Revolutionary War, and local residents should attend the celebration to not only learn about the history of their country and county but also remember the local lives lost and sacrifices made for American freedom.
“It is only fitting that people pay respect,” he said, “to the men who fought for our independence and their families to support the effort to bring forth independence.”
The two-day celebration will be 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday behind Lincolnton High School, located at 301 Jeb Seagle Drive.
Battle scenes will take place each day at 1:45 p.m.
In addition to close-up interaction with 18th century warfare, the celebration will showcase period demonstrations such as blacksmithing and brickmaking and offer music, food and even ghost walks around the battleground 8-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
The walks will start at the main log building and include stops at famous historical landmarks such as the Whig Captain’s Grave, Mass Grave, John Martin Shuford’s Grave and other sites.
Re-enactors will also share first-person accounts Saturday in their camp area as part of a “Fourth Wall” program, with costumed soldiers telling the stories and statements voiced by their predecessors upon the battle’s conclusion, according to ramsoursmill.org. The program will commence at 6 p.m.
Lastly, local historian, author and former legislator Daniel W. Barefoot is also set to detail the battle and its significance during a special public presentation.
In past years, between 1,000 and 2,000 attendants have flocked to the re-enactment, which typically includes at least 50 to 75 re-enactors, local historians said.
For more information on the free event or to purchase tickets for a ghost walk, visit ramsoursmill.org or contact Jason Harpe at (704) 748-9090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.