LINCOLNTON – The story of how the Battle of Ramsour’s Mill unfolded is a tale for fit for a book of fiction or maybe even a movie. It has all of the major components of a compelling story – “A stranded American army, a relentless enemy, and a thrilling pursuit and escape that changed the outcome of the American Revolution,” and it really happened. In his carefully documented book, Andrew Waters tells the tale of the “Race to the Dan,” and the epic confrontation between Nathanael Greene and Charles Cornwallis during the winter of 1780-81.
As depicted in Waters’ book, “To the End of the World,” “Only Greene’s starving, threadbare Continentals stood between Cornwallis and control of the South—and a possible end to the American rebellion.” The book also tells the story of Cornwallis’ ill-fated burning of their baggage train so they could travel more quickly.
Waters will detail his book on Saturday during Battle Weekend at Ramsour’s Mill at 1 p.m. Battle Weekend begins tonight with the fourth annual Ramsour’s Mill Ghost Walk. Also beginning on Friday, a dedicated group of individuals from across the country will transform the area to look similar to what it may have looked like on June 20, 1780.
The Ghost Walks will begin at 6 p.m. with the last one leaving at 9 p.m. in the woods surrounding the battlefield. Actors in Revolutionary War dress will guide participants through the pivotal points leading up to the battle and its aftermath. Tickets are $10; children six and under free. This is not a scary ghost walk, and is suitable for children, but there will be gun fire during some of the vignettes. The walk is not handicap accessible as it is lengthy and over rough ground.
The camp opens at 10 a.m. on Saturday with a wreath laying ceremony at the mass gravesite by the Sons of the American Revolution and Daughters of the American Revolution at the unmarked grave in which some 70 unidentified loyalists and patriots were laid together. The guest speaker is historical scholar Steven Knapp of Starkville, Mississippi. Saturday and Sunday events (excluding the Ghost Walk) are free to the public and suitable for all ages. The event features demonstrations of period crafts and cooking, weapons demonstrations, a Revolutionary War encampment and displays.
Keynote speaker Andrew Waters will speak and sign books on Saturday at 1 p.m. Also on Saturday at 2:15 p.m. and at 5 p.m. there will be a battlefield tour and at 3:30 p.m. a weapons demo. Crafts and other demonstrations will go on throughout the day. The Ghost Walk will be performed again Saturday night from 6 to 9 p.m.
On Sunday, June 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. there will be crafts and demonstrations and the encampment will be open. A welcome and brief history as well as a church service will be held at 10 a.m. A battlefield tour will be led at 11 a.m. The camp closes at 2 p.m.
Except for the Ghost Walk for which there is a fee, the two-day event is free to attend and will be held behind Lincolnton High School, located at 301 Jeb Seagle Drive.