“This is the first concerted drive to make it into some kind of park,” said Larry Wilson, a board member of the Kettle Creek Battlefield Association, which hopes to use grants, contributions and other aid to preserve a buffer around the site of the Valentine’s Day battle that unfolded there in 1779.
The battlefield, about 12 miles from Washington, is where about 400 patriots in a surprise attack “totally defeated a force of Tories twice their number,” according to the U.S. Interior Department’s 1975 nomination form that placed the area on the National Register of Historic Places.
“The Patriot Victory at Kettle Creek became a part of the state’s history, legends and family traditions,” the narrative said. “Its references in the histories of the American Revolution are numerous.”
Although there are state historical markers at the 14-acre site, along with an obelisk monument erected there by the U.S. War Department in 1930, the surrounding area and its resources are becoming more and more vulnerable as time goes on.
“We’re looking at this after 235 years, and we’ve lost a lot of stuff out there,” he said. “Even some of the gravesites have been dug up — and desecrated.”
Efforts to move ahead with preservation include a meeting later this week at War Hill, the primary part of the battlefield site, where invited guests will include Wilkes County commissioners and educators, city of Washington officials and representatives from chambers of commerce and various government agencies.
Wilson said the initial goal is to raise about $200,000 to acquire the additional land.
More details about the project are available association’s Web site, http://kettlecreekbattlefield.org/index.html.