Let me encourage those of you who are interested in the American Revolution, historical memory, or the mountain South to pick up a copy of the Fall 2009 issue of Tennessee Historical Quarterly, which is just now off the press. The first article is by yours truly, based on some of the research I did for my master’s thesis. I’m very honored to have some of my work in THQ.
In this piece, I examine some nineteenth-century accounts of the Battle of King’s Mountain by historians, antiquarians, and orators to explain how some of the popular traditions about this event developed. The battle was undeniably significant for a number of reasons, but today it’s especially important in the history of the Tennessee mountains. I argue that many of the popular notions we have about the battle’s relationship to Appalachian Tennessee can be traced back to re-tellings of the late 1800’s, a time when there was great interest in the region’s Revolutionary-era past.
On a related note, check out the latest of Gordon Belt’s series of posts on John Sevier. Before he became Tennessee’s first governor, Sevier was one of the backcountry militia officers who planned and commanded the expedition that ended with the Whig victory at King’s Mountain. Gordon looks at the movement of Sevier’s remains from Alabama to Tennessee in the late 1880’s, during the same wave of remembrance and regional pride I discuss in my article. I’m looking forward to his further posts on this fascinating historical figure.