Tuesday, March 20, 2012


When we went to the Elberton Guidestones, a friend, my guy, and I also visited Kettle Creek Battlefield in Wilkes County. Most people haven't heard of it, but Kettle Creek was the site of a Revolutionary War battle. Some claim it was the turning point in the south, with the victory coming after the British took Savannah and Charleston, SC. Here's the entrance, the memorial, and one of the sides that tells the date (1779 and not 1770 as the photo makes it appear).

There hasn't been much written about the battle, maybe because no British officers were involved as in Cowpens or even Kings Mountain. But a couple hundred Americans took on about six hundred Tories or Loyalists. I think it was more of a draw than a decisive victory, but the close combat lasted several hours before the Tory leader was killed and his band scattered. The sign tells more about the battle; the marker gives names of the Americans involved.

I can't imagine shooting and fighting hand to hand for three hours as these men did. It's said the Americans put a green spring in their hats while the Tories had white paper in theirs so they could tell who was on what side! In all the smoke from the guns, I bet it was hard to tell if you were shooting at friend or foe.

Anyway, the battle must have made a big impression because a cemetery at first glance, turns out to be memorials for surviving Americans who died much later. Their families evidently knew what an event this was for their patriarchs and put the markers up.

A shame it isn't a state or federal park. There were picnic tables but no toilets or a place to get literature about the battle. Georgia misses out on the tourist trade by not emphasizing historical spots like this one.


  1. It sounds like the sort of place that ought to get more attention. The Revolutionary War in the South tended to have a lot of the guerilla hit and run aspect to it rather then the setpiece battlefield further north. It's still a fascinating part of history regardless.

    1. William, that's so true! From what I've read, the back country in the south and the area around New York saw some of the bloodiest and nastiest conflicts from these guerrilla bands who too often fought neighbors and kin.


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