KINGS MOUNTAIN NATIONAL MILITARY PARK

 
 
KINGS MOUNTAIN NATIONAL MILITARY PARK
®




                                                  June 2010
KINGS MOUNTAIN NATIONAL MILITARY PARK

                          A Resource Assessment
KINGS MOUNTAIN NATIONAL MILITARY PARK
®



Center for State of the Parks ®

More than a century ago, Congress established Yellowstone as the
world’s first national park. That single act was the beginning of a
                                                                         CONTENTS
remarkable and ongoing effort to protect this nation’s natural,
historical, and cultural heritage.
    Today, Americans are learning that national park designation         INTRODUCTION                                1
alone cannot provide full resource protection. Many parks are
compromised by development of adjacent lands, air and water pollu-       PARK STATISTICS                             5
tion, invasive plants and animals, and rapid increases in motorized
                                                                         KINGS MOUNTAIN NATIONAL
recreation. Park officials often lack adequate information on the
                                                                         MILITARY PARK AT A GLANCE 5
status of and trends in conditions of critical resources.
    The National Parks Conservation Association initiated the State of   RATINGS                                    6
the Parks program in 2000 to assess the condition of natural and
cultural resources in the parks, and determine how well equipped the     RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
National Park Service is to protect the parks—its stewardship capac-     HIGHLIGHTS                                 9
ity. The goal is to provide information that will help policymakers,
the public, and the National Park Service improve conditions in          KEY FINDINGS                               10
national parks, celebrate successes as models for other parks, and
                                                                         THE KINGS MOUNTAIN NATIONAL
ensure a lasting legacy for future generations.
    For more information about the methodology and research used         MILITARY PARK ASSESSMENT
in preparing this report and to learn more about the Center for State
                                                                           CULTURAL RESOURCES                       12
of the Parks, visit www.npca.org/stateoftheparks or contact: NPCA,
                                                                           NATURAL RESOURCES                        23
Center for State of the Parks, P.O. Box 737, Fort Collins, CO 80522;
phone: 970.493.2545; email: stateoftheparks@npca.org.                      STEWARDSHIP CAPACITY                     31


Since 1919, the National Parks Conservation Association has been         WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP 35
the leading voice of the American people in protecting and enhanc-
ing our National Park System. NPCA, its members, and partners work       APPENDIX: METHODOLOGY                      36
together to protect the park system and preserve our nation’s natural,
historical, and cultural heritage for generations to come.

* More than 325,000 members
* Twenty-three regional and field offices
* More than 120,000 activists

A special note of appreciation goes to those whose generous grants
and donations made this report possible: G.D.S. Legacy Foundation,
Ben and Ruth Hammett, Alec Rhodes, Lee and Marty Talbot, Ray             Cover photo: Detail of the United States
Bingham, and anonymous donors.                                           Monument, courtesy of Kat Byerly.
KINGS MOUNTAIN NATIONAL MILITARY PARK
INTRODUCTION




                                                                                                                                KAT BYERLY
                                                                                                                                                 1




                                                                                                                                             Kings Mountain National Military Park
The Battle of Kings Mountain, which took             British Major Patrick Ferguson was sent to rally   Patriot forces
place on October 7, 1780, is often referred to as    the men of the Carolina backcountry to the         approached Kings
                                                                                                        Mountain on an old
the turning point of the American Revolution.        Loyalist cause. He attempted to use aggression
                                                                                                        Cherokee trail, now
Victory at this battle in the colony of South        and fear to acquire support and quell the          called Colonial Road.
Carolina raised Patriot morale and inspired the      growing unrest of the largely neutral              This is the only
Americans to continue the struggle against the       Carolinians. His threats caught the attention of   historic structure in
British, even after previously suffering disheart-   several North Carolina and Virginia militias       the park remaining
                                                                                                        from the time of the
ening defeats at Charleston in May 1780 and          and angered many militiamen, who mustered
                                                                                                        battle.
Camden in August 1780. Following these               along the Watauga River in Tennessee on
British victories in Charleston and Camden,          September 25, 1780, and began a grueling
KINGS MOUNTAIN NATIONAL MILITARY PARK
This map shows




                                                                                                                                                                       NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
                                        troop movements
                                        during the Battle of
                                        Kings Mountain, as
                                        well as the location
                                        of contemporary park
                                        features.




2
Kings Mountain National Military Park




                                                               march across the Appalachian Mountains in           his horse while attempting to retreat, and the
                                                               pursuit of Ferguson and his Loyalist troops.        Loyalists surrendered soon after that. At the
                                                               Over the course of two weeks they covered           battle’s end, 225 Loyalists were dead, while
                                                               more than 200 miles. These militiamen               only 26 Patriots, including Major William
                                                               became known as the Overmountain Men.               Chronicle, had been killed. Major Ferguson
                                                               They were led by Colonels Isaac Shelby, John        (promoted posthumously to Lieutenant
                                                               Sevier, Charles McDowell, William Campbell,         Colonel) and Major Chronicle were both
                                                               Benjamin Cleveland, and James Williams and          buried on the battlegrounds. Other soldiers
                                                               Majors Joseph Winston and William Chronicle.        were also buried on the battlegrounds, but the
                                                                  The opponents met in South Carolina at           locations of those graves are unknown.
                                                               Kings Mountain, a 60-foot-high ridge at the            This American victory had devastating
                                                               southern end of the Kings Mountain Range.           effects on the British. General Charles
                                                               Ferguson had chosen to rest his troops on top       Cornwallis, the British commander in charge
                                                               of the ridge, allowing the pursuing Patriots to     of the Southern Campaign of the war, was
                                                               easily take aim at the Loyalist soldiers’ silhou-   forced to retreat and hold a defensive position
                                                               ettes. The Patriots approached the ridge on an      in Winnsboro, South Carolina, to await rein-
                                                               old Cherokee trail that is now called Colonial      forcements. This allowed Patriot forces to reor-
                                                               Road. Using the cover of the hardwood trees         ganize and develop a new offensive in the
                                                               that grew around the ridge, the Patriot forces      south, leading to a decisive win at the Battle of
                                                               surrounded Ferguson’s troops and quickly            Cowpens in January 1781, and, eventually, the
                                                               ascended the hill. The battle lasted only an        final triumph of General George Washington’s
                                                               hour. Major Ferguson, the only non-American         forces over Cornwallis at Yorktown in October
                                                               who fought at Kings Mountain, was shot from         of that year.
KINGS MOUNTAIN NATIONAL MILITARY PARK
MATT KANIA




                                                         NATIONAL PARK SERVICE


             Kings Mountain National Military Park
                                                     3
KINGS MOUNTAIN NATIONAL MILITARY PARK
BATTLE COMMEMORATION AND PARK                        being acquired by the Kings Mountain
                                                                ESTABLISHMENT                                        Centennial Association (KMCA), which was
                                                                After the battle, the battlefield itself, owned by   created in 1880 by delegates from South
                                                                the State of South Carolina, lay largely             Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia to
                                                                dormant, except perhaps for some grazing. The        commemorate the 100th anniversary of the
                                                                surrounding countryside was used as pasture          battle. This group raised funds from both
                                                                and agricultural land. The battlefield was under     private sources and state governments for a 29-
                                                                the ownership of the State of South Carolina         foot-high Centennial Monument that was
                                                                until 1797, when Governor Charles Pinckney           unveiled at the celebration and still stands
                                                                granted the land to local resident John              today. The KMCA disbanded shortly after the
                                                                Alexander, who then sold it to Kings Mountain        celebration, and the land was donated to the
4                                                               veteran Colonel Frederick Hambright that             Kings Mountain Chapter of the Daughters of
                                                                same year. The first commemorative celebra-          the American Revolution (DAR) in York, South
Kings Mountain National Military Park




                                                                tion for the Battle of Kings Mountain was held       Carolina.
                                                                in 1815, privately funded by Dr. William                In 1906, the DAR secured $30,000 from the
                                                                McLean, a senator from South Carolina. He            U.S. Congress to erect another monument,
                                                                also paid for the Chronicle Marker, which was        with the stipulation that after the monument
                                                                placed at the (supposed) burial site of              was placed, responsibility for the site would
                                                                Chronicle and three other Patriot soldiers who       transfer to the Kings Mountain Battle Ground
                                                                died during the battle. This is the second-oldest    Association, of which the DAR was the primary
                                                                battlefield marker in the United States.             member. The funds appropriated from
                                                                   The battlefield and surrounding acreage           Congress went toward the construction of an
                                                                passed through several more hands before             83-foot obelisk known as the United States

                                        These markers, the




                                                                                                                                                                       NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
                                        one on the left
                                        placed in 1815 and
                                        the one on the right
                                        in 1915, denote the
                                        supposed burial site
                                        of Major William
                                        Chronicle. More
                                        archaeological inves-
                                        tigations are needed
                                        to determine if
                                        Chronicle was actu-
                                        ally buried in this
                                        location.
KINGS MOUNTAIN NATIONAL MILITARY PARK
Monument. It is a quintessential example of           KINGS MOUNTAIN NATIONAL MILITARY PARK
early 20th-century war commemoration.
    A highlight in recognition for the battle and     AT A GLANCE
its importance occurred in 1930 when                  • Cultural resources: The park’s museum collection and archives
President Herbert Hoover attended the battle’s          contain items such as buttons, fired and unfired shot, weaponry,
sesquicentennial celebration. The president             clothing, and records relating to the battle. One of the highest
emphasized the importance of the battle in              profile items held by the park is an original Ferguson Rifle, the
both American and British history and the               synthesis of a traditional 18th-century rifle and a British musket
need to preserve the historic site. Ironically, the     that was developed by Major Ferguson. While there is no
site was cleared of trees to accommodate the            evidence that such a weapon was used during the Battle of
74,000 people who gathered to hear the presi-           Kings Mountain, this extremely rare weapon exemplifies a
dent’s speech, which greatly altered its histori-       historic development in 18th-century weaponry.                         5
cal appearance. In a show of friendship toward




                                                                                                                             Kings Mountain National Military Park
                                                      • Natural resources: Kings Mountain National Military Park is
Great Britain, he dedicated a new stone marker
                                                        located in northwestern South Carolina in what is traditionally
at the gravesite of Major Ferguson (an older
                                                        called the Piedmont, a semi-open prairie with sections of mixed
marker and cairn likely date to sometime
                                                        hardwood forest stretching from the Atlantic Coastal Plain to
before 1909), and Ronald Campbell from the
                                                        the Appalachian Mountains. The park is home to a number of
British Embassy delivered the acceptance
                                                        plant species that are considered to be “species of concern” in
speech. It was at this time that President
                                                        South Carolina due to their rarity. Examples include creeping
Hoover announced his intention to create a
                                                        spike rush, joe-pye weed, Georgia aster, smooth sunflower, and
park to preserve the history of the battle.
                                                        eastern turkeybeard.
    Congress established the 40-acre Kings
Mountain National Military Park on March 3,           • Recreational activities: Visitors to the park can learn about the
1931. The park was administered by the secre-           Battle of Kings Mountain and the role of the Carolina backcoun-
tary of war, who was authorized to acquire any          try in the American Revolutionary War through wayside exhibits
necessary lands through donations or                    along the shaded, 1.5-mile interpretive trail, living history
purchase in order to ensure the preservation of         demonstrations conducted by volunteers, interactive museum
the entire battlefield site. Control of the park        exhibits, and a new visitor center film. In addition, there are
was transferred to the National Park Service in         miles of hiking and horseback riding trails that pass through the
1933. Between 1936 and 1940, Congress                   adjacent Kings Mountain State Park. The park’s hiking trail
authorized the purchase of up to 4,000 addi-            system is also now linked to Crowders Mountain State Park in
tional acres to augment the park and further            North Carolina via the Ridgeline Trail.
protect its natural and cultural resources.
    As part of the New Deal during the Great
Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps              Kings Mountain National Military Park
built several buildings and roads with money
allocated to the park. In addition, a 6,000-acre         Park location          Northwestern South Carolina, near
recreation demonstration area was created                                       Blacksburg
adjacent to Kings Mountain National Military
Park in order to provide ample recreation                Park size (acres)      3,945
opportunities for visitors and aid in the preser-
vation of the historic nature of the military            Park                   1931
park. This recreation demonstration area                 establishment
became Kings Mountain State Park in 1941.
                                                         Recreational           277,576
                                                         visits (2009)
KINGS MOUNTAIN NATIONAL MILITARY PARK
Note: When interpreting the scores for resource conditions, recognize that critical information upon which the ratings are based is not always
                                        available. This limits data interpretation to some extent. For Kings Mountain National Military Park, 90 percent of the cultural resources infor-
                                        mation was available, and 61 percent of the natural resources information was available. Ethnography was not rated because the park does
                                        not have an active ethnography program and has not completed baseline research such as an ethnographic overview and assessment.




                                        RESOURCE CATEGORY                         CURRENT

                                        CULTURAL RESOURCES

                                        Overall conditions                                                                                           81 GOOD
                                        Archaeology                                                                                                            78

6                                       Cultural Landscapes                                                                                                         81
                                        Ethnography (Peoples and Cultures)         N/A
Kings Mountain National Military Park




                                        Historic Structures                                                                                          72
                                        History                                                                                                                          85
                                        Museum Collection and Archives                                                                                                           90

                                        R AT I N G S S C A L E                     0–35                             36– 60                  61– 80                       81–90        91–100

                                                                                  CRITICAL                         POOR                     FA I R                       GOOD         EXCELLENT




                                        NATURAL RESOURCES

                                        Overall conditions                                                                                           78 FAIR
                                        Environmental and Biotic Measures                                                                                            83
                                          Biotic Impacts and Stressors                                                                                         78
                                          Air                                                                                                             75
                                          Water                                                                                                                                  90
                                          Soils                                                                                                                      83
                                        Ecosystems Measures                                                                                          72
                                          Species Composition and Condition                                                                    67
                                          Ecosystem Extent and Function                                                                               74

                                        R AT I N G S S C A L E                     0–35                             36– 60                  61– 80                       81–90        91–100

                                                                                  CRITICAL                         POOR                     FA I R                       GOOD         EXCELLENT




                                        The findings in this report do not necessarily reflect past or current park management. Many factors that affect resource conditions are a result
                                        of both human and natural influences over long periods of time, in many cases before a park was established. In addition, some park resources
                                        (e.g., air quality and water quality) can be affected by factors that are outside the park and beyond the Park Service’s control. The intent of the
                                        Center for State of the Parks is not to evaluate Park Service staff performance, but to document the present status of park resources and deter-
                                        mine which actions can be taken to protect them into the future.
KINGS MOUNTAIN NATIONAL MILITARY PARK
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE




                                                                                                                                 Living history
                                                                                                                                 programs presented
                                                                                                                                 by volunteers are
                                                                                                                                 favorite ways for visi-
                                                                                                                                 tors to gain a better
                                                                                                                                 understanding of
                                                                                                                                 park history.




                                                                                                                                                             7




                                                                                                                                                           Kings Mountain National Military Park
                        RATINGS                                             adequate storage space to protect and preserve
                        In recognition of the important historical and      museum and archival collections, and the
                        natural resources protected within Kings            need for additional staff, such as a museum
                        Mountain National Military Park, the National       technician and possibly a historian to be
                        Parks Conservation Association’s Center for         shared with other nearby Revolutionary War
                        State of the Parks conducted an assessment to       park units. But perhaps the greatest need is for
                        determine current conditions of the park’s          updated plans to guide park management
                        resources. According to this assessment, the        strategies and resource interpretation. The park
                        park’s known cultural resources rated a             is in the process of developing a new general
                        “good” overall score of 81 out of a possible        management plan, which is scheduled to be
                        100. The scores for cultural resources are based    completed in early 2011. Also in the works is a
                        on the results of indicator questions that          long-range interpretive plan, which should be
                        reflect the National Park Service’s own Cultural    completed by September 2011, depending on
                        Resource Management Guideline and other poli-       funding. These plans will address topics such
                        cies related to cultural and historical resources   as management and preservation of the
                        (see “Appendix” on page 36 for more informa-        Howser House (a 19th-century historic struc-
                        tion on the assessment methodology).                ture), management of invasive species, restora-
                           Challenges facing cultural resource              tion of the cultural landscape, and develop-
                        managers include the lack of baseline archaeo-      ment of prospective interpretive themes.
                        logical research and historic structure docu-           Despite the above challenges, the park’s staff
                        mentation, the lack of inventories for two of       is doing a good job managing the park with the
                        the park’s cultural landscapes, the lack of         resources available. For example, Kings
KINGS MOUNTAIN NATIONAL MILITARY PARK
Ranger Justin Skewes




                                                                                                                                                                          NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
                                        teaches children
                                        about the park’s fire
                                        management
                                        program.




8
Kings Mountain National Military Park




                                                                Mountain National Military Park received the        restoring the landscape to its Revolutionary
                                                                third-highest Museum Collection and Archives        War-era appearance and battling invasive non-
                                                                score (90 out of 100) of any park assessed by       native species that are encroaching on native
                                                                the Center for State of the Parks to date (Fort     plants. The Park Service is making headway in
                                                                Donelson and Stones River National                  both arenas. Prescribed burns help restore
                                                                Battlefields scored slightly higher at 93 and 91,   forests to their 18th-century species composi-
                                                                respectively). Partnering with the University of    tion, and the park’s staff has been eliminating
                                                                South Carolina in 1999 to conduct a massive         heavy concentrations of various invasive non-
                                                                archival assessment contributed to this high        native species since the 1990s and is now focus-
                                                                score. The project included organizing and          ing on maintenance treatments and elimina-
                                                                preserving the entire archive and cataloging it.    tion of other invasive plants, especially in criti-
                                                                In addition, the park renovated its museum in       cal habitats. Additionally, park staff are
                                                                2005 in order to better interpret and preserve      attempting to create a geographic information
                                                                artifacts.                                          systems (GIS) database of all known popula-
                                                                   Current overall conditions of the known          tions of invasive plants.
                                                                natural resources at Kings Mountain National           See the “Key Findings” on pages 10 and 11
                                                                Military Park rated a “fair” score of 78 out of a   for more information on resource conditions
                                                                possible 100. Ratings were assigned through an      and challenges.
                                                                evaluation of park research and monitoring
                                                                data using NPCA’s Center for State of the Parks
                                                                comprehensive assessment methodology.
                                                                   Challenges facing the Park Service include
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT HIGHLIGHTS
• Prescribed burns restore natural and                 and unfired shot. The locations of some of
  historical landscape. In 2000, the park              these sites confirmed what historians,
  implemented a prescribed burn program                archaeologists, and park staff already
  to alleviate wildfire pressures caused by            believed about troop movements and
  increased vegetation density in the forest           events during the battle, while the loca-
  and understory and to re-create the                  tions of other sites indicated that the
  historic views, lines of sight, and general          outlines of the battlefield were much
  landscape that made the Patriot victory              larger than park staff originally thought
  possible. The burns also improve park                and that troop positions may have been
  habitats for birds. The landscape at the             different than what has been previously          9
  time of the battle was largely the area’s            recorded. Additional information is




                                                                                                      Kings Mountain National Military Park
  natural setting of large hardwood trees              needed to contribute to the understand-
  and Piedmont prairie. Assistance with                ing of events, including the location of the
  burning operations comes from a wild-                hitching ground where Patriot forces tied
  land fire module based out of Great                  their horses prior to the battle and the
  Smoky Mountains National Park. A fire                location of mass burials.
  ecologist and fire effects crew, also based
                                                     • Historic house used to teach visitors
  out of that park, provide monitoring data
                                                       about 19th-century life in the Carolina
  that ensure the health and safety of
                                                       backcountry. Though built in 1803, 23
  resources. Close cooperation among all
                                                       years after the Battle of Kings Mountain,
  disciplines is necessary to ensure both
                                                       the historic Howser House is used to
  natural and cultural resources objectives
                                                       educate visitors about backcountry living.
  are met. For example, before each
                                                       The Park Service completely restored the
  prescribed burn, surveys are conducted to
                                                       exterior of the house in 1977 and now
  assure that artificial fire breaks (i.e., breaks
                                                       uses it periodically to host living history
  in vegetation to limit the extent or control
                                                       programs. Staff have requested Park
  the direction of prescribed burns) do not
                                                       Service funds to complete a historic
  destroy archaeological sites.
                                                       furnishings plan, which would inform work
• Education program reaches teachers                   to be done on the interior of the structure,
  and their students. The park participates            such as ensuring the colors of moldings
  in the Teacher-Ranger-Teacher program,               are historically accurate.
  which gives teachers an opportunity to
                                                     • Museum renovations allow park to
  work in a park setting and learn about
                                                       display valuable artifacts. In 2005, the
  cultural and natural resources. The infor-
                                                       park renovated its museum and installed
  mation they gain is taken back to their
                                                       updated security, fire-suppression, and
  classrooms.
                                                       climate-control systems to better protect
• Archaeological surveys shed new light                items on display. These improvements
  on battle events. The park’s most recent             have made it possible for the park to
  battlefield   archaeological       surveys,          showcase its Ferguson Rifle. The weapon
  conducted in 1999 and 2000 using metal               was stolen from the park in 1964 and
  detectors and remote sensing, uncovered              recovered in 1992, but security concerns
  five new clusters of artifacts, mainly fired         prevented the park from displaying it until
                                                       the 2005 renovations were completed.
KEY FINDINGS                                      • Further research could explore possi-
                                                                                            ble connections between park
                                        • Archaeological overview and assess-               resources and American Indian
                                          ment would expand knowledge base.                 groups. An ethnographic overview and
                                          This work could locate other potentially          assessment could determine to what
                                          significant historic sites as well as prehis-     extent the area surrounding Kings
                                          toric sites that could inform park staff          Mountain was used by or was important
                                          about possible American Indian use of             to American Indians prior to the
                                          the area. Other archaeological work the           Revolutionary War battle, and it could
                                          park would like to complete includes              identify any potential traditionally asso-
                                          surveys of the Colonial Road. Both                ciated people. The Colonial Road is
10                                        armies used this road to reach Kings              thought to follow the route of an older
                                          Mountain prior to the battle, and it              Cherokee trail, and research may be
Kings Mountain National Military Park




                                          might be possible to identify the loca-           able to clarify and expand on this story.
                                          tion of the hitching ground used by the
                                                                                          • Museum and archival collections would
                                          Patriots. Continued surveys are also
                                                                                            benefit from the addition of a museum
                                          needed to locate the mass burial site of
                                                                                            technician. Currently, one of the park’s
                                          Loyalist soldiers as well as the graves of
                                                                                            rangers cares for museum and archival
                                          Major Chronicle and those reburied with
                                                                                            collections in addition to shouldering full-
                                          him during the commemoration cere-
                                                                                            time interpretation duties. The park has
                                          mony in 1815. To date, there is no
                                                                                            requested operational funds to hire a
                                          evidence that Chronicle was buried at
                                                                                            museum technician to help catalog and
                                          the exact location where the burial
                                                                                            manage the collections.
                                          marker was placed in 1815.
                                                                                          • Additional work needed to address
                                        • Nineteenth-century historic structures
                                                                                            some remaining museum deficiencies.
                                          need further documentation. The
                                                                                            Although the park does a good job
                                          Howser House and Homestead, exam-
                                                                                            managing its museum collections, addi-
                                          ples of early 19th-century Pennsylvanian-
                                                                                            tional curatorial and storage space and
                                          German architecture not commonly
                                                                                            updated security measures are needed
                                          found in the Carolinas, could be better
                                                                                            for collection items not stored in the
                                          preserved and interpreted with the
                                                                                            recently renovated museum. According
                                          completion of additional studies. These
                                                                                            to the park’s collection storage plan, at
                                          might include a cultural landscape
                                                                                            least 500 additional square feet of
                                          report, an updated historic structure
                                                                                            storage space are needed and Park
                                          report, a historic furnishings report, or
                                                                                            Service project funds have been
                                          other studies deemed appropriate by
                                                                                            requested to address this need. Another
                                          park staff. In fact, park staff have already
                                                                                            potential solution would be to construct
                                          requested Park Service funding for a
                                                                                            a facility to store collections from Kings
                                          cultural landscape report and a historic
                                                                                            Mountain and nearby parks pertaining
                                          furnishings report on the Howser House,
                                                                                            to the American Revolutionary War and
                                          but no funds have yet been received.
                                                                                            related themes. However, no plans are
                                                                                            yet under way for such a facility.
• Park’s forests have changed since            • Park waters appear healthy. Many of
  Revolutionary War times. Kings                 the surface waters flowing through Kings
  Mountain is primarily forested, but clear-     Mountain National Military Park origi-
  ing of trees in 1930, fire suppression,        nate within the park, which largely
  pests, and disease outbreaks have modi-        protects them from pollution sources. A
  fied the forest community so that today        preliminary survey of benthic inverte-
  it is only somewhat representative of the      brates, small organisms that live at the
  forest present during the Battle of Kings      bottom of water bodies and can be indi-
  Mountain. Fire suppression has led to          cators of ecological health, confirms that
  the dominance of fire-intolerant species       water resources have a high level of
  and a decline in shade-intolerant pine         integrity. The park’s wetlands have been
  species. Some pine species have                inventoried, but further study is neces-                                                                                 11
  succumbed to pine beetle outbreaks.            sary to determine the role that these




                                                                                                                                                                          Kings Mountain National Military Park
  Furthermore, the formerly dominant             areas play in supporting wildlife popula-
  canopy tree in this region, the American       tions and maintaining natural hydrologic
  chestnut, has been essentially extirpated      processes.
  by the chestnut blight. Some species
                                               • Park’s air quality could be at risk. No
  such as maple, sweet gum, and sour-
                                                 direct air-quality monitoring occurs
  wood are now present in higher
                                                 inside the park, but the park’s location
  numbers than they were at the time of
                                                 between two major metropolitan areas         Nepalese browntop
  the battle.                                                                                 is a non-native plant
                                                 (Charlotte, North Carolina, and
                                                                                              species that has
• Invasive non-native plant species              Greenville, South Carolina) may make it      invaded riparian
  threaten native plants. More than 10           vulnerable to declining air conditions.      areas within the park
  percent of the park’s 508 vascular plant       Nearby power production also might           and poses a severe
  species are not native to the area. The        affect air quality at Kings Mountain         threat to native
                                                                                              ecosystems. Park
  park has identified 11 of these non-native     National Military Park. Regional ozone
                                                                                              staff work to eradi-
  species as being aggressive and capable        measurements indicate levels of this         cate non-native
  of invading areas. Forests, open areas,        pollutant could be high enough at Kings      species where possi-
  and riparian areas have all been affected      Mountain to damage plant foliage.            ble, and they have
  by invasive non-native species. Several        Monitoring is needed to determine if         requested Park
                                                                                              Service funds to
  invasive non-native plant species are          park plants are being affected by ozone;
                                                                                              study the role of
  common in the power line right-of-way in       a survey for foliar damage is scheduled      prescribed burns in
  the park, one of the few remaining open        for 2013.                                    these control efforts.
  habitats in the park that supports species
  of concern such as the Georgia aster.
                                                                                                                       CHUCK BARGERON/UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA/BUGWOOD.ORG




  Invasive non-native species are also the
  main threat to the riparian systems within
  the park. Already, these areas have been
  invaded by non-native Nepalese brown-
  top and Chinese privet.
THE KINGS MOUNTAIN NATIONAL
                                                                                             MILITARY PARK ASSESSMENT
                                        MARK CLIFTON




12
Kings Mountain National Military Park




                                                       The Centennial         CULTURAL RESOURCES—LANDSCAPE                            Staff at Kings Mountain National Military
                                                       Monument was           RESTORATION IS A TOP PRIORITY                        Park are making great strides to protect the
                                                       erected in 1880 to
                                                                                                                                   park’s cultural resources. Significant recent
                                                       commemorate the
                                                       100th anniversary of   Kings Mountain National Military Park scored         projects, such as an archival assessment and
                                                       the Battle of Kings    an overall 81 out of 100 for the condition of its    remote sensing archaeological surveys, have
                                                       Mountain.              cultural resources, which include archaeology,       increased the ability of park staff to manage
                                                                              cultural landscapes, history, historic structures,   and preserve important cultural landscapes,
                                                                              and the museum collection and archives. This         historic structures, and museum and archival
                                                                              score indicates that the resources are in “good”     collections. In addition, because of the signifi-
                                                                              condition.                                           cance of the battle in the American
Revolutionary War, much of the history of the       Mountain in 1974 and 1995. These also inform
battle and those who fought in it has been          resource management at the park.
thoroughly researched and documented.                  Even with the broad body of research avail-
However, gaps in research and the need for          able to park staff, there are still several gaps in
preservation projects do exist. The park would      research that would aid in preservation and
greatly benefit from baseline archaeological        interpretation of the park’s resources. Notably,
research and historic structure documentation,      the Howser and Morris Homesteads—the
inventories of two of the cultural landscapes in    former built in 1803 and the latter built around
the park, additional storage space and staff to     1902—cannot be fully used as resources, nor
protect and preserve museum and archival            can their significances be determined, without
collections, and continued support to restore       cultural landscape reports to guide manage-
the cultural landscape, historic viewsheds, and     ment. In addition, the park’s administrative                                                   13
lines of sight present during the battle.           history, written in 1985, is out-of-date; updating




                                                                                                                                                   Kings Mountain National Military Park
                                                    this history through the present would allow
HISTORY—MUCH RESEARCH HAS BEEN                      park staff to better understand what resource
DONE; ADDITIONAL WORK WOULD                         work has already been done and to focus on            Wayside exhibits
SUPPLEMENT KNOWLEDGE BASE                           contemporary issues, notably the restoration          along the park’s 1.5-
There is an extensive body of research that                                                               mile Battlefield Trail
                                                    work taking place on the battlefield cultural
                                                                                                          teach visitors about
provides a thorough record of the Battle of         landscape. In addition, the park has requested        the historic battle
Kings Mountain, including troop positions and       Park Service funding to study the oral histories      that took place there
movements, battle background, results, and          of Civilian Conservation Corps participants,          230 years ago.
detailed descriptions of the landscape that




                                                                                                                                   BRUCE JOHNSON
helped make a Patriot victory possible, as well
as explanations of the battle’s significance in
American history. Recently, historians Bobby
Moss and Michael Scoggins coauthored two
accounts of African-American participation on
both sides of the battle at Kings Mountain, as
well as various other battles in the Southern
Campaign of the Revolutionary War. These
books are titled African-American Patriots in the
Southern Campaign of the American Revolution
and African-American Loyalists in the Southern
Campaign of the American Revolution. Park staff
use these and other available research materials
in their efforts to interpret and preserve park
resources. For example, Lyman C. Draper’s Kings
Mountain and Its Heroes (first published in
1881), which discusses in great detail the Battle
of Kings Mountain and its background and
aftermath, is the primary resource for the park’s
cultural landscape management and restoration
plans. Historic resource studies, which provide
historical overviews of a park and evaluations of
its cultural resources, were completed at Kings
whose work during the 1930s added greatly to          to Patriot forces who were able to take aim at
                                        the ability of the park and its managers to inter-    the silhouettes of the Loyalists perched on top.
                                        pret the battle. These studies would enhance the      The lay of the land and the forests that cloaked
                                        ability of the park to interpret the history of the   the slopes of the ridge upon which Loyalist
                                        battle’s commemoration.                               forces were camped were also key factors that
                                           The park does not employ a historian, so           contributed to the Patriots’ victory in the battle.
                                        necessary historical research is conducted                A cultural landscape report completed in
                                        through the Park Service’s Southeast Regional         2003 documents the three eras of significance
                                        Office or in conjunction with outside historians      for the battlefield—the battle events, the
                                        as funds allow. Having a historian available to       commemorative period, and the Park Service
                                        the park on a more regular basis would be             development period—and provides treatment
14                                      helpful to maintain public interest in the battle,    and management recommendations. Included
                                        the battlefield, and the historic structures          within the landscape are the battlefield ridge,
Kings Mountain National Military Park




                                        located in the park. A historian would conduct        the surrounding historic roads, the archaeologi-
                                        ongoing research, providing new information           cal sites, and the historic markers and monu-
                                        for interpretation and public programs, and be        ments erected later to commemorate the battle.
                                        able to answer visitors’ questions in greater         Park staff consider the re-establishment of the
                                        detail and on a wider array of historical topics      battlefield’s historical landscape—a mature,
                                        than can be provided by interpretive signage or       hardwood forest with interspersed Piedmont
                                        scripted programs. One way to provide this type       prairie—as a top priority. The historical land-
                                        of expertise would be to hire a historian to serve    scape was basically destroyed in 1930 when
                                        Kings Mountain and nearby parks with similar          much of the area was cleared of trees to accom-
                                        interpretive themes (e.g., Cowpens National           modate the 74,000 people who attended
                                        Battlefield).                                         President Herbert Hoover’s speech at the sesqui-
                                                                                              centennial battle commemoration. Subsequent
                                        CULTURAL LANDSCAPES—                                  management strategies allowed the land to lay
                                        CONTROLLED BURNS HELP RESTORE                         fallow, and now much of the park is covered
                                        THE HISTORICAL LANDSCAPE                              with the thick undergrowth that is common in
                                        Cultural landscapes are places where people           a successional landscape.
                                        have interacted with their surroundings,                  Cultural and natural resource managers work
                                        shaping them to meet their needs. They are also       together to restore the natural setting that also
                                        places where the natural surroundings have            represents the historic landscape present during
                                        influenced people’s lives and actions. There are      the battle. Prescribed burns are among the
                                        three identified cultural landscapes at Kings         primary tools resource managers are employing
                                        Mountain—the battlefield, the Howser                  to restore both the historic setting and views and
                                        Homestead, and the Morris Homestead. All              the native plants and natural habitat that once
                                        three cultural landscapes are listed in the           supported a diverse community of bird species.
                                        National Register of Historic Places as contribut-    These burns also reduce the buildup of vegeta-
                                        ing features of the Kings Mountain National           tion that could fuel wildfires. The park began
                                        Historic District. The battlefield cultural land-     implementing prescribed burns in 2000. Recent
                                        scape—the land on which the battle was                activities include two prescribed burns that were
                                        fought—is the most visible and most significant       conducted in March 2008, covering a total of
                                        cultural resource at Kings Mountain. The battle-      429 acres on and around Battlefield Ridge. These
                                        field sits on a ridge above the surrounding           controlled burns resulted in a more open under-
                                        countryside, which allowed a distinct advantage       story similar to that which existed in the area
during the late 18th century. Later that year, the             Through the Park Service’s Southeast
                        treated landscape helped protect the park’s other           Regional Office, the park has access to a histori-
                        cultural resources by preventing the spread of a            cal architect who advises the park to ensure the
                        fire that originated on a neighboring property.             historic integrity of the structures on the cultural
                        The park conducted four prescribed burns in                 landscape is maintained. The historical architect
                        2009 and has completed four in 2010 so far.                 visits the park as needed and was last at Kings
                        Continued use of prescribed burns is key to                 Mountain in 2001, when the roof on the
                        restoring the battlefield and removing excessive            Howser House needed to be restored.
                        vegetation. If funds for these activities decline,             Urban encroachment along the park’s north
                        the park will be forced to conduct fewer or                 and west borders threatens to destroy historic
                        smaller burns each year.                                    viewsheds. The views from the top of the ridge
                            The park’s other identified landscapes are the          are important resources that the park’s staff                               15
                        Howser Homestead and the Morris Homestead.                  actively manage. They are critical to the visitor’s




                                                                                                                                                                Kings Mountain National Military Park
                        The former is a tract of land that was owned by             understanding of how the surrounding forest
                        stonemason Henry Howser, who built the main                 and landscape helped the Patriots surround and
                        home on the property in 1803. The stone house               attack Ferguson’s troops, who thought they had
                        and its associated buildings are unusual exam-              the advantage because of their position on
                        ples of Pennsylvanian-German architecture in                higher ground. For more information on adja-
                        the Carolina backcountry. The Morris                        cent land concerns, see “Historical and
                        Homestead was built around 1902. Neither                    Contemporary Land Use” on page 24.
                        landscape has been comprehensively docu-
                        mented in a cultural landscape report and the
                        structures have no up-to-date historic structure
                        reports, both of which would provide preserva-
                        tion and treatment options and management
                        strategies for these sites. At this time, there is little
                        guidance for their preservation or maintenance.
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE




                                                                                                                                           The park has been
                                                                                                                                           conducting
                                                                                                                                           prescribed burns
                                                                                                                                           since 2000 to help
                                                                                                                                           restore both the
                                                                                                                                           historical and the
                                                                                                                                           natural landscape.
HISTORIC STRUCTURES—FUNDS                          Patrick Ferguson were thought to have fallen
                                                                                          NEEDED FOR REPORTS ON HISTORIC                     during battle; a marker commemorating
                                                                                          STRUCTURES AND MAINTENANCE                         President Hoover’s visit to the battlefield; a
                                                                                          PROJECTS                                           marker commemorating Colonel Asbury
                                                                                          There are 29 historic structures listed on the     Coward, who established the Kings Mountain
                                                                                          National Park Service’s List of Classified         Centennial Association; and markers commem-
                                                                                          Structures for Kings Mountain National Military    orating Colonel Frederick Hambright and
                                                                                          Park. This database includes all the prehistoric   Lieutenant Colonel James Hawthorne, both
                                                                                          and historic structures managed as cultural        Patriot commanders during the battle. Such
                                                                                          resources in each park unit. Most of the 29        structures are significant because they typify the
                                                                                          structures relate to the battle, its commemora-    war commemorative architecture and style of
16                                                                                        tion, or early park development. The only          the late 19th and early 20th centuries; they are
                                                                                          historic structure in the park remaining from      used to interpret the significance of the Battle of
Kings Mountain National Military Park




                                                                                          the time of the battle is the Colonial Road,       Kings Mountain in the commemorative period.
                                                                                          which was the road the armies used to reach           Additional historic structures relate to the
                                                                                          Kings Mountain prior to the battle.                National Park Service development of the park
                                                                                             Historic structures commemorating the           and Civilian Conservation Corps work in the
                                                                                          battle and its participants include the            park in the 1930s: the historic Yorkville-
                                                                                          Centennial Monument erected to commemo-            Shelbyville Road, redeveloped in 1938 as a fire
                                                                The Park Service          rate the 100th anniversary of the battle and the   road; the Main Park Road; stone rubble swales
                                                                Headquarters building     U.S. Monument erected in 1909. Additional          along the road; the superintendent’s residence,
                                                                at Kings Mountain
                                                                                          commemorative structures include but are not       now used as offices; the administration build-
                                                                was built in 1940–41
                                                                in the Colonial Revival   limited to markers indicating the locations        ing; the parking lot at the park’s headquarters;
                                                                architectural style.      where Major William Chronicle and Major            the stone headwalls along the Main Park Road;
                                                                                                                                             and the administration building flagstaff. The
                                                                                                                                             structures are prime examples of the Colonial
                                        NATIONAL PARK SERVICE




                                                                                                                                             Revival style of architecture the National Park
                                                                                                                                             Service used for buildings in the East because
                                                                                                                                             the rustic style, preferred in the West, did not
                                                                                                                                             blend well into the cultural landscapes of
                                                                                                                                             Eastern parks.
                                                                                                                                                Kings Mountain’s remaining historic struc-
                                                                                                                                             tures are not directly related to the battle, its
                                                                                                                                             commemoration, or the development of the
                                                                                                                                             park. These include those structures within the
                                                                                                                                             Howser Homestead: the Howser House, the
                                                                                                                                             Howser Cemetery headstones, the Howser
                                                                                                                                             Road, and the Howser Terraces; as well as those
                                                                                                                                             structures that are part of the Morris
                                                                                                                                             Homestead: the Morris House, the Morris Shed,
                                                                                                                                             and the Gordon Cemetery headstones. As previ-
                                                                                                                                             ously mentioned, Henry Howser constructed
                                                                                                                                             the Howser House in 1803, employing a unique
                                                                                                                                             Pennsylvanian-German style that is distinctly
                                                                                                                                             different from the typical Carolina backcountry
architecture of the 19th century. The Howser




                                                                                                                                  KAT BYERLY
House is an exceptional example of this type of
architecture. In 1977 the Park Service restored
the house to its appearance as recorded in 1900
in order to protect its historic significance and
integrity. Park staff use the site periodically to
host interpretive programs and living history
demonstrations.
    The Morris House was built around 1902 by
the Morris family, who were tenant farmers on
the Howser property. It was constructed from
the chimney remains of a house that burned                                                                                                     17
there in 1900. Little else is currently known




                                                                                                                                               Kings Mountain National Military Park
about the history of the property, but according
to the park’s 1995 historic resource study, the
architecture represents the typical postbellum
Carolina style and the transition from antebel-
lum subsistence farming to “postwar cash crop
and absentee land ownership.” It is the only
example of such a style and transition inside
Kings Mountain National Park. This historic
structure is not interpreted; it is used as a resi-
dence for park staff.
    Historic structure reports provide guidance
for the treatment and use of historic structures.
Though the park includes 29 historic structures,
just one historic structure report—for the
Howser House—has been completed at Kings
Mountain. It was done in 1974 and is now
outdated due to restoration of the house in
1977. Due to this lack of baseline research,
there is no formal guidance for the preservation
and interpretation of historic structures. Park       est in the site, which is currently low. Without a   This stone marks the
staff and volunteers provide occasional tours of      historic furnishings report, up-to-date historic     gravesite of Major
                                                                                                           Patrick Ferguson
the Howser House and use it during periodic           structure report, or cultural landscape report,
                                                                                                           (promoted posthu-
living history demonstrations, but there is little    the staff at Kings Mountain cannot take full         mously to Lieutenant
guidance to extend these activities, and the          advantage of this unique historic resource.          Colonel).
house remains an underutilized resource. Park             Staff from the Park Service’s Southeast
staff have sought funding for a historic furnish-     Regional Office inspect historic structures about
ings report with no success. Such a report would      every other year, taking note of preventative and
establish a framework for furnishing the              repair needs, and they conduct cyclical cleaning
Howser House as authentically as possible,            and maintenance of historic structures. The
which would greatly improve the park staff’s          park’s on-site maintenance staff manages day-
ability to interpret the house. More accurate         to-day preservation of historic structures and is
representation could also increase visitor inter-     trained to conduct a majority of maintenance
Patriot and Loyalist




                                                                                                                                                                             NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
                                        forces clashed at the
                                        Battle of Kings
                                        Mountain, fighting
                                        along this 60-foot-
                                        high ridge at the
                                        southern end of the
                                        Kings Mountain
                                        Range. Two large
                                        monuments, the
                                        Centennial
                                        Monument (lower
                                        left) and the United
18                                      States Monument
                                        (upper right),
Kings Mountain National Military Park




                                        commemorate the
                                        battle.




                                                                projects, which often consist of repair work. In      ARCHAEOLOGY—ARCHAEOLOGICAL
                                                                addition, several staff members have training in      OVERVIEW AND ASSESSMENT NEEDED
                                                                historic preservation, and the park’s facility        In addition to cultural landscapes and historic
                                                                manager has training in historic masonry.             structures, Kings Mountain also includes signif-
                                                                   While Kings Mountain does not have a               icant archaeological sites. The park’s largest,
                                                                historical architect on staff to conduct major        most visible, and most visited archaeological
                                                                historic preservation projects, one from the          site is the battlefield. The site is 600 yards long,
                                                                regional office travels to the park as needed.        ranges from 60 to 120 yards wide, and marks
                                                                Historic preservation specialists are also some-      the location of a majority of the fighting during
                                                                times hired on a contract basis. Though the park      the Battle of Kings Mountain. Park staff use
                                                                has access to a historical architect and other        archaeological surveys to help re-create the
                                                                historic preservation staff through the regional      battlefield scene and interpret it for visitors. In
                                                                office, structures still suffer from more than $2.7   the most recent surveys of this area in 1999 and
                                                                million in deferred maintenance costs. These          2000, archaeologists found five clusters of arti-
                                                                projects include re-pointing stone CCC struc-         facts, such as fired and unfired shot, indicating
                                                                tures, installing fire suppression systems, repair-   that while many of the historical accounts of the
                                                                ing the floor in the Morris House, and repairing      battle accurately portray troop positions and
                                                                the headstones in the Howser Cemetery. Each           movements, the fighting actually extended
                                                                project requires a maintenance crew with differ-      beyond what park staff and historians previ-
                                                                ent specialized skills in order to preserve the       ously thought. An extensive report on these
                                                                historic integrity of these sites, and funds are      excavations was published in 2006. This new
                                                                needed to support such experts and projects.          information has been incorporated into ranger-
led talks, but funds are needed to update               potentially significant historic sites as well as
brochures and wayside exhibits.                         prehistoric sites that could inform park staff
    Twenty other archaeological sites have been         about possible American Indian use of the area.
located in the park, one of which is the Howser         The need for such research was formally identi-
House. Including agricultural land and                  fied in the Southeast Archeological Center’s
outbuildings, the Howser House grounds have             Regionwide Archeological Survey Plan, which was
been excavated numerous times, largely for              published in 1996 and outlines several future
compliance projects in the 1970s. While only 20         plans for archaeological investigations at Kings
percent of the park has been systematically             Mountain. Although Park Service funds for an
surveyed for archaeological sites, park staff           archaeological overview and assessment for
adhere to compliance regulations and take all           Kings Mountain were requested in 1996, the
precautions to ensure that significant archaeo-         project has not yet been funded. In addition to     19
logical resources are not damaged during park           an archaeological overview and assessment, the




                                                                                                            Kings Mountain National Military Park
projects. For example, archaeological staff from        Regionwide Archeological Survey Plan calls for a
the Park Service’s Southeast Archeological              comprehensive historic archaeology survey,
Center conduct surface surveys and shovel tests         including a survey of any possible prehistoric
to determine if activities related to the park’s fire   sites as identified by surface collections, and a
management program (e.g., creation of fire              total survey of archaeological sites.
breaks before prescribed burns) will affect                 To best serve archaeological sites that have
archaeological resources. Many of the park’s            already been identified, the park needs to docu-
other archaeological sites, including homesites,        ment them. At this time, just seven sites have
stills, and dumps dating to the 19th and early          treatment recommendations and only nine
20th centuries, were discovered during these            have been located using Global Positioning
compliance activities. Several prehistoric arti-        System coordinates. Most sites are only known
facts were also found.                                  through the location of visible site features and
    Despite previous surveys and ongoing                have little documentation. Even the Howser
compliance work, there are still large gaps in the      House, which has been extensively excavated,
archaeological record of Kings Mountain. For            lacks a detailed site map and good survey
example, the graves of Major Chronicle and              records.
those men reburied with him during commem-                  Kings Mountain does not employ any
oration activities in 1815 have never been              archaeological staff; instead, the park relies on
located, despite several attempts in the 1970s          partnerships with the Park Service’s Southeast
and again in 1999. The Colonial Road has never          Archeological Center based in Tallahassee,
been systematically surveyed or studied and             Florida, or the University of South Carolina at
might contain sites such as the hitching posts          Columbia for their archaeological needs.
used by the Patriots en route to the battle. It is      Archaeologists       from      the      Southeast
also important to determine the location of a           Archeological Center have traveled to the park
mass burial site of Loyalist soldiers. Numerous         about once each year since the park imple-
archaeological sites not related to the battle or       mented a fire-management program in 2000.
colonial life (e.g., moonshine stills and 19th-         Though they are readily available to complete
century home sites) could also be interesting to        compliance projects, none have been available
survey and study. In addition, there is little          to aid in interpreting the park’s archaeological
information on the prehistoric use of the area.         sites or to complete an archaeological overview
    An archaeological overview and assessment           and assessment.
could help fill these gaps and locate other
After renovations to




                                                                                                                                                                              MARK CLIFTON
                                        the visitor center and
                                        museum in 2005,
                                        park staff deemed it
                                        was safe to display its
                                        original Ferguson
                                        Rifle, which had
                                        previously been
                                        stolen and returned
                                        years later.




20
Kings Mountain National Military Park




                                                                  MUSEUM COLLECTION AND                                breech-loading rifle to be used by a regular army
                                                                  ARCHIVES—RENOVATED MUSEUM                            unit; it could be reloaded much faster than the
                                                                  PROVIDES SECURE PLACE TO DISPLAY                     then-standard muzzle-loading weapons, and a
                                                                  ARTIFACTS                                            skilled user could fire it several times in a
                                                                  Buttons, fired and unfired shot, weaponry,           minute. While there is no evidence that such a
                                                                  clothing, furnishings relating to the Howser         weapon was used during the Battle of Kings
                                                                  House, prehistoric objects such as a chert point     Mountain, this extremely rare weapon exempli-
                                                                  and various types of debitage (i.e., the reduction   fies a historic development in 18th-century
                                                                  waste created during the manufacturing of stone      weaponry. The story of the weapon and its place
                                                                  tools), and much more comprise Kings                 at the park is a remarkable one: In 1964, the
                                                                  Mountain National Military Park’s museum             weapon was stolen from a park display. In 1992,
                                                                  collection of more than 5,300 objects. The           the rifle was recovered and returned to the park.
                                                                  archives are even more extensive with an excess      Because of inadequate security, park staff were
                                                                  of 37,700 items, including park records and          unwilling to display it for fear of another theft.
                                                                  documents relating to the battle, such as an         The weapon sat in storage until 2005, when
                                                                  original copy of Lyman Draper’s 1881 book            renovations to the museum and visitor center,
                                                                  Kings Mountain and Its Heroes.                       including new climate-control, fire-suppression,
                                                                     One of the highest profile museum items           and security systems, provided the necessary
                                                                  held by the park is an original Ferguson Rifle,      protection to safely display this valuable artifact.
                                                                  the synthesis of a traditional 18th-century rifle        Other historical items the park would like to
                                                                  and a British musket that was developed by           acquire for its museum collection include
                                                                  Major Ferguson. The Ferguson Rifle was the first     Ferguson’s personal military whistle—used at
the battle and since lost to collectors, micro-    not currently on display. The park has requested
                        films of Cornwallis’s papers, and the original     but not yet received Park Service funds to
                        film of President Hoover’s historic speech in      address this need. Another way to meet this
                        1930. The Tennessee State Museum holds many        need would be through a facility that would
                        artifacts from the battle, though not the items    store museum collection items from several
                        just listed; the museum donated some artifacts     parks. This facility could be dedicated to collec-
                        to the park following the 2005 renovation, and     tions pertaining to the American Revolutionary
                        park staff would like to obtain more of their      War and the surrounding period themes (such
                        battle-related items.                              as 18th- and 19th-century backcountry
                            Through a project in 1999 with the             lifestyles). This idea is being discussed by the
                        University of South Carolina, the park’s then      staffs of Kings Mountain and other parks,
                        entire archival collection held at that time was   though there are no funding requests or formal                                 21
                        organized, properly preserved in an acid-free      plans for such a facility at this time.




                                                                                                                                                          Kings Mountain National Military Park
                        environment, and cataloged. Today, just 5              An interpretive ranger acts as the park’s
                        percent of the archives have not been cataloged.   curator and is trained in the Park Service’s
                        The uncataloged items were acquired after the      collections cataloging database and in inte-
                        1999 project. The only items from the park’s       grated pest management. The park has
                        museum collection not yet cataloged are a          requested operating funds to hire a museum
                        number of archaeological artifacts. Each year,     technician to help manage and catalog the
                        the park makes progress cataloging the remain-     collections. For some of its more extensive proj-
                        ing archives and artifacts.                        ects the park contracts outside experts, such as
                            Even though the park renovated its museum      those at the University of South Carolina and
                        and visitor center in 2005, there is still not     other institutions. For example, experts from
                        enough curatorial and storage space. According     Texas A&M University are nearly finished treat-
                        to the park’s collection storage plan, another     ing and preserving 75 at-risk museum objects,
                        500 square feet or more of storage space are       such as those that have in the past been inap-
                        needed to better accommodate collection items      propriately displayed or stored.
JAMES D. NATIONS/NPCA




                                                                                                                                Visitor center exhibits
                                                                                                                                educate the public
                                                                                                                                about the Battle of
                                                                                                                                Kings Mountain and
                                                                                                                                its historical context.
ETHNOGRAPHY—RESEARCH NEEDED                            people. Even though traditionally associated
                                        TO IDENTIFY GROUPS OF PEOPLE                           groups of people have not been formally identi-
                                        WITH TRADITIONAL ASSOCIATIONS TO                       fied, park staff invite members of the Catawba
                                        PARK RESOURCES                                         Nation, whose reservation is located along the
                                        Kings Mountain does not maintain an active             North Carolina-South Carolina border, to
                                        ethnography program nor has it completed an            various educational and interpretive programs
                                        ethnographic overview and assessment, a base-          (e.g., living history demonstrations conducted
                                        line report that analyzes information on known         by volunteers). While members of the Catawba
                                        ethnographic resources and the groups of               Nation do participate in these demonstrations,
                                        people with traditional connections to those           indigenous people have not expressed any other
                                        resources. This lack of ethnographic research is       interest in the park.
22                                      largely due to the fact that the land inside the          In addition to examining relationships
                                        park was considered to be neutral territory            between park resources and American Indians,
Kings Mountain National Military Park




                                        between the Cherokee and the Catawba prior to          Park Service guidelines encourage acknowledg-
                                        and at the time of the Battle of Kings Mountain.       ment of African-American history and experi-
                                        While it is thought that neither tribe used the        ence within national parks. Staff at Kings
                                        area regularly, the Colonial Road supposedly           Mountain are aware that the park could
                                        followed the route of an older Cherokee trail.         contain resources important to African
                                        Ethnographic research might help develop a             Americans, and in 2004 and 2005, researchers
                                        greater understanding of the uses of “neutral          from outside the Park Service conducted a
                                        territory” and the role of travel corridors in         massive project to identify and study the
                                        American Indian life prior to and during the           African-American participants in the battles of
                                        colonial era.                                          the Southern Campaign of the American
                                           The only prehistoric artifacts found inside         Revolutionary War. Revolutionary War scholar
                                        the park include a small handful of lithic             Dr. Bobby Moss and local historian Michael
                                        debitage and a partial chert point that were           Scoggins published two volumes on this topic.
                                        found during compliance projects. However,             Although a number of African Americans
                                        according to staff from the Park Service’s             participated in the battle, on both sides, park
                                        Southeast Regional Office, the lack of known           staff do not know if there is any contemporary
                                        prehistoric and American Indian sites within           African-American interest in the park.
                                        the boundaries of Kings Mountain does not                 Another possible area of study for an ethnog-
                                        indicate that there was no American Indian             raphy program at Kings Mountain relates to
                                        presence, but rather that there has not been           more recent cultural associations with the park.
                                        enough research and data to locate sites. In fact,     Park staff have submitted Park Service funding
                                        one of the only areas lacking in formal research       requests to conduct oral histories of Civilian
                                        or interpretation, as identified by park and           Conservation Corps (CCC) participants who
                                        regional staff, is the pre-settlement history of the   worked inside the park and the adjacent Kings
                                        area (the period prior to European and Euro-           Mountain State Park. Collecting these inter-
                                        American settlement). Park staff have requested        views is urgent as fewer and fewer CCC partici-
                                        project funding for such research.                     pants remain to share their experiences.
                                           Without baseline data on the possible
                                        American Indian or prehistoric significance of
                                        the park, staff cannot adequately address the
                                        preservation of sites or the cultivation of rela-
                                        tionships with potential traditionally associated
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