Writer: Roger Nielsen
A Revolutionary War battlefield in eastern Georgia is getting a makeover with the help of an action plan developed by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
Local government and community leaders in Wilkes County plan to expand visitor facilities, trails, and interpretive displays on the site where a force of about 400 Patriots defeated a much larger assembly of Loyalists in the Battle of Kettle Creek on Feb. 14, 1779. The Patriot victory was significant because it helped to disrupt the British strategy of pacifying the South and separating it from rebellious colonies farther north.
The 65-acre site, located southwest of the City of Washington, features monuments and historical markers on War Hill, which rises above Kettle Creek. Local leaders and the Kettle Creek Battlefield Association (KCBA) are working to protect more of the battlefield, improve the entrance, expand visitor facilities, and install trails with interpretive displays designed to help explain the battle. The KCBA was organized to protect the battlefield's historic and military significance.
The Institute is collaborating with the association and the Central River Savannah Area Regional Commission on an 18-month action plan to prioritize development work at the battlefield. The recently completed action plan includes a work program and information about potential funding sources, according to Langford Holbrook, a community planning and project management expert for the Institute.
Improving access to the Kettle Creek battlefield and providing interpretive displays will enhance the site as a tourist destination, and the Washington-Wilkes Chamber of Commerce is working with the KCBA and the county government to integrate Kettle Creek with other tourist attractions near Washington.