WILKES COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – After nearly 100 years of efforts, Kettle Creek Battlefield in Wilkes County is now an affiliated area of the U.S. National Park Service, and a ribbon was cut on Thursday to unveil its new sign.
Affiliated areas are privately owned historic sites that receive technical and financial support from the National Park Service.
“We allowed them to use the arrowhead on the sign for the public to recognize the significance of this area,” said Tracy Stakely, the superintendent of Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historic Parks.
The battle at Kettle Creek in 1779 was the first major victory for the Patriots in Georgia in the American Revolution.
“Most people think the Revolutionary War was fought primarily in the North,” Stakely said. “But, the southern campaign was pretty important, and this is one of the most significant sites in that campaign.”
After Congressman Jody Hice pushed for the site to be an NPS affiliate, it was approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior on January 14, 2021 after NPS Acting Director Dan Smith visited the site.
“He left here on that day saying this absolutely needs to be an affiliate of the National Park Service, and let’s work to make that happen,” Hice said.
Hice and other historic preservation leaders spoke today about why the battlefield’s NPS affiliation is a win for the state, before showing community members the new sign.
“This is just a momentous occasion for Georgia and America,” Hice said. “You don’t receive the recognition of an affiliate of the National Park Service without it being a nationally significant place, and Kettle Creek certainly is.”
This new status will preserve the area for years to come, and highlight its importance as a landmark in the community.