Credit: Capitol Beat News Service
Kettle Creek Battlefield Wins National Park Service Designation
The Kettle Creek Battlefield in Wilkes County is now an “affiliated area” of the National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Rep Jody Hice, R-Greensboro, announced Monday.
Then-Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt approved the designation earlier this month, marking a commitment by the federal government to preserve the Revolutionary War site for future generations.
“This is an enormous win for all of us who have spent years working toward this goal,” Hice said in a statement. “Kettle Creek Battlefield [will] finally receive the recognition it deserves.”
The battle at Kettle Creek on Feb. 14, 1779, was the first major victory for Patriot forces in Georgia, showing conclusively that the British could never pacify the South’s frontier backcountry.
Efforts to have Kettle Creek Battlefield designated a national park date back nearly a century. U.S. Sen. Richard Russell of Georgia was among those who pushed for acquisition of the property.
Hice introduced legislation directing the Interior Department to conduct a study of the battlefield. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill last month.
Affiliated areas are a designation within the National Park Service referring to sites that may be recognized by Congress and may receive federal assistance but typically are owned and administered primarily by nonfederal entities.
Groups that worked to make the designation a reality for the Kettle Creek Battlefield include the Kettle Creek Battlefield Association, the Georgia Battlefields Association and Georgia Piedmont Land Trust and the Watson-Brown Foundation. Wilkes County also was involved.
Supporters hosted NPS Acting Director Dan Smith on a tour of the site back in May 2019.
This story comes to GPB through a reporting partnership with Capitol Beat News Service