State approves Camp Blount site acquisition
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After two years of planning and preparation on the local front as well as in Nashville, the Tennessee Building Commission gave its approval Monday morning to the state’s acquisition of 39-plus acres known as Camp Blount here in Fayetteville.
“This is very significant,” said Fred Prouty, director of the Tennessee Wars Commission, which has authority over battlefields associated with all wars fought across the state and is responsible for organizing and facilitating land acquisition and easements at those sites. “We’ve been working on this for two years, because the encampment site there in Fayetteville is an integral part of Tennessee’s history and the history of our country.
“Add to that Andrew Jackson’s presence and the fact that Camp Blount is part of what earned Tennessee the right to be called the Volunteer State, and you quickly realize the merit this site carries,” he added.
Camp Blount was the rendezvous point and mustering ground for thousands of Tennessee soldiers led by then Gen. Andrew Jackson against the Creek Indians during the War of 1812. Historical markers placed by both the state as well as the Kings Mountain Messenger Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution mark the front the property, which rests in the bend of the Elk River southeast of the Huntsville Highway river crossing.
This Friday and Saturday’s Camp Blount Bicentennial Celebration will be held on the site, which is now in the process of being acquired by the state.
“This is phenomenal news,” said Farris Beasley, who chairs the Camp Blount Memorial Park Committee. “All of our efforts and work are coming to fruition, and we’re feel very privileged to see this occur.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to so many individuals and groups who’ve assisted in making this possible,” said Beasley. “It’s because of everyone’s efforts that Camp Blount’s role in the War of 1812 will long be remembered, and we greatly appreciate and value that – thank you to everyone involved.”
The acquisition still has a few hurdles to cross, including another survey and re-appraisal, but it is expected that at ultimately, the Camp Blount site will become a park. And as that process unfolds, it is also hoped that additional funds from the state will facilitate trails to be built and signs to be erected on the grounds.