Alamance Battleground State Historic Site will commemorate 250th anniversary

BURLINGTON

Alamance Battleground State Historic Site will commemorate the 250th anniversary of the 1771 Battle of Alamance with virtual programs and a special illumination Saturday, May 15.

Three hundred luminaries will mark the positions of the battlefield combatants, with one luminary representing 10 people who participated in the battle. The memorial in light will occur 7-10 p.m.

The Battle of Alamance was the culmination of the Regulator Movement, a complicated series of events involving abuse of power, civil unrest, protest, and violence in the North Carolina backcountry. Two thousand Regulators fought against 1,000 militia volunteers led by Royal Governor William Tryon. The defeat of the Regulators eased tensions until the Revolutionary War again created divisions throughout North Carolina.

The celebration has been scaled back to primarily virtual programs in response to COVID-19 recommendations.

“The difficulty in planning and hosting public events during the pandemic has forced us to get creative, but we’re proud of what we’ve been able to put together,” said Site Manager Jeremiah DeGennaro.

During the week leading up to the anniversary, content will be published on Alamance Battleground social media pages featuring authors discussing their work studying the Regulator movement, living historians sharing stories of people involved in the battle, and virtual exhibits. All online content will be accessible at https://www.facebook.com/AlamanceBattlegroundshs.

The illumination is open to the public. Visitors are invited to park and walk the grounds. All social distancing requirements in effect on May 15 will be closely followed. Crowd size will be monitored throughout the evening.

“This illumination is a departure from the typical reenactment events we have held in the past, and allows for reflection on the cost paid here in lives,” DeGennaro said. “This battle was devastating to hundreds of families, and its effects reverberated throughout North Carolina. This illumination will hopefully give people a chance to appreciate the scale of the battle and the lives lost.”