Crossing of the Dan

Berryman Green Chapter, Virginia Daughters of the American Revolution, Dan River Chapter, Virginia Society, Sons of the American Revolution, Halifax County Historical Society, town of South Boston and Halifax County Middle School are co-hosting the 239th anniversary commemoration of the Crossing of the Dan River in Virginia during the American Revolution and invite the public to attend and participate.

Free public events are planned for Saturday at The Prizery, located at 700 Bruce St. in South Boston, and Constitution Square.

The second half of the event has been moved to the square due to the recent flooding at the Crossing site.

Following an American victory at the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina in January 1781, General Nathanael Greene’s southern army outran British forces under Lord Cornwallis as both armies raced northward across the Carolinas.

In what became known as the Race to the Dan, a few weeks later, on Feb. 14, 1781, became “The Crossing” when Greene’s army crossed the Dan River to safety near South Boston.

The Crossing of the Dan became a turning point in the American Revolution, precipitating events that led to the British surrender at Yorktown. Because of its historical significance the National Society Sons of the American Revolution has now recognized the Crossing of the Dan as a nationally sanctioned event.

Beginning at 10 a. m. Saturday, the SAR and DAR will host the annual Crossing of the Dan commemoration in The Prizery on the third floor in the banquet hall.

The program will include greetings and the master of ceremonies will be Dr. Phil Williams, past president of Dan River Chapter VASSAR.

Headlining this year’s event are musicians David Russell and Roland Terry presenting “The Crossing of the Dan: A Major Turning Point in the American Revolution in Story and Song” followed by a march to the square.

Russell will present the true history of the famous Race to the Dan River made and won by Revolutionary War General Nathanael Greene over British General Lord Cornwallis by telling the story in a “you are there in real time” musical and narration performance. David will be accompanied by Terry of the legendary 8th generation Terry musical family of North Carolina.

Russell and Terry are both direct descendants of Revolutionary War veterans in the Southern Campaign, and will perform period music and narrative in dramatic form with audience participation.

Wearing period clothing, the musicians will perform selections on traditional acoustic guitar, violin, mandolin and mandocello.

Due to the recent flooding at the crossing site, the Virginia Sons of the American Revolution color guard, Halifax County Senior High School JROTC color guard and participants and attendees will then march to the square for a wreath laying ceremony followed by the retiring of the colors and closing remarks.

Following the morning program, guests are invited to visit the permanent exhibit located on the third floor of The Prizery.

A Brunswick stew lunch will be available for a cost of $5.