South Boston,VA-- Hundreds of people from all over the East Coast got together in South Boston today to pay tribute to an important part of the town's history. They celebrated the 233rd anniversary of the Crossing of the Dan.The Crossing the Dan is dates all the way back to 1781 in the American Revolutionary War when the American troops crossed the Dan River just ahead of the British Army.
Historians say if the Southern Army didn't cross over, the war would have ended right there in South Boston.
For the past six years, a big celebration in South Boston has turned their portion of the Dan River into a war scene. It's called the Crossing of the Dan.
It dates all the way back to 1781 during the American Revolutionary War, when General Nathanael Greene's troops crossed the Dan River just ahead of Lord Cornwallis and the British Army.
"The Crossing of the Dan, and this is from historians, that it was an important event that was one of the events that actually changed course of history," said Barbara Bass, President of Halifax County Historical Society.
They say if the patriots hadn't crippled the British, and made it across this river, the British would have gone across into Virginia.
"This is the place where they turned the American Revolutionary War around and probably 75 percent of the people within 100 miles of here have no idea what happened here," said David Hutcheson, who made Documentary on Crossing of the Dan.
Organizers said that's why they hold the celebration, to educate those who don't know a piece of Southern history lies in their own back yard.
"We are just at the tipping point of actually educating the public," said Bass.
The education is for adults and children. The celebration included Halifax County Middle Schoolers entering a Crossing of the Dan essay contest and watching a performance.
"This is not in their textbook so we take great pride in being able to present something to these children in which we hope they will not forget," said Ane Raab, one of the event organizers.
The celebration included a premiere of a documentary about the Crossing of the Dan.There was also a wreath presentation ceremony honoring those who fought in the American Revolutionary War.