Tony Rodriguez

Tony Rodriguez

Thursday, 01 August 2019 14:31

The Revolution Never Ends

Wow! I can’t believe my internship here at Cowpens and Kings Mountain is already over. The summer always goes by quick and I really wish I could have stayed at my internship just a few weeks longer. I will not forget all I have learned nor the skills developed while interning here. While here I felt I was in my element with regards to my passion of American history and I felt I was able to help teach and spread the word of our American history that is not known or forgotten about because history, especially American history, should never be forgotten. I learned how to interpret history, experience and live the job of what an interpretative park ranger does every day. I believe I developed leadership skills by taking the lead on my project by my helpful recordings of promoting both parks.  I have developed a deeper passion and appreciation for National Parks as a result of this fantastic internship opportunity.

I have enjoyed the history of my parks, specifically, what they both have to offer. I enjoyed the special events that went on at both parks. I felt I was inspired to research the Revolutionary War more based on what new information I learn than what I knew when I started. I even explored my own family history as well during this time period because of how fascinated and appreciative I have become. Also, during this internship I expanded my interest of National Parks and prefer battlefield National Parks or forts by visiting not just Cowpens and Kings Mountain this summer, but also the Ninety-Six Historic Site and Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park in Atlanta, GA. While in Atlanta I also visited the Atlanta History Center, which was amazing and I highly recommend to anyone who might be in the area to check it out. But when it comes to Revolutionary War history and you want to see battlefields where the Continentals and Patriots actually started winning the war for our independence, then come to South Carolina and check out Kings Mountain and Cowpens. To further your interest, travel to Ninety Six, Musgrove Mill, the Overmountain Victory Trail, and Blackstocks Plantation for even more historical information. There are so many Revolutionary War sites to see and learn about their significance and why they should not be forgotten.

History never ends and it should never be forgotten. The eras such as the southern campaign during the Revolutionary War should be well known and taught more in depth in our schools, especially because the southern campaign was the turning point and a defining moment for the Continentals and Patriots. Many people visit Civil War National Parks more, but it is the Revolutionary War that I feel deserves more attention because of how half the war, which occurred in the southern theater, is often not recognized or known by many people. My internship may be over, but all I experienced and learned will not be forgotten.  After I leave, I intend to continue to promote these parks and I hope to teach the history of the American Revolutionary War in a classroom or museum to students and the public.  My focus might be more on the southern campaign of the war because that is often overlooked in schools. I will make it my goal to make this history known and teach it to as many people as possible given the opportunity.

The picture above is of my last day at Cowpens showing the majestic beauty of the park and the history that lays there. I really will miss both Cowpens and Kings Mountain and hope to maybe one day to come back to both parks and visit them again. Thank you to all the park rangers and volunteers that made my internship an amazing one to experience.

This is my last blog regarding my internship. I hope you all enjoyed me sharing my internship experience here at Cowpens and Kings Mountain.  I hope I have peaked your interest and you will want to check out these parks one day soon. Thank you LHIP so much for this great opportunity and experience. It has been life changing.  Goodbye all!

Friday, 12 July 2019 19:29

Learn Something New Everyday

Hello everyone my latest update is finally here from Cowpens National Battlefield/Kings Mountain National Battlefield!

This week I learned the main roles of park rangers and volunteers. They both work and operate in aiding the park by working or volunteering. I learned that it is important for rangers to always research and learn new information through books and any type of plausible research. It is incredible how all these people, whether rangers or volunteers have the knowledge and know how to help people at the visitor center. I mean is anyone aware of the fact that there were 600 battles in South Carolina during the American Revolutionary War? Let alone the fact that it was in South Carolina where the war started turning around for the Continentals and Patriots. Never did I think that when I was in middle school and watched the movie The Patriot in class did I ever think I actually would get to explore and see sites of the southern campaign from the American Revolutionary War. Then to learn how wrong it is to neglect this part of our country’s history and not teach it in our schools when it should be taught more in depth.

The picture above is of some melee weaponry the militia used since they didn’t have bayonets and they ranged from clubs and tomahawks to pretty much anything that they could be used as a weapon.

Talk to everyone next time!                                                 

Friday, 12 July 2019 15:09

The Best Source of Information

Hello again everyone I’m here today to talk about an influential person here at my park/battlefield!

The best influential person here at my internship between both parks is a park ranger Rolland. He is very knowledgeable on the history of the Battle of Cowpens during the American Revolutionary War as well as American Revolutionary War history in general. He served in the U.S. Navy for twenty years and then became a park ranger here in South Carolina. He is originally from Boston Massachusetts and lived in Maine for quite a while with his family and is a big Boston Bruins hockey fan, a Red Sox fan, and a NASCAR fan. He always has something to say whether it’s historically related to the American Revolutionary War or any other era of history or on NASCAR, baseball, marvel heroes movies, Star Wars, hockey, or baseball. But the influential part in him I see is that he really loves what he does and you see it every day. Granted the other park rangers enjoy their jobs as well but Rolland is the best source of information for Cowpens when it comes to anything to do with that park.

Park Ranger Rolland is the type of person I would like to become in being very in depth about history especially the southern campaign in the American Revolutionary War. Usually when I’m unsure about a question or am interested in a certain topic to know more about during the Revolutionary War in the south I would ask him and he could answer and go into depth on either or. Rolland is also a nice and easy person to talk to when it comes to information about the southern campaign. This is very beneficial for the visitors I’ve noticed because many visitors favor I know in talking to him or listening to what he has to say about the battlefield and the war. It is people like Rolland that give me hope for being a successful teacher and really making an impact on students and just regular people’s lives.

Then the picture above is of the 2nd Maryland continental’s regiment flag from when the reenactor for this regiment visited the park to give a weapons firing demonstration and talk about the continentals and go into detail on the type of weaponry they used.

Talk to you again next week!


Friday, 12 July 2019 14:34

Reliving History at Ninety-Six

Hello again everyone I’m here today to talk about an unexpected journey I had here at my park/battlefield!

The unexpected journey that I was able to experience was getting an opportunity to go to Ninety Six National Historic Site dressed up as an American Revolutionary War era British red coat and help out at the summer camp there for a week. I was allowed to educate the kids about colonial life and how a British soldier lived during the American Revolutionary War. Additionally, I was able to talk to the kids about the significance of Fort Ninety Six itself and how it was a British fort that had been around since before the revolution as a training fort for British soldiers. I talked to them about the siege of Ninety Six during the Revolutionary War. I also helped with the kids in doing some activities. Such as building their own colonial era houses with Lincoln logs, creating signs of the shops they would have liked to own during the time of the war, learning how to spindle twine, along with some colonial math on how much the kids could put in their 400 pound weight capacity colonial wagon to make the journey from Philadelphia to Ninety Six. Other female rangers that were there were dressed as colonial era women. The kids thought I was the coolest character there dressed as a redcoat which I really enjoyed because they had a lot of questions about the British and I was able to answer all of them. Being there participating and educating them was certainly one of my highlights during this internship.

I could tell just from being there for one day that the kids were really enjoying the summer camp that whole week and learning a lot about the fort, the American Revolutionary War, and the nature at the park. As well as that’s what it is all about in getting kids to like history which I also feel can benefit me for the future when I’m teaching even though it will be high school I feel getting them to enjoy and favor history through certain assignments and activities will help. Then at the same time promoting certain eras of history like the southern campaign during the American Revolutionary War a lot more. If I can inspire kids more to like history and what we do in my classroom then I feel I will have achieved my goal in teaching history to high school kids. In that when it comes to high school kids teaching and getting them to want to learn the material I feel it is more of a challenge than elementary or middle school kids. The right teacher with a certain style of teaching I feel is always the key. The southern campaign during the war needs to be learned about and taught more than people know because the U.S. won the American Revolutionary War in the south and not so much in the north. The north was a stalemate between both sides compared to how the war was in the south which was not a stalemate at all.

Then the picture is of me dressed as a British redcoat ready to head to Ninety-Six for the day and teach kids about the history there as well as any history on the American Revolutionary War on both sides.

Talk to you all again soon!


Hello everyone I’m back once again with the latest update on Cowpens and Kings Mountain!

So my project I found out will be podcasts for both parks. I intend to prepare a podcast on the orientation for each park which will cover what both parks have to offer and serve as a little introductory recording as it were of both parks. I will also be giving another podcast which will focus on something related to the American Revolutionary War that doesn’t get a lot of attention or mentioned in either park and that people really should know more about. The topics I decided for this podcast on and begun researching on include for Cowpens spies of the American Revolutionary War and for Kings Mountain African Americans during the war. The purpose of these podcasts is to promote both parks better as well as the American Revolutionary War itself on certain aspects that people may not know about.

The American Revolutionary War has always been of interest to me especially the southern campaign of the war because it is not discussed as much. The southern campaign of the American Revolutionary War is not discussed all that much in schools other than knowing that Yorktown, Virginia is where the war ended. The northern campaign is taught more and the war for the continentals and patriots was won in the south in the Carolinas primarily. American History is a must that all American schools in the U.S. are taught. Past eras like the revolution are just not focused on as much when they should be as well as the topics I’ll be discussing such as spies and African Americans during the war.

I not only hope to just promote the parks with these podcasts but I hope to inspire teachers and anyone who loves history to spread the word and information of how the southern campaign was the defining point of our freedom from the British Empire. I’m not saying Saratoga, Monmouth Courthouse, Princeton, Trenton, George Washington, and the Declaration of Independence aren’t important. But again what happened all up in the northern campaign is not the only important thing about the war for the southern campaign is truly where the U.S. achieved victory before Yorktown. Yorktown just assured victory for the U.S.

Making a difference in this nation and remembering an era of history that should never be forgotten let alone not taught about and should be is the primary goal of what I hope to achieve in these podcasts. The war that won us our independence should not be forgotten or certain parts of it not taught because this was our defining moment in making the U.S. in what it is today.

Then my picture above is of the South Carolina Rangers militia reenactors giving a demonstration of the weaponry the regiment used during the American Revolutionary War as well as in this battle itself. Some of the weapons they demonstrated were the Brown Bess musket and the Pennsylvania long rifle.

Talk to you all next time!


Wednesday, 10 July 2019 18:18

What I am Learning at my National Parks

Since I have been here at Cowpens National Battlefield and Kings Mountain National Military Park I have learned so much. I have learned the day to day operations of the visitor centers, meeting and greeting visitors and guests to both parks, in addition to my progress on my project of creating podcasts to help promote the parks and their special events. As I stated in my first blog, I am a double major in secondary education/history as well as public history. During my internship I have learned more on how to do research and on sharing that research with visitors by interpreting the history for them, In addition, I have assisted with running activities on special event planned days and I am definitely developing skills that will aid me when I begin teaching as a history teacher. As I teacher it is important for me to interpret history to my students as well as how to run the students through various activities by getting them to participate more and enjoy learning what they are being taught.

This internship has also been a major learning experience for me if teaching doesn’t work out. I have my foot in the door with how things are run at a National Park, especially if I choose to become an interpretative park ranger. In addition, I have learned skills that could apply to even working in a history museum as a curator of information for people.

This past 4th of July week I learned how important teamwork is at National parks and park rangers working together when a big event is going on such as the 4th of July or anniversary of the park.  I have learned how important it is to use every available resource to help visitors throughout the day including other rangers when you need assistance on something you don’t know or a visitor has a question about something you don’t know yourself.

The picture above is from our 4th of July Celebration of Freedom event at Cowpens National Battlefield when a reenactor dressed as a Continental was preparing to fire our three pound grasshopper cannon we keep on display at the museum. On this day our event consisted of weapons firing demonstrations by the reenactors of the South Carolina Rangers militia and the 2nd Maryland Continentals Regiment. American Revolutionary War ear rifles were being fired as well as the cannon. There were also activities for the children where they could make their own patriot or tory hats and sign their names in feathered pens dipped in ink on an oath to the United States Patriot Army.  Many children also took part in doing the junior ranger program as well. There were also authors on site doing book signings on some of their books which we sell in the book store. The authors gave a lecture on comparing both their books and talking in depth on what they wrote about.  Lastly, we had several visitors volunteer to read sections of the Declaration of Independence to other visitors who were listening.

This has truly been a great learning experience. Talk to you all again soon!

Wednesday, 12 June 2019 00:03

Remember the Revolution

Hello Everyone,

My name is Tony Rodriguez and I am and undergraduate double majoring in secondary education for history and applied in public history at Appalachian State University. I was originally born, raised, and lived in Sandusky, Ohio for nineteen years then moved to North Carolina in May 2014 and have been a citizen of North Carolina ever since to this day.

I am working for the National Park Service at Cowpens National Battlefield in Gaffney, South Carolina but I will also be at Kings Mountain National Military Park near the North and South Carolina border. My work at Cowpens National Battlefield from what I know so far consists of helping out at the main desk at the visitor center informing people about the site as well as directing them around and knowing where to go. I also help out with purchases as a cashier there and opening up the park visitor center in the morning and closing it in the evening. As for Kings Mountain National Military Park I will be performing the same duties plus helping out with summer camp visits. I also was put as the leader on the project for two podcasts I will be helping with there to promote both battlefields better. So I am expected to retain and learn as much information at both battlefields as I can that will be useful in both podcasts. As well as utilizing all resources in both sites including park ranger’s knowledge and a library that’s at Cowpens for park ranger’s use only.

And then I’ll also be in charge of leading a tour group around the battlefield not just giving the people a tour of the battlefield. But also taking about and explaining to them how the battle played out with my own spin on the information offering more information than the people may already know from the museum in the visitor center and the information signs posted around the path on the battlefield.

The picture above is of the Washington Light Infantry Monument erected in 1856 to commemorate the American victory at the Battle of Cowpens. It stands today as the earliest testament to the valor of the Patriot Army at Cowpens.

I am very excited about getting this internship with Cowpens National Battlefield and Kings Mountain Military Park because I do favor the American Revolutionary War period and Cowpens and Kings Mountain were the turning points of the war which is why it is even greater to have access to both sites. I hope you’re all as excited as I am for the future blogs to come out of both these amazing sites.

You can check out my blogs here every week at the LHIP website.

Thank You!

Wednesday, 15 May 2019 14:16

Tony Rodriguez

My name is Tony Rodriguez, and I am a senior at Appalachian State University majoring in both public history and secondary education for history. I have a great passion for history, especially the history of the American Revolutionary War, which is why I was super happy when I received word I got an internship at Cowpens National Battlefield. I was born, raised, and lived in Sandusky, Ohio for 19 years before I moved to North Carolina in 2014. I did competitive distance running for 10 years, with 10 of those years in cross country, and 6 ½ of those years in track. I am a pretty outgoing person who is always up for anything. Most of my family lives in Ohio, along with my best friends. I have been to South Carolina multiple times for vacations, so my LHIP experience in the park will be an experience for me. This internship is going to be great, and I look forward to meeting all the people I’ll be working with.

I also love anything Star Wars related and anything to do with the Marvel hero’s universe ranging from video games, to movies, to TV shows, and just any information on those topics. I also am a big fan of college football cheering for my school, Notre Dame, Alabama, and Oregon.