In conclusion, it is the Author's "humble opinion" that Evan Shelby. Sr. was a "de facto" (if not an actual) Colonel in the Washington District/County Regiment of Militia alongside Col. John Carter, then Col. John Sevier from late 1776 to 1783. This Author acknowledges that Evan Shelby, Sr. might have "retired" from active duty (VA and/or NC) in 1779, but circumstances kept him "involved" in Washington County Regiment military matters probably until the end of the war.
As stated earlier, many later pensioners (of the 1830s) attested that they served under Col. Evan Shelby, Sr. from 1776 to 1783, and they lived in Washington County, North Carolina. Many pensioners attested to serving under Col. Evan Shelby, Sr. at the battle of Chickamauga Towns in April of 1779 - almost all named Captains are known to have been North Carolina officers. A few men mentioned that they "think" Col. Evan Shelby, Sr. "retired" after that significant engagement on the western side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but then go on to assert that Col. Evan Shelby, Sr. "took up arms again" to protect the homefront while the rest of the "Overmountain Men" went after the Loyalist army under Maj. Patrick Ferguson and met up with them at the battle of Kings Mountain, SC on October 7, 1780. Other pensioners mentioned that Col. Evan Shelby, Sr. continued in similar fashion for the remainder of the war - if men left the area to go help South Carolina or other locales, Col. Evan Shelby, Sr. led the local units that remained back at home to protect the settlers.
Additionally, North Carolina created Sullivan County - out of Washington County - on October 30, 1779. Col. Isaac Shelby - son of Evan Shelby, Sr. - was commissioned as the first (and only) Colonel/Commandant over the Sullivan County Regiment of Militia.