Richard Thornton | Aug 9, 2017 | 5
Searching for the Location of Ft. Troup Georgia
On the Frontier, Fayette County, Georgia 1825
In 2005, I discovered the existence of Ft. Troup which was built in Fayette County in 1825. The fact that such an old fort existed came as a real surprise.
Shortly after the murder of Chief William McIntosh on April 30, 1825, Brigadier General Alexander Ware and the men of the 2nd Brigade, 5th Division, Fayette County, Georgia State Militia, constructed Fort Troup. In a letter dated May 19, 1825, Fayette County, Fort Troup, from Alexander Ware to Georgia Governor Troup, Ware makes his case for constructing the fort:
“The friendly Indians are in a horrible state, almost every night they take an alarm and fly to the swamps, many a hostile Indian is seen where none is. I have thought proper to suggest to your Excellency, the propriety of blending the whole in one encampment, that is now in my Brigade and cause them to build a fortification that will not only shelter the half naked women and children, but will enable the men, without calling the citizen from his plow, to protect themselves.”
Ware, his men, and all citizens of Fayette County anticipated an attack from a large hostile band of Indians. During this time, Fayette County was the western edge of the frontier, with Line Creek being the border of Georgia and the Creek Nation. On June 11, 1825, in a letter from Troup to Ware, the governor responds, Sir, you will receive for public service, 160 muskets, 5280 cartridges, 250 flints, 100 lb. buck shot, and 160 cartridge boxes.
Fort Troup was now stocked with the most modern weapons. Two years later on June 6, 1827, the military supplies were sent back to Milledgeville, as the attack never came.
So where was this fort? All evidence that I have found points to an area in what is now the southern tip of Peachtree City, or near Starr’s Mill. In 1930, a member of the DAR stated that the remains of the old fort can still be seen about 3 miles north of Senoia. Another source states that the fort was located near the intersection of the King’s Road and the McIntosh Road (both old Indian trails), which according to historical maps and well-known researchers, is near what is now Starr’s Mill.
The latest information points to a bluff over-looking Line Creek, west of the new Publix complex on south GA highway 74. That location makes sense, as Alexander Ware owned that property in 1825. However, we found no bluff.
Armed with GPS, metal detectors, shovels, and other needed tools of the trade, John Lynch and I have hiked from behind Cooper Lighting in Peachtree City on Line Creek, to an area claimed to be an old Indian Trading Post, north-west of Brooks near the intersection of Whitewater and Haddock creeks. We found several interesting areas, but no fort.
Before I close, let me tell you just a little more about Alexander Ware, whom I contend is our own “Davy Crockett”.” Alexander Ware, born Virginia in 1789, son of Mary (Veal) and Lt. James Ware- Revolutionary War, served in the War of 1812 along side my great-great grandfather, Asa Lanham, who was in the Georgia Militia. He surveyed original districts in Fayette and Coweta Counties, owned or paid taxes on 42 land lots in Fayette and Coweta counties, owned interest in a gold mine and had holdings in Lee, Early, Carroll, and Madison counties, owned lots in Columbus, owned several mills on Line Creek, served in the Georgia House of Representatives, served as Justice of the Inferior Court, commissioner of the Fayette Academy, owned Ware’s Store and Post Office west of Peachtree City in Kedron (remains can still be seen), and served as post-master. He was also a Mason, a General in the Militia, and a friend of Chief McIntosh.
In 1835, Ware, a bachelor, traveled to Texas where he purchased land in San Augustine County. During the Texas Revolution he joined the San Augustine Texas Volunteers. After surviving the war, he was murdered by a member of the notorious Murrell Gang and robbed of $10,000 in gold.
While seeking to find out more about Alexander Ware and locate his burial site, my wife and I spent a week in San Augustine, Texas, searching for clues. The search revealed nothing more than what I had previously found.
There is much, much more to this man’s life than I have told. Alexander Ware went far in his day by his own effort and achievement, and rose high in the esteem of his fellow men. If his grave could be found, his tombstone would probably read: “Alexander Ware, Pioneer, Patriot, Soldier, Surveyor, Explorer, State Legislator, and Leader.”
I will continue to search for the location of Ft. Troup and I encourage all of you to help in the exploration of this forgotten piece of Georgia history. Please contact me if you find any leads in this regard.
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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history.Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.
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