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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fort Gaines GA ancestors

The Queen City loaded with bales of cotton, near a covered bridge, Chattahoochee River at Fort Gaines

I've been researching how my ancestors from the south lived and died during the years of the Civil War and following.
So to talk a bit about Fort Gaines GA, where my ancestors the William Phillips Sr. and Samuel Gainer family lived as of 1850. Before looking at 1850, here's some background of the location.

History lesson about Fort Gaines Georgia:
Located in southwest Georgia, on the Chattahoochee River in Fort Gaines was a smallish city where cotton had been shipped down river to the Gulf of Mexico prior to the Civil War. There were three forts built at that location, with the earliest having been a frontier fort to protect settlers from Indians. (The Indian culture had been established in that area for 2000 years, and included building Kolomoki Mounds nearby.)

The First Fort:  Fort Gaines was established in 1816 by order of Gen. Edmund P. Gaines, commander of a large district, who used this as his headquarters. Containing two blockhouses, the 100-foot square fort was enclosed by a stockade eight feet high. During 1817, when Indians were active in the area, settlers look refuge in the fort, garrisoned by Federal troops under Gen. John Dill.  (Incidentally, a 100-foot square is 100 feet on each side, not 10 feet which brings a 100-square foot size.)

The Fort at Fort Gaines, and to the right, the railing overlooking the Chatahoochee River/

Frontier village restoration at Fort Gaines GA

The Second Fort: In May of 1836 the 88th Regiment of the Georgia Militia built a small fort in anticipation of an attack by the Creek Indians. The Steamer Georgian had arrived crowded with women and children fleeing from the Indian uprising at Roanoke upriver. The Steamer, Anna Calhoun was pressed for 5,000 pounds of bacon and 8 barrels of flour in order to feed the refugees and militia.

The uprising was quelled before the fighting reached Fort Gaines. This was one of the last major insurgences of the Creeks before their removal to the West by Andrew Jackson. That was also known as the Trail of Tears.

Two Covered Bridges
 A covered bridge near The Queen City loaded with bales of cotton
Coheelee Creek Covered Bridge, Early County GA
I think these are 2 different bridges, based on the height over the water surface.  And the Queen City paddlewheeler (Steamer) is probably in the Chattahoochee River, not a creek! Early County later was divided into other counties, and Fort Gaines now is the county seat of Clay County.

There's a lot of history, and some interesting anecdotes to share with you.  Like the 1850 Census data, and the third fort built for the Civil War. Soon....

Today's quote:

Be humble for you are made of Earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.
Serbian Proverb

 (The same idea was shared centuries later by Carl Sagan!)

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