Update on possible Fort Buffington site investigation

It has been a year since Vogt-Dautzenlein discovered the possible site of  Fort Buffington, in Cherokee County, Georgia.

Artifacts found, while consistent with the time period are not definitive by themselves, as daily life at a  volunteer militia frontier fort did not differ radically from that of most settlers. Removal forts were not heavily militarized since the Cherokee were not hostile. In some locales, the militia soldiers were not armed much more than a week before the collection action started. The volunteers were simply settlers who volunteered to serve under their local militia commanders. Most of Buffington’s outfit came from Hall County with some Cherokee County men volunteering once the post was established.

Landowners have granted permission to begin more extensive archaeological investigations that should lead to more definitive findings.

 

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Vogt-Dautzenlein locates Historic Site believed to be Fort Buffington!

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Vogt-Dautzenlein Discovers Probable Location of Fort Buffington!

On August 23, 2015, documentary evidence was Dautzenleined (connected using Dautzenlein procedures) and it indicated a specific location. It is very exciting when Dautzenleins predict a location and it leads to discoveries!

Within two days, this location produced artifacts of the time period, type, and quantity to suggest that this is the probable site of the long lost Cherokee Removal fort – Fort Buffington.

Fort Buffington was one of the main forts along what is now called the Trail of Tears.

While the fort structure appears to have been relatively small, the site itself covers several acres and looks to have another adjoining “campus” possibly used by the Cherokee when they were collected for Removal.

Assuming this is the site, it clears up a lot of confusion that has existed about the fort and its location.

The sites and properties are privately owned by a number of individuals. No further information will be released at this time, as per landowners’ wishes.

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Historic Landmark Lost!

Sadly, Cherokee County, Georgia has lost one of its earliest historical landmark structures.

The Major John McConnell, Jr. house, built before the Cherokee Removal, has been torn down.

It overlooked McConnell land holdings, in the Hickory Flat area, that stretched from near New Light and Hickory Roads on into town where its earlier counterpart, the McConnell/Garrison/ Worley/Quarles house stood near the intersection of East Cherokee and Highway 140. John had followed his son, Eli, to the area.

When Brigadier General Eli McConnell and his brother-in-law, John B. Garrison moved into the Cherokee Nation in 1829-30 and co-founded Hickory Flat, they were the first settlers in the area. In fact, they were among the first settlers in the Cherokee Nation. McConnell and Garrison established homes, families, Post Office, and trade here at the crossroads of several early trails.

Eli’s two story house, first depicted on drawings from the 1832 land survey, had been Hickory Flat’s main historical building until it was lost to development some years ago. Now, John’s house, very similar architecturally, has been torn down. Neither house sparked enough attention to have them preserved.

It is interesting that “old” buildings, still within the childhood memories of folks, seem to have more importance than buildings that pre-date one’s memory.

All this is nothing new in the grand scheme of things, it’s just sad to see. Things do fade into history.

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Gone… Forever.  1834 – 2015

 The Dautzenlein Theory states, “ Dautzenleins* persist or decay based on the original intention of someone and the continued attention or inattention of others.” Those Dautzenleins perceived as more valuable will tend to become bigger and more solid; those perceived as less valuable or undesirable will fade and “disappear.”

 John McConnell’s original intention to have a house must have been very strong… it   lasted 181 years!

*Dautzenleins are the connections of people or things, places, dates, and events.

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Update re: Trail of Tears Route from Fort Buffington to Fort Wool confirmed.

Update re: Trail of Tears Route from Fort Buffington to Fort Wool confirmed.

14 August 2015

Documentary evidence confirming that the Fort Buffington Cherokees took a northern route to Fort Wool rather than the more southern route taken by the Sixes Cherokees has been established.

For some years we have believed this to be the case but did not have the Dautzenleins connected. The “dots and lines” are now connected!

County land records, Cherokee County Court records, eye-witness reports, maps, travel times, and military records connect to give us a good picture of this portion of the Trail of Tears.

While most sources, like the National Park Service and Trail of Tears Association have shown the Trail going south and then west from the Canton area, we now know it went north and then west to arrive near New Echota and Fort Wool.

The leg of this route beyond Reinhardt’s still needs more documentation but there were only two major routes across at that time, one through Pine Log and the other through Sallacoa.

Now more data may be found as the Dautzenleins of this route are observed and connected to fill out history in this area.

Details and references are in our book: The Curious Disappearance of Fort Buffington (3rd  Edition, September 2015).

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Trail of Tears Routes from Fort Buffington and Sixes to Fort Wool

The question recently came up:  What routes did The Cherokee take from Fort Buffington and Sixes Encampment as they started on the Trail of Tears?  We put together several references and now have a good view of how they traveled according to the National Park Service and another possibility.

Trail of Tears Routes from Fort Buffington and Sixes Encampment

The NPS suggests that the Fort Buffington Cherokee traveled west on old Alabama Road to Donaldson’s Ferry on the Etowah, north of Cherokee Court House / Etowah / Canton @ Land Lot 167/14/2.

Once across the Etowah, they would have traveled west on a road (that was layed out in 1834/35) and followed an early trail called Warford’s Trail (Wofford’s Trail) that went to Wofford’s Cross Roads.

The Trail would have turned southwest to join up with the road that ran from Downings Ferry to Cassville.

Two trails, sometimes called Upper and Lower Sweetwater, join at Laffingal and then head west, then northwest to Cassville. In 1838, Lower Sweetwater was part of the old Alabama Road, sometimes called Downing’s Ferry Road, as it continued west of Canton, across the Etowah at Downing’s Ferry and on to Laffingal and points west.

From Cassville the Trail ran for awhile on the road “from Cassville to Coosawattee” and then branched, just north of the South Fork of Two Run Creek, northwest to Adairsville and on to Calhoun and Fort Wool near New Town / New Echota .

The Sixes Cherokee crossed the Etowah at Brookes Ferry on Land Lot 216/15/2. This was north of Sixes mines, now the Bridgemill area. This route would have given the Cherokee one last look at the Sixes Village with the large Town House at its center as the trail climbed out of the river lands and up to old Alabama Road / Downing’s Ferry Rd on the same route to Cassville.

Dautzenlein Connections also point to an alternative possibility that Fort Buffington Cherokees and Sixes Cherokees took different routes to Fort Wool.

The Sixes Cherokees probably took the route above, starting at Brooke’s Ferry and following Downing’s Ferry / Alabama Road west to Ft. Wool.

The Buffington Cherokee may have taken a different, more northerly route from Donaldson’s Ferry, at Canton, northwest thorough what is now Waleska, on to Pine Log, and up to Ft. Wool. We’ve coined this the “140 Route” as it generally follows Georgia Route 140 from Martin’s Ferry, a gateway into the Cherokee Nation on the Chattahoochee River, up to Canton and all the way to Adairsville near Calhoun. Court documents from 1836 mention this “road from Canton to New Town” and its proximity to L. W. Reinhardt’s.

More research is needed to definitively map the routes but these are the two possibilities that are the most probable.

Note: See later post with Update about this!

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Release of new eBook: The Curious Disappearance of Fort Buffington!

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Dautzenlein Publications announces the release of its most recent eBook – The Curious Disappearance of Fort Buffington.

The Curious Disappearance of Fort Buffington explores information, some known and some hypothesized or speculated, surrounding one of the infamous lost Cherokee “Removal” forts – Fort Buffington. Fort Buffington was one of the starting points of the Trail of Tears. There are over 40 illustrations, photos, and maps to assist the reader in the search for this lost piece of history.

The fort is just one piece of a complex pattern of dots and lines that form a bigger picture. Fort Buffington is a haunting element of an entire, almost hidden or perhaps purposefully ignored, period of American history.

Fort Buffington is a symbol. Symbols capture our attention and pique our curiosities as they act to provide something we can see and touch about a subject otherwise lost or vaguely remembered. Symbols are links to our pasts and objects of wonderment, and as many of us have experienced, lost things almost demand that they be found so there can be some kind of closure.

While Fort Buffington is one of those symbols or artifact of this whole subject, interesting in and of itself, we invite you to use it as a starting point for a continuing adventure. Read, discover, make your own observations, and form your conclusions about Fort Buffington and the people connected to this whole period of American history.

  • What factors came together to cause the fort to be built in the first place?
  • Did you know that at one time there was an entire autonomous “foreign” nation that existed fully inside the borders of the United States?
  • What did Fort Buffington look like?
  • What can we learn and discern by studying old maps of the area?
  • How could Fort Buffington and about 25 other forts and encampments, used as collection points from which to remove the Cherokee Native Americans from the Cherokee Nation, just disappear?
  • How can you can be part of the discovery process and perhaps uncover information that could help locate the lost Fort Buffington or bring about more knowledge of its history?

This eBook is available for smartphone, tablet, kindle, and computer. Available here.

If you do not have a Kindle just download the FREE Kindle Reading App to read on smartphone, tablet, or computer. See right hand column below Amazon book order button.

 

 

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