Figure 1. 1814 Carey map showing 1785 treaty line as western boundary for Franklin and Jackson counties.
Fort Daniel is situated on the highest part of Hog Mountain in northeastern Gwinnett County, about 3600 feet northeast of the head of the Appalachee River (aka south fork of the Oconee river). This point is the south end of the boundary allotted to the Cherokees for their hunting grounds, between the said Indians and the citizens of the United States as described in the 1785 Treaty of Hopewell. The line served as the western boundary first of Franklin County and then Franklin and Jackson counties (see Figure 1).
The head of the Appalachee, or south fork of the Oconee as it was mistakenly called, was cited again in the 1790 Treaty of New York and the 1796 Treaty of Coleraine, and served for a time as the (north)western end of the treaty line separating the Creeks from U.S. territory (see Figure 2)
Figure 1. 1814 Carey map showing 1785 treaty line as western boundary for Franklin and Jackson counties.
Figure 2. Portion of map from, Indian Land Cessions in the United States, by Charles C. Royce Bureau of American Ethnology, 18th Annual Report 1896-1897 (1899) Plate CXXII. f Map shows superimposed location of Fort Daniel at head of Appalachee River and related treaty boundaries running northeast and southeast (green).
The 1785 line was first run by by Colonel Benjamin Hawkins in 1798 but had to be re-run in 1804 due to problems with settlers ending up on the wrong side of the line. The line was thereafter known as, “the Hawkins Line" (See in Figure 2, "Wofford's Tract;" and http://ngeorgia.com/ang/Wofford's_Tract.
Cunningham's survey sketch maps for the 1819 survey, completed at the time of the creation of Gwinnett County, shows that the fort site would have been located less than 1200 feet south of the Hawkins line and, being on a high place, would have overlooked the head of the Appalachee (see Figure 3). In fact, they would have been able to see Stone Mountain. The actual end of the line at the head of the Appalachee is about 3600 feet west of the fort on the south side of Hog Mountain Road (Hwy 124) depicted by a dotted line.
Early fortified sites along the frontier played an important role in Georgia’s history as settlement of new territories invariably led to conflict between the settlers and the indigenous peoples. There are reconnaissance sketch maps made during the Oconee (Creek Indian) War in the 1780's and 1790's that show locations of various forts and "stations" in Franklin, Green and other affected counties, at the Georgia archives. The 1793 sketch map in Figure 4 shows some 18 forts and stations located along the 1785 frontier in what was the northern most part of Georgia... Franklin County (see more below). The portion that would include Hog Mountain and the Appalachee River is missing, but the accompanying letter, which lists all the forts, does not include any that are not depicted on the map. The letter that goes with this map is document TCC799 in, Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842, Digital Library of Georgia.
Figure 4. 1793 Reconnaissance sketch map of fort and stations along Georgia's northern frontier in Franklin County. Document TCC799, Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842, Digital Library of Georgia.
In a letter dated October 21, 1813, Major General Allen Daniel, Commander of the 4th Division of the Georgia Militia, via his Aid Decamp, John D. Terrell, sent a letter to Brigadier General Frederick Beall, commander of the 2nd Brigade of the Georgia Militia, covering two topics (see below for the full transcript). The first was that all regular militiamen serving in the 2nd Brigade of the 4th Division, be mustered by their proper officers once in every month, by companies, at their respective Regimental muster grounds and that each man would “furnish himself with a knapsack, blanket, arms and equipments untill [sic] arms & equipment can be furnished them by government and hold themselves in readiness to take the field at a moments warning.”
The second part of the letter specifically addressed the situation at Hog Mountain. It ordered Beall to “forthwith order out thirty of the militia of his Brigade to relieve those now stationed (by his order) at the hog mountain,” and to set up a system for rotation every 10 days. Further, based on information that Daniel had received that “the fort at the hog mountain is not only formed of old, dry and insufficient timbers, but is also badly constructed, consequently easily destroyed by fire and inadequate for defence,” the letter orders Beall, along with Major John D.Terrell, was to supervise the construction of, “a new fort at or near the place whereon the present fort stands which shall be sufficient for the reception of two hundred men, out of substancial [sic] timbers with port holes compleatly [sic] cut at proper hight [sic], with platforms so as to raise the port holes at such hight [sic] that the enemy will be prevented from any advantage therefrom. The stockading will be at least then or eleven feet above ground & well let into the Earth three feet, all the houses which may be built within the fort, will be built with slanting roofs to drip in and to the centre of the fort, so that in case fire should be [?] on them from without it may be extinguished without danger. The walls of no house within the fort shall exceed the hight [sic] of the stockading, except block house. When the work is completed, the letter continues,” the militia which may be in Service at the present fort will take possession of the new one.” See full text transcript below.
Until Daniel’s letter came to light during preliminary research for the archaeological investigation, the fact that there were two forts at Hog Mountain had not been recognized. One of the questions now being asked is whether Beall et al built Fort Daniel de novo or simply re-built the existing fort. If entirely new, the question remains as to where the original “fort at Hog Mountain” was located, and when was it built? The presence of wrought nails and early cut nails at the site suggests they were at the same location, but archaeology at the site has not settled the question.
Daniel's reference to "old, dry..." timbers suggests that it was at least 8 years old. When Benjamin Hawkins camped at the head of the Appalchee, the beginning point of his 1804 re-survey of the 1785 Treaty Line, he never mentioned a "fort at Hog Mountain," which would only be about .7 of a mile away, and, as was his custom, he would have visited, let alone mentioned if it existed at the time. The circumstantial evidence argues that the original fort at Hog Mountain had to have been erected sometime around 1805, which would have put Beall's rebuilding some eight years later.
Original Text: Telamon Cuyler Collection, University of Georgia; Transcription: Shannon Coffey, GHS
Divisional Orders Madison County
21st Nov October 1813
Allen Daniel Major General commanding the fourth Division of the Georgia Militia deems it expedient at this momentary crisis that some portion of the militia under his command should be held in constant readiness for actual service. The brigade commanded by Brigadier Genl Beall having been [?] classed It is ordered that the first class in said Brigade, be mustered by their proper officers once in every month, by companies, at their respective Regimental mustergrounds and that each man will furnish himself with a knapsack, blanket, arms and equipments (untill [sic]arms & equipment can be furnished them by government) and hold themselves in readiness to take the field at a moments warning.
The Major Genl (having received communications from his Excellency the Governor [David B. Mitchell 1809-1813] of the 10th instant, wherein he is authorized to take such measures as he may deem expedient for the security of the frontier settlement in virtue of which authority reallizing [sic] the defenceless situation of our frontiersand the duties which he owes his country) deems it expedient to order – that Brigadier General Beall forthwithorder out thirty of the militia of his Brigade to relieve those now stationed (by his order) at the hog mountain in Jackson County, when the term of their service shall expire, and that those now orderd out, shall be relieved by others in succession, and in like manner to be detached in every ten days, untill [sic] further orders.
The Major Genl having also received information on which he relies that the fort at the hog mountain is not only formed of old, dry and insufficient timbers, but is also badly constructed, consequently easily destroyed by fire and inadequate for defence. With this view, He concieves [sic] (in event of an attact [sic] by the enemy) the fort would become instrumental to the destruction of its defenders, rather than a place of security. At this eventfull [sic] crisis a substancial [sic] fort must be all important.
It is therefore orderd that Brigdr Genl Beall without delay cause to be detached such a number of the militia ofhis Brigade as is his judgement may be conceived sufficienmay be in Service at the present fort will take possession of the new one.
The Major General, by the communications aforesaid from His Excellency the Governor has desired authorities, to employ spies to range on our frontiers. In conformity thereto, it is orderd that six spies be employd men of [?] courage & veracity, whose duty it shall be vigilantly to range on the Indian land bordering our own frontier two & two together subject to the controul [sic] of General Beall who in Co-opperation [sic] with Major John D. Terrell are charged with the employment of those spies provided Col. Russel Jones has not respected that service pursuant to the orders of the Governor.
The Major Genl from the Executive communications aforesaid has desired adequate authorities for the purchase of ammunitions sufficient for the militia hereby called into actual service and who are to be stationed at the Hog mountain, there being none here to be procurd. Should it be within your power to secure a reasonable quantity of powder & lead for the object expressed you will please do so for which His Excellency promises payment.
The Major Genl Presents his respects to the militia & citizens of Jackson County and feels confident they will cheerfully supply [?] and afford their aid in compleating [sic] the fort.
By the Major Generals Command
John D. Terrell Aid DeCamp
Brigadier Genl Frederick Beall
21st October 1813