WARS: 1759 – 1794
Wars with Native American inhabitants were inevitable from the time Europeans first set foot on the Atlantic coastline and made permanent residence. North America was viewed as a great new continent of immense potential resources. From the tall trees that would make ship masts to the falling waters that would power mills to the rich soils that would grow food and tobacco crops, the competition of the old, stagnating states of Europe would ignite wars across the foam.
1758-1761 THE ANGLO-CHEROKEE WAR
The French & Indian War between France and Great Britain forced the native tribes to pledge allegiance to the foreign power with whom they traded. The British convinced the Cherokees to allow a Fort to be built in the Overhill Towns to “protect” the Cherokee from the French. The fort was strategically located near the Great War Path which connected the Gulf of Mexico with the Great Lakes. This was the interstate of its day. The old trails from the Overhills through the Valley, Middle and Lower Towns would constitute the Charles Town Trading Path thus laying the groundwork for English armies to access the central Southeast.
1776-1794 THE CHEROKEE-AMERICAN WARS
This time span began with the Revolutionary War in which the Cherokee chose to align themselves with Great Britain in the hopes of stemming the tide of white intrusion across their territorial claims. The outrageous 1775 Henderson Purchase (Treaty of Watauga at Sycamore Shoals) of over 17,000,000 million acres of traditional hunting grounds split the Cherokee Nation and led to an exodus of many of the best warriors under Dragging Canoe. Known as the Chickamauga faction, the followers of Dragging Canoe relocated in an area defined on modern maps as NE Alabama, the Chattanooga Valley of Tennessee and NW Georgia. Five major towns formed the core of the Chickamaugas. Other towns were located principally in Georgia around the modern town of Rome.
THE RUTHERFORD-WILLIAMSON INCURSIONS LATE SUMMER 1776
The plans of North Carolina’s Griffith Rutherford and South Carolina’s Andrew Williamson joint expedition became a staggered assault on two military fronts due to unforeseen events. The effectiveness was not inhibited as over 52 towns and villages were destroyed from upper South Carolina, through western North Carolina. The Overhill Towns suffered the least as the mountains discouraged these armies to cross over. William Christian led the Virginia Army to the Overhills and destroyed but one town – Chota, as punishment for their role in allying with the British and attacking white settlements. Christian was much more humane in his approach than Rutherford and Williamson who were out for vengeance.
The Shadow War: A Decade of Attacks on the Middle & Out Towns 1777-178?
The Concurrent Chickamauga War in Primarily in Tennessee