Small Skirmish in the War for Freedom
Monday, August 12, 2013
Archaeologists in Georgia have discovered the site of a Revolutionary War–era frontier fort, lost in the Southern landscape since a skirmish there on February 10, 1779, earned it a footnote in American history. Carr’s Fort, named for the cattle farmer and militia captain who owned it, was the scene of a one-day battle between 80 British loyalists and 200 local militiamen that helped blunt Britain’s efforts to retake territory in the thirteenth colony.
Without a precise location or description of the fort, Lamar Institute archaeologist Dan Elliott says the search was “like looking for a needle in a haystack, only harder.” Guided by historical documents, Elliott’s team combed a dozen prospective targets in a four-square-mile area of what was once Carr’s land in Wilkes County, midway between Savannah and Augusta.
On the final day of their survey they found a cluster of eighteenth-century artifacts—musket balls, parts of muskets, buttons, horseshoes, wagon parts, and a 1770 King George halfpenny—that Elliott claims marks the site of the 234-year-old fort. He says the discovery provides hope that similar ephemeral frontier fortifications (more than 30 are likely in Wilkes County alone) may be found in the future.
IN THIS ISSUE
From the Trenches
An Ohio brewery tries its hand at Sumerian beer, English archaeologists expose one of the world's oldest railway tunnels, sediments from Lake Malawi contradict a past "volcanic winter," and the oldest evidence of humans consistently eating meat