A frontier fort was found in Georgia by archaeologists, who say it dates back to the Revolutionary War. The location of Carr’s Fort, where patriot militiamen scored an impressive victory, was unveiled this week.
The militiamen won at Farr’s Fort during a short but violent gun battle, which forced British loyalists to abandon the compound, which was build on a frontiersman’s cattle farm.
More than 234 years after it was abandoned, archaeologists discovered the frontier fort’s remains in northeastern Georgia. They uncovered the location after searching with metal detectors over a four square mile area. Their search turned up horse shoes, rifle parts, musket balls, and old frying pans.
The shootout at Carr’s Fort in February 1779 was a prelude to the more prominent battle of Kettle Creek. The short battle forced men sent to Wilkes County to recruit colonists loyal to the British to turn back. Later on, the same patriot fighters won at Kettle Creek by ambushing and decimating a British force of about 800 men.
Dan Elliott, a Georgia-based archaeologist who worked with a team from the LAMAR Institute to find the frontier fort, explained:
“The war was going badly up north for the British, so they decided to have a southern campaign and shipped a huge amount of troops down here and started recruiting loyal followers. Kettle Creek was probably the best victory that the Georgians ever had in the Revolutionary War.”
Carr’s Fort was built halfway between Athens and Augusta. It was just one of several small outposts on the colonial frontier aimed at defending the settlers against enemy soldiers and hostile Indians. The cattle farm’s owner, Robert Carr, served as captain of a militia company of about 100 men. The company build Carr’s Fort to hold about 300 people.
But the British marched into the frontier fort and took control. Patriots quickly responded, sending 200 men from Georgia and South Carolina to take back control. Surviving records from the Revolution gave archaeologists a general area of where the frontier fort was located, but not its precise coordinates.
While it is not clear if any stockade walls remain, the frontier fort was found through the process of elimination, as no other remnants of fighting were found in the surrounding 2,700 acres searched by Elliott’s team. The artifacts discovered at Carr’s Fort are being cleaned. They will eventually be released to the University of Georgia.
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