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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chickamauga in Walker County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

American Indian Occupation of the Area

Historic Chickamauga Georgia

 
 
Historic Chickamauga Georgia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 19, 2014
1. Historic Chickamauga Georgia Marker
Inscription. There were humans living in what is now Walker County as early as around 10,000 B.C. For thousands of years the people subsisted through hunting and gathering of wild plant foods. The Middle Woodland period (ca. 200 B.C. - 400 A.D.) was marked by distinctive ceramic, lithic, and architectural complexes as well as a series of elaborate burial complexes. These are the people who built the stone walls and mounds in Georgia. They may have been ancestors of the historic Yuchi people. The Cherokees cleared some land in the fork made by the spring stream and Chickamauga creek, about four or five acres, which was as much as they usually cultivated. In the "Fork-field," as it was known, are a number of mounds built by earlier people of whom the Cherokee knew nothing. This was James Gordon's first home.

The major disruption in the earth's climate caused by the Krakatoa eruption in 535 A.D. that led to the end of the Middle Woodland culture also had a strong impact on western Mexico. Four groups of Muskogee speaking peoples left the area and began slowly moving toward the east. Around 900 A.D., they reached Georgia and began building large platform mounds, similar to the stone pyramids of Mexico. For much of the next six hundred years the local area was part of the major Muskogee complex known as the Paramount Chiefdom of Coosa that extended
Historic Chickamauga Georgia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 19, 2014
2. Historic Chickamauga Georgia Marker
A close-up view of a photo displayed on the historical marker that shows a stone wall built by early Native Indians in Walker County.
from upper east Tennessee to central Alabama. While there are no large sites presently known in Walker County, there could be a number of small farmsteads from this period. There was also a Yuchi presence in the local area during this time. The Tuskeegee/Napochin presence should be also considered. The Muskogee sub - group known as the Koasati have the greatest probability of cultural affiliation to sites from this time period in the local area. This culture broke up due to population decline as a result of European and African diseases introduced by the Spanish during the sixteenth century. Most of the people moved further south and became a part of the Muskogee-Creek Confederacy.

For the short period of 1776 to 1838, the dominant Native people in the local area were Cherokees. In the early part of the nineteenth century, the Cherokees adopted a Republican form of government, divided their nation into eight civil districts. The local district was called the Chickamauga District, and the courthouse for this unit was located at Crawfish Springs. This facility functioned from around 1821 until the general Indian removal. The structure was described as a "double-log house" located just above the spring. The Cherokee population of what is now Walker County was never large and it should be noted that the Cherokee farms and houses would have been substantially the same as
Historic Chickamauga Georgia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 19, 2014
3. Historic Chickamauga Georgia Marker
A close-up view of a photo displayed on the historical marker that shows an earthen burial mound covered by trees.
white farms of the day. One of these was a log farm house located in what was called the "fork field" near crawfish Spring.

After the Cherokees were removed from the area, the courthouse was used for the first county seat of Walker County. According to Sartain: "The first court of Walker County was held in this building, Judge Hooper presiding. A man named Hog Smith was tried and convicted of murdering two Indians; he was hanged on a gallows erected on the north side of the hill above the spring. This was the first legal hanging to occur in the county.
 
Location. 34° 52.242′ N, 85° 17.606′ W. Marker is in Chickamauga, Georgia, in Walker County. Marker is on Cove Road (Georgia Route 341) south of Gordon Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. This historical marker is located in the downtown area, in the southeast section of the grounds of the Gordon-Lee Mansion, along a walkway that leads to the Gordon-Lee Mansion complex. Marker is at or near this postal address: 217 Cove Road, Chickamauga GA 30707, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 26th Tennessee Infantry / 1st Georgia Infantry Memorial (here, next to this marker); Field Headquarters Army of the Cumberland (a few steps from this marker); Hospitals, Right Wing, Union Army.
Historic Chickamauga Georgia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 19, 2014
4. Historic Chickamauga Georgia Marker
A close-up view of a Cherokee Land Lottery Map, displayed on the historical marker, that shows the Cherokee courthouse above the "Big Spring."
(a few steps from this marker); The Real Rock of Chickamauga (a few steps from this marker); Wheeler's Cavalry Corps (within shouting distance of this marker); 3rd Confederate Georgia Cavalry (within shouting distance of this marker); Crawfish Spring (within shouting distance of this marker); North and South Reunited (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chickamauga.
 
Categories. AnthropologyNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
Historic Chickamauga Georgia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 19, 2014
5. Historic Chickamauga Georgia Marker
A close-up view of an artist's depiction, displayed on the historical marker, that shows the district courthouse built by the Cherokees.
Historic Chickamauga Georgia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 19, 2014
6. Historic Chickamauga Georgia Marker
View looking south, of the historical marker, situated on the grounds of the Gordon-Lee Mansion.
Historic Chickamauga Georgia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 19, 2014
7. Historic Chickamauga Georgia Marker
View of the historical marker, looking west along the pathway that leads to the Gordon-Lee Mansion complex.
Historic Chickamauga Georgia Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, August 19, 2014
8. Historic Chickamauga Georgia Marker
View of the historical marker, looking east along the pathway that leads to the entry gate of the grounds of the Gordon-Lee Mansion, with a view of Cove Road in the distant background.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 3, 2014, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 339 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on October 3, 2014, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.
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