GAAS April meeting report

Submitted by Leslie Perry

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The Greater Atlanta Archaeological Society (GAAS) speaker for April 2013 was Dr. James D’Angelo, Archaeological Adviser to the SGA chapter of Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society (GARS) and Treasurer of the Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists. His informative topic focused on the links between Fort Daniel on Hog Mountain in present-day Gwinnett County, and the likely location of Fort Peachtree in present-day Atlanta.

Beginning with early maps of Georgia, then tracing the 1780 treaty line of Oconee River forts, the Postal horse path in 1806, the Creek Wars Act of War of 1812, he then included the Ft. Mims massacre on Aug 30, 1813.

In the same year, Oct 10, 1813, the military was to gather information about hostile Indians in the area and were directed to build Ft. Daniel—sufficient for 200 men.

The stockade wall was to be 10–11 feet above ground and into the earth three feet deep.

Fort Mitchell in present-day Alabama was established November 24, 1813 on the Chattahoochee River. The military planned to use the river to supply Floyd’s and Jackson’s armies. A plan commenced to build a boat fifty feet long, ten feet wide, and three feet high. In January of 1814, an experimental boat was launched.

Lt. Gilmer set out with 22 regulars to build Fort Peachtree. In January of 1814 James Montgomery was impressed with Lt. Gilmer’s sobriety as a young officer.

By the way, exactly where was Fort Peachtree? Dr. D’Angelo has researched the archives for the answer to that question and hopes to gain permission to establish its exact location. Two large hewn log block houses, six dwelling houses, one framed store house, and five boats existed on site from James C. Montgomery’s description of Standing Peachtree.

In 1829, General J. Coffee prepared a map depicting Standing Peachtree with seven structures on both sides of the river.

The Knox sketch was in 1794, Ft. Hawkins 1806, Ft. Mitchell 1813, Ft. Lawrence 1813, and Ft Daniel was in 1813.

In 1819, the Gwinnett Co surveyor notes: “road to Standing Peachtree.” Benjamin Hawkins 1796–1806, provided plenty of references to peach trees. The peaches arrived in the 1600s and early 1700s via the Spanish. Therefore, it is probably peach, not pitch tree that is referred to in regards to the name of the fort.

Thank you, Dr. James D’Angelo for an interesting talk on the historic forts.

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