Posted by: PersonsMD
N 36° 41.685 W 082° 45.212
17S E 343349 N 4062443
Quick Description: Marker KA 7 related to Carters Fort from 1774.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 1/1/2009 6:38:01 PM
Waymark Code: WM5FR4
The Marker Reads:
Near here stood a fort first known as Crissman's Fort, and later as Carter's or Rye Cove Fort, and by militia officers as Fort Lee. Built by Isaac Crissman, Sr. in 1774, it was acquired by Thomas Carter (1731-1803) after Crissman's death at the hands of indians in 1776. the fort was rebuilt in 1777 by Col. Joseph Martin and his militia troops who occupied it until at least 1794. The fort was under the command of Captain Andrew Lewis, Jr. from 1792 to 1794.
Department of Conservation and Historic Resources. 1987"
Rye Cove Fort
On March 25, 1774, Captain Daniel Smith, who was the Surveyor for Fincastle County, surveyed 225 acres of land on Cove Creek in the Rye Cove of present day Scott County for Isaac Crissman. Crissman entered his land in Fincastle County, March 28, 1774. The exact date that he settled on the land is not shown. He and two members of his family were slain at or near the spot in 1776 by the Indians. The Washington County, Virginia, court appointed Archibald Scott, who was later himself slain by the Indians, as Administrator of Crissman's estate
on January 28, 1777. Crissman had served in the militia as a private at Glade Hollow Fort during the Point Pleasant Campaign in 1774.
Prior to his death at the hands of the Indians, Crissman had built a fort on his land, probably sometime in the year 1774. John Redd who had come to Powell Valley with Captain Joseph Martin in 1775, knew Crissman, and has left the only known description of the fort. Of it he says:
"Rye Cove Fort was about 8 miles from the North Fork of the Clinch, situated about a half mile from Cove Creek on its west side. There were several springs at the fort. It enclosed about half an acre of land." (18)
This fort has been referred to as Crissman's Fort, but more commonly as the Rye Cove Fort. In military correspondence it is called Fort Lee, but not a single soldier who served there and left a statement has ever referred to it as Fort Lee, but always as Rye Cove Fort. It was one of the major forts and was garrisoned throughout Indian times with militia. May people were killed and captured in the Rye Cove, including troops and spys sent out from the fort.
There has been some thought that Crissman's Fort and the Rye Cove Fort were separate forts, due to the fact that Captain Joseph Martin and his troops were paid for building a fort in Rye Cove in 1777. I think, however, that it can be proven that Fort Lee, Crissman's Fort and Rye Cove Fort were one and the same, and that Martin and his troops were paid for repairing the old fort, not building a new one. First let us go to the pension declaration of Charles Bickley, filed in Russell County, Virginia, in 1838, in which he states:
"That he entered the service in the month of September or October, 1775, under the command of Captain William Russell, Lt. William Bowen and Ensign James Knox, and was rendezvoused and stationed at Rye Cove,
where he remained in the service guarding and defending that fort until January 23, 1776, when he was discharged. That in the ensuing summer of 1776, exact date not remembered, he was engaged in hoeing corn in the county of Russell when an alarm that Indians were in the neighborhood was raised. The people assembled at the fort (Russell's) and the company of militia from Reed Creek in Wythe County, under the command of Captain John Montgomery, Lt. Michael Daugherty and Ensign John Simpson, were on their march to the Rye Cove Fort,
preparatory to an expected expedition against the Cherokee, when he, Charles Bickley, enrolled and marched as a Private under the said officers to Rye Cove where they remained a short time. Colonel (Anthony) Bledsoe, then in
command of the forces on the frontier, ordered the evacuation of the Rye Cove Fort and marched to Blackmore's Fort on Clinch River, where a junction was made with the forces then in the fort and they marched from Fort Blackmore into Tennessee, where they were joined by Colonel (William) Christian and Major Evan Shelby.
On return of Christian's Army at the close of the Cherokee Campaign, it was disbanded, except a few companies scattered here and there on the frontier. One of these companies under command of Captain Joseph Martin was stationed in the Rye Cove during the winter and spring of 1777. They were stationed at Crissman's Fort. While here Martin's Company was attacked by Indians under the leadership of a son of Nancy Ward's, known among the whites by the name of Little Fellow."
It was during the winter of 1777 that Martin's troops were paid for building the fort in Rye Cove and Bickley says they were stationed in Crissman's Fort, which seems to prove that they were paid for repairing the old fort built by Crissman, which Bickley speaks of as both Rye Cove and Crissman's Fort.
During 1792 and until after the last Indian raid on the frontier in 1794, Captain Andrew Lewis (Jr.), son of the historically famous Andrew Lewis of Salem, was in charge of the frontier militia with his headquarters at Fort Lee in Rye Cove.
Isaac Crissman entered 225 acres of land on both sides of Cove Creek in Fincastle Co., VA, February 28, 1774. He had possibly been living on this land sometime before his entry was made.
Isaac Crissman served as a militia soldier at Glade Hollow Fort in 1774. (2) It was probably in this year that Crissman built his fort in Rye Cove for Charles Bickley tells in his pension statement of serving at a fort in Rye Cove in 1775. Crissman’s fort is hard to understand for he had another fort in Powell Valley known as the "Rocky Station" His preemption warrant for this reads:
We, the Commissioners, etc...do certify that Isaac Crissman, (Jr.) heir-at-law of Isaac Crissman, deceased, is entitled to preeemption of 1000 acres of land on account of settlement made in 1775, lying in Washington County in Powells Valley known by the name of Rock Spring. (3) Crissman’s Fort was later known as the Rye Cove Fort.
Perhaps Crissman had sold or abandoned his fort in Rye Cove, was living in Powell Valley and when it was evacuated in June 1776 had returned to Rye Cove fort for protection.
The Rocky Station in Lee County, was, however, the only fort in that valley that remained open from this time and on through the Revolutionary War, and was commanded from 1776 to 1780 by Colonel Charles Cox and his Rangers.
Marker Number: KA - 7
Marker Title: Carter's Fort
Marker Location: Roadside
County or Independent City: Scott County
Web Site: [Web Link]
Marker Program Sponsor: Department of Conservation and Historic Resources