Cowan's Fort

Image:Long Boone Cumberland--thin.jpg
Southwest Virginia Project
Return to Southwest Virginia Project Main Page

This article is one of a series on the forts of southwest Virginia during the period of Indian Hostilities, (1774-1794). The accompanying map shows the location of the forts in the Powell, Clinch, and Lower Holston watersheds. An index to these forts is found at List of Forts of Southwest Virginia. The location of many of these forts is known only approximately, and different sources sometimes suggest different locations. Much of the information in these articles is based on Emory Hamilton's article "Frontier Forts".





Person:David Cowan (1)
List of Forts of Southwest Virginia
Castle's Woods


Cowan's Fort was built on the land of David Cowan in Castle's Woods. Cowan's property lay near the modern town of Castlewood, on Mill Creek.


Little is known of the construction of Cowan's Fort, other than the fact that it was quite small. Mrs. Scott would later say that her family took shelter in it during Dunmore's War, but that it could house only a few families. Most likely it was a Fort House similar to the surviving Kilgore's Fort House built some 20 years later, rather than a stockade.


It is not known whether Cowan's Fort ever came under direct attack, though there were numerous Indian attacks throughout the Castle's Woods area between 1774 and the mid 1790's. After 1774 when the settlers of Castle's Woods were forced to "fort up", it is likely that they sought shelter at the much larger Moore's Fort a few miles away on Castles Run.