List of Forts of Southwest Virginia

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Forts of Southwest Virginia

From a genealogists perspective, a knowledge of the location of these forts is important because of their significance in protecting the lives of our pioneer ancestors in southwest Virginia. These forts come up repeatedly in the stories that have been passed down to us today, and knowing where they were located helps condition our understanding of the personal history of our families. Return to Pioneer Forts, Cabin's, and Mills. See also Forts of Southwest Virginia 1774-1794 for a summary of the principle forts.


The following summarizes information about various forts in Southwest Virginia during the period of Indian hostilities. This list is based on Hamilton, 1968, with additional information added as noted. Little is known about some of these forts, and there are likely to have been other fortifications about which no information has survived. Some forts appear in the records under a variety of names. The most commonly used/significant/important name for referencing purposes is shown here, along with known alternatives. The forts shown here are organized by watershed. A map showing the approximate locations of the forts in the Powell, Clinch, and Lower Holston watersheds is provided. A map showing the location of forts in the Upper Holston will follow.

Map Key Name(s) by which known Approximate LocationSource if Different from Hamilton
Powell River Watershed
1 Martin's New Station two miles from Cumberland Gap
2 Gibson's Station 4 miles from Cumberland Gap; at modern "Gibson's Station"
3 Owen's Station Ten miles below Martin's Old Station, near Ewing; 10 miles from Cumberland Gap
4 Martin's Old Station north side of Martin's Creek; 20 miles from Cumberland Gap,
5 Priest's Fort 5-6 miles above Martin's Station, on no water course, between Rose Hill and Jonesville; 25-26 miles from Cumberland Gap
6 Mump's Fort Sinking Springs, west of Jonesville, 20 miles from Martin's Station; 30 miles from Cumberland Gap
7 Rocky Station, Rocky Springs Station, Cocke’s Station Kentucky Trace. Hamilton says it was between Woodway and Dryden, but other's suggest it was on Station Creek, on US 58, about halfway between Jonesville and Stickleyville; This later location makes more sense since that location places it clearly on the Kentucky Trace, while Hamilton's location places it well to the north.
8 Yokum's Station On Powell River, between Dryden and Woodway per Hamilton, on Powell River "near the highway bridge" in Turkey Cove per others.
9 Scott's Fort headwaters of Wallen's Creek, Kentucky Trace
24 Chadwell's Station Wilderness Road, about 1 miles west of Ewing

Clinch River Watershed
22 Rye Cove Fort, Rye Cove Station, Crissman's Fort, Fort Lee, Carter's Fort Rye Cove, 8 miles from North Fork of the Clinch, a half mile off from west side Cove Creek
23 Blackmore's Fort Mouth of Stoney Creek, Clinch
10 Duncan's Fort between Dungannon and Gray’s Island
?Nicholson's Fort. home of Benjamain Nicholson, on Clinch River near Gray's Island
11 Porter's Fort Falling Creek near Dungannon
12 Kilgore's Fort House
Dorton's Fort Hamilton has it as about one mile southeast of Nickelsville. Others place it 12 miles east of Nickelsville; Penley gives its location as "about one mile southeast of Nickelsville, Virginia on what is known as the Combs farm. This was the home of William Dorton, Sr., who was killed by the Indians in July 1780. it was probably built in the 1770s. The Court records at the 1780s refer to it as Dorton's old fort."
13 Moore's Fort, Fort Byrd, Snoddy's Fort. Castle's Wood
14 Cowan's Fort, Fort Preston, Bush’s Fort, Russells Fort , Bickley's Fort Castle's Wood
15 Glade Hollow Fort Christian near Lebanon
16 Elk Garden Fort just south of State Route 19, near Elk Garden Methodist Church
21 Guest's Station, Guesses Station at Coeburn, Wise Co.
25 Osborne's Fort, Osman’s Fort, Ritchie’s Fort On Clinch River
Lower Holston Watershed
17 Fort Patrick Henry Long Island of the Holston, Kingsport
18 Anderson's Blockhouse Start of Wilderness Road
19 Houston's Fort near Snowflake on Moccasin Creek
20 Black's Fort Abingdon; stockaded, blockhouse

Upper Holston Watershed (some of these are actually in the Upper Clinch)
Benham's Fort Located on the North Fork of the Holston River near Mendota, VA
Daniel Smith's Fort 16 miles north of Lebanon on Highway 19, on Indian Creek in Russell Co
Davidson's Garrison AKA Davidson-Bailey Fort Bluestone River, Tazewell, Cove Creek, 3 miles from mouth
Dump's Creek Station Dumps Creek
Jeremiah Harrison's Fort North Fork Holston, on the main path to the Clinch opposite the Town House
Maiden Springs Station Maiden Spring Branch of the Clinch River
New Garden Station New Garden Fort New Garden, south side of Clinch, on Thompson's Creek, Washington Co, about 300 yards up the ridge from Robert Green's
Nicholson's Fort Near Gray's Island
Richlands Station perhaps same as Fowlers Station, Brown’s or Fugate’s North Fork of the Clinch, in the Richlands
Shallow Ford Of Clinch (No Data)
Stock Creek (No Data)
Tate's Fort Moccasin Creek, Russell County,
Vance's Station 5 miles from Jeremiah Harrison's Fort, north Fork of the Holston
William Wynn's Fort Locust Hill, North Fork of Clinch, 1.5 miles from Tazewell
Witten's Fort Witten's Crab Orchard, Crab Orchard, The Upper Station Tazewell Va,
Thompson's FortSource:Summers, 1903:235
Edmiston's FortLodi, VA Source:Summers, 1903:235
Eaton's Fort See Hamilton KBI article on Matthew Rowbottom 7 miles east of Long Island of Holston. Source:Summers, 1929:103
Shelby's FortBristolSource:Summers, 1929:103
Gillespie's Fort Source:Summers, 1929:103
Womack's Fort Bluff City TNSource:Summers, 1929:103
Fort Bowent Maiden SpringsSource:Summers, 1929:103
Bryans Fort near Moab, VA Source:Summers, 1929:103
Cocke's FortSpring Creek. erected by William Cocke Source:Summers, 1929:103
Bledsoe's Fort settled by Robert Bledsoe, about 30 miles east of Long Island on Fort Chiswell Road

Source:Summers, 1929:103