Rye Cove Fort




The location of Rye Cove Fort was given by John Redd in his narrative to Draper, and discussed by Hamilton in his article Issac Crissman Killed in Rye Cove. According to Hamilton Rye Cove Fort was eight miles from the North Fork of Clinch, and about a mile from the stream Cove Creek on it’s west side.

Alternative Names

Rye Cove Fort was referred to by a variety of names:

  1. Crissman's Fort
  2. Carter's Fort


Rye Cove Fort was said to have encompassed a half acre of land. That implies that it was stockaded, and not a Forthouse.


Issac Crissman built Rye Cove Fort on his own land in 1774. Hamilton (citing the Redd Narrative) says that the Indians attacked this location in 1776 killing Chrissman and two family members. Captain Joseph Martin was then assigned to the fort to protect the inhabitants of the area, remaining there until the spring of 1777


John Redd’s Narrative, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. fide[http://www.rootsweb.com/~varussel/indian/14.html Hamilton

See Source:Martin to Governor Lee, 8 Nov 1791

See Bowman and Johnson killed

See Crissman Killed 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.