Tate's Fort

Article Covers
Russell, VA

The following discussion is based on Hamilton, 1968,


Tate's Fort was built by John Tate about 1776, and (based on the name) was presumably on his own land on Moccassin Creek in Russell County, VA. its exact location has not been determined but it would have been near Houston's Fort (number 12 in the accompanying map)


There are few references to Tate's Fort, and no accounts of its construction. Captain John Carr (?-1773), tells us that

My father settled on Big Moccasin Creek with some 15 or 20 families from Houston’s Fort. The Indians were so troublesome that we built a "new fort". It was called Tate’s Fort, where we forted in summer and returned home in winter. (Williams, Early Times in Tennessee, fide Hamilton, 1968

The implication is that both Houston's Fort and Tate's Fort were substantial affairs, housing multiple families. This, in turn, implies that it was at least stockaded. Hamilton was able to find no evidence that Tate's Fort was garrisoned by the militia, and it probably depended on the local families for its defense.


Captain Carr's statement quoted above indicates that Tate's Fort was built in 1776, when Indian hostilities were resumed following Dunmore's War. The only other reference to Tate's Fort is Mrs. Scott's testimony to the Reverend Shane (Draper MSC 11 CC 224 (verify).

We moved out of Tate’s Fort, close on Moccasin Creek, over to Holston to get ready to come to Kentucky.

Hamilton reminds us that this was in the spring of 1780 and her family emigrated to Kentucky in 1784.