Since possession is nine points of
the law, the Indians naturally looked upon themselves as rightful owners of
In 1833 Wilson Lumpkin was made
governor of Georgia. The two political parties in Georgia at the time styled
themselves as the States Right and the Union Party.
White pioneers were rapidly
filling the country. This caused discontent among the Indians and they
became quite troublesome. The United States Government wanted to move the
Indians west of the Mississippi River. This they resented.
From Bill Arm's History of
Georgia, we learn that in 1835, the Cherokee nation sent two men to
Washington for the purpose of forming a treaty. One Deputy was John Ross,
who was opposed to immigration. The other was John Ridge in favor of it.
Ross offered to cede lands in
Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee to the United States for the sum of 20
million dollars. The government refused this offer and appointed Mr.
Schermerhorn to confer with Ridge.
A compromise was finally effected
and after violent opposition, accepted by Ross and his party. The principal
points of this treaty were as follows: The Cherokees were to relinquish all
claim to lands east of the Mississippi River. In return they were to receive
7,000,000 acres west of the Mississippi. The government was to remove them
to their new home and support them for one year and give them $100,000
yearly for the poor of the Indian nation. They were promised the protection
of the United States. They were not to leave this country before two years
About 1835, William Schley was
elected governor. Soon after his election, the Seminole Indians in Florida
declared war, because the government endeavored to move them west of the
Mississippi. They began murdering the whites. General Winfield Scott and his
men were sent to protect the whites. They fought with the Indians for
The Creeks, hearing of this,
gathered in great numbers and began murdering the people. It was during
these two years that the Roanoke trouble and the Battle of Brushy Creek were
The first Indian trouble near here
of which we know anything was the attack upon the small village, Roanoke, on
the Chattahoochee River. The village consisted of a few homes and four or
five stores. The Indians surprised the whites one morning and burned their
village, killing part of the inhabitants and burning their two boats, the
Georgiana and the Hypernia. The Indians were driven south but continued
pillaging and killing until the governor ordered the people into forts.
In our immediate section, the
families had lived in peace with the Indians until this outbreak at Roanoke
occurred. Fearing for their lives and in obedience to Governor Williams
Schley's orders, the people, of what is now Cook County, gathered themselves
into three different groups and built three forts.
The Wellses and Rountrees and
their neighbors built a fort at the Rachel Morrison place which is now the
John Rountree old field. This was Morrison Fort and the company of soldiers
formed there was known as Pike's Company.
The Futches and Parrishes and
others built their fort at the Futch place on the Withlacoochee River where
the ferry was located.
The McCranies and their neighbors
built their fort on Brushy Creek where the George Moore farm is now located.
Their company of soldiers was known as the Hamilton Sharp Company.
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BATTLE OF BRUSHY CREEK
Scarcely had the people of the
present county gotten into forts and formed companies for fighting when the
hostile Creeks and Cherokee Indians, coming from the North to join the
neighboring Seminoles in Florida, began murdering families along the way.
The soldiers of the Hamilton Sharp
Company at the McCranie Fort looked out one morning about the 10th of June
1836 and found the woods just across the Musket Branch from their camp,
literally full of Indians. They saw they were so completely out-numbered
that they sent Mr. Ashley Lindsey through the country to the Morrison Fort
to get aid from Pike's Company.
While he was gone for help,
Hamilton Sharp, Captain of the McCranie Fort, sent out Robert N. Parrish,
Richard Golden, Penuel Folsom and William McCranie as scouts to guard the
Indians until help could come. The Indians out-witted the scouts and decoyed
them away from their camp and attacked them.
They wounded Robert N. Parrish and
Penuel Folsom. Folsom was mortally wounded and just as the Indians got to
him to scalp him, Pike's Company came up in the rear, began firing and the
Indians fled across Brushy Creek.
The companies were all soon united
and together they pursued the Indians, killing men, women and children.
Numbers of Indians were killed that day. Pike's Company lost three brave
soldiers, James Therrell, Edwin Shanks and Edwin Henderson.
Penuel Folsom, the first soldier
killed in the Battle of Brushy Creek, was buried in what is now known as the
Rountree Cemetery, his being the first grave in it. After this terrible
battle with the Indians, it was found that an Indian maiden had been
captured and held at the fort on Brushy Creek. That night she asked
permission to yell and this permission was granted. Her mother soon came out
of the darkness to the child and she was released to go with her mother.
To the astonishment of all the
whites, when morning came, every Indian corpse that could be found had his
or her hands folded and each lifeless body had been straightened, but not
buried. Their bodies were never buried. The companies drove the Indians
south of Milltown, now Lakeland, Ga. There, they killed one of their biggest
Everyone thought all the Indians
were driven from the country after this terrible battle and not an Indian
was seen for a whole year. An occasional shot was heard, but each one
thought it a shot from a neighbor's gun.