The Rise and Fall of Fort Loudoun

I took the family to what they call the Garrison Weekend at Fort Loudoun in Vonore Tennessee. It was an amazing trip, and we all learned a lot. After leaving, I felt the urge to know more about what happened there, so; I did a bunch of research and have discovered What happened during the rise and fall of Fort Loudoun. This article is my version of a travel essay all about Fort Loudoun.

Tellico Plains was incorporated July 4th, 1911. In 1776, it was laid to waste by an army of 1800 men and then again by an army led by John Sevier in 1779. In this area, Native American Culture goes back over 10, 000 years. The beginning of the end of the Cherokee Indians way of life started with the Migration of British Soldiers from the Carolinas and continued until the Indian Removal Bill of 1829.

In Tellico plains, a two and a half mile section of the Unicoi Trail has been restored for public use. This trail ran west into the south side of North Carolina over to the Tennessee border. It then curved North toward the over hill Cherokee villages and ended at Tellico, Vonore, or Knoxville. The trail was first used by British colonists in 1690’s to bring goods from Charleston to the over hill Cherokee villages to trade. By 1700, the French followed the Great Indian War Path to trade with the same villages.



n 1956, the seven year war began. The British Colony ran along the Atlantic coast, and the French Colony spanned along the Gulf Coast and into Canada. The Cherokee Indians were caught in the middle. Settlers soon started migrating from the Carolinas. Some were accepted, however; some fought to take over the Cherokee lands. These settlers altered the Cherokee people’s way of living, and many of the natives abandoned their ancestral ways. The Cherokee Indian’s allied with the British. In 1756, Fort Loudoun was built to protect the Cherokee Indians from their enemies and fortify the relationship between the British settlers and the Cherokee Tribe. Fort Loudoun was the price the British had to pay in order to enlist the Cherokee warriors help in their war.

Unfortunately, relationships between the British and the Cherokee quickly diminished and peace did not come easy, after a rash of attacks and a Small Pox epidemic The French started whispering in the Cherokees ears that the British were just using them and would kill them. In addition, the original Commander Raymond Demere, who was friendly with the Native people, relinquished control to his brother Paul, who was a cruel leader.

In 1760, the over hill Cherokees got fed up and started raiding settlements and trading houses in the back country. Then these Cherokee Warriors ambushed the commander of Fort Prince. This caused the British to retaliate. The Cherokee Indians knew not to attack Fort Loudoun head on; so they surrounded it, making it impossible for food supplies to enter. They had enough supplies to last for a few months, but the Warriors outside held their ground.

When the food ran out and they were reduced to eating horse meat, the British decided to give up the Fort in exchange for safe passage back to South Carolina. In about fifteen miles, they made camp. The morning light brought death to all, but a few British soldiers at the hands of their Cherokee escorts. The Cherokee Indians then destroyed the Fort, so that no other enemies would be able to inhabit it. Fort Loudoun was never again used for Military purposes. In 1917 Colonial Dames placed a commiserative plaque of the site, so that future generations would remember that happened there. It was purchased in 1933 by the Tennessee General assembly and turned into a state park in 1977.

This is a heartbreaking piece of American History. It was not just tragic for the British soldiers and settlers, but also for the tribe who only wanted to keep their land and be left alone. This was a tribe who welcomed the settlers and tried to adapt to their lifestyle, only to be treated as if they were the outsiders. In the same way, this was a group of men, woman, and children who surrendered and just wanted to go home. In this writers opinion, nobody really won in the rise and fall of Fort Loudoun.

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Comments 34 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Having taught history I am very familiar with this chapter in history. You covered it nicely. I'd love to visit there some day.

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

This is one part of our history I do know of. I went to college not too far this location although we never got over to it.

This is very interesting and the photos really add to it.

Have a lovely day

Sending Angels on the way to you this morning :) ps

Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 3 years ago Author

Thanks, Billy, I really appreciate your comment! I found a lot of conflicting information about this subject, but I was pretty sure I did enough research to make sure I had the facts! You should definitely visit one day, It was pretty amazing. I would make sure they were having a Garrison weekend, because it really brought it to life with the actors there!

Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 3 years ago Author

Pstraubie, Thank you so much for your kind comment!

Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 3 years ago from Hereford, AZ

Very interesting. I live west of Nashville and have not been there. Maybe someday, I will make it.

Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 3 years ago Author

Thanks, for stopping by and commenting, Becky! I live in Knoxville, so we are practically neighbors =).

bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida

Being part Cherokee, this bit of history piqued my interest. Perhaps no one won in the end, but the Cherokee stood their ground!

Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 3 years ago Author

Bravewarrior, I definitely agree with your statement, the land was theirs and they were protecting it. I was not implying that their actions were wrong.What I was trying to get across, was that it was a sad day in history for both sides. I hope that is how this article comes across! If not I will have to do some editing :). Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 3 years ago from Central Florida

Yes, Lisa you did a good job of the article. I was just claiming pride to the tiny bit of Cherokee blood that runs through my veins. :-). Perhaps that's where I get my fortitude from....

Your article is excellent. Don't doubt it!

Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 3 years ago Author

Bravewarrior, Thank you so much for your kind comment!

Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 3 years ago from Brownsville,TX

wow you are talking about my neck of the woods.. I am so glad billy buc shared this on Facebook.. so nice to meet you.. great history here.. My family is from Cherokee NC and I now live in Tennessee.. My grandmother and my great grandmother that has Cherokee in them would not tell anyone they were Indians so they could get a job.. I take after my mom's side of the family the British.. lol

love your hub..

I will share on Facebook


xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Really a very interesting and historical tale.

mr-veg profile image

mr-veg 3 years ago from Colorado United States

Lisa what a nicely explained Journey down the history lane !! Good one !!

mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

This is a very interesting Hub. I was not familiar with Ft. Loudoun and the rich history of the place.

Voted UP, etc. and will share.

ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 3 years ago

Thanks for sharing the information and the nice pictures. I would love to visit this place if I get a chance to visit Tennessee.

Voted up and interesting. :-)

moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

Intereting hub enjoyed reading it. Voted up and more.

Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 3 years ago Author

Thanks Deborah for stopping by, leaving such a nice comment, and sharing!

Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 3 years ago Author

Xstatic, Thank you so much for your kind reply!

Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 3 years ago Author

Mr. Veg, Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment!

Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 3 years ago Author

Mary, Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! I did not know anything about this place until I Googled something kid friendly to do and the Garrison weekend popped up! I was hooked and had to know more! =)

Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 3 years ago Author

Ignugent, Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment! Tennessee is beautiful, I have only lived here for a year and a half, but I love it! Thank you for voting!

Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 3 years ago Author

Moonlake, Thank you so much for stopping by, replying, and voting!

Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

thank you Lisa for sharing your hub and trip with us.. bless you and your family :) Frank

Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 3 years ago Author

Frank, Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a kind comment!

DJ Anderson 3 years ago

Hi, Lisa,

I enjoyed your historical information concerning Fort Loudoun.

The pictures and map were most helpful.

I have been to Cherokee many, many times, but have never checked out Fort Loudoun.

I do enjoy seeing and hearing about the history of our nation. We went through many birthing pains to get to the 50 states that we have now.

And, yes, a lot of blood was spilled on our soil, due to so many battles.

But, most nations have a history of many forced takeovers, a slew of

battles, and rulers by the dozen.

You did a great job bringing this article to your readers.


My Mother was born close to Knoxville.

Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 3 years ago Author

Thank you DJ! We had so much fun, we will definitely be going back next year. I am glad you enjoyed my article! That is really cool that your mother was born close to Knoxville! I live in Maryville, right now. I really like it, but I am from Florida, so I am not a fan of the cold! Thanks again for stopping by!

DJ Anderson 3 years ago


Since you had said you moved to TN. I was not sure if you would

know where Maryville was. That is why I said near Knoxville.

My Mother was born in Maryville!! I still have distant relatives in Sevierville.

We are in Fort Myers, FL. What part of FL. are you from?


Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 3 years ago Author

I am from Pinellas county- St.Pete/ Clearwater area! That is very cool that you mom was born in Maryville,it is such a beautiful town! I have so many articles I am planning on writing based on pictures I have taken around here...I just have to find the time =)

DJ Anderson 3 years ago

My husband and I started looking for a place to spend our winters after he retired. His parents once had a winter place just outside Jacksonville. We search around St. Augustine, and spent many long weekends on St. Augustine Beach. Great memories, but no place was found.

We switched coasts and started searching around St. Pete and Clearwater. Our dog traveled with us, so we indulged him and stayed

two nights at the Lorelei, an off leash hotel which caters to dogs.

Only problem was, he did not know he was a dog. He was not impressed. It must be 100 years old!

The Lorelei is on Indian Rock Beach.

In years past, we have eaten at Crabby Bills more times than I can count.

And, we could never get away from the area without going for lobster and crab legs at PJ's Oyster Bar.

We really loved the Clearwater area, but could not find a place that we liked and could afford. My husband is retired military and we wanted to be close to MacDill AF base. It was not to be.

We still enjoy taking a day trip or an overnight trip and stay at a hotel on the beach at Clearwater. It is so very beautiful.

Tenn. is an entirely different world. But, the beauty of the nearby mountains will bring much to explore with your family. When you take a trip to the Smoky Mountains, be sure to take the drive to Cade's Cove.

You read my story of my Vacation in 1965. If we keep this up, we are going to find out that we are related through my second cousin's step mother's aunt who taught your grand mother piano lessons!!!!

Now, how exciting is THAT!!????? LOL


Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 3 years ago Author

That is too funny! I have been to each and everyone of the places you just mentioned! We actually just took the girls to Cades Cove yesterday, for my youngest daughters birthday! It is one of the places I plan to write about. I am going to take pictures of it during the different seasons and title it something like The Seasons of Cades Cove! It is kind of crazy how eerily similar we are!

DJ Anderson 3 years ago

Lisa, you may want to check about winter closings for the park. I

know that much of it is closed for winter, as it is too icy.

In the spring and summer, those meadows are filled with deer grazing.

I can't believe you were there only yesterday!

Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 3 years ago Author

I actually thought of that, so when I was there, I asked the people in the gift shop. They are open year round! I am sure there will be some parts that I cannot get to, but I will be able to get some pretty neat pictures!

DJ Anderson 3 years ago

Just as I thought.

You are one smart cookie! :-)

Lisawilliamsj profile image

Lisawilliamsj 3 years ago Author

Thank you, DJ! =)

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