Cherokee Middle Towns

Other names:

Cherokee settlements on [...] waters and upper reaches of the Little Tennessee River.

Where: 35.096 -83.514 Cherokee Middle Towns

Maps: [map notes]


  • Cherokee Settlements map from I-Archive "Cherokee People"
    Cherokee Settlements

  • Middle/Valley Towns named in actions:
    Cowee,   NPS
    Cullasaja,   NPS
    Little Tellico,  
    Nuquassee,   NPS
    Tomotley (Tomatly),  
    Watauga,   NPS

  • NPS, "Cherokee Middle Towns (Rutherford's Campaign)
    09/01/1776 - 09/30/1776, Dates are Approximations
    Col. Rutherford's campaign against the Cherokees. Col. Lock with 1,000 men detached 7 September to destroy Middle Towns. At least 35 Cherokee killed, Am 15k, 21w. Middle towns included Cowee, Watauga, Cullasaja, Nuquassee.
    Source: Peckham, The Toll of Independence

  • "Pathways and Crossroads, Cherokee Genealogy"
    In 1755 the authorities in South Carolina for the purposes of trade documented the Ani-Yun-Wiya Villages under the following designations:

    Overhill Towns: Great Tellico, Chatugee, Tennessee, Chote, Toqua, Sittiquo, Talasee
    Valley Towns: Enforsee, Conastee, Little Telliquo, Cotocanhut, Nayowee, Tomatly, Cheowe.
    Middle Towns: Joree, Watoge, Nuckasee.
    Keowee Towns: Keowee, Tricentee, Echoee, Torsee, Cowee, Torsalla, Coweshee, Elejoy.
    Out Towns: Tucharechee, Kittowa, Conontoroy, Steecoy, Oustanale, Tuckaseegee.
    Lower Towns: Tomasee, Oustestee, Cheowie, Estatoie, Tosawa, Keowee, Oustanalle.

  • "Cherokee, Subdivisions and Villages"
    Middle Settlements:
    Cowee, about the mouth of Cowee Creek of Little Tennessee River, about 10 miles below Franklin, N. C.
    Coweeshee, probably between the preceding and Yunsawi
    . Ellijay, 4 towns:
    (1) on the headwaters of Keowee River, S. C.;k (2) on Ellijay Creek of Little Tennessee River near Franklin, N. C.;
    (3) about Ellijay in Gilmer County, Ga.; and
    (4) on Ellejoy Creek of Little River near Marysville in Blount County, Tenn.
    Itseyi, 3 towns:
    (1) on Brasstown Creek of Tugaloo River, Oconee County, S. C.;
    (2) on Little Tennessee River near Franklin, N. C.; andk (3) on upper Brasstown Creek of Hiwassee River, Towns County, Ga.
    Jore, on Iola Creek, an upper branch of Little Tennessee River, N. C.
    Kituhwa, on Tuckasegee River and extending from above the junction of the Oconaluftee nearly to the present Bryson City, Swain County, N. C. Nucassee, at the present Franklin, N. C.
    Stikayi, 3 towns:
    (1) on Sticoa Creek, near Clayton, Rabun County, Ga.;
    (2) on Tuckasegee River at the old Thomas homestead just above Whittier, Swain County, N. C.; and
    (3) on Stekoa Creek of Little Tennessee River, a few miles below the junction of Nantahala, Graham County, N. C. Tawsee, on Tugaloo River, Habersham County, Ga. Tekanitli, in upper Georgia.
    Tessuntee, on Cowee River, south of Franklin, N. C.
    Tikaleyasuni, on Burningtown Creek, an upper branch of Little Tennessee River, western North Carolina.
    Watauga, 2 towns:
    (1) on Watauga Creek, a branch of Little Tennessee River, a few miles below Franklin, N. C.;
    (2) traditionally located at Watauga Old Fields, about Elizabethtown, on Watauga River, in Carter County, Tenn.
    Yunsawi, on West Buffalo Creek of Cheowa River, Graham County, N. C.

  • Louis De Vorsey, Jn.,Names in South Carolina, Vol. XVIII, p.14, Winter 1974.
    CHEROKEE TRIBAL DIVISIONS: During the eigh- teenth century the Cherokee Indians were occupying a vast mountainous region to the west of South Caro- lina. They inhabited some forty or more towns or villages each with a considerable degree of autonomy but linked into four major groups or divisions which formed the tribe or nation. These major divisions are often mentioned in eighteenth century literature and so should be understood more clearly.

    1.) THE LOWER TOWNS: the group of settlements found in the Keowee and Tugaloo river valleys.

    [...] waters and upper reaches of the Little Tennessee River.

    3.) THE VALLEY TOWNS: located to the north of the Hiwassee River.

    4.) THE OVERHILL TOWNS: located on the lower reaches of the Little Tennessee River. The Valley Towns and Overhill Towns were frequently combined by eighteenth century observers. When this was the case the Valley Towns were understood to form a part of the Overhills division of the tribe.

  • "Cherokee Prayer Site Guide, Including atrocity sites, death camps, missions, towns, battlefields, spiritual sites, etc.":
    X 57. Cowee About the mouth of Cowee Creek of Little Tennessee River, about 10 miles below Franklin, NC
    Burned by Rutherford, 9/1776 Burned by Sevier, 1781

    X 115. Dustayalunyi- Spikebucktown?
    About mouth of Shooting Creek near Hayesville
    Burned by Rutherford, 9/1776

    X 58. Ellijay
    On Ellijay Creek of Little Tennessee River near Franklin, NC
    Rutherford's men came through in 1776 and encountered a group of elderly warriors trying to escape at a site called Indian Grave Gap. His men on horseback trampled 10 or 12 of them to death, including the chiefs Mankiller of Niquassi and Tistoe.

    X 123. Etchoe-
    Burned by Williamson, 1776
    Burned by Rutherford, 1776>
    Rutherford was almost defeated by Cherokees in Etchoe Pass
    Williamson was there after Rutherford but was not attacked at the Pass. Sumter was with him.

    116. Guhlaniyi
    Cherokee and Natchez- junction of Brasstown Creek and Hiawassee River
    Burned by Rutherford, 9/1776

    X 105. Hiawassee / Peachtree Mound
    Continuous habitation for over 12,000 years.
    Burned by Rutherford, 9/1776

    X 102. Hidden Town
    (See Rozema, Footsteps of the Cherokee, pp. "Cullasaja Gorge," 264); Burned by Rutherford, 1776

    X 62. Kituhwa, Keetoowah, Kitoowa
    On Tuckasegee River and extending from above the junction of the Oconaluftee nearly to the present Bryson City, Swain County, NC
    Destroyed by Rutherford or Moore in 1776

    X 59. Kulsetsiyi (Sugar Town) Cullasaja Itseyi
    Confluence of Little Tennessee and Sugartown or Cullasagee Creek near Franklin, Macon County, NC
    Burned by Rutherford, 9/1776 ...
    Pickens and Clarke fought a battle there in 1782, and the town never recovered
    See Qualla (157-161)

    95. Nottely (Natuhli)
    at Ranger, NC
    Burned by Rutherford, 9/1776

    X 63. Nucassee (Niquasse) (Nikwasi)
    At the present Franklin, NC
    Burned by Williamson, 9-18-1776
    Burned by Rutherford 9/1776
    Town house on the mound used as a hospital

    X 119. Setsi
    3 miles below Valleytown on South side of Valley River
    (See Legends, A1)
    Burned by Rutherford, 9/1776>

    X 65. Stecoah Old Fields (Stikayi Stikoa Stecoe) On Tuckasegee River at the old Thomas homestead just above Whittier Swain County, NC
    Burned by Moore, 1776 1781 burned by Sevier ...
    Rutherford [ or Moore?] found it deserted in 1776, the people having been warned to flee. He burned 25 houses, the townhouse, and crops.

    X 97. Tamahli (Tomotley) on Valley River about Tomotla, NC
    Burned by Williamson, 9/1776
    Burned by Rutherford, 9/1776

    X 98. Little Tellico
    on Little Tennessee River Swanton lists 2 towns, one on Tellico Cr of L Tenn River, 10 miles below Franklin: the other 5 miles above Murphy on the Valley R
    1776 burned by Williamson
    John of Little Tellico signed Treaty of Hopewell in 1785

    X 121. Tlanusiyi
    On Tusquittee Creek near Hayesville, NC
    Burned by Rutherford, 9/1776

    156. Tuchareechee
    Destroyed by Rutherford in 1776>

    X 93. Tuckaseegee Town
    Burned by John Sevier, 1781

    X 122. Tusquittah On Tusquittee Creek near Hayesville, NC
    Burned by Rutherford, 9/1776>

    X 86. Valley Town "long place"
    Burned by Rutherford, 9/1776

    157. Waseechee
    Destroyed by Rutherford in 1776

    X 71. Watauga On Watauga Creek, a branch of Little Tennessee River, a few miles below Franklin, NC
    Burned by Rutherford, 9-9-1776

  • "Historical Notes on the Cherokee People", "VI. Cherokees In The Revolutionary War Through 1777"
    An attack of Fort Watauga (in present Tennessee) planned for July 21, 1776 was largely a failure due to the advance warning of white settlers by Nancy Ward of Chota. After a three week siege of the fort, the Cherokees gave up. About twenty five died on each side, and a young boy, Samuel Moore, was burned at the stake by Cherokees. A white woman prisoner was saved from death by Ward. [HC] [96] Also in July, Cherokees attacked white settlements along the Catawba River in North Carolina. General Samuel Rutherford led the North Carolina militia of two thousand four hundred whites and a few Catawba allies. From September 1-18, 1776, his army destroyed thirty six Middle towns.

    [R] Chapman J. Milling, Red Carolinians, 1940.
    [96] Robert D. Bass, Ninety Six, 1978.
    [HC] Emmett Starr, History of the Cherokee Indians and Their Legends and Folk Lore,1921.

  • Encyclopedia of North Carolina, "The Revolutionary War, Cherokee Defeat, and Additional Land Cessions"
    The Upper Cherokee planned a three-pronged attack on the intruders along the North Carolina and Virginia frontiers. The Cherokee Middle Towns were to attack North Carolina, while the Lower Towns were to attack South Carolina and Georgia. The Lower and Middle settlements met with limited success. In reaction to these attacks, Gen. Charles Lee, commander of the southern Continental forces, urged a joint punitive expedition, known as the Cherokee Campaign of 1776. Under Col. Andrew Williamson, South Carolina troops moved against the Lower Towns and then traveled northwest to join the North Carolina forces under Gen. Griffith Rutherford in devastating the Middle and Valley Towns. Virginia troops under Col. William Christian crushed the Overhill Towns in present-day Tennessee. More than 50 Cherokee towns were destroyed in the summer of 1776, and the survivors were left without food or shelter.

  • NBBAS:Four p.102, Tuckasegee, Cherokee Middle Towns, Tennessee, March 1781

  • RevWar75 RevWar75   [Some of these will be removed]
  • Dec 1775 listing  
    12/22/1775 Indian Line (SC) Insufficient data.
  • Jun 1776 listing  
    6/1776 Round Mountain (Howard's Gap) (NC) American victory
  • Jul 1776 listing  
    7/20/1776 (Long) Island Flats (Eaton's Station) (TN) American victory
    7/20 - 8/2/1776 Fort Watauga (Fort Caswell) (TN) Draw
    7/29/1776 Middle Settlements (TN?) American victory
  • Aug 1776 listing  
  • Sep 1776 listing  
    9/1 - 18/1776 Middle Towns (NC) American victory
    9/19/1776 Black Hole of the Coweecho (Coweechee) River (NC) American victory
    9/1776 Valley Towns (Hiwassee River) (NC) American victory
    9/1776 Middle Towns (Tomotley, Little Tellico) (NC) American victory
    9/1776 Nacoochee Valley (GA) American victory
    9/1776 Little Echota (Chatahoochee River) (GA) American victory
  • Oct 1776 listing  
    10/27/1776 Neowee Creek (NC) British victory
    10/1776 French Broad River (NC) American victory.
    10/1776 Tuskeegee and Overhill Towns (SC?) American victory
  • Jul 1777 listing  
    7/22/1777 Oconee River (GA) British victory
  • Apr 1779 listing  
    4/10 - 20/1779 Chickamauga Towns (TN) American victory
    before 4/15/1779 Northeast Georgia (GA) Draw
  • Jun 1779 listing  
    6/1779 Chickamauga Towns (TN) American victory
  • Dec 1780 listing  
    12/8/1780 French Broad River (Boyd Creek) (TN) American victory.
    12/16/1780 Cherokee Towns (Tellico, Echota, Citico, Hiwasee, Chestowee, Toqua, &c (TN)
    12/22/1780 Chote Town (TN) Insufficient data.
    12/25/1780 Chilhowee and Telassee (TN) Draw
    12/28/1780 Tellico River (TN) Draw
    12/28/1780 Chote Town (TN) Insufficient data.
    12/31/1780 Christowee (TN) Insufficient data.
  • Jan 1781 listing   1/15/1781 Freeland's Station (TN) Draw.
  • Mar 1781 listing   3/1781 Tuckasegee (Cherokeee Middle Towns) (TN) American victory.
  • Apr 1781 listing   4/2 - 3/1781 Fort Nashborough (TN) Draw
  • Jun 1781 listing   6/1781 Raids against Cherokees (NC) American victory.
  • Mar 1782 listing  
    early 3/1782 Cherokee Towns (SC) American victory.
  • Sep 1782 listing  
    9/16 - 10/17/1782 Cherokee Campaign, Frontier (SC) American victory.

Related locations:
Little Tellico,   Tomotley (Tomatly, Tomatla),   Tuckasegee,   Cherokee Lower Towns,   Cherokee Overhill Towns,  

Confidence level:: See above.