Fort Lee

Other names:

Destroyed by Cherokee 1776 (JAR)

Where: 36.20855,-82.66731 Fort Lee

Maps: [map notes]


  • Wiki Map-cherokee-invasion-watauga-1776.gif

    Fort map

    Wiki July 1776 Cherokee invasion

  • Alderman, Pat Nancy Ward / Dragging Canoe: Cherokee Chieftainess / Cherokee-Chickamauga War Chief, The Overmountain Press, Jan 1, 1978. P.44.
    Nancy Ward Sends Warning
    The four white traders. led by Isaac Thomas, slipped out of Chota sometime during the day or night of July 8, 1776, carrying Nancy Ward's message of warning to the Overmountain settlements. They reached Fort Lee (Limestone, Tennessee) July 11, ten days before Old Abram's attack on Fort Watauga and nine days before Dragging Canoe's battle at Island Flats (Kingsport, Tennessee). The warning of an imminent Indian attack on the Holston, Watauga, and Nolichucky people was not a surprise. Such a move had been anticipated for some time, and special efforts had been made to ready the forts and stockades for the expected onslaught. The timely warning did give women and children ample time to reach the nearest fort for protection.

    Any speculation about Nancy Ward's reasons for sending the warning message to the whites is pure conjecture. However, recorded words, actions and written documents regarding her later years, reveal some clues to her purposes and thinking. One of Nancy's most common sayings was, "The white men are our brothers, The same house shelters us, and the same sky covers us all." Her cry was ALL FOR PEACE.

  • NPS National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form, The Transformation of the Nolichucky Valley, 1776 -1960, 1. Settlement Patterns, 1776 -1960, March 1992, National Park Service.
    The Nolichucky River is strongly associated with significant settlement patterns in Appalachia Tennessee. Here, in 1776, militiamen built Fort Lee near the confluence of the Big Limestone Creek of constructing and garrisoning the fort, built to defend the frontier settlers of Upper East Tennessee (then North Carolina) against an invading Cherokee army during the Revolutionary War. However, once news arrived of the Cherokee advance, many settlers fled, taking their livestock and possessions with them. Lt. Sevier lacked the men to complete the fort and he abandoned the position to move to the Watauga Fort near Sycamore Shoals (NHL 10/15/66) in present Carter County. The Cherokees burned Fort Lee in July 1776. The site of the fort is believed to be in the vicinity of the David Crockett Birthplace State Park; no archaeological investigations have been undertaken to confirm the fort site. and the Nolichucky River. Future Tennessee Governor John Sevier, then a lieutenant, was in charge
  • RevWar75 RevWar75  
  • Jul 1776 listing  
    7/20/1776 (Long) Island Flats (Eaton's Station) . American victory.
    7/20 - 8/2/1776 Fort Watauga (Fort Caswell). Shown as draw.

    Related locations:

    Confidence level:: 2