McGowan's Blockhouse

Other names:
Cherokee Ford

*Lt. Thomas Shanklin/Capt. James Little vs. Col. James Boyd, face-off preventing crossing of Cherokee Ford, 10 Feb 1779

Where: 34.123915 -82.664134 McGowan's Blockhouse

Maps: [map notes]


  • Smith, Gordon Burns. Morningstars of Liberty: The Revolutionary War in Georgia, 1775-1783, Volume One. Milledgeville, Ga.: Boyd Publishing, 2006, p.142

  • NBBAS:One p.244:

  • James Louis Petigru, James Petigru Carson, Life, Letters and Speeches of James Louis Petigru: The Union Man of South Carolina , p.3.
    In the Revolutionary War he immediately went to the front. Under Colonel Pickens he was in the action at McGowan's Blockhouse in Wilkes County, Ga., eight miles above Cherokee Ford on the Savannah River.
    [This account is apparently in error regarding the location of McGowan's Blockhouse or has confused it with some other location.]

  • The New Georgia Encyclopedia, "Battle of Kettle Creek"
    The Loyalists were ineffectively pursued by small groups of rebel militiamen. Boyd's command captured Fort Independence and the outpost at Broad Mouth Creek in South Carolina, but they declined to attack the garrison of McGowan's Blockhouse on the Cherokee Ford of the Savannah River. The Loyalists crossed the river further north at Vann's Creek on February 11. The garrison of Cherokee Ford, with reinforcements, attacked Boyd's men at the crossing but were repulsed. A

  • Brett Osborn, Revlist post
    In early 1779, Wilkes County Patriot militia under Colonel Dooly and LTC Clarke had moved their families across the Savannah River to SC for protection. There were about 750 military age men in Wilkes County, 250 were Loyalist Militia under Colonel Thomas Waters and there were about 140 Wilkes County men under Colonel Dooly. There are two cases of forts in the area garrisoned by 9 men each, Carr's Fort and McGowan's Blockhouse which was on the SC side of the river covering Cherokee Ford crossing. Manpower was the real issue. Not all settlements could be guarded.

  • Charles Colcock Jones, The History of Georgia, 1883, Houghton, Mifflin and Co


    Retiring from Carr's Fort the Americans recrossed the Savannah River near Fort Charlotte and advanced toward the Long Cane settlement to meet Colonel Boyd. Hearing of his advance, Captain Robert Anderson, of Colonel Pickens' regiment, summoning to his aid Captains Joseph Pickens, William Baskin, and John Miller, with their companies, crossed the Savannah River with a view to annoying Boyd when he should attempt the passage of that stream. He was subsequently joined by some Georgians under Captain James Little. This accession increased his force so that he had, present for duty, nearly one hundred men. In order to avoid Piukens and Dooly, Colonel Boyd changed his route and approached the river at the Cherokee ford. Here, upon a commanding elevation, was a block house mounting two ewivel guns and garrisoned by a lieutenant and eight men. A . quiet passage having been demanded and refused, Boyd proceeded up the river about five miles, and there placing his men and baggage on rafts, and swimming his horses, effected a crossing. His instructions to his men were to land at different points on the opposite shore. This circumstance, in connection with the tall canes growing along the river bank, so confused the small force under Captain Anderson that it did not render an opposition as effectual as might have been expected. That the passage - of the river was sharply contested, however, will be readily conceded when we remember that the Americans lost sixteen killed and wounded and an equal number of prisoners. Among the latter were Captains Baskin and Miller. Colonel Boyd acknowledged a loss of one hundred killed, wounded, and missing. Retreating rapidly, Captain Anderson formed a junction with Colonels Pickens and Dooly and united in the pursuit of the enemy.

  • RevWar75 RevWar75  
  • Feb 1779 listing  Per O'Kelley.
    2/9/1779 McGowan's Blockhouse. Insufficient data.
    2/10/1779 Vann's Creek (Cherokee Ford) . Insufficient data.

Related locations:
Vann's Creek,   Cherokee Ford GA,  

Confidence level:: See above.