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Settlers The Intruders


From A Brief Sketch of the
Settlement and Early History of
Giles County Tennessee
by James McCallum, 1876

       In 1809, 1910 and 1811, U. S. Soldiers from Fort Hampton situated on Elk River four miles above its mouth, were sent out in the month of June to drive all the settlers off the Indian land as it was called, although some of the settlers had grants for their land. They acted very rascally; cut down the corn with large butcher knives, threw down and burned fences and houses and forced the settlers back over the line. In some localities the settlers soon returned, and the villianous work of removal and destruction of improvements repeated. This was a terrible calamity on the settlers who had struggled against so many difficulties to get places on which to live. In the prospect of rising corn for their bread, the most of those driven off went back over the line, and built huts, and camps on the land of any one who would permit them to do so. They had to do this or anything to shelter their families until they could do better. Among those driven off were the following: William Welch, who lived six or seven, miles West of Campbellsvill, was driven off and his improvements and crop were destroyed. Lawson Hobson’s improvements and crop were totally destroyed, and his hands driven off. Robert Reed had inadvertently built his cabin on the line; the soldiers, would not allow it to remain, and threatened to burn it, but gave him permission to remove it. Charlees W. Dever who lived on the place now owned by Mrs. Lindsay was driven off and his extensive improvements and crop was destroyed. Levy Reed, Esq., says he saw six houses burning at one time on the banks of Weakley Creek by United States Soldiers, because they were on the Indian side of the line. Thomas Reed, Sr., who lived about a quarter of a mile East of where J. P. C. Reed now lives, was on Indian territory and his crop and improvements were destroyed, cut down and burned
       In the neighborhood of Prospect a good many persons were over the line, and they were treated as those on Weakley Creek, many of them went back over the line and built cabins and camps on the Ward tract of land. James Ford kept a little ferry on Elk at the mouth of Fords Creek, and the United States Government had contracted with him to ferry over the mail-rider who carried the mail from Columbia to Fort Hampton once every two weeks, was permitted to remain until his contract went out, and the very day it expired .the soldiers came and threw down his fence and took the roof off his house. Ford moved back a few miles and rented land for three years before he returned. A good many families on Shoal Creek and West of Prospect were driven off at the same time; among them were Reuben Riggs and Henry E. Morgan, who lived on the Carey Gilbert place; William Noblett, James McKinney, Kallett Nail and others lived over the line, were visited by the soldiers, and the crops and improvements of most of them were destroyed. On the South side of the river William Kyle had a large and valuable farm, and he was driven off three times. On the Alabama side the Reduses and Simmses and those who settled Simms’ settlement, were driven off and they went back over the line and built camps and shanties which they covered with bark which they stripped from the trees like tan bark. A considerable number of these camps were together, and the place was called Barksville for a long time. I saw the camps with the bark covers on them when a boy.

The Intruders
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