1812 War & Ft. Daniel


Major General Allen Daniel:
War of 1812 and Fort Daniel

Researched and written by Diane Carrington Bradford,
4th great granddaughter of Major General Allen Daniel,
of Madison County, Georgia, and
Webmaster of Leaves From Our Tree

This article was researched and documented in accordance
with the elements of the "Genealogical Proof Standard" [GPS]
developed by the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

General Allen Daniel [hereinafter "the General"] served in the Georgia Militia during the War of 1812, holding the rank of Brigadier General, 1st Brigade, 4th Division, from 8 Dec 1807 to 9 Nov 1812. He was promoted to Major General, 4th Division, Georgia Militia on 9 Nov 1812 and held that rank until he resigned on 20 Nov 1817.

Tabor's History of Madison County stated that "militia from Madison and nearby counties fought the Creek Indians in East Alabama." Extant but incomplete military records suggested that General Allen Daniel remained in Madison County during the 1812-1814 conflicts. His primary job was defending the border from Indian attacks. One of the measures he employed to protect the frontier resulted in a fort bearing his name, which also became the beginning point of the most famous road ever built in Georgia.

The Cherokee Indians lived along the Chattahoochee River and its tributaries, and the Lower Creek Indians lived in the river valleys of the Yellow, Brushy Fork, Alcovy and Appalachee Rivers [in southern Gwinnett County]. Early in the War of 1812, state government and military officials decided that two forts were needed to protect settlers of the western frontier areas from the Cherokee and Creek Indians who were collaborating with the British.

One fort, a stockade at the extreme western point in Georgia, was built at Hog Mountain [in present-day Gwinnett County], a major crossroads settlement about 30 miles northeast of Fort Gilmer, at the command of Major General Allen Daniel, for whom the fort was named.

During 1813 the second fort was built about 30 miles inside the Indian lands [near the present Atlanta waterworks in Fulton County] at a shallow ford of the Chattahoochee at the site of an old Cherokee Indian village. The name of this settlement, as translated from the Cherokee language in 1782, was understood by American military scouts to be "Standing Peachtree." However, since the peach tree was not native to northeast Georgia and it was unlikely that the Indians had ever seen or heard of a peach tree, historians speculated that the Indian village was actually named for a "pitch" tree (a type of resinous pine). Nevertheless, the misnomer stuck and the village became a frontier outpost with the construction of Fort Gilmer by Lt. George Rockingham Gilmer (later a governor of Georgia), often called Fort Standing Peachtree, or simply Fort Peachtree.

Also in 1813 a military road was built connecting the two forts to haul military supplies to the Chattahochee River. William Nesbitt, Robert Young and Isham Williams were commissioned to cut a road 12 feet wide and 30 miles long through the heavily forested wilderness, and were paid $150 for their work. This was the inauspicious beginning of Atlanta's famous Peachtree Road.

Fort Daniel no longer exists, but this Georgia Historical Marker now marks the site.

Fort Daniel historical marker

Two documents pertaining to General Allen Daniel's military duties and the defense of the frontier lands still exist and may be found Online in the Digital Library of Georgia Database: Document: TCC395 and Document: TCC808, Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842. Copies of the two handwritten documents (4 pages each) and a transcription of each document provide us with a rare peek into military life in the early 1800s.

The following letter from Governor David B. Mitchell in Milledgeville [then the capitol of Georgia] to Major General Allen Daniel dated 10 Oct 1813 related the governor's belief that the Indians would not cross the Chattahoochee River and his requests that 1. General Daniel not unduly alarm frontier residents, and 2. that he gather information about the Indians by using spies rather than an entire detachment since a large number of militia men would make too large a target should the Creek Indians become hostile. [Source: Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842, Telamon Cuyler Collection, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, GA; Document TCC395, Online in the Digital Library of Georgia Database] (All spelling, capitalization and punctuation was transcribed verbatim.)

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10th Octr 1813

Dr Sir

I have this moment received your favr [sic] of the 7th & 9th instant by Esqr. Kennady          I had received a copy of the letter of mr Baily to Col. Harris some days since as well as some other information from an other quarter upon the said Subject, but from some circumstances which I will now mention to you, I was not disposed to treat it so seriously as Mr Baily seems to do, Since that letter was written three troops of Cavalry, with major Freeman, at their head have been out at the agency & convoyed a supply of provisions with a reinforcement of troops for the fort at that place & the Cavalry have returned to camp & report, that they did not see an indian [sic], or any sign of them, except some friendly ones at the agency. & that Col. Hawkins people were occupied at their usual labor without any fear of an attact [sic] from the war party. I have also certain informotion [sic], that it is the object of the hostile creeks [sic] to attack the settlements on Tombigby & destroy them before they meddle with us & that their pretences [sic] of attacking our frontier is only a front to cover their real designs.

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independent of all this a large detachment from the army now at camp hope [sic], will move off in a day or two for the agency & the Chattahouchee [sic] & will be followd [sic] by the balance at A convenient distance in the rear. When this movement takes place not an indian [sic] will venture on this Side of the Chattahouchee. When I first got the informotion [sic] which you now possess. I was doubtfull [sic] it might Create some uneasiness on the frontier among the people who would not be in possession of all the information I have on the Subject. & I therefore thought it advisable to write to Col. Jones of Jackson County a note authorising [sic] him to employ some spies & Send them out on the Indian land, to Keep a watch upon them & if the[y] saw any appearance of hostility to return directly to the Settlements & give the alarm & it was my intention to write you to prepare one class of the Militia of your command & have them ready to to take the field in case of need at a moments warning. I have now Stated to you the information I possess as well as my own impressions upon it. & as it is impossible for me at this distance to decide upon the best measures to be adopted, for Keeping the frontier

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people safe & quiet, I must leave it to your own discression [sic] who are on the spot & can act as circumstances may require I however conceive that it will be unnessary [sic] to Keep a large body of men in the field, & whatever you do on the indian ]sic] Side let it be done by Spies & not by large detachments. in the one case you stand a chance of gaining a Knowledge of the Situation of the enemy & can thereby be enabled to defeat his object but in the other you gain nothing, but run the risque [sic] of having them waylaid & Killed, for the Indians will certainly discover a detachment sooner than they can two individuals riding quietly along. I have also certain information that the Cherokees are preparing at least one thousand men to go immediately against the Creeks. this of itself will deter their parties from approaching our frontier. you must however be governed by circumstances & in the use of the means which you may adopt, to gain informotion [sic] I have to request, that you employ such persons only as can be relied upon for veracity, courage & vigilance

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because false alarms created on the frontier only tend to render the people uneasy & run the County to great & unnecessary expence [sic].  Should any ammunition be in your quarter you can purchase a moderate quantity & I will pay for it. It will save time & the means of conveyance is not easily procurd [sic] at this place, at this time.

Any measures which you in your Judgement deem best, you will adopt & I will Sanction them

Yours Dear Sir
with great regard &
esteem your very obed. Servt [obedient Servant]
[Signed] D B Mitchell

Honble [sic] Major Genl
Allen Daniel

I do Certify that the above is truly copied from the original in my possession 3rd May 1814

Allen Daniel Majr Gen

Based upon the orders he received from Governor Mitchell, Major General Allen Daniel, through his aid de camp, Major John D. Terrell, issued to Brigadier General Frederick Beall the following Divisional Orders pertaining to the fortification and protection of the Georgia frontier, dated 10 Oct 1813. General Daniel ordered General Beall to muster various forces and keep them in readiness in case of Indian attack, commanded the construction of a new fort at Hog Mountain [then in Jackson County, today in Gwinnett County, Georgia], ordered the employment of six (6) spies to roam the Indian territory, and authorized the purchase of ammunition for the Militia to be stationed at the new fort. [Source: Southeastern Native American Documents, 1730-1842, Telamon Cuyler Collection, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, GA; Document TCC808, Online in the Digital Library of Georgia Database] (All spelling, capitalization and punctuation was transcribed verbatim.)

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Divisional orders { Madison County
{ 21 st October 1813"

Allen Daniel Major General commanding the fourth Division of the Georgia Militia deems it expedient at this momentous crisis that some portion of the Militia under his command Should be held in constant readiness for actual Service. &c [et cetera]

The brigade commanded by Brigadier Genl Beall having been legally classed –– It is orderd [sic] that the first class in said Brigade, be mustered by their proper officers once in every month, by companies, at their respective Regimental mustergrounds [sic] and that each man will furnish himself with a knapsack, blanket, arms and equipments (untill [sic] arms & equipments can be furnished them by government) and hold themselves in readiness to take the field at a moments warning.

The Major Genl [sic] (having received communications from his Excellency the Governor of the 10th instant, Wherein he is authorized to take such measures as he may deem expedient for the security of the frontier settlements. In virtue of which authority, reallizing [sic] the defenceless [sic] situation of our frontiers and the duties which he owes his country) deems it expedient to order –– That Brigadier General Beall forthwith order out

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thirty of the militia of his Brigade, to relieve those now stationed (by his order) at the hog mountain In Jackson County, when the term of their service shall expire, and that those now orderd [sic] out, shall be relieved by others in succession, and in like manner to be detached in every ten days, untill [sic] further orders

The Major Genl, having also received information on which he relies, that the fort at the hog mountain is not only formed of old, dry and insufficient timbers, but is also badly constructed, consequently easily destroy'd [sic] by fire, and inadequate for defence [sic].  With this view, He conceives (in event of an attact [sic] by the enemy) the fort would become instrumental to the destruction of its defenders, rather than a place of security, At this eventfull [sic] crisis a substantial fort must be all important,

It is therefore orderd [sic] That Brigdr. Genl. [sic] Beall without delay cause to be detached such a number of the militia of his Brigade as in his Judgement may be conceived sufficient to build a new fort at or near the place whereon the present fort stands, which shall be sufficient for the reception of two hundred men, out of substantial timbers, with post holes compleatly [sic] cut at proper hight [sic], with platforms, so as to raise the post holes at such a hight [sic] that the enemy will be prevented from any advantage therefrom ––

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the stockadeing [sic] will be at least ten or eleven feet above ground & well set into the Earth three feet, all the houses which may be built within the fort, will be built with slanting roofs to drip in and to the centre [sic] of the fort, so that in case fire should be cast on them from without it may be extinguished without danger

The walls of no house within the fort, shall exceed the hight [sic] of the Stockading, except block houses Brigadier Genl Beall and Major John D Terrell are charged with the superintendonce [sic], construction & completion of this work.

And whenever the fort is finished, the militia which may be in service at the present fort will take possession of the new one ––

The Major General, by the communicotions [sic] aforesaid from His Excellency the Governor has derived authorities, to employ spies to range on our frontiers,

In conformity thereto, It is orderd [sic] that six spies be employd [sic] men of vigilance courage & veracity, whose duty it shall be vigilantly to range on the Indian land bordering our own frontier two & two together Subject to the controul [sic] of General Beall Who in Co-opperation [sic] with Major John D Terrell, are charged with the employment of those spies provided Col Russel Jones has not perfected that service pursuant to the orders of the Governor.

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The Major Genl from the Executive communications aforesaid has derived adequate authorities for the purchace [sic] of ammunition sufficient for the militia hereby called into actual service and who are to be stationed at the Hog Mountain, there being none here to be procurd [sic]. Should it be within your power to secure a reasonable quantity of powder & lead, for the object expressed you will please do so for which His Excellency promises payment

The Major Genl.
Presents his respects to the militia & citizens of Jackson County and feels confident, they will cheerfully supply utensils and afford their aid in compleating [sic] the fort

                                                                                               By the Major
                                                                                               Generals Command
                                                                                               Jno D Terrell [Signed]
                                                                                               Aid De Camp

Brigadier Genl
Frederick Beall

[written sideways in the bottom left corner of page 4]
                                                                                                                                  21st October


These two historic documents not only provide invaluable information on the fort built at the order of Major General Allen Daniel, but also refer to a pre-existing fort at Hog Mountain that was in use by Georgia Militia troops but was too old and too small to be a safe place for frontier settlers to take refuge from Indian attack, and also was no longer easily defended. This documentation of a pre-existing fortified structure at Hog Mountain made it clear that the history of frontier settlement in the area that is now Gwinnett County, Georgia, was much older than previously thought, and these frontier military outposts would have federal historical significance.

Early in 2007, various members of the Gwinnett Archaeological Research Society (GARS), The Gwinnett Historical Society (GHS), the Greater Atlanta Archaeological Society (GAAS), University of Georgia (UGA) staff and the Student Association of Archaeological Sciences became interested in working together on an archaeological study of the Fort Daniel area. Beginning in July 2007 UGA staff and the Student Association of Archaeological Sciences conducted ground penetrating radar (GPR) studies of the area, to determine the exact location of both forts. [Source: "Ft. Daniel: New Info Surfaces Indicating the 1813 Fort Was a Replacement of an Older Original," The Heritage, A Quarterly Publication, Summer 2007, Vol. 36, No. 2. Lawrenceville, GA: Gwinnett Historical Society, 2007, p 36.]

In a letter dated 12 Sep 2008, The Georgia Trust notified the Friends of Fort. Daniel Committee that their Trustees had voted to include the Fort Daniel site in their "2009 Places in Peril" list, which was released to the public on 15 Oct 2008, in the Georgia Trust's quarterly journal, The Rambler, with follow-up reports appearing in The Rambler all during 2009.

In 2009 a group of volunteers successfully applied for and received Articles of Incorporation for the Fort Daniel Foundation, Inc. (FDF) as a non-profit, tax-exempt charitable organization to pursue their stated Mission of purchasing the approximately 15 acres surrounding the fort site and developing the "Fort Daniel Historic Site and Archaeological Research Park." The FDF also accepted applications for charter membership in six membership categories, including this writer who, as a 4th great granddaughter of the General, is a charter lifetime member.

By Feb 2010 the FDF received offcial notification from the IRS of tax-exempt status, with the effective date retroactive to the time of FDF's incorporation as a non-profit in 2009.

By the end of 2010 the archaeologists had uncovered all four perimeter walls of the fort, as well as the walls of two corner blockhouses at the site. Work continues to excavate the site and catalog all artifacts found during excavations. Readers interested in learning more about the Fort Daniel Foundation, its Mission, its plans for the future, and work completed to date would enjoy visiting the Fort Daniel Foundation, Inc. Web site.


All during his years as the ranking officer of the 4th Division of the Georgia Militia, General Allen Daniel also held numerous public offices in both Elbert and Madison counties and in the Georgia state legislature. During the War of 1812 he apparently apportioned his time and efforts between his military duties and some of those public service duties, in addition to being a husband, father, land owner, slave owner and farmer. Tabor's History of Madison County showed his name in a list of Grand Jury Foremen for 1812 and 1814, and in a list of State Senators for 1812, 1813, 1814 and 1815. The general was a very busy man with heavy responsibilities for many years. Little wonder that in 1817 he wrote the following letter to His Excellency William Rabun, Governor of Georgia, resigning his military command:

Madison County
20th November 1817


The honorable termination of the late war and the United States being at peace with all nations on Earth it promises tranquility to this Country for many years. You will therefore receive this communication as my resignation of the Command which I have the honor to hold as Major General of the fourth Division of the Militia of this State of Georgia, the Legislature being now in Session composed of a number of our fellow citizens with whom I have had the honor to associate for many years in the most perilous times and if differences have arisen in our deliberations, it is not more than might have been expected in the then situation of the Country and I have the consolation confidently to believe that whatever differences might have existed, it was only an honest difference of opinion and that the whole aimed for the prosperity and happiness of our beloved Country and I should do injustice to my feelings if I was in this communication to omit to present to the legislature of Georgia my grateful acknowledgements for this mark of their confidence in confiring [sic] on me this high and honorable command. I think this a fit occasion to congratulate the legislature of Georgia and my fellow citizens generally on the honorable termination of the late war, the happy and flourishing condition of these United States the envy of the Tyrant, an assylum [sic] for the oppressed, the pride and glory of freemen. I have the consolation to believe that in the late contest the citizens of the United States has taught the world this lesson that it is for freemen alone to prescribe bounds beyond which despots must not approach.

I have the honor to be very Respectfully,
your Excellencys Most Obedient & very humble Serv.

Allen Daniel

His Excellency Wm. Rabun,
Governor of Georgia

The following notice was published in a Milledgeville, Georgia newspaper:

"...Captain Wiley Thompson has been elected Major General of the 4th division of the militia of this State, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Maj. General Allen Daniel....". From: "To His Excellency the Governor of Georgia," The Reflector, Vol. I, Issue 4, column 2, page 3, dated Dec 2, 1817.

Thus ended his military career, but General Allen Daniel continued in his public service and political activities until the Madison County Inferior Court found him to be mentally incompetent in 1832 and appointed his son, Capt. James Woodson Daniel, as guardian. General Daniel died in 1836.

SEE ALSO: Descendants of General Allen DANIEL on WorldConnect Go to Gen. Daniel on WorldConnect


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