Head of Coosa

Rome Weekly Courier, Apr. 14, 1871 -- page 2         First I am posting this information from the Rome News to get an idea of where the Head of Coosa was. The City of Rome is the She the article is referring too. We get a view of how beautiful the flowing waters are.

Another blog describing the Trail of Tears spoke of the Indian Village at the Head of Coosa and the Battle of Hightower.

“On the afternoon of Oct. 17, 1793 Sevier and his militia arrived at what would become the site of the “Battle of Hightower,” the final, bloody military engagement of the Cherokees against the whites. An early Tennessee historian, J. G. M. Ramsey, who had a chance to interview several participants in the battle, said that the target of the expedition was “the Indian town, Etowah,” located “near the confluence” of the Oostanaula and Etowah rivers, “immediately below” the head of the Coosa. The Etowah River “had to be crossed before the town could be attacked,” said Ramsey. “Firing was heard in the direction of the town, and apprehending a general attack, Sevier judiciously ordered a halt, and sent forward a detachment from the main body against the town.”(14) What happened next Ramsey characterizes as a fortunate “mistake,” but Sevier implies that it was an intentional battle strategy in his official report. Ramsey said that the Cherokees and Creeks, “having previously obtained information of Sevier’s approach, had made excavations in the bank of the river nearest the town, each of them large enough for one man to lie with his gun poised, and with a leisurely aim to shoot our mean as they came in sight.” Ramsey said that the Indians were thus “safely entrenched.”(15) Sevier reported that he ordered Col. Alexander Kelly to take his regiment and cross the Etowah River, but since the “Creeks, and a number of Cherokees, had intrenched themselves to obstruct the passage,” Col. Kelly and his men went “down the river half a mile below the ford and began to cross at a private place, where there was no ford.”(16) What might be construed as a strategic lure to get the Indians away from their entrenched positions Ramsey explains was a simple mistake, when the guides led Kelly’s men “to a ferry half a mile below the fording place, and immediately opposite the town” and soon found themselves forced to swim:(17) ”

There are many cities that remember the Indian towns of the pass like Euharlee, Sutalee, Chattahoochee, Allatoona, and even Cherokee County. We wont dis cuss the bad blood between us and our Indian brethren as this blog is not big enough to handle the many conflicts. We need to be thankful for how the Indian culture influenced the Great State of Georgia.

The earliest article found in the newspapers related to the post office of the Head of Coosa came from the Cherokee Phoenix.

Cherokee Phoenix and Indians’ Advocate
Saturday June 19, 1830
Vol. III, no. 9
Page 2, col. 1a-2b
Relating to the boundary line between the Cherokees and Creeks.
HEAD OF COOSA, 21st Dec. 1829.

Capt. David M’Nair states that he has lived in the Cherokee Nation since the year 1800. When I first came to the country the Cherokee Indians were settled on the south side of Hightower and Coosa Rivers, and on all the waters thereof, from Turkey Town up to the head of that river. They were also then living at Sawanah Old Town on Chattahoochy. I was at the house of Col. Rhode Easly who lived at the High Shoals of the Apalachee, on the east side of the river, about the year 1803; he then informed me that he had a cow-pen on the west side of Apalachy, some 6 or 8 miles from where he lived, on the Cherokee lands, that they permitted him to keep them on their land,- I heard the Cherokees say the same, that they permitted Col. Easly and his cattle on their land- I never knew of any line between the two Nations until the line was made from Buzzard Roost to Will’s Creek. I never heard of the Creek Indian claiming any land on the waters of Hightower River, nor anywhere the Cherokees had settlements on the same. I have heard them speak of their boundary being south of all their settlements.

Sworn to and subscribed before me, the same day above written.
National Council, Cherokee Nation.

So, John Ridge was the Post Master for the  Head of Coosa and wrote from their often.


In the Athenian, Jul. 13, 1830 newspaper we find these comments.

Athenian, Jul. 13, 1830 -- page 4

The author of the article did not appreciate the Cherokee Nation being recognized by the Federal Government but you have to realize the postal exchange also included New Echota and all of which was location to deliver mail. The Cherokee then were trying to establish themselves in Georgia. I remember the story of an Indian Chief named Proctor from Acworth, who cried when he was to be removed from his friends there during the Trail of Tears. A very bad time in our nations and Georgia’s history.

The name Head of Coosa remained long after the Cherokee removal and is mentioned as a post office in 1839 as part of the postal express. The town of Rome or ” The City of Seven Hills” was incorporated on December 20th, 1834 and as a city on December 29, 1847. Note the State of Georgia handled most of its legislation at the end of the year. According to0 Kenneth Krakow, “Fiver travelers met at a spring here and each tossed a name in a hat. The name selected was by Colonel Daniel R. Mitchell, a lawyer from Canton was drawn. He remembered the seven hills of ancient Rome on the Tiber.” Thus the  post office moved to the city located at the head of the Coosa River.

The story above brings to mind the story of another town in Rome suggested  by an attorney, called Subligna. The story goes a group citizens wanted to form a town and an attorney named Underwood suggested his name. The citizens did not think so much of naming a fair town after a foul lawyer and the scratched that idea. Mr. Underwood came up with another name of Subligna. The people thought about it and decided that would be something they could live with. Little did the people know that the word Subligna was Latin and the word “sub” was Latin for Under and the word “ligna” was Latin for Wood. and we learn very quickly to never trusty a lawyer.





Sandfordsville, Ga. (John Dawson)

Georgia Journal, Madison, Georgia, August 25, 1831

Remember the article from Georgia Journal Madison Georgia August 25, 1831 where we found Sandfordsville in Gwinnett County but the map showed it in Cass County. We see the date and realize the Cherokee Land Lottery of 1832 formed 10 new counties in the North West portion of the state and Cass County was one of those new counties.  But we look closer at John Dawson we find some more. I want to say that the newspapers with the Uncle Remus Library System is very good. Lots of new stuff maybe not so great a user interface but still a great resource.


In the Western Herald, Auraria, Georgia, May 7, 1833 Heres the article that specifically says John Dawson is the postmaster of Sanfordsville and the fact that its in Cass County. Allatoona was not named until the 1840s or 1850s according to Kenneth Krakow Georgia Place Names. Notice the other towns mentioned and the many business’s that welcomes having a post office for the community. Mentioned also is Head of Coosa in Floyd County, Two Runs which is near Cassville. I recognize Chester Hawkes in that area.


Here we find the Western Herald, Auraria, Georgia, August 17, 1833 Here is where John Dawson is owner of the Allatooney Hotel. This is during the Gold Rush to the area advertising a house of entertainment in Allatoona as well. There are many hotels all vying for an opportunity to get business from the miners working on the gold rush. Huntsville, Georgia in Paulding  and of course Auraria near Dahlonega was popular areas. Gladeville and the Glade Mines were mentioned. but those will be other posts. John Dawson a businessman we seeking some of those boarders as well. The Allatoona Mines were near by. Note too that this was before there was a town of Allatoona. That will be another post as well. Of course you also need some libations. A drink at the local tavern after a hard day at mining is welcome. John Moved the post office to this place and it is mentioned here.


Here is another ad mentioning John Dawson . It would be interesting to find some more about him.


Find a Grave has a John Dawson buried at the old Macedonia 1847 Cemetery  and if this is our John Dawson he was born in 1802 making him around 31 when he owned the motel. It shows he passed in 1874. It would be interesting to see his obituary. The same poster of the picture from Find a Grave shares some info about John Zachariah Dawson. The old Cass map indicates that Sandfordsville was in the 4th District in the 1839 map so this may be the same Dawson. Michael Lynn Farrer too the grave picture above and offered the same info.

“1840 Census (June 1840)
District 952, Cass County, Georgia
Zacheriah Dawson
Males – one under 5, 2 one 5-10, one 30-40
Females – one under 5, two 5-10, one 30-40
All free & white

Georgia Pioneer – Newspaper, on 29 Apr 1842
Page 4, column 2: Lot No. 961, 17th District, 3rd Section, with a sawmill situated thereon; also Lot Nos. 955 and 956, 4th District, 3rd Section; levied on as the property of ABRAHAM GREEN to satisfy sundry fi fas in favor of JOHN DAWSON from Cass Superior court; one in favor of BENJAMIN KITCHENS from Cass Superior Court.
Page 4, column (?): Lot Nos. 1283, 1284, 1236, 1238, 21st District, 2nd Section; levied on as the property of JOHN DAWSON to satisfy sundry fi fas from Cass Superior court in favor of MICHEAL O’BRYAN VS JOHN DAWSON and served tenants in possession with notice of levy.”

The Rootsweb site shows John Zachariah Dawson was a farmer .

1850 Census (12 Aug 1850)
Division 12, Cass County, Georgia
Dawson, Zechereah, age 46, M, Farmer, b. SC,
Dawson, Mary, age 46, F, b. SC
Dawson, William, age 21, M, Farmer, b. SC
Dawson, Susan, age 19, F, b. SC
Dawson, Thomas, age 11, M, b. SC
Dawson, Lucy, age 11, F, b. SC
Dawson, Eliza, age 10, F, b. GA
Dawson, Sarah, age 7, F, b. GA

and in May 1861 John Dawson served with the

Confederate Home Guard – “Macedonia Silver Greys” Men in the 851st G. M. district [southwest corner of Cass or Bartow county] organized themselves into a home guard company called the “Macedonia Silver Greys”, at the Macedonia Baptist Church on May 18, 1861, “Dear Sir: The citizens of the vicinity of Macedonia church having organized themselves into a company for home defense(being men mostly not subject to duty) and wishing arms of some sort (through me, their commander) most respectively solicit you to send them swords and pistols for mounted men if you can. If not expedient to do so, send guns of some sort for about 30 men. He later wrote. “If you cannot furnish us with swords and pistols, we are desirous to be supplied with some sort of arms for which (of course) we expect and
are willing to give bond for the forthcoming… I will inform you that we all have accepted our commissions and have taken and subscribed to the oath as required. Very respectfully your obedient servant, Thos. J. Pyle captain of the Macedonia Silver Greys” Everything that is within the quote marks above is a verbatim quote of the article. It was taken from a book which isn’t named, there is a mention of Kingston, GA and a Mrs A E Johnson and that she was responsible for the war history of Kingston being preserved.

The Rootsweb site goes on to mention the last will and testament of John Dawson leaving his land to his wife Mary Dawson. Also mentioned is John and Mary were married in 1829 in South Carolina. I am not proof positive that this is the same John Dawson but we will keep digging.



Sandfordsville, Georgia



From the Etowah Valley Historical Society website, “Sanfordsville is found on a map from The American Atlas (London, J. Arrowsmith, 1839). It appears to be in southeast Cass (now Bartow) County, however the map is not specific enough to denote an exact location. Post office listings for Cass (now Bartow) County show a Sandfordville post office operating between 1831 and 1838. The spelling of Sanfordsville (map) vs Sandfordville (post office) is close but could be two entirely different locations. Please contact the Etowah Valley Historical Society with any additional information about Sanfordsville. ”

So we search for other references to Sandfordsville and we see the post office mentioned in old newspapers such as Athens and Milledgeville in the 1838 papers

12346586_10206969537095838_545915306201132095_nThe list from the Southern Banner, Aug. 11, 1838 points to a stop on the stage from Lawrenceville. Pickneyville is in Forsyth County, Marshalltown (1838-1841) is also in Forsyth County, Lebanon, Georgia is a Cherokee County community that is now absorbed into Holly Springs. While the community is locally known and still referred to as Toonigh. (from Wikipedia) and Sandfordsville which we believe is in Bartow then Cass County.

If we go to a US Post Office site http://www.postalhistory.com/postoffices.asp?task=display&searchtext=sanfordsville&state=&county=&searchtype=word

and search for Sanfordsville we find it is listed in Gwinnett County.


In a list of 1833 Post Offices the towns o from Lawrenceville in Gwinnett by Pickneyville, then Sandfordsville, Two Runs is referring to Two Run Creek in Bartow County as is Alatona. Head of Coosa is in Floyd County and Bennettsville  is possibly in Alabama.

Sandfordsville is mentioned in the Adeil Sherwood’s gazetteer of Georgia for 1837.

We get the most details as newspapers list from June to September 1838 in the Southern Banner with a listing of stage proposals for delivering mail. Also the same listings in the Federal Union newspapers from Milledegville.

Georgia Journal, Madison, Georgia, August 25, 1831

Here may be the best evidence that Sandfordsville was in Gwinnett County. From Georgia Journal, Madison, Georgia, August 25, 1831. We know Hightower refers to the Etowah.

I immediately think of a sandy ford through which you cross a river. I also imagine the Chattahoochee but the Etowah does have its share of sandy banks. More to consider however is this. In 1831 technically Cass County did not exist. The Cherokee Land Lottery occurred in 1832 and Cass County along with 10 other counties were formed. The Map Above was formed in 1839 and as with other counties shifted boundaries in 1831 the town may have been in Gwinnett. We could look at a 1831 map off Gwinnett.

1833 map Detail from Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge‘s map of Georgia, 1833. (Library of Congress)

So we cant see Sandfordsville but we have an idea Gwinnett County was bounded by the Chattahoochee. The other map above does not have the scale we need to determine exactly where the town was located. Still very interesting to note. I have read a story from Judge john Stevens Heard when he spoke of Sandy Springs, Georgia being in Henry County which is now the north end of Fulton near Cobb County and he lived near the Chattahoochee at what was known as Isom’s (Isham) ferry during the war and later Heards Ferry for John Heard.


Just as many towns passed with the postal deliveries, to the stage coach to the railroad and today the highway and even under the shopping center Sandfordsville has been lost too us. Perhaps John Dawson, post master, might shed some light on the mystery.