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.





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