Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fort Cusseta - Chambers County

As white settlers moved into Alabama, it did not take long for them to come into conflict with the Creek Nation. The result was a series of wars and conflicts that culminated with the Creek War of 1836 and the Trail of Tears. In Chambers County, Fort Cusseta stands as a unique reminder of this turbulent era.

Built around the time of the Creek War of 1836, the 16 by 30 foot fort is one of the last surviving frontier log forts in the South. Located about 3.5 miles off I-85 between Opelika and Lanett in the small community of Cusseta, the log walls are slowly collapsing but are generally protected by a metal building erected to shelter them.

When the Lower Creeks rose against white settlers in and pressing against their territory in the spring of 1836, an array of similar forts arose across much of southern Alabama. Residents "forted in" and rough stockades and blockhouses were built as strong points for defense. Fort Cusseta may have been a little more substantial than many of these as it was built from heavy hand-hewn timbers that have stood the test of time.

So far as is known, the fort never came under attack, but its loopholed walls clearly show it would have been difficult to capture. It is thought to be one of the last surviving wooden forts in the South.

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