By Mae Montgomery-Thornton
November 06, 1942
Copied with permission from the Editor of the Danielsville Monitor,
Mr. Jere Ayers.
Situated in what was formerly the Cherokee Indian section of Georgia in the northern
part of Madison County near Hudson river is an old Indian Fort. This fort was built by
Captain John Lamar in 1790 and was called "Fort Lamar" after him.
Captain Lamar was born in 1740 and died in Columbia County June 18, 1799. He married
three times, 1st. Mary Elizabeth Bugg, 2nd. Priscilla Bugg, 3rd.
Lucy Appling. He fought in battles of Eutaw Springs and Cowpens under General Marion and
Pickens, and was in the siege of Augusta. He was taken prisoner by Cornwallis, twice
wounded by the British and once by the Indians after his removal to Georgia. He was in
Colonel Dooleys Battalion in the County of Wilkes in 1791, as shown by the general
tax returns in Wilkes county for 1791.
"Captain Lamars Company" published in First volume, Joseph Habersham,
Chapter D.A.R., page 248 by Mill Helen M. Prescott, contains the roster of Captain John
Lamars Company, formed at Augusta, Georgai August 30, 1775. Forty-two names are
listed as follows:
John Lamar, Captain; Samuel Jack, First Lieutenant; James Martin, Second Lieutenant;
George Wills, Surgeon; John Martin, Sergeant; John McGehee, Sergeant; Robert McIntosh,
Sergeant; Charles Wiles, Drummer; Joseph Davlin, John Twiggs, William Jackson, Humphrey
Wells, John Bacon, Thomas Carter, Marin Wetherford, John Ivy, Daniel White, Alexander
Downes, Patrick Garjason, John Newton, James, Murphey, John Farmer, Turrance Bryan, George
Martin, Alexander Hannah, James Johnson, Isaac Vaughn, Wollican [sic], James Jackson,
Charles Clark, Moody Burt, Valentine Clem, Peter Tarcauit, John Campbell, Robert Forgey,
John Bodnafield, John Brandon, and Humphrey Hubbard.
All the above named men enlisted August 30, 1775 and served until September 19, 1775
when they were lawfully discharged. The Company was "The Committee of Safety".
It was one of the first Companies formed in Georgia to assist in the defense of the rights
of the American Colonies.
Captain John Newton Montgomery bought the land, on the highest hill on which Fort Lamar
was built, from Major Thomas Jones before the Civil War. On his return at the close of the
war, after being held prisoner on Johnsons Island since his capture in the seconds
days Battle of Gettysburg, as his more than a hundred slaves were free, he gave each
of his five sons a plantation.
Lieutenant W. W. Montgomery, who served through the War with General Lee and wrote the
paroles and selected the officers to take the places of those killed and was General
Lees highest officer in rank at the close of the War, and James H. Montgomery, who
served in the Medical Corps were deeded plantations in Floyd county, near Rome Georgia by
their father. The land on which the Fort stands was deeded to my father, John Lucas
Montgomery right after the Civil War and has been in the possession of our family since
On the right going up the lane to the Fort was formerly a well-kept graveyard, which my
people called "The Indian Graveyard". It was surrounded by a neat three-board
fence built without an entrance. The graves were covered with small brick houses. For some
unknown reason, my grandfather kept this graveyard under his own supervision during the
whole of his lifetime. No one was permitted to pass back and forth through it. Although I
was born at the Fort and lived there until thirteen years of age I was never in this
graveyard. At my grandfathers death my aunt, Mrs. I. H. Goss fell heir to this
particular plot of ground and it was sold outside our family. It is now a waste, every
vestige of a grave has been destroyed. I have been told that this graveyard contained the
bodies of some of the Lamars.
It has been stated that the above is the Jones Graveyard. The Jones Graveyard is two
miles away from the Fort on the Sidney Langford estate. There are two markers in it
bearing the following inscription:
Died 27th July 1851
20th August 1846
This is sufficient evidence that the grave yard in front of the Fort is not the Jones
On the right-hand side and about fifty yards away from the Fort stood the Blockhouse.
It was used by the white settlers to keep ammunition stored. At the southern end of the
Fort stood a tall fine chimney in which was placed a stone bearing the date,
"1790". Tenants tore down this chimney and built a small one between the rooms.
This detracted greatly from the good appearance of the Fort. I have been told that the
engraved stone mentioned above was placed near the bottom of this last chimney. I have
also been told that papers, Indian and many other relics were found at the base of the
original chimney. As I, nor any of my people have never seen these things I cannot vouch
for the truthfulness of this statement. The date "1790" is also engraved on one
of the immense logs of which the Fort is built. This date can be seen on the western side
where the weather boarding and ceiling have decayed and fallen away.
I do not know when the Fort was converted into a residence. It has been in our family
more than a hundred years. My infant brother is buried in the front yard. A sycamore tree
was planted in the front yard by my grandfather. At each end of the backyard stood two
huge Black Locust trees which were almost identical in shape and size. A big Ashe tree
stood equal distance and between them. Standing under those giants of the forest and
looking west one gets a superb view extending a mile in every direction. The Cherokees had
a safe hiding place in the lowlands lying at the base of the high hill on which the Fort
These lowlands were covered with canebrakes containing canes of great size. The old
Cherokee Camping Ground is in my part of the bottom. Ever since I could remember, pieces
of engraved pottery have been bound in these bottoms and arrowheads can be found nearly
all over the community. I will mention one more fact about the Fort which might be
interesting. In the closet and on the right-hand side ot the front window are port holes
into which the white settlers would put their guns when fighting the Indians. On the south
side of the Fort once stood a row of eight Cedar trees.
Fort Lamar could be made into a fitting Memorial to the pioneering citizens who endured
so much to make Georgia the great state it is today.