History of Fort Scott
Fort Scott Monument
This monument, now in the
nearby city of Bainbridge, was
placed at Fort Scott during the
1880s to mark the graves of
more than 100 U.S. servicemen
known to have been buried there.
Nearby Camp Recovery was a
hospital camp established on a
high pine ridge a few miles from
Fort Scott during the great
malaria outbreak of 1820.
Fort Scott, Georgia
Originally called Camp Crawford, Fort
Scott was established on the lower
Flint River by soldiers of the 4th U.S.
Infantry in June of 1816.
The original log stockade was used
as a base for American operations
against the so-called "Negro Fort" on
the Apalachicola River and it was too
this location that the survivors of that
terrible explosion were brought in
August of 1816. The fort was
temporarily abandoned during the
winter of 1816-1817, but reoccupied
the following spring.
|Flint River Arm of Lake Seminole
Decatur County, Georgia
The fort, named for War of 1812 hero WInfield T. Scott, immediately became a focal
point of controversy when the chief of the nearby Creek village of Fowltown, Eneah
Emathla (Neamathla), refused to leave grounds taken from the Creeks by the Treaty
of Fort Jackson. Troops from Fort Scott attacked Fowltown on November 21, 1817,
launching what became known as the First Seminole War. A second attack followed
a few days later and the Creeks, with their Seminole allies, responded on November
30th by attacking an army boat on the Apalachicola River near Chattahoochee and
killing nearly 40 men, women and children.
Fort Scott itself was attacked by warriors in December, but by January one of the
coldest winters ever recorded in South Georgia forced the fighters of both sides to
huddle around their fires. In the Spring of 1818, Major General Andrew Jackson
arrived at Fort Scott with an army of more than 1,000 men. Using the fort as a
launching point, he invaded Spanish Florida and destroyed many Creek and
Seminole villages while also capturing the Spanish settlements of St. Marks and
In the years after the war, a large garrison was maintained at Fort Scott in the event
additional military force was needed to coerce Spain into transferring ownership of
Florida to the United States. This decision proved deadly, but not due to battle. In
1820 and 1821, severe malaria outbreaks struck the soldiers stationed at Fort Scott.
At one time, as many as 769 of the 780 men stationed at the fort were reported sick
It was during this period that some of the men were moved to Camp Recovery, a
hospital encampment on a high pine ridge south of the Flint River. It was hoped that
the relocation would allow some of the men to recovery, but the effort failed and many
The fort's useful years came to an end in 1821 when Florida was transferred from
Spain to the United States. The soldiers were sent to Fort Smith, Arkansas, a new fort
on a new frontier. Fort Scott was abandoned and allowed to rot away. By the 1880s,
when the government decided to permanently mark the burial ground there, nothing
at all remained of the historic old fort.
A monument was placed on the site, but was removed during the 1950s when Lake
Seminole was created by flooding the original confluence of the Flint and
Chattahoochee RIvers. It was expected that the site of Fort Scott would be flooded,
but it remains well above the waters of the lake. Not developed in any way, the site of
the old fort is now covered by forest. Fort Scott is owned by the U.S. government,
however, and is protected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The original 1880s
monument can be seen at J.D. Chason Park in Bainbridge and a highway marker
stands across the river at Hutchinson Ferry Landing Park (Wingate's Lodge).
|Copyright 2006 by Dale A. Cox