Fort Butler, NC
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Thorny1
N 35° 04.890 W 084° 02.360
16S E 769938 N 3886091
Quick Description: The last Fort in North Carolina before the Cherokee were moved to Tennessee camps. It also commanded the military district.
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 9/20/2008 4:01:49 AM
Waymark Code: WM4QDW
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GEO*Trailblazer 1
Views: 61

Long Description:
No remnants of Fort Butler remain today. It is a small pocket park, Fort Butler Memorial Park, with a walking trail, a few benches and parking for a couple of cars. The park is sponsored by the Murphy, NC Civitan's Club and the marker was donated by the Tar Heel Investment Co.

(text from marker)

Site of Fort Butler

Commanded by Genl. Winfield Scott during the round up of the Cherokee Indians for removal to Oklahoma in 1837 - 1838.

donated to Town of Murphy by Tar Heel Investment Co., as a historical marker.

(from wikipedia)

Fort Butler was an important site during the Cherokee removal known as the Trail of Tears. Located on a hill overlooking present-day Murphy, North Carolina on the Hiwassee River, Fort Butler was the headquarters of the Eastern Division of the U.S. Army of the Cherokee Nation, the military force charged with forcing Cherokee emigration.

Fort Butler no longer exists. Its location was in present-day Murphy, along Hitchcock Street near Lakeside Street in a private residential neighborhood. Down the hill from this location, Cherokee Street follows the route of the old Unicoi Turnpike, along which the Cherokee were marched to Fort Cass and on to Indian Territory.

Fort Butler, originally named Camp Huntington, was established in July 1836 by General John E. Wool and a force of Tennessee volunteer militia, sent to the region to keep order after the ratification of the Treaty of New Echota. The camp was abandoned after a month but reoccupied in 1837 and renamed Fort Butler after Benjamin Butler. The site was of strategic importance due to the Unicoi Turnpike's crossing of the Hiwassee River at Christie Ford and the intersection of the turnpike with the road up the Valley River to the Cherokee "Valley Towns".

In early 1838 it was becoming clear that most Cherokee would not willingly leave their lands. After a deadline in May passed, the United States Army began preparations for forced removal. Fort Butler was enlarged with barracks, officers' quarters, offices, shops, kitchens, and other buildings. General Abraham Eustis took command of the fort in late May, 1838. Troops fresh from the Second Seminole War in Florida were assigned to Fort Butler.

The military removal of the Cherokee began in Georgia in late May, but reports of abuse and mistreatment of the prisoners caused General Winfield Scott, the overall commander stationed at Fort Cass, to suspend operations until early June.

Southwest North Carolina was one of the most densely populated regions of the Cherokee Nation and was believed to be an area with the potential for violent resistance. Therefore, General Scott travelled to Fort Butler in order to personally direct the roundup of Cherokee in the region, which began on June 12, 1838.

During the early summer of 1838 more than 3,000 Cherokee prisoners from western North Carolina and northern Georgia passed through Fort Butler en route, via the Unicoi Turnpike, to the larger internment camps at Fort Cass, Tennessee. Unlike the long imprisonment at Fort Cass, most of the prisoners spent only a few days at Fort Butler, although some remained for a few weeks.

Routes: Auto Tour

Additional Coordinates: N 35° 04.890 W 084° 02.360

Address if available:
Murphy, NC USA

Marker Website: [Web Link]

Additional Information: Not listed

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