Fort Southwest Point



In 1796 two important events impacted military operations in Tennessee. So, on June 1, 1796 Tennessee was admitted as a state and the U. S. legislature, passed “An Act to -Regulate Trade and intercourse with the Indian Tribes and Preserve Peace on the Frontier.” Combined with the substantial reduction of hostilities between the white settlers and the Cherokee Nation, these events led to the U. S. Government assuming more of a protectionist role in preserving Indians’ rights. By protecting the Cherokee’s rights, the military was able to preserve peace on the frontier. This task dramatically increased the number of federal troops stationed In Tennessee.
Fort Southwest point was constructed in 1797 to accommodate the increased number of troops. It was located approximately 1/2 mile downstream from the 1792 blockhouse. Over 400 troops were stationed at Fort Southwest Point at Its peak. It became the headquarters for federal troops In Tennessee under the command of Colonel David Henley, as agent of war. The U. S. government shift to a more protectionist role with the Cherokee was seen in how the troops carried out their role as peace keepers. Their escort service across Cherokee territory became less to protect the travelers from attack by the Cherokee and more to ensure the travelers did not illegally settle on Cherokee owned lands. In addition, the troops began to further protect Cherokee rights by forcibly removing white settlers who had illegally settled on Cherokee lands.