“The search for Carr’s Fort was like looking for a needle in a haystack, only harder. We had no map and few descriptions of the fort, so its location was entirely unknown," said Daniel Elliott, President of the LAMAR Institute in a release.
In fact, the research team at the nonprofit LAMAR institute was running out of the grant funding received from the National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program and Kettle Creek Battlefield Association, and the site was found "on the last hour of the last day of the field project."
After the British launched a campaign to recruit frontier settlers over to the Loyalist side, a group of Tory Loyalists led by captains John Hamilton and Dougald Campbell occupied Carr's Fort.
Almost immediately, 200 Georgia and South Carolina Patriot militia laid siege and engaged in a gun battle that went on for several hours, leaving behind the artifacts found so far: about a dozen fired musket balls, several musket parts and several hundred iron and brass items from the 18th century.
The Patriots left to fight a larger British force, and took the Loyalist's horses with them, forcing them to march several hundred miles back to the main British invasion force. The same Patriots who laid siege to Carr's Fort went on to fight at the better known battle of Kettle Creek.
LAMAR Institute researchers say a complete report on the Carr’s Fort Battlefield project and excavation will be available to the public early next year. They also said that more than 30 other forts in Wilkes County may still exist.