Friday, April 18, 2008

Enemy Invaders

This post is NOT about golf course developers.

June 10, 1761 is one of the most significant and tragic dates in the history of the Little Tennessee River Valley. It was on this date (246 years ago!) Colonel James Grant, leading a British expeditionary force of 2800 soldiers against the Cherokees, approached the point (south of present-day Franklin, NC) where the Cherokees had turned back British forces only a year before.

On the morning of June 10, "the high blue wall of the Cowee Mountains loomed in the foreground." And shortly thereafter, Cherokee forces engaged the British in a fierce battle that continued for five hours. Grant commented that his forces would have been defeated had the Cherokees not run out of ammunition.

Over the next month, Grant’s forces destroyed fifteen Cherokee towns along the Little Tennessee. Lieutenant Francis Marion wrote about this brutality:

We proceeded, by Colonel Grant's orders, to burn the Indian cabins.

Some of the men seemed to enjoy this cruel work, laughing heartily at the flames, but to me it appeared a shocking sight. Poor creatures, thought I, we surely need not grudge you such miserable habitations. But when we came, according to orders, to cut down the fields of corn, I could scarcely refrain from tears. Who, without grief, could see the stately stalks with broad green leaves and tasseled shocks, the staff of life, sink under our swords with all their precious load, to wither and rot untasted in their mourning fields.

I saw everywhere around the footsteps of the little Indian children, where they had lately played under the shade of their rustling corn. When we are gone, thought I, they will return, and peeping through the weeds with tearful eyes, will mark the ghastly ruin where they had so often played.

'Who did this?' they will ask their mothers, and the reply will be, 'The white people did it, - the Christians did it!' Thus, for cursed mammon's sake, the followers of Christ have sowed the selfish tares of hate in the bosoms of even Pagan Children.

White men who enjoy destruction for "cursed mammon's sake"? Maybe this post IS about golf course developers.

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