Fort Byrd

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Fort Byrd (1774-1794) - First established in 1774. Named after Col. William Byrd. In use until the end of Indian hostilities in 1794. Also known as Moore's Fort and Snoddy's Fort.

Fort Byrd History

Originally seven militia forts were to be constructed in 1774 during Lord Dunmore's War against hostile Indian tribes. Capt. William Russell was to command four of the forts on the Lower Clinch River and Capt. Daniel Smith was to command three forts on the Upper Clinch River. These forts were to be erected by the local militia men supervised by Colonel William Christian who had been sent out to the frontier by Col. William Preston who was commanding officer of the Fincastle County Militia. The forts were generally named for the landowners where they were located and/or the military commanders. Many of them had multiple names as landowners and commanders changed.

Even though Lord Dunmore's War ended in 1774, the Indian attacks continued until 1794 when the Indian renegade leader, Benge, was killed near Big Stone Gap.

Capt. Russell
Lower Clinch River Forts

Capt. Smith
Upper Clinch River Forts

  1. Fort Preston (2)
  2. Fort Christian
  3. Fort Byrd
  4. Fort Blackmore

Russell's Fort, Cowan's Fort, Bickley's Fort
Glade Hollow Fort, Daniel Smith's Fort
Moore's Fort, Snoddy's Fort
Blackmore's Fort

  1. Fort Elk Garden
  2. Fort Witten
  3. Maiden Springs Fort

Fort Byrd was the largest and best known of the Clinch River forts and it remained in use until the end of Indian hostilities in 1794. This fort continuously sheltered 20 or more families numbering 150 to 200 people. It was attacked many times by hostile Indians who killed many settlers and militiamen. John Duncan was among those killed outside the fort by Indians under Chief Logan in 1774.

Daniel Boone and his family return to the Clinch in 1773, after Boone's son and others were killed by the Indians in his first Kentucky settlement. Boone was placed in command of Moore's Fort and Blackmore's Fort in 1774 as a Capt. of militia until he went back to Kentucky in 1775.

Current Status

Exact location not known, Russell County, Virginia.

Location: Russell County, Virginia.

Maps & Images

Lat: 36.900733 Long: -82.306084



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