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 Colonel John P. Fort is in possession of a quaint old roster which tells of the stormy days of 1812, when the United States fought Great Britain on the high seas, and the Spaniards and Indians on her southern land border.  This is the roster of a company of Georgia volunteers which served under Captain Tomlinson Fort, the father of Colonel John P. Fort, and the names therein will be recognized as among the best in Georgia.
 The document is indorsed as follows:
 “A schedule of army and equipage furnished Captain Tomlinson Fort, copy, 24th August, 1812, at Block house, Davis creek, east Florida.”
 This certificate is also found on the reverse side of the document:
 “State of New York.  Copy.  Sackett’s Harbor, 11th February, 1814. – I certify that Captain Tomlinson Fort, of the Georgia volunteers, was severely wounded through the knee, the 11th of September, 1812, while gallantly performing his duties in the service of the United States.
         T. A. SMITH,
       Colonel Rifle Regiment.”
 Following is a complete roster of the company, the original spelling being preserved:
                                          Capt. Tomlinson Fort                        William Jourdan
                                          Lieut. A. B. Fannin                            Samuel Buchannan
                                          Ensign E. Hamilton                            W. I. Mordecai
                                          Sergeants–                                        James Yarborough
                                          Anderson Holt                                  Jesse Luke
                                          Wilson Navy                                     David Baker
                                          William Bivins                                   Richard Kimborough
                                          Tho. A. Epps                                    A. M. Harris
                                          Corporals–                                       John McCree
                                          William Rapeau                                 Zack Jourdan
                                          B. H. Sturges                                    Simeon Sims
                                          John Bozeman                                   Phil D. Logan
                                          E. M. Attaway                                   James S. Sims
                                          Privates–                                           Henry Franklin
                                          Isaac Perry                                        John B. Horton
                                          Welie Riddle                                      Henry Freeman
                                          George Worsham                              Joshua Lovett
                                          Travis Straughn                                 William Moore
                                          James Austin
                                          Thomas W. A. Reeks

                                          Thomas B. Grantland                         Hartwell W. Smith

                                          Wm. B. Forsythe                               Amos F. Boyington
                                          Elijah Hall                                          Samuel Goodall
                                          David Wright                                     James W. Whitaker
                                          Jeremiah Vollotini                               John B. Hogan
                                          Layton Golden                                   John McDonald
                                          Radduck Hoard                                 James Gamble
                                          Robert Prestwood                             Coonrad Peterson
                                          Leroy Welle                                       Elijah Boyington
                                          David Imersom                                  Ben B. Smith


 In speaking of the battle in which Captain Fort was wounded, his son says:
 “My recollection is from an account given to me by my father, Tomlinson Fort, of the battle in which he was wounded is about this: In the campaign in Florida he left the blockhouse where his command was stationed to protect a wagon train that was bringing supplies to the fort, or blockhouse, where they were stationed.
 “It seems that the supplies in the wagons were captured by the Spaniards and Indians without the command at the blockhouse being aware of it.  The distance that his command had to go was to a place called Twelve Mile swamp, and was twelve miles distance from the blockhouse, near the river landing.  About nightfall, as they were nearing the end of their journey, the command was suddenly attacked in a swamp after nightfall.  The attack was made, as afterwards ascertained, by 125 Spaniards and Indians, mostly Spaniards.  The fight was as close quarters, although neither party closed at a bayonet charge, both sides firing at the flashing of each others’ guns.  The night was dark and foggy.  Neither side had any protection except high grass and small bushes.  After a persistent duel of nearly an hour the firing upon both sides about ceased and on fathering the men together there were but seven survivors, all, with probably one or two exceptions, more or less wounded.  These seven men retreated toward the blockhouse.
 “Among the last wounded was Captain Tomlinson Fort, a rifle ball passing through the knee and lodging on the great nerve near the bone.  It there remained forty years, when it was extracted after giving him untold pain for a lifetime.  It was extracted by his son, then a physician and surgeon.  The ball was a small rifle ball and had plainly the indentation of the front teeth of a man, upon it showing that the soldier in the excitement of loading his rifle had put the ball between his teeth before loading his rifle.  A large detachment from the blockhouse visited the battlefield next day and it was found that the enemy had retreated with most of their dead and wounded without waiting until day and without taking or capturing the dead and wounded of the United States troops.  Of the thirteen men left on the field, a few were still alive but all eventually died.
 “The criticism upon this battle, if it may be so called by Captain Tomlinson Fort, was that should his detachment have retreated at the first fire, as was probably expected, they would all have been overtaken and massacred, unless some might have escaped in the increasing darkness, as daylight was not entirely gone when the battle commenced, but that a retreat should have been ordered earlier.  It was afterwards ascertained that the enemy lost near forty men in killed and wounded.  It appears that my father, although a captain, carried a musket, in accordance with the rules of the service.  He informed me that he shot seven or eight times during the engagement.”

NOTE: An article in the “Georgia Express” dated Friday, November 13, 1812, stated that Sergeant Tho. A. Epps and Private Henry Franklin were killed during the Battle of 12 Mile Swamp.  Both were from Milledgeville, Baldwin Co., Georgia.

Source: “Atlanta Constitution” dated December 14, 1897, page 6.  Spelling and punctuation were left exactly as it appeared in the article.

Copyright and Submission by Arnold Logan