Fri, March 7, 2014 • Light Rain, and 37 ° F.
Big Moccasin Gap
The territory now occupied by Scott County was in the domain of the Cherokee when the first white settlers arrived in 1769. The Wilderness Road blazed by Daniel Boone in 1775 following the buffalo trace/Indian warpath began at the Anderson Blockhouse just east of Moccasin Gap, the gateway to the west.
Moccasin Gap is one of two ground level water gaps leading from the Great Valley of Virginia into the interior of the Alleghenies. The Great Warrior’s Path, which became The Wilderness Road, made passage through this Gap.
The main Indian trail connecting Cherokee Country of the Great Smoky Mountains with that of the Shawnee in Ohio ran through Moccasin Gap toward the Big Sandy River. The 1770 Treaty of Lochaber line, better known as the Donaldson Indian Line, began at Moccasin Gap and ran to Point Pleasant on the Kanawha River. Settlers pouring through Moccasin Gap on the Wilderness Trail toward Kentucky in violation of the Lochaber treaty led the Shawnee to start Lord Dunmore’s War in 1774.
During the 1777-1794 Cherokee Wars, Moccasin Gap was a favorite site used by the Cherokee, commonly led by Chief Benge, to ambush settlers using the Trail.