The State of Georgia ceded disputed land in the Yazoo Land Fraud along with the associated problems to the United States on April_26, 1802 for $1,250,000 and removal of the Cherokees from Georgia at Federal expense.
Article II of the 1802 Act of Cession contained a thorn. When stripped of the legalese Article II required Georgia to take responsibility for an outlaw and desperado infested patch of land known as the Orphan Strip. North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia had all previously refused this honour. Article II led to war between Georgia and North Carolina in 1811. The Walton War as it is known was a little one sided but a war it was nevertheless. The Orphan Strip included the upper French Broad River valley of what is now Transylvania County North Carolina. Georgia established the first Walton County in the Orphan Strip in 1803 and appointed Sheriffs, Judges and the usual lot of Bureaucratic Parasites. Elections were held and John Nicholson and John Aiken served as representatives of Walton County in the Georgia Legislature at Milledgeville.
Walton County was a Georgia county until some time in 1811. As Georgia cleaned up the Orphan Strip it began to look more attractive to North Carolina who began advancing a claim to the Strip. Georgia protested North Carolina's actions to the United States without success. Some time in late December 1810 a North Carolina Militia Unit was posted to the upper French Broad River with orders to remove the Walton County Government. Georgia's first Walton County died in a hail of North Carolina musket fire in January of 1811. The major engagement was fought at McGaha Branch about one mile south of present day Brevard near the Wilson Bridge on U.S.Highway 276. The North Carolina Militia killed an unknown number of the Georgians and took about twenty-five prisoners. A second stand was made by the survivors of McGaha Branch at Selica Hill some three miles southwest of Brevard. The Georgians were either shot or taken prisoner. The fate of the prisoners is still uncertain. Sporadic snipping continued for some weeks but the main engagements were over. The Georgia Legislature was still prioritizing its options in the matter in 1971.
Excerpt from a letter to the Athens, Ga. Banner Herald written by Richard E. Irby, Jr.
Used with permission of the author.
Georgia History Articles about North Georgia history and the state in general. This section is currently being developed. For more information on Georgia History, please see The Civil War in Georgia