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Julian Williams | all galleries >> Julian Williams's Galleries >> Old Jacksonville, Ga.- Where History Lives > The General Who Built Fort Clark (Blockhouse Church Site) Near Jacksonville, Ga.
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The General Who Built Fort Clark (Blockhouse Church Site) Near Jacksonville, Ga.

General David Blackshear built a chain of forts in the early 1800's along the Ocmulgee River for protection against the Indians during the War of 1812. One of these forts, Ft. Clark, probably named for Gen. Elijah Clark(e) and his son Gen. John Clark (later Governor of Ga.), was built at the present site of Blockhouse Church, Jacksonville, Ga., and was adjacent to a plantation owned by John Clark (noted above). To see a diagram of this chain of 11 forts from Telfair County to Ft. Hawkins (present-day Macon, Ga.), click on "PREVIOUS" below. General Blackshear is buried near the old community of Springfield, near Dublin, Ga. [This picture courtesy of Trudy Lord, Laurens County Historical Society/Dublin-Laurens Museum]

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Guest 30-Nov-2005 21:07
PS....I'm sure the marker that was there in 1981 was not the original. I don't know when it may have been replaced, but it simply says (arched over the top) David Blackshear....followed by N. C. Mil. Rev. War (straight across in two lines under the name). It's shaped like an Arlington marker...military style...nothing spectacular or "old" looking other than it was older granite and moss-stained. It could have been placed by a family member as a replacement or by the DAR as they did the Trail Marker years ago. It wouldn't take long for an unsealed granite marker to stain, standing that deep in the woods with no sun. It could have been as old as 100+ or as young as 30years...maybe having been replaced around WWII.
Guest 30-Nov-2005 20:54
The grave is located on private property outside Dublin. It's where "Springfield" plantation once was but is now deep in the woods. In 1981 we went to Dublin and had written the City Librarian if there was any way we could find this grave. She called one of the Kellam brothers (I believe it was Thomas and Paul) and they drove us out to where the site is. It was VERY difficult to find unless you knew where you were going.

I wrote a small narrative of the trip which I will cite at the end of this. We parked on the side of a road which in 1981 had no developments anywhere nearby...just trees forever...and then walked a good 200 yds into the woods (wandered a bit as there were no markers for direction) until one of the brothers said "There it is"....leaves covering everything fairly deep....another fallen stone barely visible nearby and I'm sure if I had dug a bit...there were others under years and years of natural mulch. The one that seemed damaged next to David's was probably Fannie's. The Kellams had to get permission from the current owners to enter the property.

Here are my very sparse notes: Take Jackson Avenue north to Buckeye Road and turn several miles to "Springfield" (I don't know If I wrote that meaning the old property...or that the new owners still call it that)....a private road to the left with a big quite a bit onto this private property to a place that Paul Kellam seemed to just "know"...a bend in the road that looked very NON-descript to me...we stopped and hiked on the right side through deep woods...maybe about 200 yards....and the marker just sat in amongst the trees and probably hadn't had visitors in years. That was almost 25 years ago and the whole area could now be homes for all I know. I do have a photo of the marker if you want me to email it. I descend through David's son Everard and his daughter Isabella Blackshear. I used David (rather than his father James or grandfather Alexander) to join the DAR back in 1968 because I thought he was such a colorful guy!!!
Lucy Blackshear Luna 26-Nov-2005 03:12
General David Blackshear was my great-great (maybe one more great) grandfather, and my father now deceased, Marmaduke Hardeman Blackshear, found the General's grave years ago and took a rubbing off the headstone. He also had a brick from his old homestead, which I THOUGHT he said was near Savannah, GA. My father was born in Dublin, GA. 1909. I can't ask him, but thought the grave was also near Savannah. Is there a photo online of the gravesite that I can compare to the rubbing I have?