Located in Chatsworth, Georgia, Fort Mountain is a part of the Cohutta Mountains in the Appalachians. The mystery of Fort Mountain is the ancient rock wall located on the mountain. It’s an impressive structure, measuring 885 feet long with 29 pits, stone rings, cairns and the ruins of a gateway scattered along its path. In some areas, the wall is seven feet tall and 12 feet thick, but the average height is two to three feet tall. But who built this mysterious wall?
It was first thought that the wall was built as a fort by Hernando De Soto around 1540 as a defense against the Creek Indians, but this theory was abandoned when it was pointed out that De Soto was only in the area for approximately two weeks.
The most interesting and lasting theory actually comes from the Cherokee Indians. The Cherokee stated that the wall was built by a tribe of moon-eyed people. These individuals were called “moon-eyed” because they had pale grey eyes. They were also described as being smaller in stature than other native tribes and they were pale skinned. Cherokee legends state that this tribe lived in the area before the Cherokee arrived in the late 1700s and drove them out. The Cherokee went on to say that not only did the moon-eyed people build the wall; they also built a temple inside the fort that included a large stone snake with ruby stone eyes.
So, who were the Moon-Eyed people? A popular theory suggests that they were actually of Welsh descent. It’s thought that Welsh prince Madoc ab Owain Gwynedd left his homeland after his father passed away due to upheaval among the surviving sons fighting over their father’s land. Madoc set sail in 1170, and it’s thought that he landed in the vicinity of Mobile Bay, Alabama. Madoc eventually returned home and gathered resources as well as followers before returning to the Alabama region on ten ships. It was the last time that they would be heard from in Wales. Some historians think that Madoc and his colonists built the fortifications on Fort Mountain, along with a similar fortification near Desoto Falls, Alabama, which is said to be identical to the layout of Dolwyddelan Castle, Madoc’s birthplace. All of this has lead to the conclusion that the Moon-Eyed people were actually the descendants of Madoc and his people.
Historians, geologists and archaeologists still wonder about the origin of the fortifications on Fort Mountain. Many feel that the structures had some sort of ceremonial significance, while others think that the wall and other structures were intended for defense. Ultimately, the answers lay buried in the past, but it is interesting to note that many strange occurrences have occurred on Fort Mountain, including the sounds of phantom drum beats and the sighting of shadow figures that seem to be patrolling the ancient wall.