The History of the Lookout Valley Community


Richard Alexander McKeel

Chapter One

“Chief Wauhatchie and

The Native American Culture”

            Lookout Valley, Tennessee, a community that is located seven minutes west of downtown Chattanooga, and located on the Tennessee/Georgia line. The Lookout Valley community is rich in history and lore. Like most of this area of Tennessee , Lookout Valley has roots within the Native American culture. In fact, one of the first names of this community was Wauhatchie, named in honor of the Cherokee Chieftain, Chief Skyuka Wauhatchie Glass. The name Wauhatchie is a Cherokee word that can be defined as “Great Wolf” or “ Beautiful Mountain and Valley” (Armstrong, Zella).

            The first mention of the name Wauhatchie would be in the mid-1700s, with the construction of Fort Loudon . Fort Loudon consisted of a 1,200- acre site that was one of the earliest British Fortifications west of the Allegheny Mountains . Chief Skyuka Wauhatchie Glass was the son of a prominent Cherokee Chief. Wauhatchie’s father was the leader of a group of Cherokee Natives in the area called the Lower Towns, which were the five towns along the Tugaloo River . When the British Army Captain, Raymond Demere, entered this area, Wauhatchie pledged friendship with the British. Upon the fall of Fort Pitt , (present day city of Pittsburg , Pennsylvania ) during the French-Indian War, or what is known in Europe the Seven Year War, George Washington beseeched the Cherokee Nation to help in this battle. However, by time the word got to the Cherokees the outcome of the battle was over. When Fort Pitt was captured by the French the name was change to Fort Duquesne .

Upon the death of the British General Braddock, General John Forbes was given command of the British Military. His division along with the Cherokee forces retook the captured Fort Duquesne in a decisive battle in the French-Indian War and one of the natives who fought with the British Military was Wauhatchie.

            A fellow Cherokee named Ostenaco, started resentment toward the British in the middle 1700s. However, around the Middle of 1778, Chief Wauhatchie, Moytoy of Settaco, and some Cherokee warriors departed from the Colony of Virginia not in the best of moods. These Native Americans left by taking horses from Virginia farmers. These warriors did not kill the Virginia farmers; however, they did strip the farmers of their clothing, which was the custom of their tribe.

            When the local militia was called into action and hunted down many of the Cherokees who took part in this act and imprisoned, or kill them. Wauhatchie and a number of his warriors carried many of the bodies of their fellow tribesmen and fled to safety.

The French Governor of New Orleans sent his emissary, Christian Kerieric, to get the Cherokee to convert the people of Wauhatchie’s Tribe to collaborator with the French. Around this same time, a new commandant of Fort Prince George , while drunk, insulted the women of Wauhatchie’s tribe, and this made the irritation between the Cherokee especially those in Wauhatchie’s Tribe and the British much worse. A Creek Native, American Chief, tried to get them to take up their tomahawks against the English and join the French. As a result of this, Chief Wauhatchie, along with many warriors, attacked an English settlement killing twenty-two settlers.

Cherokee War Chief Oconostota did not approve of Wauhatchie going on the War Path. Consequently, War Chief Oconostota was the father of Nancy Ward, who has been honored with the local chapter of the “Daughters of the American Revolution.”


Chief Oconostota


Nancy Ward


            This is the last we hear of Wauhatchie’s name, until he acquires assistance from his friend Great Mortar, who was living on the Tuskegee site of the present-day William’s Island and Moccasin Bend. Great Mortar gave permission to Wauhatchie have the land that is west of his land. Years later this area would be honored with the name of Wauhatchie in honor of Chief Skyuka Wauhatchie Glass of this once illustrious Cherokee Chieftain.

There are three accounts of what happened to Chief Wauhatchie. One has him die sometime around the time of the Creek War when Skyuka Wauhatchie and other Cherokees served with General Andrew Jackson in the “War of 1812.” However, another account has him surviving until the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation during the 1830s called the Trail of Tears. Another account has Chief Wauhatchie died as the result of the Governor of a Virginia wanted his head and he was executed in southern Georgia and his body was burned.

William’s Island 1951










Wauhatchie the present day Lookout Valley community that is surrounded by Lookout, Raccoon, and Elder Mountains . 1944 Photograph




Richard Alexander McKeel

Copyright © 2004