248 A BICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF MISSISSIPPI The Early Years—The Choctaws Before the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek and the division of Mississippi’s East Central region, Choctaw settlements and trails populated the area. The greatest concentration of Choctaws in Mississippi was in Kemper County, with the second largest concentration in Neshoba County. Along the minor tributaries of the Tombigbee River, Choctaw settlements were almost continuous. In North Lauderdale County, Coosha (also Concha or Kunshak meaning Canebrake) extended over two miles along Little Lost Horse Creek. In that area, clusters of hamlets separated by fields of vegetables and thickets of plums formed the town. So well-known were Coosha Town’s fields, when English naturalist William Bartram passed through in 1777, he wrote “They [the Choctaw] are said to be the most ingenious and industrious Husbandment….by which means their territories are much more generally cultivated and better inhabited than any other Indian republic we know of.” East of Coosha on Ponta Creek, was the village of Ponta or Pante. Indian trails ran in straight lines as nearly as possible and connected major Choctaw towns. The trails (mostly rugged paths, though some were well marked) usually followed streams and valleys. They became roads for the pioneer and later became main trading roads. Deeply worn paths remained traceable for more than 100 years after abandonment. The trail on Danville’s map of 1732 led from the old trading route at Chickasawhay in the East Central region in what is now Clarke County, to “Concha-Tchitou, the Great Village of Canes” in the southwest corner of Lauderdale County along the Chunky Creek. American soldiers in the Creek war utilized the paths to the Tombigbee River. One path of great military importance ran from Holitasha at Dekalb, westward through what is now Jackson and on to the Mississippi near Vicksburg. That trail, later called the Old Jackson Military Road, was used by General Andrew Jackson in marching troops to the Battle of New Orleans. The Choctaw-Bay St. Louis trail followed the current state Highway 11 from Meridian to Poplarville, then the State Routes 53, 603 and US Route 90 to Bay St. Louis. Approximately three miles north of Bay Springs, the Old Jackson Military Highway from New Orleans to Nashville crossed the upper branch of the Federal Horse Path (Three Chopped Way) from Evergreen, Alabama, to Natchez. Established in 1807 between Natchez and Burnt Corn, Alabama, Three Chopped Way connected the Federal Highway with another major road, the Natchez Trace. Three Chopped Way was one main route for settlers coming into central Mississippi to establish claims. It was also one of the first mail routes and the first road through Alabama. The Memphis-Pontotoc-Mobile trail led from the Chickasaw Bluff on the Mississippi River at the present PHOTO COURTESY OF MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY SULLIVAN’S HOLLOW Once an area where family disputes occurred, Sullivan’s Hollow, a valley near Mize in Smith County, was not a place where outsiders were welcome. One large, extended family lived in Sullivan’s Hollow, and legends report many of them were unruly with no respect for a law outside their hollow. Moonshine runners, highwaymen, and other people of dubious morals lived and fought each other in the area, and while there are still Sullivans in the hollow, they have been at peace for generations now.