Lossing's Field Book of the War of 1812, Chapter XXXIV - War Against the Creek Indians.






Jackson’s impatient waiting for Supplies. – Cries for Help from the Coosa. – Jackson marches in that Direction. – The Army threatened with Famine. – Affairs in the lower Creek Country. – Courage and Honor of Captain Dale. – The Choctaw Allies. – Speech of Pushamataha. – Coffee’s Expedition against Tallasehatche. – Battle of Tallasehatche. – Annihilation of the Town and the Warriors. – Jackson’s Army on the Coosa. – Fort Strother in Peril. – Jackson goes to the Relief of Talladega. – He surrounds the Besiegers at Talladega. – Temporary Panic among the Militia. – Battle at Talladega. – Destruction of the Indians. – A divided Command. – The Indians, dispirited, sue for Peace. – Separate Action of General Cocke and his Command. – General Cocke falls upon a Hillabee Town. – Massacre of its People. – Exasperation of the Indians. – Mutineers checked. – The Creek Country invaded from Georgia. – Battle of Auttose. – Claiborne ordered into the Creek Country. – Expedition under Captain Dale. – Scene on the Alabama. – A terrible Encounter in Canoes. – Dale’s hand-to-hand Fight. – He wins the Victory. – Fame of the "Canoe Fight." – Construction of Fort Claiborne at Randon’s Landing. – Austill and Dale. – Claiborne traverses the Creek Country. – Battle of Econochaca. – Escape of Weathersford. – Destruction of Econochaca. – Dissolution of the Armies in the Creek Country. – Gathering of new Volunteers. – Jackson on the War-path again. – Battle of Emucfau. – Bravery of the Creeks. – Jackson’s retrograde Movement. – Battle on Enotochopco Creek. – A severe Contest. – Jackson at Fort Strother. – Battle on the Calebee River. – The Georgians retire to their Frontier. – East Tennesseeans on their Way to the Creek Country. – The Choctaw Allies in Arms. – Preparation of the Creeks. – Seat of the Creek War in Upper Alabama. – Jackson marches upon the Savages at the Horseshoe. – A desperate Battle there. – Bravery of both Parties. – The Creeks defeated at the Battle of the Horseshoe. – Jackson retires from the Fields of Conflict. – The subdued Indians sue for Peace. – Weathersford in Jackson’s Tent. – Weathersford’s manly Talk. – Jackson admires and releases him. – The Creek Nation ruined.


"Alas for them! their day is o’er;
Their fires are out from shore to shore;
No more for them the wild deer bounds –
The plow is on their hunting-grounds.
The pale man’s axe rings through their woods –
The pale man’s sail skims o’er their floods."



Jackson’s little army, under his immediate command, was now about twenty-five hundred strong, and the difficulties of the campaign, with all their gloomy suggestions, arose in colossal proportions before his judgment and experience. His supplies, promised by General Cocke, had not arrived, and before him was an untried wilderness filled with hostile savages. Twenty-five hundred men and thirteen hundred horses must be fed. "Such a body," says a late writer, "will consume ten wagon-loads of provisions every day. For a week’s subsistence they require a thousand bushels of grain, twenty tons of flesh, a thousand gallons of whisky, and many hundred weight of miscellaneous provisions." Jackson was grievously disappointed, and stormed furiously at fate, the shallow Tennessee (on which the provision vessels would not yet float), the contractors, and even at General Cocke. Then he sent his quartermaster, Major W. B. Lewis, to Nashville for supplies, and Colonel Coffee, with six or seven hundred mounted men, to scour for food the country watered by the Black Warrior River, an important tributary of the Tombigbee. He was cheered by information that General White, with the advance of General Cocke’s division of East Tennesseeans, had already passed the site of Chattanooga and the now famous Lookout Mountain – made famous by the events of the great Civil War, which occurred there in the autumn of 1863 – and would probably join him in the course of a few days.

Jackson set about drilling his troops thoroughly, and while engaged in that duty a Creek chief of the peace-party informed him that a large number of his nation were preparing to attack a fort filled with friendly Indians at the Ten Islands of the Coosa River. The general immediately broke camp upon the bluff [October 19, 1813.] and with immense labor and fatigue 1 made his way twenty-two miles in that direction along the course of the Tennessee to Thompson’s Creek, one of its tributaries, all the while watching anxiously, through the eyes of scouts, for the appearance of the expected supply flotilla. But they did not come. He wrote to friends and public authorities in every direction, and the burden of his letters were, "Give me food, and I will end this savage war in a month." And yet he did not wait for the expected supplies to begin it, for such piteous entreaties came from the Coosa that he resolved to press forward at all hazards. He established a depository for supplies at the mouth of Thompson’s Creek, cast up fortifications to defend them which he named Fort Deposit, and on the evening of the 24th of October he started for the Ten Islands of the Coosa, fifty miles distant, with only two days’ supply of bread and six of meat, swearing that he would "neither sound a retreat nor suffer a defeat" 2 before the savages. Coffee, who in the space of twelve days had marched two hundred miles, burned Black Warrior’s Town and another Indian village on the Black Warrior River, and collected about three hundred bushels of corn, had joined him, and the whole army went cheerily forward toward the Coosa. He cut his way over the rugged mountains with indomitable perseverance to Wells’s Creek [October 28, 1813.], where his supply of bread failed, and he remained encamped for several days, that his foraging parties might collect provisions. His little army was there threatened with actual starvation, for the contractors had entirely failed to meet their engagements. The foragers were usually successful. One party, under Colonel Dyer, two hundred strong, fell upon the Indian village of Littefutchee, at the head of Canoe Creek, twenty miles from the camp, captured twenty-nine prisoners and a good supply of corn and laid the town in ashes [October 29.]. Then the army marched on and in less than a week afterward it was encamped on the right bank of the Coosa, not far from the Ten Islands and the mouth of the Canoe or Littefutchee Creek. Let us here leave the resolute invaders a few moments, and consider the condition of affairs in the Creek country.

We have observed that the massacre at Fort Mims spread consternation over the whole region, and white people and friendly Indians sought shelter in the stockades or safety in flight toward the Gulf. Sickness prevailed in all the stockades, and there was distress every where. Murders, robberies, and conflagrations were seen on every hand. Claiborne was harassed with almost hourly messages bearing piteous importunities for help, and from none more loudly than from St. Stephen’s, one of the most important posts in the country. 3 Information had reached the general that the garrison and refugees in Fort Madison, in the eastern part of Clarke County, were likely to share the horrid fate of those in Mims from a combined attack of the savages. Under the direction of General Flournoy, he ordered Colonel Carson, the commander, to abandon the fort and hasten to the relief of St. Stephen’s, if his judgment should sanction such movement. Carson left Madison reluctantly, followed by about five hundred settlers of both sexes, and all ages and conditions, and marched westward. He had arrived on the banks of the Tombigbee, on his way to St. Stephen’s, when another letter from Claiborne reached him, in which he was urged "not to abandon the fort [Madison] unless it was clear that he could not maintain it." It was too late. He crossed the river and entered St. Stephen’s.

Fort Madison was not wholly abandoned. There were bold men there who resolved to remain and defend it, together with Fort Glass, a small stockade only a fourth of a mile distant. The leader was Captain Sam Dale. 4 He was still suffering from the effects of his wound received at Burnt Corn Creek. When Carson’s drum beat for his troops to march, Dale beat his for volunteers to remain; and when the last of the United States soldiers marched out of the fort, Dale marched in at the head of eighty brave citizens, among them Captain Evans Austill. Dale received a note from General Flournoy advising him to repair to Mount Vernon, as he was sure to be attacked by an overwhelming force. Dale replied that he had sworn to defend the women and children under his charge; that he had a "gallant set of boys" under him; and that when the general should hear "of the fall of Fort Madison, he would find a pile of yellow-hides to tan if he could get his regulars to come and skin them!" 5 Dale maintained his position with boldness, and was not attacked. 6

While there was still a doubt in every mind whether the Choctaws would remain friendly to the Americans, Pushamataha removed every suspicion by suddenly appearing at St. Stephen’s and offering to enlist several companies of his warriors to take up arms under the banner of the United States. He was conducted to Mobile by George S. Gaines, where he had an interview with General Flournoy. That strangely blind officer declined the chief’s offer, and Gaines and Pushamataha went back to St. Stephen’s filled with mortification and disgust. The assembled citizens had begun to curse the commanding general without stint, when a courier appeared riding in haste. He bore authority from Flournoy for Gaines to recruit in the Choctaw nation. His advisers had caused him to repent of his folly in refusing the generous offer of Pushamataha.

Gaines and the brave chief started northward for the Choctaw country. They were met at John Peachland’s by Colonel John M‘Kee, agent of the Chickasaws, with whom they held a consultation. Pushamataha and Gaines then went forward. The former called a council of his people of the eastern district of the nation. 7 He harangued the assembled multitude in an admirable speech; and it was so effective that when, at the conclusion, he said, "If you have a mind to follow me, I will lead you to glory and victory," a warrior arose, slapped his hand upon his heart, and said, "I am a man! I am a man! I will follow you!" All the others did likewise, and raised a shout that filled the heart of Gaines with joy. 8 Colonel M‘Kee was equally successful with the Chickasaws. A large body of them volunteered to follow him, and did so to the Tuscaloosa Falls, for the purpose of attacking a Creek town there. They found it in ashes, and the centre of a solitude wherein no Indian was visible. M‘Kee returned to Peachland’s, at the mouth of the Octibaha, where his dusky followers separated, some going to their homes, and others making their way to join the standard of General Claiborne, then at St. Stephen’s. 9

It was while the consternation of the inhabitants on the Alabama and Tombigbee was most intense that Jackson was making his way toward the sanguinary theatre on which, as we have seen, he appeared at the close of October. He now became chief actor in the terrible drama.

On his arrival upon the Coosa, Jackson was informed that the Creeks were assembled at Tallasehatche, a town in an open woodland only thirteen miles from the camp. 10 He resolved to attack them at once, and on the morning of the 2d of November he summoned the stalwart Coffee to his presence. That brave officer had lately been promoted to the rank of brigadier [September 24, 1813.]. He was anxious to be on the wing with his mounted men, and was soon gratified. The commanding general ordered him to take one thousand horsemen, and fall suddenly and fiercely upon the offending town in which blood-thirsty enemies were harbored, and destroy it. He left camp for the purpose toward evening, his troops accompanied by Captain Richard Brown and a company of friendly Creeks and Cherokees, whose heads were tastefully ornamented with white feathers and deer’s tails. They forded the Coosa at the Fish Dam, four miles above the Ten Islands, and at dawn on the morning of the 3d halted within half a mile of the doomed town. There Coffee quickly divided his forces into two columns, the right composed of cavalry, commanded by Colonel Allcorn, and the left of mounted riflemen, under Colonel Cannon. With the latter the newly-made general marched. Allcorn was directed to encircle one half of the town with his cavalry, while Cannon and his riflemen should encircle the other half. This was promptly accomplished at sunrise, when the foe sallied out with beat of drums and savage yells, their prophets being in the advance.

The battle that speedily began was brought on at about eight o’clock by the companies of Captain Hammond and Lieutenant Patterson, who had made a manœuvre for the purpose of decoying the foe from the shelter of their houses. It was successful. The Indians fell upon them furiously, when the two companies, according to instructions, fell back, pursued by the enemy, until the latter encountered the right of Coffee’s troops. These first gave the Indians a deadly volley of bullets, and then charged them violently, while the left division closed in upon the doomed foe. Never did men fight more gallantly than did the Creeks. Inch by inch they were pushed back to their houses by the ever-narrowing circle of assailants. They fought desperately and with savage fury. They were shot and bayoneted in and out of their houses. Not one would ask for quarter, but fought so long as he had strength to wield a weapon. None survived. Every warrior was killed. In falling back to their dwellings they mingled with the women and children, and in the fury of the contest some of these were slain. The victory for the assailants was complete; and at the close of this short, sharp battle, one hundred and eighty-six Indian warriors lay dead around the victors. 11 It was believed that full two hundred perished. Eighty-four women and children were made prisoners. The loss of the Americans was only five killed (no officers) and forty-one wounded, most of them slightly.

Having destroyed the town and buried his dead, the victorious Coffee marched back in triumph to the camp on the Coosa, followed by a train of sorrowful captives. It was a terrible sight for the eye of Pity. Retributive justice, evoked by the slain at Fort Mims, was satisfied. Tallasehatche was wiped from the face of the earth, and every survivor was sent a prisoner to Huntsville. 12 Thus commenced the fearful chastisement of the infatuated Creeks who had listened to the siren voice of Tecumtha, and the wicked suggestions and false promises of the Spaniards and British at Pensacola.

Jackson now made his way over the Coosa Mountains to the Ten Islands, and on the right bank of the Coosa commenced the construction of a second fortified deposit for supplies. Strong pickets and block-houses soon began to rise, and the work was well advanced when, just at sunset on the 7th of November, an Indian chief from the Hickory Ground, who, by stratagem, had made his way from the beleaguered fort, came with swift foot and informed the general-in-chief that one hundred and sixty friendly Creek warriors, with their families, were hemmed in at Talladega, in Lashley’s Fort, 13 thirty miles distant, with no hope of escape. The besiegers were a thousand strong, and they so completely surrounded the little stockade that no man could leave it unobserved. The inmates had but little food and water, and must soon perish. The foe was well provided, and, feeling sure of their prey at the hands of Famine if by no quicker way, were dancing around the doomed people with demoniac joy. This messenger, who was a prominent man, had made his escape by covering himself with the skin of a hog, and in the darkness of night, while imitating its gait, and grunting, and apparent rooting, was allowed to pass slowly through the hostile camp until he was beyond the reach of their hearing and arrows. Then he cast away his disguise, and with speed heightened by desperation, he fled to Jackson’s camp on the Coosa.

The commander-in-chief resolved to give immediate relief to the people at Talladega. He had just heard of the near approach of General White with the van of General Cocke’s division of East Tennessee troops, so he ordered his whole force, excepting a small guard for the camp, the sick and the wounded, to make immediate preparations for marching. He wrote a hasty note to General White, informing that officer that he should expect him to protect Fort Strother and its inmates during his absence, and at little past midnight [November 8, 1813.] he commenced fording the Coosa a mile above the fort, with twelve hundred infantry and eight hundred mounted men, each of the latter taking a foot-soldier on his horse behind him. All were across at four o’clock in the morning, and then they commenced a very wearying march through a perfect wilderness. At sunset they were within six miles of Talladega, when the general commanded his followers to seek repose, for active work would be required of them in the morning.

The chief slumbered not. All night long he was on the alert for the reports of spies whom he sent out on scouting expeditions. At midnight he received a note by an Indian runner from General White, telling him that General Cocke had recalled him, and he would not be able to protect Fort Strother. Jackson was perplexed. Strother and Talladega both needed his presence. He resolved to rescue the latter, and then fly to the defense of the former. Silently his troops were put in motion in the dark, and before four o’clock in the morning [November 9.] they had made a wide circuit and surrounded the enemy, who, a thousand and eighty strong, were concealed in a thicket that covered the margins of two rivulets flowing out from springs. 14

Jackson disposed his troops for action so as to inclose the foe in a circle of armed men. The infantry were in three lines, the militia on the left, and the volunteers on the right. The cavalry formed the two extreme wings, and were ordered to advance in a curve, keeping their rear connected with the advance of the infantry lines, so that there should be no break in the circle. In this position were the troops at sunrise, when Colonel William Carroll was sent forward with the advanced guard, composed of the companies of Captains Dederich, Caperton, and Bledsoe, to commence the attack. He delivered a heavy fire, when the savages rushed forth, with horrid yells and screams, in the direction of the militia under General Roberts, from whose brigade Carroll had been detached, and who, pursuant to orders, had fallen back, so as to bring the enemy upon the main body. Their horrid noise and devilish appearance so terrified the militia that some of them gave way. Seeing this, Jackson ordered Colonel Bradley to fill the chasm with his regiment, which was lagging behind the line. Bradley failed to obey, and Lieutenant Colonel Dyer, in command of reserves composed of the companies of Captains Smith, Morton, Axune, Edwards, and Hammond, was ordered to that duty with his men. These were immediately dismounted, and met the yelling savages so resolutely that the fugitive militia took courage, resumed their station, and fought gallantly. The battle now became general, and had lasted about fifteen minutes, when the Indians, who had fought well, suddenly broke, and fled in all directions toward the surrounding mountains.

But for the giving way of the militia, and the forming of a gap in the circle by the tardiness of Bradley, and a too wide circuit made by Allcorn and his cavalry, it is believed that not a warrior would have escaped. They were hotly pursued, and the woods for miles became a resting-place for the bodies of dead savages. Two hundred and ninety of the slain were counted. Many were, doubtless, not seen. The number of the wounded could not be ascertained, but they were numerous. The loss of the Americans amounted to fifteen killed and eighty-five wounded. Four were badly hurt, and only two of the latter died from the effect of injuries received. Among the wounded were Colonels William Pillow and James Lauderdale, Major Richard Boyd, and Lieutenant Samuel Barton, the last mortally. 15 These and other wounded men were placed on litters, and when the dead were all buried the victorious little army marched with the maimed to Fort Strother, followed by the grateful rescued Creeks. 16 Among the few trophies of victory borne back to the Coosa was a coarse banner on which were the Spanish arms. This evidence of the complicity of the Spaniards with the hostile Creeks was sent by Jackson to the ladies of East Tennessee, who, as we have observed, presented a stand of colors to the Tennessee Volunteers. 17

When Jackson and his troops reached Fort Strother, wearied and half famished, they found the place almost destitute of provisions. None had been brought in during the absence of the little army, and now starvation threatened all. Almost mutinous murmurs were heard among the suffering soldiers, but their general’s words and example kept them within the bounds of obedience. He was ever cheerful, and shared with his soldiers in all their privations, eating, like them, the acorns found in the forest, to sustain life. It was a very critical period in the campaign, but it was passed in safety and honor to all concerned.

The severe chastisement administered upon the Creeks at Tallasehatche and Talladega had an immediate and powerful effect upon the spirit and temper of the savages, and promised a speedy termination of the war. That desired end was postponed by an unfortunate circumstance growing out of the ever-dangerous fact of a divided command in the campaign. There was an existing jealousy between the East and West Tennessee troops; and, notwithstanding Jackson was the senior officer, and properly commander-in-chief of the campaign against the Creeks, General Cocke maintained, up to the time in question, a separate and independent command, and attempted to operate against the hostile Indians at first even without consultation with General Jackson. This produced trouble, as we shall observe presently.

Many of the warriors who fought at Talladega were from the Hillabee towns on the Tallapoosa River, in the present Cherokee County, Alabama. Those who escaped to the mountains on that dreadful morning were so thoroughly convinced of the futility and danger of making farther resistance to the Tennesseeans, that they resolved to sue for peace and reconciliation. For this purpose they sent Robert Grayson, an aged Scotchman and old resident among them, to make peaceful propositions to General Jackson at Fort Strother. Jackson cordially responded to the proposition, but at the same time told the messenger, in firm language, that he had come to chastise those who had committed gross wrongs toward the white people and friendly Indians in the Creek country, and that he must have full evidence of the sincerity of peace professions before he would consent to stay his hand. "The prisoners and property which they have taken from us and the friendly Creeks," he said, "must be returned; the instigators of the war and the murderers of our citizens must be surrendered; the latter must and will be made to feel the force of our resentment. Long shall they remember Fort Mims in bitterness and tears. Upon those who are disposed to remain friendly I neither wish nor intend to make war."

Grayson hastened back with the conciliatory message. It was never delivered, for destruction had fallen upon the Hillabee people while the messenger was away on his errand. That destruction came from the East Tennesseeans under Generals Cocke and White, who had come down in a separate column, and encamped on the bank of the Coosa, seventy miles above Fort Strother, late in October. There Cocke, with the main body, awaited supplies and built a fort, which he named Armstrong, in honor of the then Secretary of War. It was in the present Cherokee County, Alabama, not far westward of the Georgia line. But the supplies came not. The continued low water in the Tennessee would not allow the contractor to fulfill his promises. Famine stared the little army in the face. Cocke was sorely perplexed. He knew that Jackson, who depended upon the same source of supplies, must be as much embarrassed as himself by lack of food. What shall be done? was a very serious question that needed an immediate answer. Jackson had called for a junction of the armies. Shall we go forward and increase the dangers of famine by having a combined army of five thousand men in the wilderness? was another pertinent and important question. A council of officers was held. The question, Shall we follow Jackson? was decided in the negative by unanimous vote. Shall we cross the Coosa and proceed to the Creek settlements on the Tallapoosa? was a second question, and it was unanimously decided in the affirmative. General White was then within a day’s march of Jackson’s camp, and Cocke sent an order for him to return immediately to Fort Armstrong. "It is the unanimous wish of the officers and men also," he said. "If we follow General Jackson’s army," he continued," we must suffer for supplies; nor can we expect to gain a victory. Let us, then, take a direction in which we can share some of the dangers and glories of the field." This message, and the note from General Jackson, already mentioned, urging him to hasten to the protection of Fort Strother, reached White at the same time. He considered his obedience due first to his immediate superior, General Cocke, and he marched his half-starved brigade back to Fort Armstrong.

General Cocke, too remote from General Jackson to act in concert with him, was, consequently and unfortunately, ignorant of the peaceful mood of the Hillabee people. He had been informed that one of the most energetic of the Creek leaders (Bill Scott, who commanded the Indians at Talladega), was among them, filled with the hellish purpose of massacring every white person and friendly Creek in all that region. He accordingly dispatched General White, with some mounted men and a band of Cherokee allies, to attack the Hillabee town. White took only three days’ rations with him, and marched with great rapidity toward the principal village of the Hillabee, on the border between the present Talladega and Randolph Counties, Alabama, full a hundred miles from Fort Armstrong. He spread desolation in his path. Ockfuske and Genalga, two deserted towns, one of thirty and the other of ninety houses, were laid in ashes, and at dawn on the morning of the 18th of November – the very day when Grayson left Jackson’s camp – White appeared before the chief village. The inhabitants were unsuspicious of danger, and made no resistance; and yet White, for the purpose of inspiring terror in the minds of the Creek nation, fell furiously upon the non-resistants, and murdered no less than sixty warriors before his hand was stayed. Then, with two hundred and fifty widows and orphans as prisoners in his train, he returned to Fart Armstrong, without a drop of a Tennesseean’s blood being shed.

The inhabitants of the other Hillabee towns, ignorant of any other commander than General Jackson, regarded this massacre as the most foul perfidy on his part, and were intensely exasperated. They felt that their humble petition for peace had been cruelly responded to only by the sword and bullet, and thenceforth they carried on hostilities with the most malignant feelings and fearful energy.

Jackson’s anger against General Cocke was equally hot. In the absence of correct information, he regarded him as a rival, willfully withholding supplies, and seeking glory on his own account. This was unjust, and the irate commander was convinced of the fact in the course of two or three weeks, when, in a friendly letter, he invited the East Tennesseean to join him with his army at Fort Strother on the 12th of December. Cocke cheerfully complied, and was there on the appointed day, having in the mean time scoured the Cherokee country for provisions, and caused a considerable quantity of supplies to be hauled from the Tennessee to the Coosa for the use of the combined army. He found that of Jackson greatly demoralized. Disappointed, starving, inactive, the troops at Fort Strother were dreadfully homesick, and filled with a mutinous spirit. This the courage and tact of the commander controlled, but with great difficulty. The militia, on one occasion, prepared to go back to the settlements. They started in a body, when the yet faithful volunteers, with Jackson at their head, stood in their path. Then the volunteers attempted to leave the camp and go home – the very men to whose fortunes their leader had so tenaciously adhered at Natchez the year before – when the militia, with Jackson at their head, stood in the path of the new mutineers. At length almost the entire army of West Tennessee, despairing of relief determined to abandon the expedition and go home. Some of the militia actually started, and the volunteers were about to follow. The general had no sufficient force to restrain them, and he was compelled to rely upon himself alone. He mounted his horse, seized a musket with his right hand, while the disabled arm was yet in a sling, and, placing himself in front of the malcontents, with the weapon resting upon his horse’s neck, he declared that he would shoot the first man who should take a step in advance. Amazed at his boldness, they gazed at him in silence. Fortunately, at that moment, Coffee and two companies of faithful mounted men came up, and the mutineers, after consultation, agreed to return to duty. Yet discontent was not allayed, and Jackson finally allowed all volunteers so disposed to return to their homes, and he organized a force out of other materials. Could he have had sufficient supplies after the battle at Talladega, and been met by immediate concert of action by the East Tennessee troops, he might have ended the war within a fortnight. It was protracted for months; and for ten long and weary weeks he was compelled to lie in idleness at Fort Strother, suffering the vexations which grew out of positive demonstrations of discontent.

In the mean time the Creek country was invaded from another quarter. The cry for help had filled the ears of the Georgians, and late in November, Brigadier General John Floyd, at the head of nine hundred and fifty militia of that state, and four hundred friendly Indians, guided by Mordecai, a Jew trader, entered the region of the hostiles from the east. He crossed the Chattahoochee into the present Russell County, Alabama, on the 24th of November [1813.], and pushed westward toward the Tallapoosa, where he was informed a large number of hostile Indians had collected in the village of Auttose, on the "holy ground," on which the prophets had taught the Indians to believe no white man could set foot and live. This town was on the left bank of the Tallapoosa, about twenty miles above its confluence with the Coosa, at the mouth of the Calebee Creek. Floyd encamped within a few miles of it on the evening of the 28th, and at an hour past midnight marched to the attack. At dawn he was before the town with his troops arranged for battle in three columns. The right was composed of Colonel Booth’s battalion; the left of Colonel Watson’s; and the centre of the rifle companies of Captains Adams and Merriweather, the latter commanded by Lieutenant Hendon. The artillery, under Captain Thomas, was posted in front of the right column. The friendly Indians were led by William M‘Intosh, 18 a half-blood, and a chief called The Mad Dog’s Son.

Floyd intended to surround the town, but the morning light revealed the fact that there were two villages in front of the invading column, and that it was necessary to change at once the disposition of the forces. This was skillfully done. One town was below the other, a hundred rods apart. To the lower one three companies of infantry, Merriweather’s rifles, and two troops of dragoons, under Irwin and Steele, were sent, while the remainder of the troops marched upon the upper town. Immediately after the attack commenced the battle became general. The Indians appeared at all points, and fought gallantly for a while, when the booming of heavy artillery, and a furious bayonet charge, so terrified them that they fell back and sought shelter in the out-houses, thickets, and copses in the rear of the towns. Overpowering numbers pushed them hard, and they at length fled to cane-covered caves cut in the bluffs of the river. Their dwellings, about four hundred in number, some of them commodious and containing valuable articles, were fired and destroyed, and the poor smitten and dismayed savages were hunted and butchered with a fiendish barbarity which ought to have made the cheeks of the actors burn with the blushes of shame. It was estimated that full two hundred Indians were murdered. Floyd lost eleven killed and fifty-four wounded. 19 The loss of the friendly Indians, who held back at the beginning, but fought bravely toward the last, is not mentioned in the official reports.

In the space of seven days Floyd had marched one hundred and twenty miles and committed the massacre. He was now sixty miles from a deposit of provisions, and his rations were nearly exhausted; so, after burying his dead and preparing litters for his wounded, he hastened back to Fort Mitchell, on the Chattahoochee. On his departure, and when a mile eastward of the ruined towns, his rear was attacked by some desperate survivors of Auttose, who were dispersed after receiving a few volleys.

While these events were transpiring in the upper country of the Creeks, stirring scenes were witnessed in the present Clarke County, in the forks of the Tombigbee and Alabama, and vicinity. The Indians, under the direct influence of Weathersford and the British and Spanish officers, were very active and sanguinary in that region, and General Flournoy, who had kept General Claiborne on the defensive, was at last aroused to a sense of the necessity of offensive measures. Accordingly, on the 12th of October, he ordered that officer to advance with his army into the heart of the Creek country for the purpose of defending the citizens while gathering their crops yet in the field; "to drive the enemy from the frontiers; to follow them up to their contiguous towns, and to kill, burn, and destroy all their negroes, horses, cattle, and other property that could not conveniently be brought to the dépôts." This sanguinary order was justified by the Georgia general, by the conduct of Great Britain, and the acts of her Indian allies.

Claiborne instantly obeyed. He crossed the Tombigbee from St. Stephen’s, and scoured the country on its eastern side in all directions with his detachments, meeting and dispersing bands of Indians here and there, but without bringing them to battle any where. In the mean time Captain Sam Dale, who had recovered from his wounds, was preparing for active operations. He had held Fort Madison; and, on the return of Colonel Carson to that post early in November, he had obtained his leave to go out and drive the small bands of marauding savages from the frontier. He was joined by a detachment of thirty of Captain Jones’s Mississippi Volunteers, under Lieutenant Montgomery, and forty Clarke County militia, having for his lieutenant Gerrard W. Creagh, who was attached to his company in the battle of Burnt Corn Creek. They marched southeasterly to a ferry, where Cæsar, a free negro of the party, had two canoes concealed. In these the party crossed the river, and on a frosty night, with very thin clothing, they lodged in a cane-brake. At dawn [November 12, 1813.] they marched up the river, the boats in charge of five picked men each, and keeping abreast of the party on shore. Some Indians were soon encountered on land and water, and, after a brisk skirmish, the dusky foe fled up the stream out of sight. Dale’s party were then separated, some following the trail on the east side of the river, and others following that on the west side. At half past ten they reached Randon’s Landing, 20 where they found evidences of Indians near. Directly a large canoe, made from the trunk of an immense cypress-tree, came floating down the stream, bearing eleven naked and hideously-painted savages. They were about to land at a cane-brake, when Dale, calling his men to follow, dashed for the spot to contest their landing. They shot two of the Indians, and the others backed the great canoe out into deep water, three of the Indians swimming on the side not exposed to the bullets, and the remainder lying flat on its bottom.


A stirring scene now ensued. One of the warriors in the water called out to Weathersford, who was in the neighborhood, for help. Dale stopped his voice by putting a bullet in his brain, when the great canoe, deprived of the guidance of the three Indians in the stream, who had been killed, floated sluggishly down with the current. Dale ordered six men on the eastern bank to fetch the boats for the purpose of attacking the Indians in their huge craft. As they approached and looked into it, one of them screamed, "Live Indians, by God! Back water, boys! back water!" and they went back to the place of embarkation faster than they came. Dale was exasperated by their cowardice, and quickly ordered Cæsar to bring a canoe. He jumped into it, followed by Jeremiah Austill and James Smith. It would hold no more safely. Cæsar paddled it within forty yards of the craft of the savages, when Dale and his companions rose to pour a volley into the great canoe. Each gun missed fire. Water had spoiled the priming. A moment afterward and the two vessels were side by side, when the stalwart Dale, ordering Cæsar to hold them together, clubbed his musket, and, placing one foot in his own canoe and the other in that of the enemy, commenced a furious contest. Austill and Smith joined in the fray with clubbed muskets, but Cæsar could not hold the boats together, the current was so strong. They parted, leaving Dale alone in the canoe of the savages, one of whom lay wounded in the stem, and four others, strong and fierce, confronted him as he stood defiantly in the middle of the great canoe. 21 Two warriors lay dead at his feet.

At the instant when Dale planted himself in the middle of the great canoe, the savage nearest to him directed a terrible blow at his head, which the soldier parried skillfully with the barrel of his gun, and, as quick as lightning, slew his assailant with his bayonet. The next one instantly sprang forward, when a bullet from Austill’s rifle, sent from the boat that was drifting a few yards off, pierced his heart, and he fell in the bottom of the canoe. The third then made for Dale with his tomahawk, when he too fell, pierced by the brave captain’s bayonet. The last warrior was Tar-cha-chee, a noted wrestler of powerful frame. He and Dale were old acquaintances. As the savage’s keen glance met that of Dale, he shook himself gave the horrid war-whoop, and then cried out, "Big Sam, I am a man – I am coming – come on!" He then bounded over his dead companions with a terrific yell, and directed a furious blow at the head of Dale with his clubbed rifle. Dale dodged it, but it fell upon and dislocated his shoulder. At the same moment Dale darted his bayonet into the body of the Indian, who exclaimed, as he tried to escape, "Tar-cha-chee is a man! He is not afraid to die!" Dale then turned to the wounded warrior, who had been snapping his piece at him during the whole conflict, and was now defiantly exclaiming "I am a warrior! I am not afraid to die!" and pinned him to the canoe with his bayonet. "He followed his ten comrades to the land of spirits," said the rugged Indian fighter afterward. 22

Thus resulted, after a struggle of about ten minutes, one of the most remarkable of naval and personal combats on record. Just as it ended, Dale’s men came running to the bank, and shouted "Weathersford is coming!" He immediately crossed with his whole party, and made his way with them safely to Fort Madison. The fame of this exploit made Dale a hero of history, and the "canoe fight" is yet a theme for romance and song among the common people in the Southwest. 23

At about this time Claiborne pushed across Clarke County to the Alabama for the purpose of establishing a deposit for supplies at Randon’s Landing, 24 awaiting there the arrival of Georgia and Tennessee troops, and to act as much as possible on the defensive, as circumstances might require. He marched with three hundred volunteers, some dragoons and militia, and a band of Choctaw Indians under General Pushamataha and Chief Mushullatubba. He crossed the Alabama on the 17th of November and encamped, and there he was joined on the 28th by the Third Regiment of national troops, under Colonel Gilbert C. Russell, from Mount Vernon. There Claiborne constructed a strong stockade two hundred feet square, with three block-houses and a half-moon battery that commanded the rear. It was intended as a deposit of provisions for the Tennessee troops above. It was completed before the close of November, when it received the name of Fort Claiborne, in honor of the commander. On its site, as we have observed, stands Claiborne, the capital of Monroe County, Alabama. From that point early in December Claiborne apprised General Jackson and Governor Blount of the establishment of this dépôt, and also of the arrival of more English vessels in Pensacola Bay, with many soldiers and Indian supplies. He said he "wished to God that he was authorized to take that sink of iniquity [Pensacola], the dépôt of Tories and instigators of disturbances on the Southern frontier." 25

Claiborne now determined to penetrate the Creek country toward its heart, and share with Jackson and Coffee the honors of bringing the savages into subjection. 26 On the 12th of December he left Fort Claiborne with a little army about one thousand strong, and marched in a northeasterly direction toward the present Lowndes County, Alabama. His force consisted of a detachment of Colonel Russell’s regulars; Major Cassell’s battalion of horse; a battalion of militia under Major Benjamin Smoot, of which Patrick May was adjutant, and Dale and Heard captains; the twelve months’ Mississippi Volunteers under Colonel Carson; and one hundred and fifty Choctaws under General Pushamataha. After marching eighty miles he halted, and built a station for provisions, which he called Fort Deposit. It was in the present Butler County, Alabama. When this was completed, he pushed on nearly thirty miles farther through a pathless wilderness, with as little baggage and provisions as possible, and approached Econochaca, or Holy Ground, which was situated upon a bluff on the left bank of the Alabama, just below the present Powell’s Ferry, in Lowndes County. The village had been built in an obscure place by Weathersford a few months before, and dedicated by the Shawnoese prophets whom Tecumtha had left to inflame the Creeks as a place of refuge for the wounded and dispersed in battle, fugitives from their homes, and women and children. No path or trail led to it, and the prophets assured their dupes that the ground on which Econochaca, like that of Auttose, stood, was so holy that no white man could tread upon it and live. There these savage priests performed horrid incantations, and in the square in the centre of the town the most dreadful cruelties had been already perpetrated. White prisoners, and Creeks friendly to them, had been burned to death there by the directions of those ministers of the Evil Spirit.

Claiborne was before Econochaca in battle order on the morning of the 23d of December [1813.]. It was pretty strongly guarded in the Indian manner, and the inmates had no suspicion of danger. The prophets were busy with their incantations, and at that very hour a number of friendly half-bloods of both sexes were in the square, surrounded by resinous wood, ready to be consumed!

The troops advanced in three columns, with mounted men under Captains Lester and Wells acting as reserves. The right column was commanded by Colonel Carson, and consisted of twelve-months’ volunteers; the centre was composed of a detachment of the Third Regiment United States Infantry, and some mounted riflemen under Lieutenant Colonel Russell; and the left of militia, and some Choctaws under Major Smoot. Their duty was difficult, for the town was almost surrounded by swamps and deep ravines, and the Indians, regarding the place as holy, and having property there of great value, were prepared to fight desperately. They had, on the approach of the invaders, conveyed their women and children to safe places in the thick forests of what is now known as the Dutch Bend of Autauga County, and they had no hinderances to a vigorous defense.

The three columns closed upon the town by a simultaneous movement. Carson’s came in sight of it at noon, and was furiously attacked. It resisted the assault with great spirit, and before those of Russell and Smoot could get fairly into the fight, the dismayed Indians broke and fled. A larger portion of them escaped, owing to the failure of Major Cassell to occupy the bank of the Alabama, westward of the town, with his battalion of horse. They fled in droves along the bank of the river, and by swimming and the use of canoes, escaped to the other side, and joined their families in the Autauga forests. Weathersford, when he found himself deserted by his warriors, fled swiftly on a fine gray horse for the salvation of his own life. He was hotly pursued to a perpendicular bluff flanked by ravines, when his powerful steed made a mighty bound from it, and horse and rider disappeared beneath the water. They immediately rose, Weathersford grasping his horse’s mane with one hand, and his rifle with the other. He regained his saddle in a moment, and the noble animal bore him safely to the Autauga shore. 27

General Claiborne laid Econochaca in ashes after it was plundered by the Choctaws. At least two hundred houses were destroyed and thirty Indians killed. The loss of the assailants amounted to only one killed and six wounded. After spending a day and two nights in the vicinity, completing the work of destruction and dispersion, and suffering much from wet and cold, the little army turned southward, and on the 29th [December, 1813.] reached Fort Claiborne. They had suffered much on the way, the officers and men alike subsisting chiefly on boiled acorns until they reached Fort Deposit.

The term of Carson’s Mississippi Volunteers and cavalry had now expired, and they were mustered out of the service. By this process the little army of volunteers and militia melted away, and on the 23d of January General Claiborne was compelled, in writing to the Secretary of War from Mount Vernon, to say that he had only sixty men left, and their time would soon expire. Colonel Russell and his regulars garrisoned Fort Claiborne, and did what they could in furnishing supplies to the Tennessee troops above; at the same time they made some unimportant raids in the Indian country, but without accomplishing any great results.

Let us now observe the movements of Jackson in the region of the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers. We left him at Fort Strother, comparatively inactive because of a lack of supplies and the discontents of his troops. Nor was this all. The terms of enlistment of most of his men were near expiration, and he saw before him, in the temper of his troops, the inevitable disintegration of his army at the moment when their services were most needed. He was urged by his chief, General Pinckney, to hold all the posts in his possession, for it was of vital importance to deprive the British of these new Indian allies. The skies at that moment appeared lowering. Seven sail of British vessels, with troops and two bomb-ships, were off Pensacola. New Orleans was menaced, and Mobile was in imminent danger. St. Augustine would doubtless be soon occupied by a British force, with the consent of the treacherous Spaniards; and in every direction clouds seemed gathering, portentous of dismal events in the southwest.

Thus closed the year 1813 {original text has "1814".}, while Jackson, with his army substantially disbanded, was looking anxiously toward Tennessee for another. He had written most stirring appeals for men and food, and the patriotic Governor Blount was doing all in his power to provide both. General Cocke had gone back to East Tennessee with orders to raise fifteen hundred men and rejoin Jackson in the Creek country; and a band of Cherokee Indians were garrisoning Fort Armstrong, on the upper waters of the Coosa. Jackson himself was continually in motion. Almost alone he traversed the wilderness between the Coosa and Tennessee, backward and forward, in endeavors to hasten onward supplies for the new army. At length the advance of that army began to appear. First came two (mostly mounted) regiments to Fort Strother, commanded by Colonels Perkins and Higgins, numbering about nine hundred men, who had been enlisted for only sixty days. They were raw recruits, yet Jackson determined to put them in motion toward the banded enemy immediately. That enemy, recovered somewhat from the late disasters, was showing an aggressive disposition which must be checked; and accordingly, on the 15th of January [1814.], Jackson led his new troops across the Coosa to the late battle-field at Talladega, where he was joined [January 18.] by two hundred Cherokee and Creek Indians, and Chief Jim Fife. He had brought with him an artillery company who had remained at Fort Strother when the other troops left, and a six-pounder. His whole force, exclusive of the Indians, was nine hundred and thirty. With these he made a raid ("excursion" the general called it) toward the Tallapoosa, preceded by two companies of spies. He was accompanied by General Coffee, whose men had all deserted him but about forty, who now followed as volunteers. He reached the Hillabee Creek, on the eastern line of the present Talladega County, on the 20th, and encamped that night at Enotochopco, in the southern part of Randolph County. On the following morning [January 21, 1814.] he pushed forward toward Emucfau, twelve miles distant, on the bend of the Tallapoosa, and toward evening, when near Emucfau Creek, fell upon a much-beaten trail, which indicated the proximity of a large force of Indians. Jackson thought it prudent to halt and reconnoitre. He disposed his troops in a hollow square, doubled his sentinels, sent out spies, and in every way took measures to meet an attack during the night. Toward midnight the savages were observed prowling about, and at the same time the general was informed that a large body of Indians were encamped within three miles of him, some engaged in a war-dance, and others removing the women and children. An immediate attack seemed impending, and Jackson, fully prepared, calmly awaited it.

The night wore away, and the dawn approached, when, at six o’clock [January 22.], the Indians fell suddenly and with great fury upon the left flank of Jackson’s camp, occupied by the troops under Colonel Higgins. General Coffee was with them, and, under his direction, assisted by Colonel Sitler, the adjutant general, and Colonel Carroll, the inspector general, these new recruits fought gallantly, and kept the assailants in check. At dawn, when the whole field might be seen, they were re-enforced by Captain Ferrill’s company of infantry, and the whole body were led to a vigorous charge upon the savages by General Coffee, supported by Colonels Higgins and Carroll, and the friendly Indians. The savages were discomfited and dispersed, and fled, hotly pursued by the Tennesseeans, with much slaughter, for full two miles.

Inspirited by this success, Jackson immediately detached General Coffee, with four hundred men and the whole body of the Indians, to destroy the encampment of the foe at Emucfau. It was found to be too strongly fortified to be taken without artillery, so Coffee marched back for the purpose of guarding the cannon on its way to a position to bear upon the town. This retrograde movement encouraged the Indians, and a strong party of them fell upon the right of Jackson’s encampment. Coffee at once asked and obtained leave to lead two hundred men to the support of that wing, and to fall upon the left of the foe, while the friendly Indians should fall upon their right flank at the same moment. By some mistake only fifty-four men followed Coffee. The gallant general fell upon the Indians with these, and Jackson ordered two hundred of the friendly Indians to co-operate with him by attacking the right flank of the savages. "This order was promptly obeyed," said Jackson in his report, "and on the moment of its execution what I expected was realized. The enemy had intended the attack on the right as a feint, and, expecting to direct my attention thither, meant to attack me again, and with their main force, on the left flank, which they had hoped to find weakened and in disorder. They were disappointed." The general, with wise discretion, had not only ordered his left to remain firm, but had repaired thither himself, and directed a part of the reserves, under Captain Ferrill, to hasten to its support. In this way the whole main body met the advancing enemy. They gave the foe two or three Volleys, and then charged them vigorously with the bayonet. The Indians broke, and fled in confusion, hotly pursued some distance; and the friendly Indians, unable to withstand the temptation, left their post on the right flank and joined in the chase, all the while pouring a harassing fire upon the fugitives.

General Coffee in the mean time was struggling manfully against the assailants on the right of the encampment. The desertion of his Indian supporters placed him in a critical situation, for the odds were greatly against him. He was soon relieved by the return from the chase of Jim Fife and a hundred of his warriors, who were immediately summoned to his support. The aid was timely. Coffee and his little party charged the savages vigorously, who, dispirited by the flight of their main body, gave way, and ran for their lives in every direction, many of them falling before the destructive weapons of the pursuers. The victory, in the form of a repulse, was complete, but it had been won at the cost of a severe wound in his body by General Coffee, and the loss of his aid-de-camp, Colonel A. Donelson, and two or three others. Several of the privates were also wounded.

Jackson was astonished at the courage and bravery of the Creeks, and thought it prudent to abandon any farther attempts to destroy the encampment at Emucfau. His movement was simply a raid, with the twofold object of striking a quick and destructive blow at the enemy, and to make a diversion in favor of General Floyd, then in the vicinity of the Chattahoochee. He therefore determined to return to Fort Strother.

At ten o’clock on the morning of the 23d the retrograde march commenced, and the little army reached Enotochopco Creek before sunset, and there planted a fortified camp for the night. Great vigilance was exercised, and no serious molestation was observed during the darkness. Well rested, the troops moved forward early the next morning. The savages, who had interpreted this movement as a flight, had followed stealthily, and, just as the advanced guard and part of the flank columns, with the wounded, had crossed the creek [January 24, 1814.], they appeared suddenly in force on their rear. The firing of an alarm-gun brought them to a halt, when Jackson immediately changed front, and prepared to meet the foe in good battle order. He placed Colonel Carroll at the head of the centre column of the rear-guard, its right commanded by Colonel Perkins, and its left by Colonel Stump. He chose his own ground for battle, and expected to have entirely cut off the enemy by wheeling the right and left columns on their pivots, recrossing the creek above and below, and falling in upon their flanks and rear. To Jackson’s great astonishment, his troops, who had behaved so well at Emucfau, now failed; and when the word was given for Carroll to halt and form, and a few guns had been fired, the right and left columns of the rear-guard precipitately gave way and made a disastrous retreat. They drew along with them a greater part of the centre column, leaving not more than twenty-five men to support Carroll. These maintained the ground gallantly, and order was soon restored. The battle was now sustained by only this handful of the rear-guard under Captain Quarles, the artillery company under Lieutenant Robert Armstrong, and Captain Russell’s company of Spies. The solitary 6-pounder that composed the heavy ordnance of the expedition was dragged to the top of a hill in the midst of a galling fire from ten times the number of the Tennesseeans engaged, when they poured upon the foe a storm of grape-shot that sent them yelling with affright in every direction. 28 They were pursued more than two miles by Colonels Carroll and Higgins, and Captains Elliott and Pipkin. The venerable Judge Cocke, then sixty-five years of age, was in the engagement, and joined in the pursuit with all the ardor of youth. The slaughter among the Indians was heavy, while that among the Tennesseeans was comparatively light. The exact number of casualties among the latter was not recorded. Captain Hamilton, from East Tennessee, was killed, and Lieutenants Robert Armstrong, Bird Evans, Hiram Bradford, and Jacob M‘Givock, and Captain Quarles, were wounded. Evans and Quarles soon afterward died. In the two engagements, Emucfau and Enotochopco, Jackson’s entire loss was twenty killed and seventy-five wounded. The loss of the enemy was not accurately ascertained. One hundred and eighty-nine of their warriors were found dead. 29

Jackson made his way back to Fort Strother [January 28, 1814.] after an absence of twelve days, not perfectly satisfied with the results of his raid, yet he presented it to the public in the best aspect possible. His force was almost double that of the Indians, for at that time the larger proportion of them were below, watching the movements of Floyd and his Georgians, while a considerable force were strongly fortifying the horseshoe, and other places, preparatory to a desperate defensive war. His expedition, however, had been useful, and General Pinckney, in a letter to the War Department [February 6.], said, "Without the personal firmness, popularity, and exertions of that officer, the Indian War on the part of Tennessee would have been abandoned, at least for a time."

We will leave Jackson at Fort Strother a few moments while we consider the movements of Floyd below. We left that officer at Fort Mitchell, on the Chattahoochee.

Floyd reposed more than six weeks awaiting supplies, and during that time recovered of his wound received at Auttose. Then he marched toward Toockabatcha, on the Tallapoosa, with over twelve hundred Georgia volunteers, a company of cavalry, and four hundred friendly Indians. He established communicating posts on the way, and at length, on the night of the 26th of January, encamped on the Calebee or Challibee River, on the high land bordering the swamp of that name, in Macon County, Alabama, fifty miles west of Fort Mitchell. The camp was carefully watched, but in the gloom, more than an hour before the dawn of the following morning, a band of Creeks, who had stealthily assembled in the swamp during the night, shot the sentinels, and pounced like fierce tigers on Floyd’s front and flank. The attack was sudden, yet not unprepared for, and the savages were gallantly opposed, in the front, by the artillery under Captain Jett Thomas, riflemen commanded by Captain William E. Adams, and a picket-guard led by Captain John Broadnax.

The foe rushed desperately up within thirty yards of the cannon, and smote the troops severely. Broadnax and his party were cut off from their companions for a while, but with the aid of the half-blood chief Timpoochy Barnard, leader of some Uchees, they cut their way through the encircling savages. Most of the other Indians took shelter in the camp, and were scarcely felt in the battle, which was contested fiercely in the darkness, which was rendered more intense by the umbrageous branches of the heavy pine forest in which they were fighting. When daylight came, and Floyd was enabled to survey the field of action, the contest was soon ended. The general ordered the right wing of his little army, composed of the battalions commanded by Majors Booth, Cleveland, Watson, and Freeman, and a troop of cavalry under Captain Duke Hamilton, to charge on the foe. The Indians were dismayed by the glittering bayonets, and fled in great terror. The infantry pursued, and the cavalry joined in the exciting chase, followed by the friendly Indians and Meriweather’s and Ford’s riflemen. They were chased through the swamp, and many of the fugitives were slain. They left thirty-seven dead in the pathway of their flight. The Georgians lost seventeen killed and one hundred and thirty-two wounded, and the friendly Indians had five men killed and fifteen wounded. Colonel Newman, a gallant officer, was wounded by three bullets and disabled, at the beginning of the action.

Floyd’s wounded were so many, and the hostile Indians in his vicinity were so numerous, and might be speedily re-enforced, that he prudently concluded not to penetrate the country farther, but to fall back to the Chattahoochee. On the day of the battle he retired to Fort Hull, one of his newly-erected stockades, and on the following day the Indians occupied the late battle-field. Leaving a small garrison at Fort Hull, the general continued his retrograde movement to Fort Mitchell, where his men were honorably discharged, their term of service having expired. No other expedition against the Creeks was organized in Georgia.

Let us now return to Jackson at Fort Strother.

On his return from his twelve days’ "excursion" or raid to the Tallapoosa, Jackson set his few militia that remained to constructing flat-boats in which to bring supplies down the Coosa, and to transport them to regions below, where materials for his new army were rapidly approaching from Tennessee. He discharged the troops who had been with him on the late expedition, their term of service being about ready to expire. They left for home full of admiration of and enthusiasm for their general, and their return gave a new impetus to volunteering. At the beginning of February two thousand troops from East Tennessee were in the shadows of Lookout Mountain, pressing on toward the Coosa, and at about the same time as many more West Tennesseeans arrived at Huntsville.

Intelligence of these approaching troops filled Jackson’s heart with gladness. His joy was increased by the arrival on the 6th, at Fort Strother, of Colonel Williams and the Thirty-ninth Regiment of the United States Army, six hundred strong, who had been induced to hasten to the relief of Jackson by the late Honorable Hugh L. White, of East Tennessee. Very soon afterward a part of Coffee’s brigade of mounted men came into Fort Strother, and also a troop of East Tennessee dragoons. The Choctaw Indians now openly espoused the cause of the United States; and before the close of February Jackson found himself at the head of an army of five thousand men, lacking nothing to enable them to sweep the whole Creek country with the besom of destruction but adequate supplies of food. Great exertions were put forth successfully to that end, and at the middle of March every thing was in readiness for a forward movement.

The hostile Creeks were aware of the formidable preparations for their subjugation, and were, at the same time, taking measures to avert, if possible, the impending blow. They had suffered severely at the hands of Jackson, Floyd, and Claiborne, and had already begun to have such premonitions of national disaster that they determined to concentrate their forces, and rest their fortunes upon the cast of the die of a single battle with the foe. For this purpose the warriors of the Hillabee, Ockfuske, Eufaulahache, New Youka, Oakchoie, Hickory Ground, and Fish-pond towns had gathered in the bend of the Tallapoosa, in the northeast part of Tallapoosa County, Alabama, called Tohopeka, or the Horseshoe, the river there assuming the shape of that object, forming a peninsula of about one hundred acres. By the aid of white men from Pensacola, and some hostile half-bloods, they built a very strong breastwork of logs across the neck of the peninsula, and pierced it with two rows of port-holes arranged in such manner as to expose the assailants to a cross-fire from within. Back of this breastwork was a mass of logs and brush; and at the bottom of the peninsula, near the river, was a village of log huts, where hundreds of canoes were moored at the banks of the stream, so that the garrison might have the means of escape if hard pushed. A greater portion of the peninsula was covered with forest. The Indians had an ample supply of food for a long siege. Their number was about twelve hundred, one fourth being women and children. There the Indians determined to defend themselves to the last extremity. They regarded their breastwork as impregnable, and were inspirited by recent events at Emuckfau (about four miles distant) and Enotochopco.

When Jackson was informed by some friendly Indians of the gathering of the Creeks at the Horseshoe, he resolved to march thither immediately and strike an exterminating blow. He sent his stores down the Coosa in flat-boats, in charge of Colonel Williams and his regiment of regulars, and leaving a garrison of four hundred and fifty men in Fort Strother, under Colonel Steele, he commenced his march with the remainder of his army toward the Tallapoosa on the 16th of March [1814.], the only musical instrument to cheer them on the way being a solitary drum. The journey was slowly performed, for much of the way a road had to be cut through the woods. On the 21st they were at the mouth of Cedar Creek, where they were joined by the supply-boats the next day, and there Fort Williams was built to keep open the communication with Fort Strother. Then Jackson pushed on eastward, and early on the morning of the 27th halted within a few miles of the breastworks at the horseshoe, and sent out parties to reconnoitre. His army now numbered about two thousand effective men.

Jackson’s spies informed him of the position of the Indians, and he at once comprehended the folly which had permitted them to assemble in a pen, as if offering facilities for him to carry out his threat of extermination. He sent General Coffee, with all the mounted men and friendly Indians, to cross the river about two miles below the Bend, and take position on the bank opposite the village and boats. When, by signal, he was certified of the execution of his order, he went forward with the main body of his army toward the peninsula, and planted two field-pieces upon a little hill within eighty yards of the nearest point of the fortifications on the neck. At a little past ten o’clock these opened fire on the works, under the direction of Captain Bradford, chief engineer, but without seriously affecting the wall. As the small balls were buried in the logs and earth, the Indians set up a shout of derision, and the general was fairly defied.

NOTE. – The above plan of the battle of Cholocco Litabixee, or the Horseshoe, is arranged from one in Pickett’s History of Alabama. A shows the position of the hill from which Jackson’s cannon played upon the breastworks. C C C represent the position of Coffee’s command.

Simultaneously with the attack on the Indians’ breastworks, some of the Cherokees with Coffee swam across the river, seized the canoes, paddled back in them, and full two hundred men were at once conveyed over the stream, and, under the direction of Colonel Morgan and Captain Russell, set the little town on fire, and moved against the enemy in the rear of their works. The smoke from the burning huts assured Jackson that all was going on well in that quarter, but the slackening of the assailants’ musketry gave evidence that they were too few to dislodge the savages, and were probably in peril. The general at once determined to storm the breastworks which he had been battering for full two hours with cannon-balls almost in vain. The Thirty-ninth United States Infantry, under Colonel Williams, formed the van of the storming party. They were well supported by General James Doherty’s East Tennessee brigade under Colonel Bunch, and the whole assailing party behaved most gallantly. They pressed steadily forward in the face of a deadly storm of bullets and arrows, and maintained for some time a hand-to-hand fight at the port-holes. This desperate conflict lasted several minutes, when Major L. P. Montgomery leaped upon the breastwork, and called upon his men to follow. They did so, and at the same moment he fell dead with a bullet in his head. Ensign Sam Houston, a gallant youth at his side, was severely wounded in the thigh at the same time by a barbed arrow, but he leaped boldly down among the savages, and called upon his companions to follow. They did so, and fought like tigers. Very soon the dexterous use of the bayonet caused the Indians to break, and flee in wild confusion to the woods and thickets. They had fought bravely under great disadvantages, and believing that torture awaited the captive, not one would suffer himself to be taken, or asked for quarter. Some attempted to escape by swimming across the river, but were shot by the unerring bullets of the Tennesseeans. Others secreted themselves in thickets, and were driven out and slain; and a considerable number took refuge under the river bluffs, where they were covered by a part of the breastworks and felled trees. To the latter Jackson sent word that their lives should be spared if they would surrender. The summons was answered by a volley that sent the messenger (an interpreter) back bleeding from severe wounds. A cannon was then brought to bear upon the stronghold, but it made little effect. Then the general called for volunteers to storm it, and the wounded Ensign Houston 30 was the first to step out. While reconnoitring the position above, he received from the concealed savages two bullets in his shoulder, and he was borne helpless away. Others lost their lives in attempts to dislodge the foe. It was conceded that the place was impregnable to missiles, so the torch was applied, and the savages, as they rushed wildly from the crackling furnace, were shot down without mercy by the exasperated riflemen. The carnage continued until late in the evening, and when it was ended five hundred and fifty-seven Creek warriors lay dead on the little peninsula. Of the thousand who went into the battle in the morning not more than two hundred were alive, and many of these were severely wounded. 31 Jackson’s loss was thirty-two killed and ninety-nine wounded. The Cherokees lost eighteen killed and thirty-six wounded. Among the slain were Major Montgomery 32 and Lieutenants Moulton and Somerville The spoils of victory were over three hundred widows and orphans who were made prisoners. The blow was appalling, and fatal to the dignity and power of the Creek nation.

On the morning after the battle [March 28, 1814.] at the Horseshoe Jackson commenced a retrograde march toward Fort Williams, carrying his wounded with him on litters, and leaving the bodies of most of his dead beneath the waters of the Coosa, safe from desecration by savage hands. They were five days on the way, and during as many more they rested there. They encountered some hostile Indians on the march, but they generally fled at their approach. The spirit of the proud Creeks was broken, and they had no heart to make a defensive stand any where.

From Fort Williams Jackson pushed on toward the Hickory Ground of the Creeks, at the confluence of the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers, over a country flooded by spring rains and swollen streams, and halted at the head of the peninsula, where the rivers approach each other within six hundred yards before uniting four miles below. There, on the sight of Fort Toulouse, erected by Governor Bienville a hundred years before, he built a stockade, cleaned out and deepened the old French entrance, and raised the national standard over a fortification named, in his honor, Fort Jackson. Thither deputation after deputation of humiliated Creek chiefs made their way to sue for pardon and peace in behalf of themselves and their people. They were received with courtesy, yet with sternness. "Give proof of your submission," said the general, "substantially by going and staying above Fort Williams, where you will be treated with, and the final demands of my Government will be made known to you. But you must first bring in Weathersford, the cruel leader of the attack on Fort Mims, who on no account can be forgiven." They cheerfully complied; but little did Jackson know the true character of Weathersford, or the plasticity of his own nature at that time.

Weathersford did not wait to be caught and dragged like a felon to the feet of the leader of the pale faces. He was a stranger to fear, and sagacious in plans. He saw clearly the flight of hope for his nation, at the Horseshoe, and resolved to submit. Mounting his fine gray horse, with whom he leaped from the bluff at the Holy Ground, 33 he rode to Jackson’s camp. He arrived just at sunset [April 14.]. The general was alone in his tent when the chief entered it, drew himself up to his full height, and, folding his arms, said, "I am Weathersford, the chief who commanded at Fort Mims. I have nothing to request for myself. You can kill me if you desire. I have come to beg you to send for the women and children of the war-party, who are now starving in the woods. Their fields and cribs have been destroyed by your people, who have driven them to the woods without an ear of corn. I hope that you will send out parties who will conduct them safely here, in order that they may be fed. I exerted myself in vain to prevent the massacre of the women and children at Fort Mims. 34 I have come now to ask peace for my people, but not for myself." 35 Jackson expressed astonishment that one so guilty should dare to appear in his presence and ask for peace and protection. "I am in your power; do with me as you please," the chief haughtily replied. "I am a soldier. I have done the white people all the harm I could. I have fought them, and fought them bravely; and if I had an army I would yet fight, and contend to the last. But I have none. My people are all gone. I can now do no more than weep over the misfortunes of my nation."

Here was a man after Jackson’s own heart. A patriot who loved his people, had fought to protect the land of his birth from the invader, and now fearlessly expressed his patriotism in the presence of one who had power over his life. Jackson immediately informed him that submission and the acceptance of a home beyond the Mississippi for his nation was the only wise policy for him to pursue. He added, "If, however, you desire to continue the war, and feel prepared to meet the consequences, you may depart in peace, and unite yourself with the war-party, if you choose." Half scornfully, half sorrowfully, Weathersford replied, "I may well be addressed in such language now. There was a time when I had a choice and could have answered you; I have none now – even hope is ended. Once I could animate my warriors to battle, but can not animate the dead. My warriors can no longer hear my voice. Their bones are at Talladega, Tallasehatche, Emucfau, Econochopco, and Tohopeka. I have not surrendered myself thoughtlessly. While there was a chance for success I never left my post nor supplicated peace. But my people are gone, and I now ask it for my nation, not for myself. On the miseries and misfortunes brought upon my country I look back with deepest sorrow, and wish to avert still greater calamities. If I had been left to contend with the Georgia army, I would have raised my corn on one bank of the river and fought them on the other. But your people have destroyed my nation. You are a brave man; I rely upon your generosity. You will exact no terms of a conquered people but such as they should agree to. Whatever they may be, it would now be folly and madness to oppose. If they are opposed, you will find me among the sternest enforcers of obedience. Those who would still hold out can be influenced only by a mean spirit of revenge, and to this they must not and shall not sacrifice the last remnant of their country. You have told our nation where we might go and be safe. This is good talk, and they ought to listen to it. They shall listen to it." 36

Thus spoke the truly noble Weathersford for his nation. Words of honor responded to words of honor, and Weathersford was allowed to go freely to the forest to search for his scattered followers and counsel peace. But there was no safety for him in that region, for the relatives of those massacred at Fort Mims sought to kill him. He fled, and remained away until the end of the war, when he returned, and became a respected citizen of Alabama. 37

General Pinckney arrived at Fort Jackson on the 20th of April with troops from North and South Carolina. Informed of the general submission of the Creeks, and considering the war virtually at an end, he directed the West Tennesseeans to march home, and four hundred of General Doherty’s brigade to garrison Fort Williams. The order to the West Tennesseeans was so gladly and promptly obeyed that within two hours after its utterance [April 21, 1814.] they were in motion up the Coosa. They pushed forward with great celerity, crossed the Tennessee River, and at Fayetteville were discharged. There Jackson bade them farewell in a stirring address, and then hastened to his own home at the "Hermitage," near Nashville, and indulged a short time in needed repose.

Here we will leave the consideration of the fearfully-smitten Creeks for the present, with the remark that they showed themselves to be a brave people, and, on many accounts, deserving of the respect of mankind.



1 The country in that region is exceedingly rough and mountainous, and the troops were compelled to endure the most appalling labors. "We have cut our way," wrote Major Reid, Jackson’s aid-de-camp, "over mountains more tremendous than Alps."

2 Letter of Major John Reid to Quarter-master W. B. Lewis, October 24, 1813, quoted by Parton, i., 432.

3 See page 750, and Map on page 751.

4 See page 749.

5 Life and Times of General Sam Dale, pages 116 and 117. Dale says Flournoy was opposed to the stockade system, and was determined to concentrate his troops at Mobile, Mount Vernon, and St. Stephen’s. Claiborne’s order for the evacuation of Fort Madison, inspired by Flournoy, was cursed by the settlers in the forks of the Alabama and Tombigbee, who considered themselves cruelly abandoned.

6 "During the day," says Dale, "sentinels were posted around the fort. At night I illuminated the approaches for a circuit of one hundred yards by a device of my own. Two poles, fifty feet long, were firmly planted on each side of the fort; a long lever, upon the plan of a well-sweep, worked upon each of these poles; to each lever was attached a bar of iron about ten feet long, and to these bars were fastened with trace-chains huge fagots of light wood. The illumination from such an elevation was brilliant, and no covert attack could be made upon my position. As a precaution against the Indian torch, I had my block-houses and their roofs well plastered with clay. We displayed ourselves in arms frequently, the women wearing hats and the garments of their husbands, to impress upon the spies that we knew were lurking around an exaggerated notion of our strength. For provisions we shot such cattle and hogs as grazed within the range of our guns, but I carefully noted the marks and brands, and afterward indemnified the owners." – Life of Dale, page 117.

7 The Choctaw nation was then composed of three distinct governments. The Eastern district was ruled over by Pushamataha, the Western by Puckshenubbee, and the Northwestern by Mushelatubba.

8 "You know Tecumtha," said Pushamataha. "He is a bad man. He came through our nation, but did not turn our heads. He went among the Muscogees [Creeks], and got many of them to join him. You know the Tensaw people. They were our friends. They played ball with us. They sheltered and fed us whenever we went to Pensacola. Where are they now? Their bones rot at Sam Mims’s place. The people at St. Stephen’s are also our friends. The Muscogees intend to kill them too. They want soldiers to defend them. [Here he drew his sword and flourished it.] You can all do as you please. You are all freemen. I dictate to none of you. But I shall join the St. Stephen’s people. If you have a mind to follow me, I will lead you to glory and victory." – Pickett’s Alabama, ii., 291.

9 Pickett’s Alabama, ii., 292.

10 Not far from the present village of Jacksonville, the capital of Benton County, Alabama, on the southeast side of Tallasehatche Creek.

11 General Coffee said in his report (November 4, 1813): "They fought as long as one existed; and when the last of the devoted band, still struggling for the mastery, had fallen beneath the hatchets and hunting-knives of his enemies, one hundred and eighty-six warriors were stretched lifeless on the fine open woodland in which their village was situated."

12 A touching tale of truth is told in connection with the battle of Tallasehatche. Among the slain was found an Indian mother, and upon her bosom lay her infant boy, vainly endeavoring to draw sustenance from the cold breast. The orphan was carried into camp, and Jackson tried to induce some of the mothers among the captives to give it nourishment. "No," they replied; "all his relatives are dead, kill him too." The little boy was taken to the general’s own tent, fed on brown sugar and water until a nurse could be procured at Huntsville, when it was sent to Mrs. Jackson. The general was a childless man, and he adopted the forest foundling as his son. Mrs. Jackson watched over him with a mother’s care, and he grew to be a beautiful youth, full of promise. But consumption laid him in the grave among the shades of the "Hermitage" before he reached manhood, and his foster-parents mourned over him with a grief as sincere as that of consanguinity.

This boy was no exception to the rule of Indian instinct for wild and forest life. He delighted to roam in the woods, decorate his head with feathers, and start out from ambush and frighten children with loud yells and horrid grimaces. He was apprenticed to a harness-maker in Nashville.

13 This fort was a little eastward of the Coosa River, in Talladega County, Alabama; and a portion of its site is now covered by the pleasant village of Talladega, the capital of the county, which had a population of about two thousand when the late Civil War broke out in 1861. It is in a delightful valley, with very attractive scenery in view.

14 The order of march is seen in the upper part of the diagram on page 765. The cavalry were commanded by Colonel Allcorn, and the mounted riflemen by Colonel Cameron. The infantry were commanded by Brigadier Generals Hall * and Roberts, assisted by Colonels Bradley, Pillow, M‘Crorsney, Carroll, and Dyer. The position of the troops in the attack, when they had surrounded the enemy, is seen in the lower part of the diagram, commencing with the reserves under Colonel Dyer. This diagram is copied, by permission, from Pickett’s History of Alabama, ii., 292.

* William Hall had been a colonel in the Tennessee militia who followed Jackson from Nashville to Natchez and back, and was made brigadier general of three-months’ volunteers on the 26th of September, 1813.

Isaac Roberts. He was commissioned brigadier general of three-months’ Tennessee Volunteers on the 4th of October, 1813.

15 General Jackson’s Dispatch to Governor Blount, November 11, 1813. Report of Adjutant General Sitler, November 15.

16 These consisted of one hundred and sixty friendly Creek warriors, with their wives and children. The crushing blow was to have fallen upon them on that very day. They were almost ready to die of thirst. Their gratitude and joy were commensurate with the distress from which they had been relieved.

17 See page 744. The following note (printed in Parton’s Life of Jackson, i., 448) accompanied the colors, and contains a history of the affair:

"General Andrew Jackson, with compliments to Governor Blount, requests him to inform the ladies of East Tennessee, who presented the colors to the Tennessee volunteers, that Captain Deaderich, who, with Captain Bledsoe’s and Captain Caperton’s companies, under the direction of Major Carroll, were sent to bring on the attack, and lead the enemy, by a regular retreat, on the strongest point of my infantry, went into action with their colors tied round him, and that they were well supported. And, in return, I send you a stand of colors (although not of such elegant stuff or magnificent needle-work) taken by one of the volunteers, which I beg you to present to them as the only mark of gratitude the volunteers have it in their power to make. With his own hand he slayed the bearer. They will be handed by Mr. Fletcher, who I send for that purpose." A letter dated Nashville, November 17, 1813, said, "Mr. Thomas H. Fletcher, of this town, has just arrived from General Jackson’s army. He was the bearer of a stand of colors taken from the enemy, and bearing the Spanish cross."

18 William M‘Intosh was the chief of the Coweta tribe of the Creek nation. He was the son of a Scotchman by a Creek woman. He was conspicuous in the memorable battle at Horse-shoe Bend in March, 1814. In 1823 he lost cast with his people because of his having evidently been bribed to make a certain treaty for the giving up of Creek territory. He and an adherent were afterward shot as they attempted to escape from M‘Intosh’s dwelling, which some exasperated Indians had fired. His residence was on the Chattahoochee. See Drake’s Book of the Indians, eleventh edition, page 391.

19 General Floyd’s dispatch to Major General Pinckney, the commander-in-chief of the Southern Department, December 4, 1813; Pickett’s History of Alabama, ii., 300.

20 On the bluff above this landing Fort Claiborne was afterward built, on or near the site of the village of Claiborne, in Monroe County, Alabama. The picture on page 770, Randon’s (now Claiborne) Landing, is from a sketch by the Author, made from the deck of a steamer in April, 1866. The covered way is for cotton-bales and other things to slide down from the summit of the bluff, two hundred feet, to the margin of the river, whence merchandise and agricultural products are taken on board of steamers. Here was the scene of the canoe fight recorded in the text.

21 It was dug out of a huge cypress-tree. It was between thirty and forty feet long, four feet deep, and three feet abeam. It had been used for the special purpose of transporting corn.

22 Pickett’s History of Alabama, ii., 309. Claiborne’s Life and Times of General Sam Dale, page 121. When Claiborne wrote in 1860, Jeremiah Austill, one of Dale’s companions, was a highly-esteemed commission merchant in Mobile, and he was still living when the writer of these pages visited that city in the spring of 1866. He had been a state senator of that district. All of the circumstances of the canoe fight here given were verified before the Alabama Legislature in 1821. Austill is a native of Pendleton District., South Carolina, where he was born on the 10th of August, 1794, and was only nineteen years of age at the time of the canoe fight. He is a son of Captain Evans Austill, already mentioned as one who remained with Dale in Fort Madison. He afterward became colonel of the militia, and is represented as a powerful man physically. James Smith, his companion in the canoe with Cæsar, was a native of Georgia, and was then twenty-five years of age. He was a daring frontier man, and died in East Mississippi several years ago. He and Austill tried hard to bring their canoe into the fight in aid of Dale, but the current prevented. "Their guns had become useless, and their only paddle had been broken," said Dale. "Two braver fellows," he continued, "never lived. Austill’s first shot saved my life."

23 Samuel Dale was a remarkable man. He was of Irish extraction, and was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, in 1772. His father removed with his family to Glade Hollow, on the Clinch River, in 1775, and in 1784 emigrated to the vicinity of Greensburg, Georgia. Not long afterward Dale and his wife died, leaving eight children, Samuel being the eldest. He took part in movements for keeping in check the hostilities of the Creek Indians in the time of Washington’s administration. He became a famous borderer and Indian fighter, and afterward a trader among the Creeks and Cherokees. He was also a guide to parties emigrating to the Mississippi Territory from Georgia. During the war with the Creeks now under consideration, he was very active and efficient. He received the commission of brevet brigadier general. After the war he settled at Dale’s Ferry, on the Alabama, and engaged in merchandising. In 1816 he was a member of the Convention called to divide the Mississippi Territory, and the following year he was a delegate to the first General Assembly of the Territory of Alabama – the eastern portion of Mississippi. He served several terms in the Legislature of Alabama, and in 1824 he was on a committee of the body appointed to escort Lafayette to the capital of the state. He was engaged much in public life until his death, which occurred at his residence in Daleville, Lauderdale County, Mississippi, on the 24th of May, 1841, when he was in the seventieth year of his age.

24 See note 1, page 769. This was named from its owner, who perished in Fort Mims. It was in the county whence the hostile Indians procured most of their supplies.

25 Pickett’s Alabama, ii., page 320.

26 This enterprise was deemed so hazardous that a memorial against it was signed by nine captains, eight lieutenants, and five ensigns of the Mississippi Volunteers in behalf of themselves and their men. They urged the feeble condition of the men, lack of provisions, clothing, blankets, and shoes, the inclemency of the weather, and the want of transportation through a country where there was not even a hunter’s trail. Yet they expressed their willingness to follow the general if he should resolve to proceed. He did so resolve, and they cheerfully followed. "Not a murmur was heard; not a complaint was made," said General Claiborne afterward. "Subordination to their officers marked their every act, and no suffering could seduce them from their duty. Their patience was equal to their courage." Most of them were young men accustomed to the comforts and luxuries of life. Among them were Gerard W. Brandon and Abraham N. Scott, both afterward governors of the state. – Claiborne’s Life of Dale, page 138.

27 Pickett’s History of Alabama, ii., 324.

28 The gallantry of two young men in this engagement deserves a record. These were Constantine Perkins and Craven Jackson. The former was a graduate of Cumberland (Tennessee) College, was with Jackson at the battle of Talladega, and was one of the few who refused to desert him at Fort Strother. In the hurry and confusion in separating the cannon from the limber, the rammer and picker of the piece were left behind. In the midst of the shower of bullets from the Indians, Jackson coolly pulled out his iron ramrod from his musket and used it as a picker, primed with a cartridge from his side, and fired the cannon. Perkins then slipped off his bayonet, used his musket for a rammer, and drove down the cartridge for another discharge. These two brave young men kept the field-piece working, and drove the savages to the deep forest. Armstrong lay wounded near by, and called out to those around the piece, "My brave fellows, some of you may fall, but you must save the cannon!"

29 General Jackson’s official Letter to General Pinckney, January 29, 1814.

30 This was the afterward soldier and statesman, General Sam Houston, one of the bravest of the leaders in the Texas Revolution, first President of the independent Republic of Texas, and for many years a member of the National Legislature of the United States. He was a remarkable man. He was born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, on the 2d of March, 1793, and, while yet a child, he went with his widowed mother to Tennessee. He spent several years with the Cherokee Indians, and became enamored with their roving, restless life. He enlisted in the army in 1813, and at the close of the war had reached the position of lieutenant. Then he studied law at Nashville, and there commenced his long political life. In 1823 he was elected to Congress, and continued in that body until 1827, when he became Governor of Tennessee. Before the expiration of his term he resigned, and took up his abode among the Cherokees in Arkansas, where he befriended them much in their intercourse with dishonest agents of the Government. He became commander-in-chief of the little army of revolutionists in Texas, which achieved its independence in 1830. He was twice elected president of that republic, and when Texas was annexed to the United States he was sent as her representative to the Senate, where he remained until just before the breaking out of the great Civil War, when he was Governor of Texas. He died in November, 1863, aged seventy years.

31 Pickett relates (History of Alabama, ii., 343) that many suffered long from grievous wounds. "Manowa," he says, "one of the bravest chiefs that ever lived, was literally shot to pieces. He fought as long as he could. He saved himself by jumping into the river where the water was four feet deep. He held to a root, and thus kept himself beneath the waves, breathing through the long joint of a cane, one end of which he held in his mouth, while the other end came above the surface of the water. When night set in, the brave Manowa rose from his watery bed, and made his way to the forest, bleeding from many wounds. Many years after the war we conversed with the chief, and learned from him the particulars of his remarkable escape. His face, limbs, and body, at the time we conversed with him, were marked with scars of many horrible wounds."

32 Lemuel Purnell Montgomery was born in Wythe County, Virginia, in 1786, and was distantly related to the hero of the same name who fell at Quebec at the close of 1775. His family settled originally in North Carolina, and were Scotch-Irish. In early life the major became a resident of East Tennessee, near Knoxville. He studied law, and became a rival of the eminent Felix Grundy. He was a daring horseman, and full of soldierly qualities. President Madison appointed him major of the Thirty-ninth Regiment, and he fell at their head when storming the breastworks at the Horseshoe, as we have observed in the text. Jackson wept over his body like a child, and exclaimed, "I have lost the flower of my army!" He was buried near where he fell, and in long after years the citizens of Tallapoosa County honored his memory by exhuming his remains, and burying them with military ceremonies at the capital of the county. The County of Montgomery and the political capital of the State of Alabama were named in honor of this brave soldier. – Pickett.

33 See page 772.

34 See an account of his exertions on page 756.

35 Weathersford’s appeal for the women and children was kindly responded to, and not only to the women and children, but to the remnant of the nation succor was given. For a considerable part of the ensuing summer, five thousand Creek Indians drew rations from the public stores. But for this aid a large number of them must have perished by starvation.

36 Drake’s Book of the Indians, eleventh edition, page 390.

37 Weathersford settled upon a farm in Monroe County, Alabama, well supplied with negro slaves, where he maintained the character of an honest man. Soon after his return he married, and General Sam Dale, frequently mentioned in this chapter, was his groomsman. His birth-place was the Hickory Ground, but he could not live there. He said that his old comrades, the hostile Creeks, ate his cattle from starvation, the peace-party ate them from revenge; and the squatters because he was "a damned Red-skin;" so, he said, "I have come to live among gentlemen." – See Life of General Sam Dale, page 129. Weathersford died from the effects of fatigue produced by a desperate bear-hunt in 1826.



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