Massacre at Fort Mims

One of the interesting aspects of the War of 1812 is that during that conflict several wars also were being waged, often with little connection to the main war.  One of these conflicts was the Creek Civil War.  The Creeks, living in what would become Alabama and in Georgia, were riven by a civil war between the Red Stick faction which promoted a return to the ways of the Creek ancestors, and other Creeks more ready to accommodate to changing times caused by the ever increasing number of whites on Creek land.  By the middle of 1813 clashes were occurring between the Red Sticks and white settlers.

Creek refugees from the civil war and white settlers took refuge in Fort Mims located on the east side of the Alabama River, about 35-45 miles north of present Mobile.  Major Daniel Beasely was the commander of the fort.  The defense of the fort was a joke, with the walls unmanned, the gate wide open, with the officers of the fort spending their time playing cards and getting drunk. 

On August 30, 1813, a force of 750-1000 Red Sticks under Peter McQueen and William Weatherford attacked the force.  Major Beasley attempted to close the gate and was tomahawked.  The settlers held the interior of the fort for a time, but they were eventually overwhelmed.  William Weatherford attempted to protect the inhabitants of the fort, but a general massacre ensued with approximately 500 slain.  The slaves in the fort were taken to serve as slaves for the Red Sticks.

The massacre shocked the nation, and in Tennessee militia Major General Andrew Jackson began assembling the Tennessee militia that in 1814 would crush the Red Sticks at Horseshoe Creek and make up the bulk of his army in the successful defense of New Orleans.

Published in: on June 15, 2011 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Massacre at Fort Mims  
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