The Creek War

The Creek War

The Creek War

The Creek War, also known as the Red Stick War and the Creek Civil War, began as a civil war within the Creek (Muscogee) nation. It is sometimes considered part of the War of 1812.

Inspired by the fiery eloquence of Tecumseh and his own prophets, the Creeks, known as the Red Sticks, aggressively sought to bring their society back to the traditional way of life. Creek leaders such as William Weatherford (Red Eagle), Peter McQueen, and Menawa, who were allies of the British during the War of 1812, clashed violently with other heads of the Creek nation over White encroachment on Creek lands and “civilization”. Program administered by American Indian Agent Benjamin Hawkins. Before the Creek War began, the Red Sticks were able to keep their activities a secret from the old chiefs.

In February 1813, a small party of Red Sticks led by Little Warrior was returning from Detroit when they massacred two families of settlers along the Ohio River. Hawkins demanded that Creek overturn Little Warrior and six of his companions. Rather than hand them over to federal agents, the old chiefs decided to execute the killers themselves. This decision was the spark that ignited the civil war among the Creeks.

Creeks from the Upper Cities (Red Sticks) immediately conquered several lower cities along the Creek Nation. The lower cities had taken steps to assimilate themselves into white culture by raising and farming domesticated animals. The Red Sticks destroyed everything they believed came from the white man, such as city pets, pots and pans, and homemade clothing. However, the Red Sticks were not above confiscating the guns and steel blades they found.

The first skirmish between the Red Sticks and American Whites occurred when a group of American soldiers intercepted a party of Red Sticks who were returning from Florida on July 21, 1813. The Red Sticks received war supplies from the Spanish governor in Pensacola. They fled from the spot and the soldiers started looting whatever they found. The Creeks, who saw the Americans being taken away with their loot, retaliated with a surprise attack. The Battle of Burnt Corn, as the exchange became known, expanded the Creek War to include American forces.

In retaliation, Peter McQueen led an attack and subsequent massacre at Fort Mims on August 30, 1813. The goal of the Red Sticks was to attack Mixed Blood Creek, who had taken refuge in the fort. Despite the efforts of some Creek leaders, the massacre in which 400–500 people were killed. Panic spread throughout the American southeastern frontier, calling for government intervention. Confederate forces were busy fighting British and northern woodland tribes, so the southern states had to call in their fighters to deal with the threat.

After the Battle of Burnt Corn, Secretary John Armstrong informed General Thomas Pinckney, the commander of the 6th Military District, that the U.S. Ready to take action against Creek. Furthermore, if Spain were found to be supporting the Creek, a strike against Pensacola would be justified. Georgia began its preparations by establishing a line of forts along the Chattahoochee River. This action will protect the border and give time for offensive preparation.

Brigadier General Ferdinand Clairborne, a militia commander in the Mississippi area, recognized the weakness of his area on the western border of the Creek area, and advocated a series of preemptive attacks. However, Major General Thomas Flourney, the commander of the 7th Military District, consistently denied these requests and reminded Clairborne that American strategy in that area was defensive. Meanwhile, the settlers in that area sought refuge in the blockhouse.

In response to the massacre at Fort Mims, the Tennessee legislature authorized Governor William Blount to mobilize 5,000 militia for a 3-month tour. Blount called up a force of 2,500 West Tennessee men under Colonel Andrew Jackson. He also called in a force of 2,500 from East Tennessee under Major General John Cock. Jackson and Cock weren’t ready to run until early October.

In addition to actions in Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi, Indian agent Benjamin Hawkins organized Friendly (Lower Town) Creek under Major William Mackintosh to aid Georgia and Tennessee militia during their fight against the Red Sticks.

Known as White Eagle for his hair color, Chief Federal Agent Returns J. At the request of Meggs, the Cherokee Nation voted to join the Americans in their fight against the Red Sticks.

By count of towns, Upper Creek constituted approximately 2/3 of the Creek Nation. Their cities were in the middle of Alabama along the banks of the Alabama, Coosa, and Tallapoosa rivers. Several creeks Tried to remain friendly, but after the massacre at Fort Mims, some Americans in the southeast made any distinction between friendly and unfriendly Creeks. The Red Stick force consisted of about 4,000 warriors, who probably had 1,000 guns. They had never been involved in a large-scale war even with their neighbors.

The Hickory Ground, located at the junction of the Tallapusa and Coosa rivers, was the heart of the Red Stick Confederation. It was about 150 miles from the nearest supply point available to any of the 3 armies. The easiest attack route was through the line of forts on the border from Georgia and then along a good road that led to Upper Creek towns near Holy Ground. Another route was north from Mobile along the Alabama River. The most difficult, Jackson’s advance route, was through a mountainous and pathless terrain south from Tennessee.

Outnumbered and poorly armed, the Red Sticks fought a desperate battle from their jungle strongholds, but the valor and magic of their prophets didn’t stop the army from uniting. However, because there was no real direction from Washington, D.C. or coordination between state militias, the war did not end as quickly as it could have been. By the end of 1813, 7,000 men from the 3rd Armies had entered the creek area and killed 800 warriors. However, they did not destroy the cities that were the center of the Red Sticks’ power.

Although Jackson’s mission was to defeat Creek, his greater objective was to advance on Pensacola. Jackson’s plan was to move south, build roads, destroy Upper Creek towns, and later advance to Mobile to attack Pensacola. They had 2 problems: logistics and short inventory. When Jackson began his advance, the Tennessee River was low, making it difficult to move supplies and there was little forage for his horses.

Jackson departed from Fayetteville, Tennessee on October 7, 1813. He joined his cavalry in Huntsville, Alabama and established Fort Deposit, crossing Tennessee. He then marched up to Cusa and made his advanced base at Fort Struther. Jackson’s first successful actions, the Battles of Tallushatchee and Talladega, occurred in November.

However, after Talladega, Jackson was plagued by a lack of supplies and discipline problems arising from the short-term recruitment of his men. With 2,500 East Tennessee militia, Cocke took the field on October 12. The route of their march was from Knoxville to Chattanooga and then along Cousa towards Fort Strother. Due to jealousy between East and West Tennessee militias, Cocke was in no hurry to join Jackson, especially after angering Jackson by accidentally attacking a friendly village on November 17.

When he finally reached Fort Strother on December 12, only East Tennessee men had 10 days left in his nomination. Jackson had no choice but to dismiss him. General John Coffee, who had returned to remount in Tennessee, wrote to Jackson that the cavalry had been deserted. By the end of 1813, Jackson was down to a single regiment, whose enlistment was due to expire in mid-January.

Although Governor Blount ordered a new levy of 2,500 soldiers, Jackson would not be at full strength until late February. When a draft of 900 raw recruits unexpectedly arrived on January 14, Jackson was down for a cadre of 103 and coffee, which “his men had abandoned”.

Since the new men had a 60-day enlistment contract, Jackson decided to make the most of his untrained force. He left Fort Struther on January 17 and headed for the village of Emkafo to cooperate with the Georgia militia. It was a long march through difficult terrain against a numerically superior force, the men were inexperienced and subordinate, and a defeat would have prolonged the battle. After 2 inconclusive battles at Emkaw Creek and Enotachopo Creek, Jackson returned to Fort Struther and did not resume the offensive until mid-March.

The arrival of the 39th American Infantry on February 6, 1814, provided Jackson with a disciplined corps for his force that eventually grew to about 5,000 men. After Blount ordered a second draft of the Tennessee militia, Cocke marched once again from Knoxville to Fort Strother, with a force of 2,000 6-month-old men. Cock’s men rebelled when they learned that Jackson’s men only had 3 months of recruiting. Cocke tried to pacify his men, but Jackson misunderstood the situation and ordered the arrest of Cocke as an instigator. The East Tennessee militia reported to Fort Strother without further comment on his length of service. The cock was later cleared.

In mid-March, Jackson moved against the Red Stick Force centered on the Tallapoosa River at Tohopeka (Horseshoe Bend). He first moved south along the Coosa River, about halfway from the position of the creek and established a new outpost at Fort Williams. Leaving another garrison, he moved on Tohopeka with a force of about 3,000 influential and 600 Cherokee and Lower Creek allies. The Battle of Horseshoe Bend, which took place on March 27, was a decisive victory for Jackson, effectively ending the Red Stick resistance.

The state of Georgia probably had a militia of 30,000. While the 6th Military District, consisting of both the Carolinas and Georgia, probably had over 2,000 regulars. In theory, Pinckney could have launched an offensive that would have ended the Creek War in 1813. However, efforts in this area were neither as quick nor as effective as they could have been.

In late November, General John Floyd, with a force of 950 militia and 300–400 Allied Creek, crossed the Chattahoochee River and advanced toward Holy Ground. On 29 November, he attacked the village of Autos and repulsed the creek from a fortified position. After the fight, Floyd, who was mortally wounded, went back to Chattahoochee.

In mid-January, Floyd left Fort Mitchell with a force of 1,300 militia and 400 Allied Creek for the village of Takoubachi to await Jackson’s link-up. On January 29, Creek attacked his fortified camp at Calibee Creek. Although the Georgians repulsed the attack, Floyd and his militia considered the battle a defeat and retreated from Fort Mitchell, abandoning the line of fortified positions they had built during their advance. This was Georgia’s final offensive of the war.

In October, General Thomas Flourney organized a force of about 1,000—including the 3rd American Infantry, militia, volunteers, and Choctaw Indians—at Fort Stodart. Clairborne, advanced from Fort St. Stephen, Alabama and ordered to keep the idle creek property near the junction of Tombigbee. They achieved some destruction but without military engagement.

Continuing about 85 miles north of Fort Stodart, Clairborne established Fort Clairborne. On 23 December, they encountered a small force at Holy Ground and burned 260 houses. William Weatherford was nearly captured during this engagement, but he managed to escape. Due to lack of supplies, Clairborne withdrew Fort St Stephens.

On August 9, 1814, the Creeks were forced to sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson, which granted 23 million acres—half of Alabama and part of southern Georgia—to the U.S. handed over to the government. With the Red Stick threat looming, Jackson was able to focus on the Gulf Coast area. On his own initiative, he invaded Spanish Florida and drove a British force out of Pensacola. He then defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans. In 1818, Jackson again invaded Florida, where some of the Red Stick leaders had fled, an event known as the First Seminole War.

As a result of these victories, Jackson became a national figure and eventually rose to become the 7th President of the United States in 1829.

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