Saturday, May 31, 2008

Spring Travel Part Twenty: Fort Mims, Alabama

Sometimes the most interesting historic places can be found a little off the beaten path. A prime example is Fort Mims State Historic Site near Tensaw, Alabama.
One of the most significant historic sites in the United States, Fort Mims was the scene of a monumental clash of cultures on August 30, 1813.
A nativistic religion, called the "Red Stick" movement by the whites, had developed in the Creek Nation. It called for Native Americans to give up the ways of the whites and return to traditional ways of living.
The movement led to a civil war in the Creek Nation. Red Stick forces, led by their prophets, battled the traditional Creek leadership led by the Big Warrior. The spread of the war alarmed white settlers living on the fringes of the nation and in July of 1813, a force of Mississippi Territorial Militia attacked a Red Stick supply party at Burnt Corn Creek, Alabama. The attack on Fort Mims was in retaliation for the Burnt Corn battle.
On August 30, 1813, a large for of Red Sticks stormed Fort Mims in a battle that lasted for hours. When the smoke cleared, hundreds of the occupants of the fort were dead. News of what the whites called the "Fort Mims Massacre" soon spread across the frontier and three armies converged on the Creek Nation in what became known as the Creek War of 1813-1814.
To learn more about Fort Mims, please visit

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