Friday, January 9, 2009

The Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Alabama

Yesterday, as I mentioned, was the anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. This engagement was one of two major War of 1812 victories that made Andrew Jackson a household name in the United States. The other was at a place called Horseshoe Bend, Alabama.

The Battle of Horseshoe Bend was fought on March 27, 1814 and was the culminating action of a subsidiary war to the War of 1812, the Creek War of 1813-1814.

The Creek War began in early 1813 as a civil war between two factions of the Creek Nation. The "Red Stick" faction (so named because of their practice of placing red war clubs on display in their towns) was a religious group inspired by the teachings of the Shawnee prophet, Tenskwatawa, and his brother, Tecumseh. Led by the Creek Prophet Josiah Francis, they rose up against the "White" faction of the nation, led by the Big Warrior and under the influence of U.S. Indian Agent Benjamin Hawkins.

The war spilled over to the whites when a party of Mississippi Territorial Militia attacked a Red Stick supply party at Burnt Corn, Alabama, but was driven from the field in panic. The outraged Red Sticks struck back by attacking Fort Mims, Alabama, and killing more than 250 men, women and children in a bloody battle.

A full scale war then erupted between the whites and the Red Sticks. Three U.S. armies converged on the Creek Nation. Two were turned back either because of supply shortages or bloody fighting, but the third - led by Andrew Jackson - continued to advance.

On March 27, 1814, Jackson led thousands of U.S. regulars, militiamen and allied Creek and Cherokee warriors in an attack on the main Red Stick stronghold of Tohopeka ("Horse's Flat Foot"), or as the whites translated it, Horseshoe Bend.

If you would like to learn more about this bloody battle that forever broke the military strength of the Creek Nation, please visit our new Battle of Horseshoe Bend pages at

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