Sunday, March 29, 2009
The Battle of Roanoke, Georgia
Beneath the waters of the Walter F. George Reservoir (called Lake Eufaula in Alabama and Walter F. George Lake in Georgia) is the site of Roanoke, an important Chattahoochee River town that was utterly destroyed during the Creek War of 1836.
The Creeks held a serious grudge against Roanoke because it had been established on their former fields overlooking the Chattahoochee River. The land was traditionally part of the Creek Nation, but it was lost to the whites in a treaty signing that was done by a few leaders over the wishes of most of the Creeks.
When the Creek War of 1836, also called the Second Creek War, erupted during the spring of 1836, Roanoke was an immediate target. Throughout early May of 1836, Yuchi and Hitchiti warriors watched the town, waiting for a chance to strike.
Concerned about the spreading war, the men of Roanoke evacuated their wives and children to the safety of the larger nearby community of Lumpkin. Then, on May 14th, many of the men went to visit their families, leaving only 20 defenders behind to protect the town. It was the opportunity the Creeks needed.
At around 2 a.m. on the morning of March 15, 1836, they struck Roanoke with overwhelming forces. Twelve of the 20 white defenders died in the battle and the town was burned to the ground.
To learn more about the Battle of Roanoke and the destruction of the town, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/roanoke.