|The exact site of Fowltown has never been identified.|
Military reports placed it 3-4 miles south of modern Bainbridge.
On November 21 and 23, 1817, U.S. troops attacked the Lower Creek Indian village of Fowltown. Headed by Neamathla, a chief who would figure prominently in early Florida history, the town was located three or four miles south of the site where Bainbridge would later be established.
|Gen. Edmund P. Gaines|
(Late in Life)
Twiggs attempted to surround Fowltown in the darkness, but the movement of his troops was discovered. A party of warriors opened fire on the American lines as others helped get the women and children away to safety in the surrounding swamp. The U.S. troops responded with a single volley of fire, killing five of Neamathla's followers, one of them a woman. No U.S. casualties were suffered.
This first skirmish did not rise to the level of battle and the soldiers failed in their mission to capture Neamathla. Unwilling to let the matter end there, Gen. Gaines send a second force back to Fowltown two days later.
|Lt. Col. Matthew Arbuckle|
As this operation was underway, however, Neamathla and around 60 of his warriors suddenly emerged from the swamp that nearly surrounded the town and opened fire. The U.S. troops responded and this time a pitched encounter broke out.
Remembered today as the Battle of Fowltown, the firefight was the first battle of the Seminole Wars. You can learn more about it and what happened next by visiting www.exploresouthernhistory.com/fowltown.