Fort Mims – Most brutal Indian massacre in US history

The Red Sticks had no love for the British but were weary of white settlement, the watering down of their bloodlines by inter-marriage and the loss of hunting grounds. Considered the radical faction of the Creek Nation, they began terrorizing the southern frontier.

Rural Alabama is not a place where you would expect to find a battlefield of historical significance from the War of 1812, but there is one. Northwest of Tensaw off of Highway 80 in Baldwin County is a small historical site that memorializes a terrible event that took place there.

There is no visitor center or park rangers. No bookstore or museum. No snack machines. Until recently, not one geocache could be found within a mile of the place. There are a few outlines where buildings once stood and a partially re-constructed wooden palisade. It is isolated, quiet and a little bit creepy. Most people have never heard of it. Even Internet information is scarce. This is Fort Mims. On August 30, 1813, almost 1,000 Creek Indian warriors slaughtered 500 men, women and children in what can only be described as an orgy of killing. It remains to this day the largest and most brutal Indian massacre in American history.

War Returns to America

The seeds of Fort Mims were sowed right after the American Revolution. The Creek Indians lived in modern day western Georgia and Alabama. The British, the Spanish and the French were all trying to influence events in the region and chip away at the new nation’s territory. They were also looking for allies should war come again. To accomplish this, they all sought alliances with the Creeks. The British were particularly aggressive in these efforts. The Americans. of course, sought their own influence with the Creeks and had a decided advantage. The white settlers and the Creeks lived in peace. Most of the settlers were of Scotch-Irish descent and marriages between Anglos and Creeks were common. This resulted in a sizeable mixed blood population and it was not unusual for such persons to have both an Anglo and a Creek name. One such individual was William Weatherford, whose Creek name was Red Eagle.


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