Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Fort Mims massacre

Fort Mims massacre

Overview
The Fort Mims massacre occurred on 30 August 1813, when a force of Creek people
Creek people
The Muscogee , also known as the Creek or Creeks, are a Native American people traditionally from the southeastern United States. Mvskoke is their name in traditional spelling. The modern Muscogee live primarily in Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida...

, belonging to the "Red Sticks
Red Sticks
Red Sticks is the English term for a traditionalist faction of Creek Indians who led a resistance movement which culminated in the outbreak of the Creek War in 1813....

" faction under the command of Peter McQueen
Peter McQueen
Peter McQueen was a Creek Indian chief, trader and warrior from the tribal town of Talisi He was one of the young men, known as Red Sticks, who supported a revitalization of traditional practices and opposed European-American settlement...

 and William Weatherford
William Weatherford
William Weatherford, also known as Lamochattee by the Creek , was a Creek chief of the Upper Towns who led the Red Sticks offensive in the Creek War against the United States...

 "Red Eagle", his cousin by marriage, killed hundreds of settlers, mixed-blood Creeks, and militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 at Fort Mims. Fort Mims was a stockade
Stockade
A stockade is an enclosure of palisades and tall walls made of logs placed side by side vertically with the tops sharpened to provide security.-Stockade as a security fence:...

 with a blockhouse
Blockhouse
In military science, a blockhouse is a small, isolated fort in the form of a single building. It serves as a defensive strong point against any enemy that does not possess siege equipment or, in modern times, artillery...

 surrounding the house and outbuildings of settler Samuel Mims, located about 35 miles north of present-day Mobile, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

.

After the start of the Creek Civil War
Creek War
The Creek War , also known as the Red Stick War and the Creek Civil War, began as a civil war within the Creek nation...

, settlers north of Mobile, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

, particularly mixed-blood Creeks from the Lower Towns, began to take refuge with the American settlers in the stockades of Fort Mims. About 517 settlers, including 265 armed militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

, were gathered at Fort Mims, which was located about 35 to 45 miles (50–70 km) north of Mobile on the eastern side of the Alabama River
Alabama River
The Alabama River, in the U.S. state of Alabama, is formed by the Tallapoosa and Coosa rivers, which unite about north of Montgomery.The river flows west to Selma, then southwest until, about from Mobile, it unites with the Tombigbee, forming the Mobile and Tensaw rivers, which discharge into...

.

Upon learning that Peter McQueen's party of Red Sticks were in Pensacola, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Pensacola is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle and the county seat of Escambia County, Florida, United States of America. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 56,255 and as of 2009, the estimated population was 53,752...

 to acquire arms from the Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Major Daniel Beasley, Captain Dixon Bailey, and Colonel Caller, led a force to intercept the warriors.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Fort Mims massacre'
Start a new discussion about 'Fort Mims massacre'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
The Fort Mims massacre occurred on 30 August 1813, when a force of Creek people
Creek people
The Muscogee , also known as the Creek or Creeks, are a Native American people traditionally from the southeastern United States. Mvskoke is their name in traditional spelling. The modern Muscogee live primarily in Oklahoma, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida...

, belonging to the "Red Sticks
Red Sticks
Red Sticks is the English term for a traditionalist faction of Creek Indians who led a resistance movement which culminated in the outbreak of the Creek War in 1813....

" faction under the command of Peter McQueen
Peter McQueen
Peter McQueen was a Creek Indian chief, trader and warrior from the tribal town of Talisi He was one of the young men, known as Red Sticks, who supported a revitalization of traditional practices and opposed European-American settlement...

 and William Weatherford
William Weatherford
William Weatherford, also known as Lamochattee by the Creek , was a Creek chief of the Upper Towns who led the Red Sticks offensive in the Creek War against the United States...

 "Red Eagle", his cousin by marriage, killed hundreds of settlers, mixed-blood Creeks, and militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 at Fort Mims. Fort Mims was a stockade
Stockade
A stockade is an enclosure of palisades and tall walls made of logs placed side by side vertically with the tops sharpened to provide security.-Stockade as a security fence:...

 with a blockhouse
Blockhouse
In military science, a blockhouse is a small, isolated fort in the form of a single building. It serves as a defensive strong point against any enemy that does not possess siege equipment or, in modern times, artillery...

 surrounding the house and outbuildings of settler Samuel Mims, located about 35 miles north of present-day Mobile, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

.

Background


After the start of the Creek Civil War
Creek War
The Creek War , also known as the Red Stick War and the Creek Civil War, began as a civil war within the Creek nation...

, settlers north of Mobile, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Mobile is the third most populous city in the Southern US state of Alabama and is the county seat of Mobile County. It is located on the Mobile River and the central Gulf Coast of the United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 during the 2010 census. It is the largest...

, particularly mixed-blood Creeks from the Lower Towns, began to take refuge with the American settlers in the stockades of Fort Mims. About 517 settlers, including 265 armed militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

, were gathered at Fort Mims, which was located about 35 to 45 miles (50–70 km) north of Mobile on the eastern side of the Alabama River
Alabama River
The Alabama River, in the U.S. state of Alabama, is formed by the Tallapoosa and Coosa rivers, which unite about north of Montgomery.The river flows west to Selma, then southwest until, about from Mobile, it unites with the Tombigbee, forming the Mobile and Tensaw rivers, which discharge into...

.

Upon learning that Peter McQueen's party of Red Sticks were in Pensacola, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
Pensacola is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle and the county seat of Escambia County, Florida, United States of America. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 56,255 and as of 2009, the estimated population was 53,752...

 to acquire arms from the Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Major Daniel Beasley, Captain Dixon Bailey, and Colonel Caller, led a force to intercept the warriors. They ambushed the Red Sticks in the Battle of Burnt Corn
Battle of Burnt Corn
The Battle of Burnt Corn, also known as the Battle of Burnt Corn Creek, was an encounter between United States armed forces and Creek Indians that took place July 27, 1813 in present-day southern Alabama...

. While the US forces were looting the Red Sticks' pack trains, the warriors returned and drove off the Americans.

Red Eagle (Weatherford) agreed to take part in the Red Sticks' retaliatory attack on Fort Mims, in the hope of preventing a slaughter of the women and children. He sought revenge on his personal enemy, Captain Dixon Bailey. Captain Bailey was a mixed-race Creek, born in Auttose, who had been educated at Philadelphia under the provisions of the Treaty of New York
Treaty of New York
The Treaty of New York is one of several treaties signed between the United States and Native American tribes, conducted in the city of New York.-1790:...

 of 1790.

Alarm


On August 29, 1813, two African-American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 slaves who were tending cattle outside the stockade reported that "painted warriors" were in the vicinity. But, mounted scouts from the fort found no signs of the war party. Beasley had the second slave flogged for raising a "false alarm".

The Attack


Major Beasley, the commander, had claimed that he could "maintain the post against any number of Indians", but historians believe the stockade was poorly defended. At the time of the attack, the East gate was partially blocked open by drifting sand. According to anecdotal evidence, the gate was open "...when the officers all got drunk and were playing cards and left the gate open, and it rained and washed the sand in the gate so it could not be shut and Father left with Mother and the children, and the Indians killed all that stayed."

The attack occurred the next day during the mid-day meal, when no US scouts were out. The Red Sticks rushed the fort and tomahawked Beasley, who was trying to close the blocked gate.
The Red Sticks took control of the gun loopholes and the outer enclosure. Under Captain Bailey, the settlers held the inner enclosure and fought on for a time. The Red Sticks set fire to a house in the center, which spread to the rest of the stockade.

The warriors forced their way into the inner enclosure and, despite the attempts of Weatherford, massacre
Massacre
A massacre is an event with a heavy death toll.Massacre may also refer to:-Entertainment:*Massacre , a DC Comics villain*Massacre , a 1932 drama film starring Richard Barthelmess*Massacre, a 1956 Western starring Dane Clark...

d most of the mixed-blood Creek and white settlers. A total of 500 people died, and the Red Sticks took 250 scalps. They spared the lives of most of the slaves to take them as their own. About 36 people escaped, including Bailey, who was mortally wounded.

Aftermath


The Red Sticks' victory at Fort Mims spread panic throughout the Southeastern United States
Southeastern United States
The Southeastern United States, colloquially referred to as the Southeast, is the eastern portion of the Southern United States. It is one of the most populous regions in the United States of America....

 frontier, and settlers demanded governmental action. The massacre marked the transition from a civil war
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

 within the Creek tribe (Muskogee) to a war between the United States and the Red Stick warriors of the Upper Creek Nation.

Since Federal troops were occupied with the northern front of the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

, Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, and the Mississippi Territory
Mississippi Territory
The Territory of Mississippi was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from April 7, 1798, until December 10, 1817, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Mississippi....

 mobilized their militias to move against the Upper Creek towns that had supported the Red Sticks' cause. After several battles, the victory of the state militias under Colonel Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States . Based in frontier Tennessee, Jackson was a politician and army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend , and the British at the Battle of New Orleans...

 at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend ended the Creek War.

Today the Fort Mims site is maintained by the Alabama Historical Commission
Alabama Historical Commission
The Alabama Historical Commission is the historic preservation agency for the U. S. state of Alabama. The agency was created by an act of the state legislature in 1966 with a mission of safeguarding Alabama’s historic buildings and sites. It consists of twenty members appointed by the state...

.

See also

  • Tombigbee District
    Tombigbee District
    The Tombigbee District, also known as the Tombigbee settlements, was one of two areas, the other being the Natchez District, that were the first to be colonized by British subjects from the Thirteen Colonies and elsewhere in what was West Florida and later became the Mississippi Territory...

  • List of massacres in Alabama
  • Mississippi Rifles
    Mississippi Rifles
    The "Mississippi Rifles" or the 155th Infantry Regiment, is Mississippi's oldest National Guard unit. Its history predates statehood, back to June 1799, and it is the seventh oldest infantry regiment in the United States Army...

    {155th Infantry MNG}

External links