THE CREEK WAR 1
occurred within the Muscogee Nation in the early 1800s.It was also referred to as the Red Stick War. The war resulted in themassacre at Fort Mims in 1813 (FMRA, 2013). The interaction betweenAmericans and Indians led to several hostilities. For example, thewhites were accused of corrupting the morals of young Creeks. Thewhites also conducted illegal hunts for animals in Creek territory.Besides, Americans chopped down trees and carried out extensivefishing in Indian rivers (Hall, 1934). The inability of the oldchiefs to take action against American encroachment of Indian landled to the establishment of civil war among the Creeks.
As a people, the Creeks (Red Sticks) desired to reestablish atraditional way of life to their society. Creek prophets such asPaddy Welsh spearheaded the path of reform (FMRA, 2013). Severalfactors led to polarizing divisions among the Red Sticks. Forexample, the American-Indian Agent, Benjamin Hawkins, had imposedupon the Creeks programs designed to civilize the nation. Someleaders of the Creek Nation had previously formed alliances withBritish forces during the War of 1812. Such leaders included Menawa,Peter McQueen, and William Weatherford (Red Eagle) (USWars.com,2012). On the other hand, other chiefs were opposed to Britishinfluence.
Nevertheless, the old chiefs were not privy to the affairs of the RedSticks. In 1813, a seven-man group of Red Sticks murdered twofamilies of Whites settled close to the Ohio River. The wayward bandof Creeks launched the attack under the leadership of Little Warrior(USWars.com, 2012). Understandably, Federal agents were incensed tolearn of this atrocity. In this respect, they demanded theperpetrators be remanded in their custody. However, the old Chiefsdisregarded this order and executed the seven attackers (USWars.com,2012). Consequently, this decision instigated a chain reaction ofevents that led to the Creek War.
Notably, some towns of the Creek Nation had adopted various Americanpractices such as farming and keeping livestock. On the other hand,the Red Sticks from upper sections of the country desired to destroyall traces of the white man from the land. Therefore, they slew allanimals and took steel blades and guns as spoils (USWars.com, 2012).Inevitably, the armed Red Sticks would clash with white forces. Onone occasion, a party of Creeks was ambushed by American forces.Before the attack, the Red Sticks had received a considerable supplyof ammunition from the Spanish Governor at Pensacola (USWars.com,2012). The resultant clash was referred to as the Battle of BurntCorn. From that point forward, American soldiers became part of theCreek War. Led by Peter McQueen, the Creeks retaliated so as torevenge the looting suffered at the hands of American forces. Creekleaders aimed to annihilate Red Sticks that had sought refuge at FortMims. Subsequently, an upward of 400 people perished in the ensuingmassacre (FMRA, 2013).
The widespread panic from the Fort Mims massacre intensified callsfor governmental intervention (FMRA, 2013). Weatherford hadacknowledged his failure “to prevent the massacre of women andchildren at Fort Mims” (FMRA, 2013). Spain would also be punishedif credible evidence was found to the effect that they had supportedRed Sticks in their murderous actions. In this regard, the Governorof Tennessee was authorized to assemble a 5,000-strong army ready tovanquish the Red Sticks. The Creeks from lower towns were alsoconvinced to support the military action against the Red Sticks inthe upper towns. Also, the Cherokee Nation joined the joint strikeunder the oversight of Hawkins (USWars.com, 2012).
The Red Sticks occupied a greater percentage of towns in the CreekNation. Their forces numbered beyond 3,000 warriors with hundreds ofguns. Nevertheless, they were not only outnumbered but also poorlyorganized. Even the magical power of Creek prophets could not sufficeto resist the combined forces from the south. Granted, Red Sticks putup a brave fight for their towns. However, over 6,000 forces fromSouthern Creeks, Americans, and the Cherokee Nation managed topenetrate the upper towns and massacre over 700 Red Stick warriors(USWars.com, 2012). Weak coordination among the three southern forcesprevented a faster victory against the Red Sticks. Colonel AndrewJackson was one of the foremost leaders of the assault against theupper cities. Although he aimed to destroy the Red Stick contingent,he also harbored ambitions of building roads in the region andattacking the Spanish fort at Pensacola (USWars.com, 2012). However,Jackson was limited by logistical challenges and shortages in supply.
During the Creek War, Red Stick forces established a base atHorseshoe Bend (Topoheka). Jackson used a collective army of around4,000 soldiers to battle the Red Sticks at Tohopeka. Elusive leadersof the Red Sticks such as Menawa had stationed at Horseshoe Bend.Weatherford had also escaped capture at Econochaca (Duncan, 2014).Therefore, Jackson was committed to destroying the stronghold. Inthis respect, he organized his militia to surround the region beforelaunching simultaneous attacks (Duncan, 2014). The resultant victoryunder Jackson’s command dealt a deathblow to the resistant effortsof the Red Sticks.
Indeed, the weak attempts of the old Chiefs in resisting Americanencroachment led to civil war among the Creeks. Their inaction forcedother community members to murder American whites and thereby createconditions that resulted in the Creek War. In retrospect, theinvolvement of Georgia State`s 30,000 fighters would have ended theCreek War a year prior. Notwithstanding, the Red Sticks weredisplaced from their strongholds in late 1813. waseffectively ended when the Red Sticks signed the Treaty of FortJackson in August 1814 (FMRA, 2013). The treaty granted the Federalgovernment full possession of land previously owned by the RedSticks.
Duncan, B. (2014, Mar. 22). End of the Red Sticks: Horseshoe Bend.Retrieved fromhttp://columbiadailyherald.com/opinion/columns/end-red-sticks-horseshoe-bend
Fort Mims Restoration Association (FMRA). (2013). Fort Mimsmassacre. Retrieved from http://www.fortmims.org/history.html
Hall, A. H. (1934, Sep.). The Red Stick War. Chronicles ofOklahoma, 12(3). Retrieved fromhttp://digital.library.okstate.edu/Chronicles/v012/v012p264.html
USWars.com. (2012) . Retrieved fromhttp://www.mywarof1812.com/battles/creek-indian-war/