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Batalla de Horseshoe Bend

Batalla de Horseshoe Bend


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A principios del siglo XIX, los indios de Upper Creek (los palos rojos) de las actuales Georgia y Alabama estaban profundamente preocupados por la continua invasión de colonos blancos en sus tierras. En 1811, sin embargo, el gran líder Shawnee Tecumseh visitó las tribus del sur e instó a la formación de una confederación para poner fin a la disminución de las tierras y formas de vida indígenas. Ganó muchos partidarios fervientes entre los guerreros más jóvenes. Cuando estalló la guerra en 1812, se lanzaron una serie de incursiones contra granjas y asentamientos fronterizos, y las pérdidas fueron cuantiosas. Esta luz lateral regional de la Guerra de 1812, conocida como la Guerra Creek (1813-14) ubicada en Attalla, alcanzó proporciones de crisis en agosto de 1813. Fort Mims, un pequeño puesto de avanzada al norte de Mobile, fue invadido; los guerreros ignoraron las súplicas de moderación de su líder Águila Roja (también conocido como William Weatherford) y masacraron a más de 300 colonos y milicianos.El enfermo Andrew Jackson en Nashville recibió la noticia de la "Masacre de Fort Mims". Se estaba recuperando de una herida de bala sufrida en una pelea con Thomas Hart Benton. A partir del otoño de 1813, la fuerza mal entrenada de Jackson enfrentó al enemigo en una serie de batallas indecisas. Esa acción ejerció un efecto saludable inmediato en la milicia, pero luego sería utilizada por sus críticos en una serie de campañas políticas. La batalla concluyente de la campaña se libró el 27 de marzo de 1814. Ocurrió cerca de una aldea de Upper Creek en una herradura. curva en forma de curva en el río Tallapoosa cerca de la actual ciudad de Alexander, Alabama. Jackson escribió más tarde que la carnicería fue "espantosa". Upper Creek perdió más de 550 muertos, mientras que las fuerzas combinadas de Jackson perdieron solo 49. La batalla de Horseshoe Bend fue significativa de varias maneras:

  • El poder de Upper Creek se rompió y la breve Guerra de Creek llegó a su fin. La tribu se vio obligada a ceder más de 23 millones de acres de su tierra natal y trasladarse más al oeste. Desafortunadamente para ellos, su sufrimiento no había terminado; serían empujados a las actuales áreas occidentales de Arkansas y Tennessee, y finalmente en la década de 1830 a Oklahoma, una tierra que no tenía ningún atractivo para su número claramente disminuido.
  • Las tierras extremadamente ricas arrebatadas a las tribus de Georgia y Alabama se abrieron rápidamente a los colonos blancos. El área se convirtió rápidamente en una fuente principal de algodón, el motor de la economía del Sur, y ayudó a revivir la decadente institución de la esclavitud.
  • La reputación de Jackson comenzó a adquirir un estatus legendario durante la Guerra Creek. Cuando se disolvió su unidad de milicia, recibió una comisión como general de división en el Ejército de los EE. UU. Sin autorización, dirigió sus fuerzas a través de la frontera internacional hacia Florida y se apoderó de un fuerte español en Pensacola (noviembre de 1814). Sus superiores se enfurecieron, pero los hombres de la frontera rugieron en aprobación. Poco después, Jackson alcanzó la fama nacional en una victoria anunciada sobre los británicos en Nueva Orleans (enero de 1815).

Véase también Guerras indias.


Creek War: Batalla de Horseshoe Bend

La batalla de Horseshoe Bend se libró el 27 de marzo de 1814 durante la Guerra de los Creek (1813-1814). Inspirado por las acciones del líder Shawnee Tecumseh, Upper Creek eligió ponerse del lado de los británicos durante la Guerra de 1812 y comenzó a atacar los asentamientos estadounidenses. En respuesta, el general de división Andrew Jackson se movió contra la base de Upper Creek en Horseshoe Bend en el este de Alabama con una mezcla de milicias y tropas regulares. Atacando el 27 de marzo de 1814, sus hombres abrumaron a los defensores y rompieron la espalda de la resistencia de Upper Creek. Poco tiempo después, Upper Creek pidió la paz, que fue concedida a través del Tratado de Fort Jackson.


CURVA DE HERRADURA, BATALLA DE

El 27 de marzo de 1814, una fuerza de dos mil setecientos soldados estadounidenses, milicianos de Tennessee, caballería cherokee y cien indios creek "amistosos", todos dirigidos por el general Andrew Jackson, derrotaron a la facción Red Stick de la nación Creek en la batalla de Curva de herradura. La victoria de Jackson puso fin a la Guerra de los Creek (1813-1814) y lo impulsó a la prominencia nacional. También marcó la última resistencia armada seria de los indios del sudeste contra Estados Unidos.

El nombre de la batalla proviene de un bucle en el río Tallapoosa en Alabama. Los Red Sticks, un segmento de los arroyos que deseaba volver a las prácticas sociales y religiosas tradicionales, construyeron un fuerte en la base de la curva del arroyo. Durante 1813, los Red Sticks sufrieron una serie de reveses a manos de la milicia estadounidense y las tropas regulares. Las defensas en Tallapoosa inicialmente tuvieron éxito, permitiendo a los Creeks repeler el primer ataque de Jackson el 21 de enero de 1814. Sin embargo, el duro clima invernal, la escasez de alimentos y la escasez de armas de fuego hicieron que la situación de los indios fuera precaria a principios de la primavera. Más de 1,000 guerreros Creek, junto con 350 mujeres y niños, estaban adentro, con la esperanza de contener a la fuerza estadounidense e india de más de 2,700.

Al comienzo de la pelea, la milicia de Tennessee del general Jackson y las tropas del ejército regular construyeron una barricada en la base de la península. Entonces Jackson abrió fuego contra el fuerte con dos cañones. Sin embargo, el general dudó en ordenar un asalto frontal a una posición tan fuerte. Las milicias cherokees y euroamericanas tomaron posiciones en la orilla opuesta del río, frente al lado indefenso del campamento de los Palos Rojos. Durante el bombardeo de artillería, algunos guerreros Cherokee nadaron en el río y robaron las canoas de los Palos Rojos. Luego usaron la nave para traer más Cherokees y milicianos al campamento de los Creeks para enfrentar a los Palos Rojos. Cuando Jackson escuchó el sonido de disparos desde el interior del fuerte, ordenó a sus hombres que cargaran contra las obras defensivas de los Creeks. El asalto funcionó a los euroamericanos y los cherokees derrotaron por completo a los palos rojos, matando a casi 600 guerreros creek. Además, aproximadamente 250 Red Sticks se ahogaron en el Tallapoosa tratando de escapar. Las pérdidas sufridas por los Creeks en Horseshoe Bend lo convirtieron en el día más sangriento en la historia de la guerra de los nativos americanos.

Los restos de los Palos Rojos, bajo el liderazgo de Águila Roja, se rindieron poco después. Andrew Jackson negoció el Tratado de Fort Jackson el 9 de agosto de 1814 sin autorización federal. Sus términos requerían que los Creeks renunciaran a la mitad de su territorio. Irónicamente, la mayor parte de la tierra provenía de Upper Creek Towns, las mismas personas que lucharon junto a los euroamericanos en Horseshoe Bend.


Batalla de Horseshoe Bend

Mapa de Horseshoe Bend En la mañana del 27 de marzo de 1814, en lo que ahora es el condado de Tallapoosa, el general Andrew Jackson y un ejército formado por milicias de Tennessee, regulares de los Estados Unidos y aliados de Cherokee y Lower Creek atacaron al jefe Menawa y su Upper Creek. o Palo Rojo, guerreros fortificados en la Curva de la Herradura del río Tallapoosa. Enfrentando probabilidades abrumadoras, los Red Sticks lucharon valientemente pero finalmente perdieron la batalla. Más de 800 guerreros de Upper Creek murieron en Horseshoe Bend defendiendo su tierra natal. Esta fue la batalla final de la Guerra Creek de 1813-14. La victoria en Horseshoe Bend atrajo la atención nacional de Andrew Jackson y ayudó a elegirlo presidente en 1828. En el tratado firmado después de la batalla, conocido como Tratado de Fort Jackson, los Creeks cedieron más de 21 millones de acres de tierra a los Estados Unidos. Masacre en Fort Mims El 27 de julio de 1813, una pequeña fuerza de la milicia territorial de Mississippi tendió una emboscada a un grupo de palos rojos que regresaban de Pensacola con municiones y suministros españoles en Burnt Corn Creek, ubicado cerca de la frontera de lo que ahora son los condados de Conecuh y Escambia. Un mes después, el 30 de agosto, los Red Sticks tomaron represalias matando a 250 colonos de Creek y estadounidenses en Fort Mims, una empalizada al norte de Mobile. La masacre de Fort Mims, como llegó a conocerse, convirtió la guerra civil de Creek en un conflicto mayor, con las fuerzas estadounidenses de Tennessee, Georgia y el territorio de Mississippi lanzando un asalto de tres frentes en territorio de Creek. El gobernador de Tennessee nombró a Andrew Jackson, un destacado político estatal y oficial de la milicia, para dirigir una parte de la milicia del estado en el territorio de los Creek. Jackson luchó en una campaña lenta y difícil hacia el sur a lo largo del río Coosa. En marzo de 1814, reforzado por soldados regulares de la trigésimo novena infantería de los Estados Unidos, Jackson abandonó el Coosa con una fuerza de 3.300 hombres, incluidos 500 guerreros Cherokee y 100 de Lower Creek aliados de los Estados Unidos. Tenía la intención de atacar un refugio de Red Stick y una posición defensiva en Horseshoe Bend del río Tallapoosa. John Coffee A las 6:30 de la mañana del 27 de marzo, Jackson dividió su ejército. Ordenó a la fuerza del general John Coffee de 700 fusileros montados y 600 guerreros aliados que cruzaran el Tallapoosa a unas dos millas y media río abajo de Tohopeka y rodearan la aldea. Los 2.000 hombres restantes, liderados por Jackson, marcharon directamente hacia el cuello de la herradura y la barricada. Jackson sabía que sería difícil atacar la imponente barricada. Eligió al Trigésimo Noveno de Infantería, el más disciplinado y mejor entrenado de sus soldados, para liderar el asalto. Antes de enviarlos hacia adelante, decidió hacer un agujero en la pared con su cañón. El bombardeo comenzó a las 10:30 a.m. Durante dos horas, los cañones dispararon balas de hierro contra la barricada que protegía a los Palos Rojos, quienes aguardaban y gritaban al ejército para encontrarse con ellos en combate cuerpo a cuerpo. Solo quizás un tercio de los 1.000 guerreros que defendían la barricada poseían un mosquete o un rifle. Jefe Menawa Más de 800 guerreros del Palo Rojo fueron asesinados, con 557 contados en el campo de batalla y un estimado de 300 disparos en el río. De las tropas de Jackson, 49 murieron y 154 resultaron heridos. Las 350 mujeres y niños de Upper Creek se convirtieron en prisioneros de los guerreros Cherokee y Lower Creek. El jefe Menawa fue herido siete veces pero escapó de la masacre. Según él mismo, yació entre los muertos hasta el anochecer y luego se arrastró hasta el río, se subió a una canoa y desapareció en la oscuridad. Menawa siguió siendo un líder destacado en la sociedad creek y continuó viviendo a lo largo del río Tallapoosa hasta 1836, cuando se vio obligado a trasladarse al territorio indio en lo que hoy es Oklahoma.

Tratado de Fort Jackson La batalla de Horseshoe Bend puso fin a la Guerra de los Creek y convirtió a Andrew Jackson en un héroe nacional. Fue nombrado general de división del Ejército de los Estados Unidos y el 8 de enero de 1815 derrotó a las fuerzas británicas en la Batalla de Nueva Orleans. Las batallas de Horseshoe Bend y Nueva Orleans hicieron que Jackson fuera lo suficientemente popular como para ser elegido como el séptimo presidente de los Estados Unidos en 1828. Durante su presidencia, Jackson firmó la Ley de Remoción de Indios, una ley que estipula la remoción de todas las tribus indígenas del sureste. Unos meses después de Horseshoe Bend, el 9 de agosto de 1814, Andrew Jackson y una reunión de jefes de Creek firmaron el Tratado de Fort Jackson. Miles de colonos estadounidenses se trasladaron a la vasta superficie cedida, y gran parte de la tierra se convirtió en el estado de Alabama en 1819. Hoy en día, el campo de batalla está preservado por el Servicio de Parques Nacionales como el Parque Militar Nacional Horseshoe Bend, cerca de Dadeville.

Halbert, H. S. y T. H. Ball. La Guerra Creek de 1813 y 1814. 1895. Reimpresión, Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1969.


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Batalla de Horseshoe Bend - Historia

Auburn Home & gt OCM Home & gt Historia destacada & gt Battle of Horseshoe Bend 'piedra de toque importante en la historia americana y nativa americana'

Batalla de Horseshoe Bend 'piedra de toque importante en la historia estadounidense y nativa americana'

El sitio de la batalla, ubicado a 12 millas al norte de Dadeville y a 18 millas al este de Alexander City, ha sido designado Parque Militar Nacional por el Servicio de Parques Nacionales de EE. UU.

El 27 de marzo de 2014 marca el 200 aniversario de la Batalla de Horseshoe Bend, un evento que fue fundamental en la expansión de Estados Unidos hacia el sureste.

En la batalla final de la Guerra Creek, el ejército estadounidense dirigido por Andrew Jackson, atacó una posición fortificada establecida por los guerreros de Red Stick Creek en la curva del río Tallapoosa. Más de 800 creeks murieron en la batalla.

"Es una de las grandes batallas en la historia de Estados Unidos y permitió que Estados Unidos asegurara el sureste", dijo Kathryn Braund, profesora de Historia del Sur en la Facultad de Artes Liberales de Hollifield. "Despojó la riqueza y el poder de la nación creek y fue el comienzo de la transformación de un país indio en un país algodonero".

El sitio de la batalla, ubicado a 12 millas al norte de Dadeville y a 18 millas al norte de Alexander City, ha sido designado Parque Militar Nacional por el Servicio de Parques Nacionales de EE. UU. Braund es uno de los fundadores de Friends of Horseshoe Bend, una organización que trabaja para promover y aumentar la conciencia y la comprensión del parque, la Guerra de los caladeros, la Guerra de 1812 y el Sistema de Parques Nacionales. También ha escrito extensamente sobre la Guerra de los caladeros.

Actualmente se están llevando a cabo eventos públicos del bicentenario para conmemorar el bicentenario de la Batalla de Horseshoe Bend.

"La Batalla de Horseshoe Bend no es solo una parte de la historia de Creek y la historia de Alabama, sino también la historia nacional", dijo. "Hizo un héroe de Andrew Jackson, pero más importante que eso, representa un evento en la expansión angloamericana y es un sitio muy importante para los Creeks que tuvieron que hacer cambios y ajustes a su propia estructura política y cultura como resultado de la guerra. Realmente es una piedra de toque importante en la historia de Estados Unidos y los nativos americanos ".

Braund ha trabajado en varios proyectos con el parque durante casi 15 años y se ha asociado con Horseshoe Bend en dos estudios especiales de historia. Ella brindó la experiencia en la ubicación de documentos, mapas y cualquier cosa relacionada con el parque que pudiera ayudarlos a interpretar su historia. Debido a que no tienen una biblioteca de investigación propia, las Bibliotecas de la Universidad de Auburn fueron designadas como el lugar para depositar materiales relacionados con Horseshoe Bend.

"Nos beneficiamos enormemente de ese esfuerzo porque pude pedir artículos y llenar los huecos en las colecciones de nuestra biblioteca con material sobre los indios Creek y Southeastern a través de la financiación de ese proyecto", dijo. "Hay muchos acuerdos de cooperación como ese entre Auburn y el parque, algunos en Historia, Silvicultura y otras entidades dentro de la universidad, por lo que es una relación muy buena y sólida".

El Jefe Menawa fue el líder del ejército de Palo Rojo en la Batalla de Horseshoe Bend. Aunque sobrevivió a la batalla, no sobrevivió a las secuelas de la Guerra de los Creek: Menawa murió en 1835 durante la caminata de remoción del "Sendero de las Lágrimas" desde las tierras ancestrales hasta el Territorio Indio.

Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts and Humanities de Auburn y Friends of Horseshoe Bend National Military Park Inc. presentaron un simposio de dos días para conmemorar el bicentenario de la Guerra de 1812 y la Guerra de Creek de 1813-14. que se centró en los acontecimientos fundamentales de hace 200 años en Alabama, el sureste, los Estados Unidos y el mundo.

En lo que Braund llama "el movimiento masivo más grande de la gente Creek desde la expulsión de los indios", más de 300 indígenas Creek regresaron a Horseshoe Bend el 27 de marzo como parte de una ceremonia formal de conmemoración, donde Braund pronunció el discurso de apertura. Del 28 al 29 de marzo, el parque celebró eventos públicos del bicentenario en los que 80 manifestantes compartieron cómo era la vida de los indios creek, los indios cherokee, la milicia de Tennessee y la infantería de los EE. UU.

"La mayoría de los habitantes de Alabama no conocen esta historia, que es fundamental para el estado de Alabama", dijo Adam Jortner, profesor asociado del Departamento de Historia, que estudia la transformación de la vida religiosa y política en los primeros Estados Unidos. Presentó el contexto global de la Batalla de Horseshoe Bend en el simposio.

"Durante cientos de años, lo que hoy es Alabama fue parte de un vasto arco comercial de imperios indios conectados a barcos y puertos franceses, y durante cientos de años, estos pueblos defendieron con éxito sus tierras contra los británicos y los estadounidenses", dijo Jortner. "La expansión de Estados Unidos en Alabama no fue inevitable, solo sucedió con Creek War".

"Todos estos eventos tienen como objetivo ayudar al público a comprender mejor sus sitios históricos y los problemas más importantes de la historia de Estados Unidos", dijo Braund. "Hacen que la historia sea más accesible y ayudan a las personas a comprender la importancia de los eventos. Este tipo de programas reflejan nuestro compromiso con la historia pública y la divulgación. La gente busca en Auburn ese tipo de liderazgo y respeta la sólida erudición histórica".


La pelea

El general Andrew Jackson condujo a sus soldados estadounidenses y 600 aliados indios hasta una colina empinada cerca de Tehopeka. Creía que podría comenzar su ataque a las fortificaciones de Red Stick aquí.

Dividió sus tropas y envió aproximadamente 1300 hombres a cruzar el río Tallapoosa y rodear la aldea de Creek.

A las 10:30 a.m., Jackson comenzó un bombardeo de artillería contra los Creeks que les causó poco daño.

Con su bombardeo ineficaz, ordenó a sus hombres que arreglaran la bayoneta.

Ordenó a Sam Houston que liderara la carga en un ala mientras John Coffee había rodeado con éxito el campamento de Creek.

Con los Creeks ahora rodeados y negándose a rendirse, ordenó el ataque.

Los Creeks lucharon con valentía y terminaron perdiendo aproximadamente 800 & ndash 1,000 hombres, mientras que Jackson sufrió menos de 50 derrotas. El líder indio, Menawa resultó gravemente herido pero sobrevivió a la batalla.


Batalla de curva de herradura

El condado de Tallapoosa coloca esta tableta en conmemoración del centenario de la Batalla de Horseshoe Bend, que se libró dentro de sus límites el 27 de marzo de 1814.

Allí, los indios Creek, liderados por Menawa y otros jefes, fueron derrotados por las fuerzas indias americanas y aliadas bajo el mando del general Andrew Jackson.

Esta batalla quebró el poder del feroz Moscogee, trajo la paz a la frontera sur e hizo posible la rápida apertura de una gran parte del estado de Alabama a la civilización. Dadeville, Alabama 27 de marzo de 1914.

Erigido en 1914 por la ciudad de Dadeville.

Temas y series. Este marcador histórico se incluye en estas listas de temas: nativos americanos y la guerra de toros de 1812 y guerras de toros, indios de EE. UU. Además, está incluido en la lista de la serie Expresidentes de EE. UU .: # 07 Andrew Jackson. Un mes histórico significativo para esta entrada es marzo de 1798.

Localización. 32 & deg 49.878 & # 8242 N, 85 & deg 45.829 & # 8242 W. Marker está en Dadeville, Alabama, en el condado de Tallapoosa. Marker está en la intersección de North Broadnax Street y West Cusseta Street, a la derecha cuando se viaja hacia el sur por North Broadnax Street. Marker está ubicado en el lado noreste de los terrenos del Palacio de Justicia de Tallapoosa. Toque para ver el mapa. El marcador se encuentra en esta área de la oficina postal: Dadeville AL 36853, Estados Unidos de América. Toque para obtener instrucciones.

Otros marcadores cercanos. Hay al menos otros 8 marcadores a poca distancia

de este marcador. Monumento a la Segunda Guerra Mundial del condado de Tallapoosa (aquí, junto a este marcador) Monumento a la Primera Guerra Mundial del condado de Tallapoosa (aquí, al lado de este marcador) Monumento a la Guerra de Corea y Vietnam del condado de Tallapoosa (aquí, al lado de este marcador) Johnson J. Hooper (dentro de los gritos distancia de este marcador) Oficiales de paz del condado de Tallapoosa (a una distancia de gritos de este marcador) Alabama Mills WWII Memorial (a una distancia de gritos de este marcador) Fletcher Napoleon Farrington, Sr. (a unos 500 pies de distancia, medidos en línea directa) Primera Iglesia Bautista (a unos 600 pies de distancia). Toque para obtener una lista y un mapa de todos los marcadores en Dadeville.

Con respecto a la batalla de Horseshoe Bend. El Parque Militar Nacional Horseshoe Bend se encuentra a unas 13 millas al norte del centro de Dadeville, Alabama. Desde el juzgado del condado de Tallapoosa, diríjase hacia el norte por North Broadnax Street hasta la autopista US 280. Gire a la izquierda en la autopista 280 y viaje aproximadamente 1 milla hasta la autopista 49 de Alabama. Gire a la derecha en la autopista 49 y recorra 12 millas, la entrada del parque estará a la derecha. después de cruzar el puente del río Tallapoosa.

Ver también . . . Parque Militar Nacional Horseshoe Bend. (Presentado el 17 de marzo de 2010 por Timothy Carr de Birmingham, Alabama.)


Batalla de Horseshoe Bend - Historia

Por Christopher G. Marquis

A fines del verano de 1813, unos 550 hombres, mujeres y niños se refugiaron en un pequeño puesto de avanzada en el desierto y esperaron lo peor. La empalizada que rodeaba la casa y los cobertizos de Samuel Mims se encontraba aproximadamente a 30 millas al norte de Mobile en el Territorio de Mississippi (que comprende los estados modernos de Mississippi y Alabama). Después de meses de ataques y represalias entre los indios creek y los colonos blancos, muchos civiles decidieron buscar seguridad en número, llevando a sus familias y esclavos a la aparente seguridad de Fort Mims. A ellos se unieron algunos indios amistosos.
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El mayor Daniel Beasley, al que el gobernador William Claiborne de Louisiana le ordenó defender a los colonos, llegó al fuerte con 175 milicianos. Después de varios días de relativa inacción, se instaló la complacencia. Las puertas permanecieron abiertas y los ocupantes continuaron con sus rutinas diarias. Cuando un esclavo informó haber visto acercarse a los guerreros Creek, Beasley hizo que lo azotaran por difundir rumores.

Al día siguiente, 30 de agosto, se escuchó un fuerte grito de guerra desde fuera de las puertas. Un millar de indios creek, o "palos rojos", como se les llamaba por sus garrotes de guerra pintados de carmesí, descendieron sobre el fuerte. Beasley fue uno de los primeros muertos, con un hacha de guerra mientras intentaba cerrar la puerta. Su subordinado, el capitán Dixon Bailey, reunió a sus hombres en una defensa enérgica dentro de los edificios. Resistieron hasta las 3 de la tarde, cuando un jefe de Palo Rojo, Águila Roja, subió al fuerte en un caballo negro. Ordenó a sus guerreros que prendieran fuego a las estructuras y expulsaran a los resistentes.

Siguió una terrible matanza. Los Palos Rojos no hicieron distinción entre combatientes y no combatientes. Águila Roja trató de salvar a las mujeres y los niños, pero sus guerreros estaban fuera de su control. Cuando un grupo de rescate llegó a Fort Mims 10 días después, encontraron una escena grotesca. Aproximadamente 400 cadáveres de hombres, mujeres y niños habían sido arrancados del cuero cabelludo y abandonados a los perros. Los supervivientes eran alrededor de una docena de milicianos que habían logrado escapar y algunos negros menos afortunados que fueron apresados ​​por los Palos Rojos y mantenidos como esclavos. Bailey de alguna manera había luchado para salir del fuerte, pero pronto se desangró por sus heridas.

La guerra de 1812 en Occidente

La noticia de la masacre sembró el terror y la indignación en los estados del oeste y del sur, pero para el presidente James Madison fue solo otro desastre en la interminable pesadilla de la guerra de 1812. Madison había firmado la declaración de guerra contra Gran Bretaña el 18 de junio. 1812. Las razones dadas para la guerra fueron principalmente los ultrajes cometidos por la Royal Navy contra los buques estadounidenses (incluida la impresión de marineros civiles), así como la incitación británica de las tribus indias contra los colonos estadounidenses. Aun así, el voto de guerra estuvo muy cerca — cuatro votos intercambiados en el Senado podrían haberlo detenido — y la nación estaba lejos de estar unida a favor de las hostilidades.

Los principales defensores políticos de la guerra, los War Hawks, esperaban usar el conflicto como excusa para invadir y anexar rápidamente Canadá mientras los británicos estaban ocupados luchando contra los ejércitos de Napoleón en España y bloqueando los puertos europeos con su enorme armada. Los planes de los War Hawks fracasaron rápidamente. El triple ataque a Canadá, diseñado por el general Henry Dearborn, se convirtió en un triple desastre. En agosto, Brig. El general William Hull entregó Detroit a los británicos. En la frontera del Niágara, 300 estadounidenses murieron o resultaron heridos, y otros 950 fueron hechos prisioneros en la batalla de Queenston Heights. La pequeña Armada estadounidense logró obtener un puñado de victorias sobre la aclamada Royal Navy, pero estas fueron excepciones a la tendencia aparentemente irreversible de humillaciones y derrotas.

Los británicos no eran el único problema de los estadounidenses. El extraordinario jefe indio Shawnee, Tecumseh, había trabajado durante años para formar una alianza de tribus indias para detener la invasión blanca de la tierra nativa. En octubre de 1811, viajó hacia el sur, a la región de Creek, donde pronunció un discurso incendiario. “Se apoderan de sus tierras”, les dijo a los miembros de la tribu. “Ellos corrompen a tus mujeres. Pisotean las cenizas de tus muertos. De regreso, de donde vinieron, por un rastro de sangre deben ser conducidos. ¡Atrás! ¡Atrás! ¡Ay, en la gran agua cuyas malditas olas los llevaron a nuestras costas! ¡Quema sus moradas! ¡Destruye sus existencias! ¡Mata a sus mujeres y a sus hijos! El Hombre Rojo es dueño del país. ¡Guerra ahora! ¡Guerra para siempre! ¡Guerra a los vivos! ¡Guerra contra los muertos! Saquen sus propios cadáveres de la tumba. Nuestro país no debe dar descanso a los huesos del hombre blanco ".

Tecumseh y sus seguidores, aprovechando la guerra de 1812 como una oportunidad de oro para frustrar a los estadounidenses, se convirtieron en valiosos aliados de los británicos. Emboscaron a los estadounidenses que se retiraban de Fort Dearborn, matando a la mayoría de los 93 soldados. El 21 de enero de 1813, nuevamente sorprendieron a un gran contingente estadounidense en el río Raisin, matando a casi 300 soldados. El 23 de junio de 1813, 575 soldados de caballería e infantería fueron rodeados por una fuerza menor de indios Caughnowaga y Mohawk y se vieron obligados a rendirse en la Batalla de Beaver Dams. La mera amenaza de un ataque indio había hecho que Hull entregara su guarnición de 2.000 hombres en Detroit.

Entre los conquistados por la pasión de Tecumseh se encontraba el Jefe Águila Roja. Nacido como William Weatherford, Red Eagle solo podía reclamar un octavo de sangre india. Su bisabuela era miembro del legendario "Clan del viento" de Creek. Por lo demás, era de ascendencia francesa, inglesa y escocesa. Irónicamente, sus adversarios blancos Samuel Mims y Daniel Beasley tenían cada uno más sangre india que él. En 1813, Águila Roja tenía 33 años, era alta y recta y ojos penetrantes. Había vivido tanto entre los blancos como entre los indios, y había optado por vincular su destino a estos últimos. Los creeks más pacíficos lo veían como un intruso y una amenaza, pero él comandaba a la mayoría de sus guerreros, 4.000 palos rojos.

& # 8220Hickory viejo & # 8221 Andrew Jackson

En Tennessee, la masacre de Fort Mims enfureció y galvanizó a la ciudadanía. El 25 de septiembre de 1813, la legislatura estatal autorizó al gobernador William Blount a reclutar a 3.500 voluntarios para marchar hacia el país de Creek y destruir la amenaza. El hombre perfecto para liderar la ofensiva era ampliamente conocido. Desafortunadamente, estaba acostado en la cama en su casa en ese momento, agonizando por dos heridas de bala en su brazo izquierdo. Su nombre era Andrew Jackson.

Esta no sería la primera campaña militar de Jackson. Se había puesto a la cabeza de su división el año anterior para ayudar a evitar un posible desembarco británico en el Golfo de México. El 7 de enero de 1813, 1.400 milicias de Tennessee habían subido a botes de fondo plano para flotar por los ríos Cumberland, Ohio y Mississippi hasta Natchez. La caballería de 600 hombres de Jackson fue dirigida por tierra por el coronel John Coffee.

Al llegar a Natchez, Jackson había recibido una nota que le ordenaba que se detuviera hasta nuevo aviso. El mes siguiente, el recién nombrado secretario de guerra, John Armstrong, le ordenó que destituyera a su fuerza y ​​entregara su equipo a Brig. El general James Wilkinson, comandante militar en Nueva Orleans. Consternado ante la idea de abandonar su división tan lejos de casa, Jackson hizo marchar a las tropas 800 millas de regreso a Nashville. Fue en esta marcha que la pura fuerza de voluntad de Jackson llevó a sus hombres a apodarlo "Old Hickory" por su dureza. Al llegar a casa, Jackson despidió a las tropas y reanudó su vida en su mansión, el Hermitage.

MASACRE: FORT MIMMS, 1813. La masacre de Fort Mimms, Alabama, el 30 de agosto de 1813 en el comienzo de la batalla de la Guerra de los indios Creek. Grabado coloreado, del siglo XIX.

Durante este tiempo de inactividad, Jackson se vio envuelto en una disputa entre el capitán (más tarde coronel) William Carroll y Jesse Benton, hermano del teniente coronel Thomas Benton, ayudante de campo de Jackson. Jackson intentó arreglar una reconciliación entre las dos partes, pero en su defecto, accedió a servir como segundo de Carroll. En el duelo, Benton le disparó a Carroll en el pulgar, mientras que Carroll le disparó a Benton en las nalgas. (Mientras disparaba, Benton había contorsionado su cuerpo de tal manera que dejaba vulnerable su trasero).

Thomas Benton estaba indignado por la humillación de su hermano. Él denunció públicamente a Jackson, y Jackson, a su vez, prometió azotarlo. Vio su oportunidad el 4 de septiembre, cuando los Benton se alojaban en el City Hotel de Nashville. Jackson estaba en la ciudad con Stockley Hays, su sobrino. Cuando pasó junto a Thomas Benton de pie en la entrada del City Hotel, Jackson blandió un látigo y cargó contra él. In the ensuing brawl, Jackson was seriously injured when Jesse Benton, hiding inside the hotel, shot him in the shoulder and upper left arm at point-blank range. Jackson almost lost the arm, but he ordered his doctors not to amputate.

Tennessee officials found Jackson in a debilitated state when they arrived to request his services for a new campaign against the hostile Creeks. Like many American military leaders of the time, Jackson had no formal military training and had attained his position through political ties. Unlike other commanders, however, he possessed an iron will that amazed friends and foes and compelled others to follow him against the most daunting challenges.

Lessons from Napoleon

Jackson’s strong determination contrasted with his comparatively fragile physique. In September 1813, he was 46 years old, six feet, one inch tall, and weighed 145 pounds. His face bore the scar of a British officer’s sword strike, received when Jackson was a 13-year-old prisoner of war and had refused to shine the Englishman’s boots. A bullet from another recent duel remained lodged in his chest, along with two broken ribs and an abscessed lung. His left arm was still in a sling when he rendezvoused with his division on October 7 at Fayetteville, Tennessee.

The strategy for the Creek War, drawn up by Maj. Gen. Thomas Pinckney, commander of the southern district, involved a three-pronged invasion. Militia and volunteers from Tennessee would move south, while militia from Georgia and regulars from Louisiana advanced on either side. The Tennessee forces were divided into two divisions. Maj. Gen. John Cocke was to lead his East Tennessee division down from Knoxville, while Jackson moved south from Middle Tennessee. When the two forces combined, Jackson would have seniority and take command.

Jackson’s division contained three brigades totaling 3,000 men. His brigade commanders were Brig. Gen. William Hall of the volunteer infantry, Brig. Gen. Isaac Roberts of the militia, and Colonel John Coffee of the cavalry. Among Jackson’s staff were Colonel William Carroll, of the infamous Benton duel Major John Reid, Jackson’s personal aide and Major William Lewis, the division quartermaster.

Recognizing the recent example of Napoleon’s disastrous campaign in Russia, Jackson wanted to take all possible precautions regarding supplies. He obtained promises from private contractors that they would deliver regular shipments (10 wagonloads per day) to his intended base on the Coosa River. Even so, a winter campaign deep in the hostile wilderness was inherently risky.

Jackson’s Campaign Begins

Once in motion, Jackson’s army moved swiftly, marching first to Huntsville, then across the Tennessee River and southeast to Thompson’s Creek. There, the troops began to build Fort Deposit to serve as a depot for the expected supply train. Jackson then led his men over Raccoon and Lookout Mountains to the Coosa River. On November 1, he arrived at the Ten Islands, where he halted to construct his theater headquarters, Fort Strother.

The men of the army, like their commander, were hardy frontiersmen. They possessed a strong sense of fraternity and bravery, but also a streak of stubborn independence that, if left unchecked, could have a deleterious effect on military order and disciple. One of the young adventurers was a 27-year-old bear hunter named David Crockett, who had enlisted following the massacre at Fort Mims. Crockett had a deep personal investment in the campaign—his grandparents had been murdered by Creeks in their home several years before. Crockett rode in Coffee’s cavalry and was well-liked for his storytelling talent and charitable disposition.

Jackson dispatched Coffee’s brigade to subdue the Red Stick village of Tallussahatchee, 13 miles east of Fort Strother. A small force of Creek warriors, sent out to meet the invaders, fell into a trap set by Coffee and was obliged to retreat into the village. The cavalry surrounded the huts and was preparing to take prisoners when one of the women inside the village shot and killed a young Tennessean. This so enraged the men that they launched an all-out assault on the village. “We shot them like dogs,” Crockett recalled. A house occupied by 46 warriors was burned to the ground, and all the occupants inside died from flames, smoke, or bullets.

In the first battle of the Creek War since Fort Mims, 200 Red Sticks were killed and 84 women and children were taken prisoner. The Tennesseans lost five killed and 31 wounded. It was an auspicious beginning and suggested that the campaign would be short and easy. One of the survivors of the battle was a 10-month-old infant, found lying in the arms of his deceased mother. Back at camp, the baby was handed over to Jackson. Old Hickory attempted to give him to the Creek women for safekeeping, but they had no wish to raise the orphan. Having been orphaned himself at age 13, Jackson showed uncharacteristic compassion for the child. He fed the boy, named him Lyncoya, and sent him back to his wife, Rachel, at the Hermitage to be raised as their own.

A few days later, news arrived that a friendly Creek village, Talladega, was under siege by 1,000 Red Sticks. Jackson decided to lead the relief himself, leaving behind a small garrison to receive the anticipated supplies. At Talladega, Jackson’s force was double that of the Red Sticks. As Coffee had done at Tallussahatchee, Jackson encircled the enemy and then lured them into the trap with a weak feint.

The Red Sticks took the bait and soon found themselves in a veritable shooting gallery, surrounded by dead-shot frontiersmen on all sides. Seven hundred Creek warriors managed to fight their way out, but only after losing another 300 killed. The Tennesseans lost 15 killed and 85 wounded. It was another lopsided victory, but the elusive Red Sticks would live to fight another day.

Supply Problems of the Campaign

Disappointed, Jackson returned to Fort Strother to gather new provisions. It would be more than two months before the Tennesseans were able to launch another offensive. Upon returning to Fort Strother, Jackson discovered that the brigade that was supposed to be guarding the fort under Brig. Gen. James White had departed to rejoin Cocke’s division. The fort had remained undefended except for veterans recovering from wounds sustained at Tallussahatchee. More disturbing was the news that no supplies had arrived.

The contractors insisted that the rivers and streams in Tennessee were too low for the shipment of supplies. Jackson suspected the contractors were purposefully delaying delivery to increase their bargaining power. Whatever the reason, Jackson realized the seriousness of the situation. He ordered his private stores distributed among the men and the remaining cattle butchered, with the wounded receiving the first share of rations.

As November wore on and no supplies arrived, Jackson sent letters urging the contractors to deliver on their promises. “We have been starving for several days, and it will not do to continue so much longer,” he wrote. “Hire wagons and purchase supplies at any price rather than defeat the expedition.” Still, the promised supplies did not arrive. Order and disciple began to break down. Soldiers who would bravely charge a band of Red Sticks became dispirited by weeks of sparse rations. Even so, no one could claim that their commander did not suffer with them. When one private approached Jackson complaining of the lack of food, the general offered to share the contents of his own pockets and produced a handful of acorns.

ANDREW JACKSON (1767-1845). Seventh President of the United States. Jackson and his troops defeating the Creek Native Americans at the Battle of Emucfau by the Tallapoosa River in Alabama on 22 January 1814. American engraving, c1850.

Jackson’s Strategies of Command

Jackson held his command together through strength of will. One tactic he used was to play the different brigades against each other. One day, the militia determined to quit the campaign and march off as a unit. Jackson placed the volunteers in their way. The militia yielded and returned to their posts. The next day, the volunteers attempted to leave, and this time the militia stood in their way, happy to return the previous day’s favor. Even so, Jackson realized that the situation was becoming desperate. To avoid all-out mutiny, he promised the officers that if no supplies arrived in the next two days, he would lead the troops back to Fort Deposit.

On the appointed day, Jackson kept his word. Leaving 200 men to garrison Fort Strother, he commenced the march north. They had scarcely gone a dozen miles when they met one of the contractors, driving a herd of 150 cattle. Overjoyed, the army commenced to slaughter, cook and eat the cattle where they fell. Jackson was certain that the newly nourished soldiers would return to Fort Strother, but the troops were emboldened to give up the campaign and return to their homes. In spite of their officers’ pleas, the troops formed up to resume their march north. A lone figure on horseback stood in their way. Jackson, his left arm still in a sling, leveled a musket at the men, promising to shoot the first man who moved. No one did. Coffee and Reid joined their commander. Soon, a few loyal troops lined up behind them. After several tense minutes, the troops stood down and agreed to return to Fort Strother.

Jackson could not rely on other commanders to assist him. After Tallussahatchee and Talladega, the Red Sticks’ power seemed on the verge of collapse. One Creek tribe, the Hillibees, offered to make peace. Unfortunately, Cocke and his East Tennessee division were unaware of the offer. They attacked numerous Hillibee villages, killing 60 warriors and leaving their women and children homeless. The Hillibees understandably withdrew their peace proposal and threw their support to the Red Sticks.

The regular troops advancing from Louisiana moved too slowly to do much good. In one engagement, they had a chance to capture Red Eagle, but he leapt his magnificent black horse from a height of 80 feet into the Alabama River. He emerged from the river, still atop of his horse and grasping his rifle. Meanwhile, Georgia militia advancing from the east were checked by the Red Sticks at Autosee.

“I Will Perish First”

Back at Fort Strother, starvation was no longer a worry, but the limits of a volunteer army became all too evident. Most of Jackson’s volunteers had signed up for a one-year term of service on December 10, 1812. They considered December 10, 1813, the end of their obligation. Jackson interpreted the agreement to mean one year of active service. They had been inactive following the Natchez expedition until mustering again after the Fort Mims massacre. He dated their renewed service from then. The volunteers, convinced that their interpretation was correct, prepared to march out on the night of December 9. Jackson again placed himself in their way. This time, he enlisted the support of two artillery pieces. He implored the men to maintain the dignity they had earned, but he warned that he would fire on them if necessary. The officers consented to remain until they could reach a mutually agreeable solution.

This bought Jackson time, but he realized that he needed relief soon. Within a couple of days, Cocke arrived with his division, and Jackson dismissed the volunteers, who returned to Tennessee with bitter tales of Old Hickory’s heavy-handed leadership. Shortly after their departure, Cocke informed Jackson that most of his troops had only 10 days left in their terms of service. Battling his rage, Jackson ordered Cocke to return to Tennessee with his troops and recruit a new army immediately.

More bad news arrived. Coffee, who had left to acquire supplies for his horses, returned to Fort Strother to report that the cavalry had joined the dismissed volunteers and returned to Tennessee. The militia, whose commitment was not explicitly stated, insisted that a three-month term was the precedent for serving outside of their home state. This meant that January 4, 1814, would conclude their obligations. Jackson referred the matter to Governor Blount, hoping to keep the army from further disintegration. In the meantime, General Pinckney, unaware of any problems, urged Jackson to hold his position.

The volunteers and militia had strong reasons for wanting to return home. Being citizen soldiers, they had left behind families that needed to be fed, clothed, and protected against the numerous dangers of frontier life. As farmers, they had already made a great sacrifice of time to participate in the fighting. They feared ruin if they missed the upcoming planting season. At no time, however, did any of the near mutinies become violent, and only rarely did an individual desert.

Near the end of December, Jackson received the much-anticipated response from Blount. While the governor sided with Jackson in the matter, he believed that it was useless to hold the militia against its will. He advised Jackson to dismiss the militia and abandon the campaign until a new army could be raised. Jackson informed the militia of the governor’s decision, told them that it was their choice to stay or go, and implored them not to turn their backs on the campaign. To the general’s chagrin, the militia wasted no time in forming up and marching out of Fort Strother. As the new year commenced, the entire American army in the Creek campaign consisted of a single regiment.

Jackson would not return to Tennessee without victory. “I will perish first,” he wrote to Blount. “I will hold the posts I have established, until ordered to abandon them by the commanding general, or die in the struggle long since have I determined not to seek the preservation of life at the sacrifice of reputation.” The remaining regiment was due for dismissal on January 14, 1814. Jackson’s attempts to play on their patriotism were largely unsuccessful. On the day of their scheduled departure, General Roberts and Colonel Carroll returned from Tennessee at the head of 800 new recruits. This sudden fluke of good fortune led Jackson to decide to renew the campaign while morale was still high.

Marching on Horseshoe Bend

The new army advanced toward the capital of the Red Sticks, Tohopeka, also known as Horseshoe Bend. The village sat on about 100 acres of land within one of the bends of the Tallapoosa. The river provided a natural barrier on three sides, with a narrow “neck” on the northern side. Jackson’s army drew within three miles of the village before night fell. Spies informed Jackson that the Red Sticks knew of their approach and would attack soon. Before dawn on January 21, the Creeks charged Jackson’s left flank. The new recruits held the line and pushed them back.

The Red Sticks then attacked the right flank. Coffee, on the left, attempted to encircle the enemy, but the lack of discipline among the Tennesseans became evident. Only 53 men followed him. A Red Stick counterattack on the left threatened to encircle the men. Coffee was wounded and Major Alexander Donelson, Jackson’s brother-in-law, was killed. Two hundred Indian allies, Cherokees and Creeks, came to Coffee’s aid and forced the Red Sticks to withdraw, ending the battle. Along with Donelson, three other Americans were killed, compared to 45 killed or wounded Red Sticks.

Casualties were light, but Jackson’s recruits were insufficient in numbers and training to attack Tohopeka. Once again, Jackson headed back to Fort Strother. The Red Sticks were a tenacious foe. Although they had received the worst of it in three conflicts with Jackson, they pursued him to instigate a fourth. They realized that this was an adversary who would never stop until he or they were destroyed. They hated but respected Jackson, calling him “Sharp Knife.”

As the Tennesseans crossed Enotachapco Creek, the Red Sticks descended upon them. The rear guard gave way, leaving Carroll and 25 men to face the bulk of the enemy. The cannons were still in midstream when the attack commenced. Artillery Lieutenant John Armstrong ordered his men to rush to Carroll’s aid while he helped push the six-pounder into position. After blasting the first round of case shot into the Red Sticks, Armstrong fell wounded. “My brave fellows,” he said, “some of you may fall, but you must save the cannon.” Other troops crossed back to assist Carroll and Armstrong. The Red Sticks retreated, leaving behind 200 dead. The Tennesseans suffered 20 killed and 75 wounded. It was their costliest victory yet, but the frontiersmen were able to return to Fort Strother without further harassment.

The Execution of John Woods

Shortly after returning to the fort, Jackson began to receive a steady stream of good news. Governor Blount, stung by Jackson’s earlier chastisement, had called for a new set of volunteers. Some 2,000 East Tennessee volunteers, then 2,000 West Tennessee volunteers, reported for service and were sent south to Fort Strother. On February 6, 600 men of the 39th U.S. Infantry Regiment arrived, commanded by Colonel John Williams. After dealing with militia and volunteers for so long, Jackson was thankful for a core of full-time professionals to set a standard of discipline. Among the 39th’s ranks was a young ensign, Sam Houston. Like Red Eagle, Houston had lived among both whites and Indians. As a teenager, he had run away from his Tennessee home to live with the Cherokee. They named him “Raven,” and he remained with them until war broke out and he sought new adventures fighting the Creeks.

Following the arrival of the new army—Jackson’s third of the campaign—he set about building a cohesive, disciplined force to deliver the final blow to the Red Sticks’ rebellion. He became increasingly intolerant of any failure, even among his officers. Cocke was arrested when his volunteers refused to honor their six-month commitments—they were envious of the three-month commitments offered by Blount. Cocke was court-martialed and acquitted, but the ongoing controversy denied him a share of the glory in the final victory in the Creek War.

JACKSON & WEATHERFORD. General Andrew Jackson taking the surrender of Chief William Weatherford after the defeat of the Creek Native Americans at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Alabama, 27 March 1814. Color engraving, 19th century.

Back at Fort Strother, an 18-year-old recruit named John Woods suffered an even worse fate. Woods was a member of a unit that had become infamous for insubordination, although the reputation had been earned before Woods volunteered for service. Early one morning, following a night on watch duty, Woods received permission to return to his tent for something to eat. While doing so, he was interrupted by an officer who brusquely ordered him back to duty. Perturbed and hungry, Woods kept eating. The war of words intensified until Woods leveled his rifle at the officer. Friends calmed him down, and he lowered the weapon.

Jackson, informed that nothing less than a mutiny was under way, ordered Woods arrested and tried. A court-martial found him guilty and sentenced him to death by firing squad. Most expected the general to commute the sentence usually only regular army commanders, not volunteer or militia commanders, imposed capital punishment. However, Jackson ordered the execution carried out. Woods’s death would be used in future political campaigns by Jackson’s opponents to claim that he was a merciless, tyrannical chieftain.

The Battle of Horseshoe Bend

Woods died on March 14, 1814. That same day, the Tennesseans departed Fort Strother and headed to Tohopeka for a final showdown with the Red Sticks. The enemy had been busy at Horseshoe Bend. Across the narrow neck of the enclosure they had constructed a breastwork of logs and earth, varying from five to eight feet in height. The wall had a number of portholes, ideal for firing by the defenders. It was an extraordinarily complex structure for an Indian tribe to build and suggested that a European influence was at work—possibly English spies.

Jackson sent Colonel Williams south to establish an outpost while he and about 4,000 men, including Creek and Cherokee allies, moved southeast toward Tohopeka. On the morning of March 27 they arrived north of the village. Estimates placed the Red Sticks’ strength at 1,000 warriors, with another 300 women and children living among them.

At 10 am, Jackson ordered Coffee to cross the river with his cavalry, Indian allies, and scouts. Somehow they made the crossing without the Red Sticks taking notice. Jackson positioned his two artillery pieces (a three-pounder and a six-pounder) 80 yards from the breastwork. At 10:30, they commenced firing. The cannons weren’t meant for this type of mission, and their light balls bounced harmlessly off the wall, prompting the Red Sticks to taunt the invaders. Meanwhile, their prophets danced on the roofs of the huts, proclaiming their invincibility and the impotence of their adversaries.

For two hours, the two sides fought to a stalemate. To the south of the village, across the river, Coffee and his men lay in wait. Cherokee swimmers crossed the river, cut free the canoes floating there, and used them to ferry the force across. Once over the river, the troops began to set fire to the huts. Jackson, from his position in front of the breastwork, spotted the smoke. Immedately, he gave the order to charge. The men of the 39th Infantry stormed the breastwork. Major Lemuel Montgomery was the first to make it to the top he was killed instantly by a shot to the head. Ensign Houston took his place and received a barbed arrow in the thigh for his troubles. It didn’t stop him, and he leapt down into the fortification, establishing a much-needed foothold for the others.

The Red Sticks were fighting for their homes. Once they realized they were surrounded, the fighting became increasingly desperate. They would not surrender or ask for mercy the Tallapoosa soon swelled with corpses. Menewa, Red Eagle’s lieutenant, sustained seven wounds, but survived and made his way to safety. A stalwart few barricaded themselves in some brush by the breastwork. From there, they resisted until night, when the Tennesseans set the brush on fire and picked off the final holdouts as they attempted to escape the flames. “The carnage was dreadful,” Jackson later wrote to Rachel. Some 557 Red Sticks were killed on the ground, with another 300 dead in the river. Almost all the women and children survived, having been moved to safety before the battle. The victory was complete except for one important detail: Red Eagle was missing.

The Tennesseans and friendly Indians lost 65 killed and 206 wounded. Sam Houston, already wounded in his thigh, suffered two additional gunshot wounds to his right shoulder. So terrible was his appearance that the medic performing triage at the scene classified him as lost. He was placed on a litter and moved 60 miles to Fort Williams, without medical aid. Two months later, when he finally returned to his mother’s house, she could only recognize him by his eyes.

Peace Talks at Fort Jackson

Jackson resupplied his force at Fort Williams. He then moved on the Hickory Ground, the sacred land of the Creeks. He occupied the old French fort, Toulouse, renamed Fort Jackson, near the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers. There, Red Stick chiefs came to surrender. One day, a lone Creek entered Fort Jackson, leading a black horse with a recently killed deer strapped to it. He was pointed to Jackson’s tent. Upon seeing Jackson, he identified himself as Bill Weatherford. “How dare you ride up to my tent after having murdered the women and children at Fort Mims?” Jackson thundered. Weatherford insisted that he had attempted to save the women and children at Fort Mims. He had come not on his own behalf, he said, but to beg for mercy for the women and children.

Jackson was impressed and invited Weatherford into his tent to discuss it further. He made it clear that Weatherford must consent to all peace terms. Weatherford replied: “Once I could animate my warriors to battle, but I cannot animate the dead. My warriors can no longer hear my voice: their bones are at Talladega, Tallussahatchee, Emuckfaw and Tohopeka. While there were chances of success, I never left my post, nor supplicated peace, but your people have destroyed my nation. You are a brave man. I rely upon your generosity.”

Having sworn off further warfare, Red Eagle once again became Bill Weatherford. He retired to plantation life, but he was obliged to relocate several times to avoid retribution at the hands of relatives of the Fort Mims victims.

Next for Jackson came the business of peace. The War Department had originally intended for General Pinckney or Colonel Benjamin Hawkins, an old Indian hand, to draw up the terms, but Jackson’s allies lobbied successfully to give him the honor. That summer Jackson revealed the proposed treaty to a collection of friendly Creek chiefs. Most of the terms were reasonable: turning over those prophets responsible for inciting hostilities, allowing the United States to establish roads through Creek country, and ending all communications with British and Spanish agents. The government would provide sustenance for the Creeks whose land was destroyed or confiscated. The most shocking demand was for 23 million acres of land—fully half the original Creek domain. Not only would the rebellious Red Sticks be punished, but also those Creek tribes that had sided with Jackson and fought alongside the Tennesseans.

His Indian allies complained, but Jackson was in no mood to negotiate. However, the proud Creek chiefs made one request: of the land to be turned over, three square miles should go to Jackson—not as a prize of war, but as a gift of gratitude from the Creeks for his valiant defense of their homes. To conclude the treaty expeditiously, Jackson accepted. With the signing of the Treaty of Fort Jackson, the Creek War came to an end—and none too soon. Napoleon had lost his empire and had taken up residency on Elba the previous May. The British Empire could now focus all its power on the American war. The 7th Military District, containing Louisiana and the Mississippi Territory, required a new commander. Jackson received the title and a commission as a major general in the regular army. Affairs on the Gulf Coast demanded his immediate attention. He and his troops headed south.

Jackson’s victory in the Creek War ended the threat of a united Indian force in the War of 1812 (Tecumseh had been killed the previous year at the Battle of the Thames). With the Mississippi Territory cleared of hostile Indian attacks, the path was clear to move troops swiftly from the north to the Gulf Coast, starting with Jackson himself. If the British wanted a foothold on the southern coast of the United States, they were going to have to fight Old Hickory for it. In the end, as they discovered at the Battle of New Orleans a few months later, it would prove to be an uneven fight.


Battle of Horseshoe Bend

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Battle of Horseshoe Bend, also known as the Battle of Tohopeka, (27 March 1814), a U.S. victory in central Alabama over Native Americans opposed to white expansion into their terroritories and which largely brought an end to the Creek War (1813–14).

Chief Tecumseh’s death in 1813 did not end conflict between the United States and American Indian tribes. In the southeastern Mississippi Territory (central Alabama today), hostile Creeks known as Red Sticks raided settlers, sparking an intratribal war and threatening an alliance with the pro-British Spanish in Florida.

Unable to divert troops from the Canadian campaigns, the United States mobilized territorial militia to attack the Red Sticks. In the fall of 1813, multiple columns of militia were sent into hostile territory with meager results. There were several fights and Indian towns burned, but the Red Sticks defiantly held out. In early 1814 Major General Andrew Jackson’s Tennessee militia were reinforced by the regular 39th Infantry Regiment and fresh militia, and these were trained into a disciplined force of 2,700.

On 27 March Jackson’s force plus allied Cherokee and "White Stick" Creek warriors surrounded the Red Stick stronghold of Tohopeka. The village was located inside a bend of the Tallapoosa River, with the river on three sides and a strong earth-and-timber breastwork on the fourth. Colonel John Coffee’s militia and Indian allies occupied the riverbank opposite the village. Jackson’s offer to evacuate the women and children was refused and he began a bombardment by his two small field guns. They did little damage to the earthwork but created a diversion during which Coffee’s men took Red Stick canoes and crossed the river to attack the rear of the village.

Jackson then ordered the regulars and militia to charge. They stormed over the breastworks using bayonets and clubbed muskets. The Red Sticks made a desperate stand but were crushed in a five-hour hand-to-hand battle through the burning village.


Contenido

As a consequence of an 1804 treaty between Governor William Henry Harrison of Indiana Territory and a group of Sauk and Fox leaders regarding land settlement, the Sauk and Fox tribes vacated their lands in Illinois and moved west of the Mississippi in 1828. However, Sauk Chief Black Hawk and others disputed the treaty, claiming that the full tribal councils had not been consulted, nor did those representing the tribes have authorization to cede lands. [2] Angered by the loss of his birthplace, between 1830 and 1831 Black Hawk led a number of incursions across the Mississippi River, but was persuaded to return west each time without bloodshed. In April 1832, encouraged by promises of alliance with other tribes and the British, he again moved his so-called "British Band" of around 1000 warriors and non-combatants into Illinois. [2] Finding no allies, he attempted to return to Iowa, but the undisciplined Illinois Militia force's actions led to the Battle of Stillman's Run. [3] A number of other small skirmishes and massacres followed and the militias of Michigan Territory and Illinois were mobilized to hunt down Black Hawk's Band. The conflict became known as the Black Hawk War.

The period between Stillman's Run and Horseshoe Bend was filled with war-related activity. A series of attacks at Buffalo Grove, the Plum River settlement, Fort Blue Mounds and the war's most famous incident, the Indian Creek massacre, all took place between mid-May and late June 1832. [4] In the week before the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Colonel Henry Dodge of the western Michigan Territory militia was busy responding to various incidents across the region. On the afternoon of June 8, 1832, Dodge and his men, including James W. Stephenson, proceeded to Kellogg's Grove and buried the victims of the St. Vrain massacre. That night Stephenson returned to Galena, Illinois, while Dodge moved to Hickory Point where he remained overnight. [5] The next morning Dodge set out for Dixon's Ferry, where he camped with General Hugh Brady. [6]

On June 11, Dodge escorted Brady to the mouth of the Fox River to confer with overall commander General Henry Atkinson. [5] Dodge left the conference with clear authority from Atkinson to deal with the violence in the mining region. [6] He first traveled to his home fort, at Gratiot's Grove, which he reached on June 13. [5] The Spafford Farm massacre occurred the following day, and Dodge set out for Fort Hamilton as soon as he heard about it, stopping at Fort Blue Mounds for supplies. [6] [7] On the way to Hamilton, the soldiers passed a German immigrant, Henry Apple, exchanged greetings and kept traveling. [6] Shortly afterwards the soldiers heard gunshots in the distance Apple had met with a Kickapoo ambush, likely meant for Dodge himself. [7] Dodge was probably saved by his last minute decision to make a detour from the main route. [7] Later Apple's horse galloped wildly back past the men, wounded and carrying a large amount of blood in its saddle. The horse continued all the way to Fort Hamilton, where it raised a furor among the inhabitants. [6]

A Native American band from the Kickapoo tribe, eleven warriors in all, was responsible for the attack on Apple the same band had killed five men at Spafford Farm on June 14. This band was only loosely affiliated with Black Hawk's British Band. [8]

On hearing the ambush in the distance, Dodge hurried on toward Fort Hamilton (present-day Wiota, Wisconsin) where he gathered together a company of 29 mounted volunteers and sped off to intercept the attackers. [6] He led the chase through tangled underbrush until, breaking into prairie, his force caught sight of the raiding party. [6] The Kickapoo crossed the Pecatonica River within sight of the pursuing militia, and entered into an overgrown swamp. The militia followed across the swollen river and dismounted when they reached the swamp. [6]

According to personal accounts of the battle, after dismounting Dodge offered his men a chance to back out of the operation. No one opted out, and 21 men advanced with Dodge in an extended firing line, unsure of the enemy's location. [6] The remaining eight soldiers were posted as guards on high grounds and near the horses. [6] Unlike the disorganized and undisciplined troops at Stillman's Run, the volunteers at Horseshoe Bend adhered to military discipline they waited for Dodge to give the order before they entered the thicket and swampland in search of their enemy, and once searching they awaited their commander's order to attack. [7]

After the militia advanced about 200 yards (200 m), the Kickapoo suddenly let loose a loud yell from their hidden position on the bank of an oxbow lake along the river. [6] [9] The warriors fired a volley toward the advancing militia and three men, Samuel Black, Samuel Wells and Montaville Morris, were hit and went down. [6] Dodge did not hesitate and ordered his men to charge they obeyed and waited until they were within six feet of the Kickapoo before discharging their weapons. [6] The fight, after the initial charge and volley, descended into a hand-to-hand struggle with tomahawks, bayonets, muskets and spears the weapons of choice. [9] The fighting only lasted a few minutes: nine Kickapoo were killed on the spot and the other two were felled while fleeing across the lake. [6] [10] During the hand-to-hand combat a fourth member of the militia, Thomas Jenkins, was wounded. [11] [12] Though short, the Battle of Horseshoe Bend had a lasting impact and influence on the rest of the war. [9]

The Battle of Horseshoe Bend, though of little military significance, was a major turning point in the war for the volunteer militia forces and many white settlers. [7] [9] This minor militia victory was the first step in the process of redeeming the militia's own morale and its standing in the eyes of the settlers on the frontier. [9] Individual accounts claim that the battle at Horseshoe Bend "turn(ed) the tide of the war." [9] It was also notable for the proportion of killed in action to the number of combatants. [10] All eleven Kickapoo that Dodge had pursued into the swamp were killed and scalped by his troops, while the final militia casualties were confined to three dead and one wounded. [8] [10] About an hour after the battle, Colonel William S. Hamilton arrived with friendly Menominee, Sioux and Ho-Chunk warriors. [7] According to Dodge, the friendly warriors were given some of the scalps his men had taken, with which they were "delighted". Dodge also reported that the Native Americans then proceeded on to the battlefield and mutilated the corpses of the fallen Kickapoo. [7]

Of Dodge's casualties, Thomas Jenkins was only slightly wounded. However, the three Militia men who had been shot as they advanced towards the Kickapoo position all later died. Samuel Wells, Montaville Morris and Samuel Black were transported to Fort Hamilton Morris died at the fort, [13] as did Wells, with his head in a comrade's lap. When informed by the surgeon of his imminent death, Wells requested to speak with Dodge. Wells asked Dodge "if he had behaved like a soldier." Dodge responded, "Yes, Wells, like a brave one." Wells then said to the commander, "Send that word to my old father," and died a short time later. [13] Samuel Black was moved to Fort Defiance, where he lingered for nine days before dying. [13]

This was the first battle in which a volunteer force defeated the Native Americans. [7] [9] Dodge became the first of the militia leaders to prove his ability to stand up to the enemy. [7] He quickly became the "rising star" of the conflict, having helped negotiate the release of the Hall sisters after the Indian Creek massacre and proved himself at Horseshoe Bend. [7] [9]

The battlefield at Horseshoe Bend is now a campground located within a county park in Lafayette County, Wisconsin. The Black Hawk Memorial Park is maintained by the Lafayette County Sportsmen Alliance, Yellowstone Flint and Cap club, and the Friends of Woodford Park. [11] In 1922, a marker was erected by the Shullsburg chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the residents of Wiota to commemorate the Battle of Horseshoe Bend it is still visible today. [11] The battlefield was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service on July 28, 2011. [1]


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