Battle of Horseshoe Bend - Daviston, Alabama
Battle of Horseshoe Bend - Daviston, Alabama
Battle of Horseshoe Bend
American artillery bombarded
the Creek fortifications in the
clearing beyond, but without
effect.
The Creek Barricade
A row of posts now marks the
site of the log fortifications
built by Creek warriors.
Battle of Horseshoe Bend - Daviston, Alabama
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park
A cannon looks out on the battlefield from the crest
of Gun Hill at Horseshoe Bend National Military Park
in Alabama.
The Creek War of 1813-1814
On March 27, 1814, a frontier general named
Andrew Jackson took a major step into
American history when he defeated the "Red
Stick" faction of the Creek Nation at the Battle
of Horseshoe Bend, Alabama.

For Jackson, Horseshoe Bend was the first
step to the White House. For the Creeks, it
was the first step on the Trail of Tears.

The Battle of Horseshoe Bend was the
culminating event of the
Creek War of 1813-
1814. In reality a side conflict of the War of
1812, the confrontation grew from a tribal civil
war after Mississippi Territorial Militia troops
attacked a Creek supply party at Burnt Corn
Creek, Alabama, during the summer of 1813.

The American attack brought the United
States into a brutal conflict then being waged
for control of the Creek Nation. The Red Stick
faction of the Creeks, lead by the Prophet
Josiah Francis, were trying to seize control of
the nation from the white-allied followers of
the Big Warrior. When the Mississippi troops
attacked their supply party at Burnt Corn, the
Red Sticks retaliated by destroying a frontier
stockade named
Fort Mims. More than 250
men, women and children were killed in the
attack and the U.S. frontier rose in alarm.

Outraged by the Fort Mims incident, U.S.
authorities sent three armies to converge on
the Creek Nation. Two of these, marching
from the Mississippi Territory and Georgia
turned back after significant battles due to
supply shortages. The third, however,
remained in the field through the sheer will
and determination of its commander, Major
General Andrew Jackson of Tennessee.

Fighting a series of major battles with Red
Stick warriors, Jackson and his men slowly
pushed south through the mountain and hill
country of Alabama.

Reinforced by the 39th U.S. Infantry, he
marched on the primary Red Stick
fortifications at Tohopeka or Horseshoe
Bend in March of 1814.

The Creek defenses had been constructed of
heavy logs and zigzagged across the narrow
neck of a looping bend of the Tallapoosa
River. Carefully designed to allow the
defenders to fire on any attacking force, the
wall or barricade was a formidable obstacle.

The warriors lived with their women and
children on the peninsula formed by the bend
and had decided to fight to the death rather
than submit to the oncoming American
troops.

As he approached the battlefield, Jackson
sent a large force of Tennessee riflemen
across the river to surround the Horseshoe
Bend from the opposite bank. Led by Gen.
John Coffee, these men were joined by
several hundred Creek and Cherokee
warriors that had joined the fight against the
Red Sticks. Among them was
Sequoyah, the
scholar and explorer who later invented the
Cherokee alphabet.
On the morning of March 27, 1814, Jackson
moved forward to a steep hill overlooking the
Creek fortifications. Placing his two small
cannon into position, he opened fire on the
barricade but soon realized that the Creek
defenses were too strong. The iron
cannonballs ricocheted off or pass beyond
the works without doing damage.

Left with no other choice but to storm the
Creek barricade, Jackson ordered forward
the 39th Infantry and a supporting force of
Tennessee militia. The regular soldiers
stormed the barricade, driving back the Red
Stick warriors in brutal hand to hand combat.

Coffee's force crossed the river behind the
Red Sticks and the battle became a
massacre. By the time the smoke cleared,
the Red Stick force had been destroyed.

The site of the battle is now preserved as
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, a
beautifully-preserved national park area near
the small town of Daviston, Alabama.

Located on Alabama Highway 49, thirteen
miles north of Dadeville, the park features a
visitor center and museum, driving tour,
hiking trails and interpretive displays pointing
out where key parts of the battle were fought.
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park is
open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Please click here for more information.
Grave of Major Montgomery
Major Lemuel Montgomery of
the 39th Infantry fell in the
storming of the barricade and
is buried on the battlefield.
The Tallapoosa River
Eyewitness accounts of the
Battle of Horseshoe bend
indicate that the river ran red
with the blood of Creek
warriors.
Site of Tohopeka
The Creek warriors and their
families lived here. The
village was destroyed after
the battle.
Copyright 2012, 2013 & 2014 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Updated: January 26, 2014
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Creek War of 1813-1814