Battle of the Upper Chipola
First Seminole War at Bellamy Bridge
One of the largest actions of the First Seminole War took place
on the upper Chipola River in March 1818.
While the exact site of the Battle of the Upper Chipola has never
been identified, the reports of Brig. Gen. William McIntosh
indicate it was fought somewhere in the vicinity of the Bellamy
Bridge Heritage Trail.
McIntosh was a Creek Indian chief from Coweta, a town near
present-day Columbus. He had served alongside Andrew
Jackson during the Creek War of 1813-1814 and when war
erupted between the U.S. and an alliance of Seminole and Red
Stick Creek Indians in 1817, Jackson again called on him to
join the fight.
Organizing a brigade of Creek warriors who were willing to fight
on the side of the United States, McIntosh marched south down
the Chattahoochee River in March 1818. His initial objective
was the large force under Econchattimico ("Red Ground King").
The Creek force under General McIntosh swept in and
destroyed Econchattimico's town of Ekanachattee ("Red
Ground") at present-day Neal's Landing in Jackson County
early during the second week of March 1818. The chief and
warriors of the town, however, were away herding cattle at a
camp on the upper Chipola River.
Turning west on the old Pensacola to St. Augustine Road,
which generally followed the route of SR 2 through northern
Jackson County, McIntosh marched past the site of present-day
Malone to the Forks of the Creek Swamp. Leaving behind his
baggage, he and his men waded into the swamp with just their
arms, ammunition and horses. The crossing was six miles
long and the water was running high.
Once across to the west side of the creeks, which form the
Chipola River just north of Bellamy Bridge, the Creek force
turned south and marched 4 miles before attacking
The resulting action is remembered today as the Battle of the
Upper Chipola. Econchattimico and most of his men escaped,
but ten of his warriors were killed and others undoubtedly
wounded. McIntosh also captured a number of horses and
The battle broke up one of the largest warring bands west of
the Chattahoochee and Apalachicola Rivers, allowing the main
U.S. Army under Jackson to concentrate on the towns and
forces to the east. The total loss for Econchattiico's group in the
raid was 10 men killed along with 53 men and 130 women and
The site of Econchattimico's camp on the Chipola has never
been identified, but it must have been somewhere in the vicinity
of today's Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail. McIntosh reported that
it was on the west side of the river and four miles south of the
route by which he crossed the Forks of the Creek Swamp.
Bellamy Bridge is roughly that distance south of the original
route of the old Pensacola to St. Augustine Road.
To learn more about the history of Bellamy Bridge, please
consider The Ghost of Bellamy Bridge:
Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail
Florida's Most Famous Ghost Story
The legend of the Ghost of Bellamy Bridge
is perhaps Florida's most famous ghost
story. The ghost of a young woman named
Elizabeth Jane Bellamy has been seen in
the bridge vicinity for more than 120 years.
Click Here to Read the Story!
The "Other" Ghosts of Bellamy Bridge
Three other ghost stories are told about the
bridge and its vicinity. All originate from the
early 1900s and add an additional air of
mystery to historic Bellamy Bridge. They
surround three untimely deaths.
Click here to Read More!
History of Bellamy Bridge
The historic steel-frame bridge turns 100
years old in 1914 and stands on the site of
earlier wooden bridges that date back to
1851. The history of the bridge itself
provides a unique look back through time.
Read the History of Bellamy Bridge
Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail
Learn more about the new Bellamy Bridge
Heritage Trail, print out the self-guided tour
brochure and take a look at photographs
and video of this great new Florida heritage
Bellamy Bridge Heritage Trail Info
Jackson County Spanish Heritage Trail
The site of Bellamy Bridge has been used
as a place for crossing the Chipola River for
hundreds of years. Spanish documents
indicate that the expedition of Marcos
Delgado crossed the river here in 1686.
Read about Marcos Delgado at Bellamy!
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