Fort Mims State Historic Site - Tensaw, Alabama
Fort Mims State Historic Site - Tensaw, Alabama
Monument at Fort Mims
A monument placed by the
Daughters of the American
Revolution provides details
on the fort and battle.
Interpretive Marker
Fort Mims is listed on the
National Register of Historic
Places and is one of the most
significant historic sites in the
Fort Mims State Historic Site - Tensaw, Alabama
Fort Mims State Historic Site
The reconstructed stockade of Fort Mims helps
visitors visualize the site as it appeared in 1813.
A Battlefield of the Creek War
There is an old saying in the South, "The
Good Lord willing and the Creeks don't rise."
The phrase has nothing to do with running
streams, but instead is a flashback to the
days of the
Creek War of 1813-1814 and,
particularly, the Red Stick attack on Fort
Mims, Alabama.

Fort Mims was a rough log stockade
constructed in 1813 around the home of
Samuel Mims, an early settler of Baldwin
County, Alabama. The powerful Upper
Creeks of Central Alabama were not
particularly hostile towards Mims and his
neighbors. Many, in fact, were related to the
early settlers and Creek warriors often traded
with and visited Mims and other residents of
the Tensaw settlements.

This "live and let live" attitude changed,
however, when a civil war broke out in the
Creek Nation. On one side were the Red
Sticks, followers of a nativistic religion taught
by the Alabama Prophet Josiah Francis. They
believed in a return to native ways and a
rejection of white society and culture.
Opposing them were the principal leaders of
the nation, including the Big Warrior, who
lived very much according to the white plan of
"civilization" for the Creeks.

The war did not immediately threaten white
settlements around the fringes of the nation.
In fact, it was an action by the settlers them-
selves that brought the war to their own
doorsteps. In July of 1813, a rough and
tumble band of territorial militia attacked a
Red Stick supply train at Burnt Corn Creek,
Alabama. Blood was drawn and the families
of the killed and wounded Red Sticks swore
vengeance on their white neighbors.

That vengeance came on August 30, 1813,
when Red Stick warriors attacked a woefully
unprepared Fort Mims. Hundreds of men,
women and children had gone to the fort for
safety after the debacle at Burnt Corn Creek.
By the time the battle was over, more than
250 of them were dead.

The Battle of Fort Mims, also known as the
Fort Mims Massacre, began as the people of
the fort were gathering for their noon meal.
The main gates of the fort were open and
there was a general lack of concern about
the possibility of an attack.

Hundreds of Red Stick warriors, led by the
famed Creek warrior William Weatherford,
suddenly stormed from the woods
surrounding the fort and rushed the open
gate and walls.

The alarm was spread and the men of the
fort grabbed their weapons and rushed to
beat back the attack. Major Daniel Beasley,
the commander of the fort, was killed as he
tried to close the gate.

The battle raged throughout the afternoon.
Despite their initial surprise, the occupants of
the fort fought bravely, as did the Red Stick
attackers. Finally, however, Fort Mims fell.
The exact number of people killed in the
attack is subject to some debate. Estimates
range from around 250 to more than 550.
The same is true of Red Stick losses,
estimates for which range from around 100
to more than 300.

Although the attack on Fort Mims was a
retaliatory strike for the white attack on the
Red Sticks at Burnt Corn Creek, it was
considered an outrage by the people of
Georgia, Tennessee and the Mississippi
Territory. Three armies soon converged on
the Creek Nation and the Red Stick forces
were finally cornered and defeated by Andrew
Jackson at the
Battle of Horseshoe Bend the
following year.

Fort Mims is now a state historic site. The five
acre site is located 7 miles west of SR 59 at
Tensaw. Travel west on Boatyard Road (CR
80) to Fort Mims Road and turn right. The site
will be just ahead on your right.

In addition to the restored log wall, the site
includes monuments, interpretive signs and
picnic tables. Fort Mims is free to visit.

2013 marks the 200th anniversary of the Fort
Mims Massacre. In commemoration of the
bicentennial of the attack, the
Fort Mims
Restoration Association plans three days of
events at the park, 8/30 - 9/1.

Planned activities include displays and
demonstrations, daily reenactments, tours
and more.

For more information, please visit
William Weatherford's Grave
The leader of the attack on
Fort Mims is buried at a
second park area several
miles away off State Road 59
in Baldwin County.
Horseshoe Bend
The Red Stick attack on Fort
Mims ultimately led to the
destruction of their movement
at the Battle of Horseshoe
Bend, Alabama.
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Copyright 2011 and 2013 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Updated: August 14, 2013
Creek War of 1813-1814