Monument at Fort Mims
A series of monuments detail the
history and outline of the fort while
also providing details on those who
fought in the battle.
The reconstructed walls of Fort Mims
are the setting for a reenactment and
living history event that takes place
each year during the last weekend of
|Fort Mims State Historic Site
The reconstructed stockade of Fort Mims helps visitors
visualize the site as it appeared in 1813. The site is
located near Tensaw, Alabama.
A Battlefield of the Creek War
Fort Mims was a frontier stockade near
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
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
Fort Mims is now a state historic site. The five
acre site is located 4.4 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.
The address is 1813 Fort Mims Rd, Stockton,
In addition to the restored log walls, the site
includes monuments, interpretive signs, a
restored blockhouse and picnic tables.
Fort Mims is free to visit.
The annual reenactment and living history
event takes place during the last weekend of
For more information, please visit
Restored Blockhouse & Well
Reconstructions of the Fort Mims well
and blockhouse can be seen at the
site. Bodies were found during the
excavations of the original well.
Living History at Fort Mims
A frontier militiaman stands guard
during the annual commemoration at
Fort Mims. The fort was defended by
settlers and units of the Mississppi
|Copyright 2017 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
Last Updated: August 27, 2017
(Some contents 2012)
Creek War of 1813-1814
Samuel Mims operated a ferry that
crossed this body of water. Survivors
of the 1813 attack swam across as
they tried to escape.