Fort Mitchell, Alabama
The first Fort Mitchell, built in 1813,
has been reconstructed on the
original site of the two forts.
Interior of Fort Mitchell
The reconstructed fort is supplied
with wagons, camp equipment and
other items consistent with the
FORT MITCHELL HISTORIC SITE
Fort Mitchell, Alabama
|Fort Mitchell, Alabama
The reconstructed stockade of Fort Mitchell can be
seen on the site of the original outpost.
The Creek Trail of Tears
Fort Mitchell, an important post of the Creek
War of 1813-1814, was built in what is now
Russell County, Alabama, by troops under
the command of General John Floyd.
Floyd's army, marching west from Georgia,
was one of three forces sent by the United
States to subdue the Red Stick movement in
the Creek Nation. An internal civil war in the
nation had spilled over to involve the whites
following battles at Burnt Corn Creek and
Fort Mims, Alabama, during the summer of
Named for Governor David B. Mitchell of
Georgia, the original fort was a large
rectangular stockade thrown up by Floyd's
men as they advanced on Autossee, an
important Creek village on the Tallapoosa
Built on a high hill overlooking the
Chattahoochee River, Fort Mitchell served as
base for Floyd's movements and he returned
there to allow his wounded men to recover
following his successful attack on Autossee.
A second expedition against the Red Sticks
was launched from Fort Mitchell in 1814, but
nearly ended in disaster when desperate
warriors almost overran Floyd's army at the
Battle of Calabee Creek.
The fort also served as a base for one of the
last campaigns of the War of 1812. An
expedition led by Colonel Benjamin Hawkins
left Fort Mitchell in early 1815 and descended
the Chattahoochee River to engage a British
force positioned on the Florida line. The
campaign ended without fighting, however,
when news arrived of the end of the war. The
two sides met in peace and Hawkins and his
men, most of whom were Creek warriors,
returned to Fort Mitchell.
The military significance of the first Fort
Mitchell continued through the First Seminole
War of 1817-1818. Lt. Col. Duncan L. Clinch
led a battalion of the 4th Infantry Regiment
down the Chattahoochee from the fort in
1816 to establish Fort Gaines on the line
marking the lands given up by the Creek
Nation at the Treaty of Fort Jackson. The men
went on to participate in the campaign
against the "Negro Fort" on the Apalachicola
River during the summer of that year.
Regular and militia troops passed through
Fort Mitchell throughout the First Seminole
War and it served as an important staging
point for the Creek Brigade led by General
William McIntosh, a noted Coweta chief who
had also sided with the United States during
the Creek War.
Fort Mitchell also served as an important
supply point during the First Seminole War
and important negotiations were held nearby.
The original fort was replaced by a second,
smaller stockade during the 1820s. This
second Fort Mitchell was an important base
during the Creek War of 1836 and became
the starting point of the Creek Trail of Tears.
Visitors can climb to the upper level of
the fort's block-
houses to see how soldiers once
In 1836 and 1837, thousands of Creek men,
women and children left Fort Mitchell on their
long forced march to new homes in what is
The fort also played a brief role in the Civil
War, even though the fortifications had long
since disappeared. Organizing units of
Confederate troops mustered on the site
before heading off to join the regular army.
The site of Fort Mitchell is now a park in
Russell County, Alabama. The outstanding
historic site features a reconstruction of the
1813 fort, historic burial grounds, a museum
housing a fascinating collection of historic
carriages, a restored 19th century log home
and an impressive visitor center that offers
exhibits, a film and a walk through the history
of the site.
The Chattahoochee Indian Heritage Center,
which features an impressive ceremonial
flame memorial, is located adjacent to the
Fort Mitchell Historic Site. Panels at the
memorial recount the Creek Census taken
shortly before the tragic events of the Creek
War of 1836 and the Creek Trail of Tears.
Fort Mitchell is located 10 miles south of
Phenix City, Alabama, on Highway 165. The
address is 561 Highway 165, Fort Mitchell,
For information on open days and hours,
please call 334) 855-1406 before visiting.
Fort Mitchell Visitor Center
The park's outstanding visitor center
offers a film and a chance for visitors
to walk through the history of the fort.
|Copyright 2017 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
Last Updated: August 9, 2017
(Some contents Copyright 2012)
FORTS IN THE SOUTH