William Weatherford's Grave
The famed Creek warrior is buried
beneath a stone cairn at William
Weatherford Memorial Park in
Baldwin County, Alabama.
Weatherford and Sehoy
William Weatherford rests beneath
the stone cairn at right. His mother,
Sehoy III, is memorialized by the cairn
|Grave of William Weatherford
This rock cairn in Baldwin County, Alabama, marks
the grave of the noted Creek warrior William
Weatherford. He has been called "Red Eagle."
Burial Place of a Creek Warrior
William Weatherford, one of the most noted
figures of the early 19th century, lies buried
beneath a stone cairn in Baldwin County,
Weatherford was a noted Red Stick Creek
warrior during the Creek War of 1813-1814.
He was a leader in the Native American
attack on Fort Mims, Alabama.
He has been called "Red Eagle" by modern
generations, although there is no evidence
that he used that title at the time of the Creek
conflict. Frontiersman Thomas Woodward,
who later wrote of his time among the
Creeks, said that Weatherford was known by
the title Hoponika Fulsahi (Truth Maker).
The son of a white trader and a Creek
woman, Weatherford was born in around
1791 in the vicinity of the Coosada or
Coushatta Town. He grew up in the shadow
of his uncle, the great Creek leader
McGillivray's mother, Sehoy (usually called
Sehoy III to differentiate her from her mother
and grandmother), was McGillivray's sister.
Weatherford rose to prominence among both
the Creeks and the whites in 1803 when he
assisted in the capture of William Augustus
Bowles. The Maryland-born adventurer and
pirate had challenged the leadership of
McGillivray and even declared an empire for
himself among the Lower Creeks and
Ten years later, William Weatherford became
one of the principal war leaders of the Red
This movement was ignited among the
Creeks by the Prophet Josiah Francis (Hillis
Hadjo), a follower of the Shawnee Prophet
Tenskwatawa. Francis taught that all Native
Americans should unite to peacefully halt the
westward expansion of the United States. He
urged his followers to return to traditional
ways and to give up all influences of the
How Weatherford became involved in this
movement is still a mystery. One story holds
that he was forced to join the Red Sticks in
order to save the lives of family members.
Another version claims that he was captured
by Red Stick warriors and forced to join on
pain of death if he did not.
An intriguing third possibility is found in the
papers of U.S. Agent for Indian Affairs Col.
Benjamin Hawkins. A letter written by the
agent during the late summer of 1813
reports that Weatherford was taken prisoner
by the Red Sticks at the Battle of Burnt Corn
Creek, Alabama. If this claim is correct, then
he joined the Red Stick movement after first
fighting against it.
Whatever the truth, William Weatherford was
one of the principal leaders of the Red Stick
attack on Fort Mims. The August 30, 1813
attack resulted in the deaths of more than
250 men, women and children. He also
fought at the Battle of Holy Ground on
December 23, 1813. It was at Holy Ground
that he is said to have made a spectacular
leap on horseback from a high bluff into the
Where else he fought during the Creek War
is subject to much speculation. Tradition
holds that he left the scene of the Battle of
Calabee Creek before the fighting started
and there is no evidence that he was at the
climactic Battle of Horseshoe Bend.
After the war, Weatherford surrendered to
Andrew Jackson at Fort Jackson. Although
many stories have been told of his bold
approach into Jackson's camp, his surrender
was prearranged in writing. Jackson seems
to have held him in some regard for he did
not confine him but instead assigned
soldiers to guard over him.
Weatherford then turned on the Red Sticks,
despite having fought alongside them at Fort
Mims and Holy Ground. He guided U.S.
troops on raids to round up surviving Red
Sticks, including one that crossed into
Spanish Florida north of Pensacola.
He lived in the Tensaw area after the Creek
War and died in 1826. His descendants live
in the area to this day.
William Weatherford's grave, along with a
cairn dedicated to his mother, can be found
in a small park in northern Baldwin County.
William Weatherford Memorial Park is at the
terminus of Red Eagle Rd, Little River, AL
To reach the park from AL-59, turn west on
T.J. Earle Road and follow it for 5 miles to
Red Eagle Road. Turn left on Red Eagle and
the site will be less than 500 feet straight
Please click here to learn more about nearby
Fort Mims State Historic Site.
|Copyright 2017 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
Last Updated: August 30, 2017
(Some contents from 2011)
GRAVE OF WILLIAM WEATHERFORD
Baldwin County, Alabama
William Weatherford Memorial Park
The park is located near the site of
Weatherford's Little River Plantation.
He died there in 1826.
Holy Ground Battlefield Park
William Weatherford was in combat at
the Battle of Holy Ground. Legend
holds that he jumped his horse from
these high bluffs, but the town actually
fronted a nearby creek and not the
Alabama River seen here.
Fort Mims State Historic Site
Weatherford was one of the leaders
of the Red Stick Creek attack on Fort
Mims near today's Tensaw, Alabama.