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Ch. X.] THE GEORGIA AND
purpose of erecting a stockaded depot, to receive supplies and military stores for the use of the Tennessee troops, under General Jackson, who were on the march, along the line of the Coosa. Before the close of November, this was done; and Fort Claiborne, with its palisades, block-houses, and half-moon battery, presented a frowning front to all unbidden navigators of the stream.
Georgia and Tennessee very actively seconded the efforts of Mississippi, and had General Flournoy been a more efficient commander, much effusion of blood and waste of property would have been spared. On the western edge of Georgia, about the middle of October, was stationed General Floyd, at the head of some two thousand five hundred men; and by the beginning of November, he had advanced with nearly a third of them, and four hundred allied Indians, into the Creek country about the Tallapoosa and its tributaries. He very soon made his presence known, as we shall see presently.
But it was from Tennessee that the main body of the forces, relied upon for the effective discharge of the stern duty of repressing the armed Indians, and chastising them for the outrage at Fort Mimms, came. The legislature of that state, then in session, had authorized the governor to call out three thousand five hundred men in addition to those already under arms; and before many days of October had passed, one column, of two thousand choice volunteers, under General Jackson, set out from Nashville; another column, of about equal strength,
TENNESSEE FORCES. 207
advancing from East Tennessee in the same direction undei General Cocke.
Mr. Ingersoll, in speaking of this matter, says, that the federal government adopted the men thus raised and in active service, and reimbursed the money, some $200,000, which the legislature of Tennessee had appropriated for the maintenance of the war against the Creeks; and he adds: "Riddance of the country from the savages, theretofore the terror, if not the masters of it, was mainly effected by local popular and state action, consummated by operations of the federal government. The part each one performed, the appropriate function of each, are lessons of that conflict which cannot be too durably impressed on the American mind. While it is one of the most unquestionable and gratifying demonstrations of the war of 1812, that the states saved the United States in several emergencies, it is equally true, that excessive state or popular action embarrassed and endangered the Union; and that it is by the harmonious adjustment of all the elements, popular, state, and federal, that national safety, dignity, and vindication, are accomplished. If obliged to wait the orders, forces, and contributions of the federal government, the Creek war would never have been crushed, as it was, in one victorious campaign. Yet that campaign proved, even without state or popular disaffection, that something more than six months militia and volunteers is indispensable to general safety and welfare."*
Although it is somewhat in advance
* "History of the Second War," Tol i., p. 334.
of the progress of our narrative thus far, it will be most convenient, we think, to relate the conclusion of the Creek war, in the present connection. On the 2d of November, General Coffee was detached, with nine hundred men, against Tallushatches, a Creek town, and reached the place about daylight the next morning. The Indians, aware of his approach, were prepared to receive him. Within a short distance of the village they charged upon him with unexampled boldness: and although repulsed, made a most obstinate resistance. They refused to give or receive quarter, and were slain almost to a man. Nearly two hundred of their warriors were killed in this affair. The women and children were taken prisoners. The loss of the Americans was five killed and forty wounded.
Four days later, having been informed that Lashly's Fort, at the village of Talladega, about thirty miles distant, belonging to the friendly Creeks, was in great danger from the hostile party, Jackson set off with alacrity to relieve the place. At twelve o'clock the same night, he took up his line of march, at the head of twelve hundred men, and arrived within six miles of the fort the next evening. At midnight he agam advanced, and by seven o'clock of the following morning was within a mile of the enemy. He now made the most judicious arrangements for surrounding them; and approached, within eighty yards, almost unperceived. The battle commenced on the part of the Indians with great fury. Being repulsed on all sides, they attempted to make their escape, but found themselves enclosed;
and had not two companies of militia given way, whereby a space was left open through which a considerable number of the enemy escaped to the mountains, they would all have been taken prisoners or destroyed. In the pursuit many were sabred or shot down. In this action, the American loss was fifteen killed, and eighty wounded. That of the Creeks was not much short of three hundred killed, their whole force exceeding a thousand. "In a very few weeks," wrote General Jackson, "if I had a sufficiency of supplies, I am thoroughly convinced I should be able to put an end to Creek hostilities."
Jackson had ordered General White to join him after Coffee's first success, intending to press forward and crush the Indians before they had time to recover from the panic produced by these blows. White, however, who was subordinate to General Cocke, was detached by him, on the 11th of November, against the hostile towns on the Talapoosa River, where the Hillabees resided. At daylight, on the igJs 18th, White entered a Hillabee town, and out of about three hundred and sixteen warriors killed some sixty, and took the rest prisoners. Having burnt several villages, which had been deserted by the Indians, he returned on the 23d, without the loss of a single man.
At the close of November, a signal victory was obtained by General Floyd, at the head of the Georgia militia, at Autossee, on the Talapoosa. This was "the Creek metropolis," and the very ground was held to be sacred. It was defended with a spirit animated by every consideration that interest, reCh. X.]
venge, and religion could present. Warriors from eight towns were assembled to oppose the invaders there. But the well-directed fire of the artillery, added to the charge of the bayonet, triumphed over all opposition. The Indians lost at least two hundred, among whom were the Autossee king and another, and their wounded were much more numerous. The number of buildings burnt, some of a superior order for the dwellings of savages, and filled with valuable articles, was supposed to be four hundred. The American loss was eleven killed and fifty-four wounded. That of the friendly Indians, who fought with them, and with great intrepidity, was never ascertained.
In the month of December, Claiborne, with the Mississippi volunteers, and a body of Choctaws, advanced into the Creek country; and on the 23d, attacked Ecchanachaca, "Holy Ground," a town on the Alabama, of about two hundred houses, not long built, with many incantations, to serve as Weatherford's stronghold, and fancied by the Indians to be impregnable. Weatherford himself, Josiah, Francis, and Sinquister, all of them "prophets," encouraged their followers to display the most furious bravery in defence of the consecrated spot. Thirty only were killed; the chief prophet fled; the town was burned, and all the land round devastated.
The term of service of the Tennessee volunteers having expired, no persuasions of General Jackson were sufficiently strong to induce them to remain longer away from their homes. Becoming mutinous, they were disbanded and Voi-III.—27
ordered to march back to Tennessee. On the 14th of January, however, Jackson was fortunately reinforced by eight hundred volunteers, and soon after by several hundred friendly Indians.
Their term of service was only
, , , , ,J 1814.
sixty days, and the general determined to employ them at once against the enemy. Having been joined by General Coffee, with a number of officers, Jackson, on the 17th of January, with the view of making a diversion in favor of General Floyd, and at the same time of relieving Fort Armstrong, which was said to be threatened, entered the Indian country, with the determination of penetrating still farther than had yet been attempted. On the evening of the 21st, believing himself, from appearances, in the vicinity of a large body of Indians, he encamped with great precaution, and kept himself in the attitude of defence. At daylight, the next morning, an assault was made on the left flank; which, after being firmly resisted for about half an hour, was successfully repulsed, and a furious charge of the cavalry, under General Coffee, completely routed the Indians, and drove them nearly two miles from the field with great slaughter. Soon afterwards, the camp was attacked on the other flank, but with no better result; the remainder of the enemy's force being routed now, with the loss of forty-five of their warriors.
The next morning, a retrograde movement was made by General Jackson, under a belief that he had diverted the enemy from their designs against the Georgia troops, and could encounter them best nearer to his depot. On the 24th, at the outset of the march, there lay a defile at the crossing of the Enotachopes Creek. Here the Indians, who had followed closely, (and against whom preparations had been made in the night for fear of a sudden attack,) fell upon them, and threw them into disorder for a short time,—some companies taking to flight. Very soon, however, they were rallied and brought into action, and the artillery, which was encumbered in the ford at the moment of attack, took the lead against the swarms of the enemy. The conflict did not last long, and the Indians were routed, and fled in the greatest consternation; leaving twenty-six of their number dead on the field. Jackson's loss, in these fights, was twenty-four killed and seventy-one wounded: the Indians' loss was about two hundred dead on the battle field, beside large numbers wounded.
FLOYD'S AND CLAIBORNE'S VICTORIES.
Notwithstanding these repulses, the Creeks attacked General Floyd at Camp Defiance, early in the morning of ^he 27 th of January, and quite unexpectedly. The sentinels were driven in, and a fierce contest took place within the lines; but Indian valor, weapons, and tactics, here as elsewhere, proved no match for American discipline, grape shot, and the bayonet. Thirty-seven of their warriors were left dead; but it was plain, from the number of headdresses and war-clubs scattered about, and from the bloody trail they made in their retreat, that this was not the whole of their loss. Seventeen Americans fell, and a hundred and thirty-two were wounded.
Early in March, Jackson was appointed a major-general in the United
States service, and was reinforced by the thirty-ninth regiment of United States infantry. Several detachments of militia and volunteers soon afterwards joined him, so that the forces at his command amounted to nearly four thousand men, besides Indian auxiliaries, numbering nearly another thousand. He was now in a condition to bring the war to a close by an attack upon the last stronghold of the Creeks. This was at the bend of the Talapoosa, called by the Indians Tohopeka, and by the whites Horse shoe Bend. Nature and art had rendered this a place of great security. A breastwork had been erected, from five to eight feet high, across the peninsula, thus enclosing nearly one hundred acres of ground. This could not be approached, without being exposed to a double and cross fire from the Indians who lay behind. About one thousand warriors had collected on this spot. Here General Jackson determined to attack them.
On the 26th of March, he encamped within six miles of the place, and having learned the shore was lined with canoes, he sent General Coffee to the opposite side of the river to surround the Bend in such a manner that none could escape by crossing the river. With the remainder of his force, he attacked their fortifications in front. A brisk fire was kept up for two hours, when General Coffee crossed to the peninsula to his aid, and commenced a spirited fire upon the enemy, who lay behind the breastwork; but they were still unsubdued. General Jackson determined to storm their fortifications.
The regulars, led on by Colonel "Williams and Major Montgomery, advanced to the charge. An obstinate contest ensued, in which the combatants fought through the port-holes, musket to musket. At this time, Major Montgomery, leaping on the wall, called to his men to mount and follow him. Scarcely had he spoken, when a ball struck him on the head, and he fell lifeless to the ground. Yet the Americans obeyed his command, and, following his example, soon gained the opposite side of the works. Though the Creeks fought with a bravery which their desperate situation alone could have inspired, yet they were entirely defeated, and cut to pieces. Five hundred and fifty were killed on the peninsula, and many were drowned or shot in attempting to cross the river. Jackson's loss, including the friendly Indians, was fifty-four killed, and one hundred and fifty-six wounded.
This decisive victory ended in the submission of the remaining warriors, and terminated the Creek war. Among those who threw themselves upon the mercy of their victors, was Weatherford, who was equally distinguished for his talents and cruelty. "I am in your power," said he, "do with me what you please. I have done the white people all the harm I could. I have fought them, and fought them bravely. There was a time when I had a choice. I have none now; every hope is ended. Once I could animate my warriors to battle; but I cannot animate the dead. They can no longer hear my voice; their bones are at Tallushatches, Talladega, Fmucfau, and Tohopeka. While there was a chance of success, I never suppli
cated peace; but my people are gone, and I now ask it for my nation and myself."
During the month of April, General Jackson scoured the country on the Coosa and Talapoosa Rivers. A party of the enemy on the latter river, on his approach fled to Pensacola; and a detachment of Carolina militia, under Colonel Pearson, trav-' ersed the banks of the Alabama, and received the submission of a great number of Creek warriors and prophets. Finally, the Indians being now completely at the mercy of the conquerors, a treaty of peace was dictated by General Jackson to the Creeks, and signed early in August. The terms were severe, but probably necessarily so, in order to insure future tranquillity. The Creeks agreed to yield a large portion of their country as an indemnity for the expenses of the war; they consented to the opening roads through their country, together with the liberty of navigating their rivers; they engaged to establish trading houses, and to endeavor to bring back the nation to its former state; they also stipulated to hold no intercourse with any British or Spanish post or garrison, and to deliver up the property they had taken from the whites and the friendly Indians. General Jackson, on the part of the United States, undertook to guarantee their remaining territory to them; to restore all their prisoners; and, in consideration of their destitute situation, to furnish them gratuitously with the necessaries of life until they could provide for themselves.
It will be remembered, that during