Decisive Red Stick victory Red Sticks take Fort Mims and kill inhabitants
Red Stick Creek United States
Commanders and leaders
Head warriors (Tastanagi):
William Weatherford Peter McQueen Major Daniel Beasley Dixon Bailey
265 militia, including:
70 Tensaw home militia 175 Mississippi volunteers 16 from Fort Stoddard
Casualties and losses
50 to 100 killed unknown wounded 265 militia killed or captured 252 civilians killed or captured unknown wounded Fort Mims severely damaged
v t e
Burnt Corn Fort Mims Bashi Skirmish Tallushatchee Talladega Canoe Fight Holy Ground Emuckfaw and Enotachopo Creek Horseshoe Bend
Fort Mims, 22-Beasley's cabin, 25-Beasley's death, 26-eastern gate
Map of Alabama during the War of 1812. Fort Mims is located in the lower left.:751
The Battle at Fort Mims occurred on August 30, 1813 during the Creek War, when a force of Creek Indians, belonging to the "Red Sticks" faction under the command of head warriors Peter McQueen and William Weatherford (also known as Lamochattee or Red Eagle), stormed the fort and defeated the militia garrison. Afterward, a massacre ensued and almost all of the remaining Creek metis, white settlers, and militia at Fort Mims were killed. The fort was a stockade with a blockhouse surrounding the house and outbuildings of the settler Samuel Mims, located about 35 miles north of present-day Mobile, Alabama.
1 Background 2 Attack 3 Aftermath 4 See also 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links
The Creek Nation split into factions during the War of 1812. One group
of Creek nativists, the Red Sticks, argued against any more
accommodation of the white settlers while the other Creeks favored
adopting the white lifestyle. The Red Stick faction from the Upper
Towns opposed both land cessions to settlers and the Lower Towns'
assimilation into European-American culture. The nativists were soon
called "Red Sticks" because they had raised the "red stick of war," a
favored weapon and symbolic Creek war declaration.
Alabama Historical Association Fort Mims marker
On August 29, 1813, two black slaves tending cattle outside the stockade reported that "painted warriors" were in the vicinity, but mounted scouts from the fort found no signs of the war party. Major Beasley, the commander, had the second slave flogged for "raising a false alarm". Beasley received a second warning the morning of the assault by a mounted scout, but dismissed it and took no precautions, as he was reportedly drunk. Beasley had claimed that he could "maintain the post against any number of Indians", but historians believe the stockade was poorly defended. At the time of the attack, the east gate was partially blocked open by drifting sand. Beasley also posted no pickets or sentries, dismissing the reports the Creeks were near. The Red Sticks attacked during the mid-day meal, attempting to take the fort in a coup de main by charging the open gate en masse. At the same time, they took control of the gun loopholes and the outer enclosure. Under Captain Bailey, the militia and settlers held the inner enclosure, fighting on for a time; after about two hours there was a pause of about an hour. The Indians, their initial impetus blunted inside the fort and casualties rising, held an impromptu council to debate whether to continue the fight or withdraw. By 3 o'clock, it was decided that the Tensaw métis led by Dixon Bailey would have to be killed to avenge their treachery at Burnt Corn. The Creeks launched a second attack at 3 pm. The remaining defenders fell back into a building called the 'bastion'. The Red Sticks set fire to the 'bastion' in the center, which then spread out to the rest of the stockade. The warriors forced their way into the inner enclosure and, despite attempts by Weatherford, killed most of the militia defenders, the mixed-blood Creek, and white settlers. After a struggle of hours, the defense collapsed entirely and perhaps 500 militiamen, settlers, slaves and Creeks loyal to the Americans died or were captured, with the Red Sticks taking some 250 scalps. By 5 pm, the battle was over and the stockade and buildings sacked and in flames. While they spared the lives of almost all of the slaves, they took over 100 of them captive. At least three women and ten children are known to have been made captive.[clarification needed] Some 36 people, nearly all men, escaped, including Bailey, who was mortally wounded, and two women and one girl. When a relief column arrived a few weeks later, it found 247 corpses of the defenders and 100 of the Creek attackers. Aftermath
Fort Mims Site
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
Inside the reconstructed fort, looking at the west wall and gate.
Show map of Alabama
Show map of the US
Nearest city Tensaw, Alabama
Area 5 acres (2.0 ha)
Built 1813 (1813)
NRHP reference # 72000153
Added to NRHP September 14, 1972
The Red Sticks' victory at Fort Mims spread panic throughout the
Southeastern United States
List of Indian massacres
List of massacres in Alabama
^ Waselkov, p. 99.
^ Heidler, p. 133. Waselkov, p. 4, gives 700.
^ a b c d e Thrapp, p. 1524
^ Halbert, Ball, p. 148.
^ Heidler, p. 355, gives 100
^ Heidler, p.355, gives 247.
^ a b Lossing, Benson (1868). The Pictorial Field-Book of the War of
1812. Harper & Brothers, Publishers. p. 756.
^ a b Heidler, p. 354.
^ Waselkov, pp. 99–100.
^ Waselkov, p. 100.
^ David Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler, eds. Encyclopedia of the War of
1812 (2004) p. 106.
^ Waselkov. p. 115.
^ Waselkov, pp. 110–111.
^ Halber, Ball, p. 148, give 553.
^ "Fort Mims" Archived 2008-05-30 at the Wayback Machine., Alabama
^ Abbott, John S. C., David Crockett: His Life and Adventures, Dodd
and Mead, 1874, Chapter 3. Halbert, Ball, p. 150.
^ Halbert, Ball, p. 152.
^ Halbert, Ball, p. 158.
^ Waselkov, p. 131
^ Halbert, Ball, p. 156.
^ Halbert, Ball, p. 155. Heidler, p. 355.
^ Waselkov, p. 33, gives 100 or so slaves in the fort.
^ Waselkov, p. 135.
^ Waselkov, p. 134.
^ a b Heidler, p. 355.
^ a b
National Park Service
Adams, Henry. History of the
Fort Mims - official site at Alabama Historical Commission
"Fort Mims Massacre", Encyclopedia of Alabama
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See also: American Indian Wars, Creek War, Napoleonic Wars, and Tecumseh's War
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Coordinates: 31°10′50″N 87°50′17″W / 31.1805°N 87.838°W / 31.1