The Info List - Fort Mims

Decisive Red Stick victory Red Sticks take Fort Mims and kill inhabitants


Red Stick Creek  United States

Commanders and leaders

Head warriors (Tastanagi):[1]

William Weatherford Peter McQueen Major Daniel Beasley Dixon Bailey



265 militia, including:[4]

70 Tensaw home militia 175 Mississippi volunteers 16 from Fort Stoddard

Casualties and losses

50 to 100 killed[5] unknown wounded 265 militia killed or captured 252 civilians killed or captured[6] unknown wounded Fort Mims severely damaged[3]

v t e

Creek War

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[7]

Map of Alabama during the War of 1812. Fort Mims is located in the lower left.[7]: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

Background[edit] 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. Civil war
Civil war
among the Creeks erupted in the summer of 1813[8] and the Red Sticks attacked accommodationist headmen and, in the Upper Towns, began a systematic slaughter of domestic animals, most of which belonged to men who had gained power by adopting aspects of European culture. Not understanding internal issues among the Creek, frontier whites were alarmed about rising tensions and began 'forting up' and moving into various posts and blockhouses such as Fort Mims while reinforcements were sent to the frontier.[8] American spies learned that Peter McQueen's party of Red Sticks were in Pensacola, Florida
Pensacola, Florida
to acquire food assistance, supplies, and arms from the Spanish.[9] The Creek received from the newly arrived Spanish governor, Mateo González Manrique, 45 barrels of corn and flour, blankets, ribbons, scissors, razors, a few steers, and 1000 pounds of gunpowder and an equivalent supply of lead musket balls and bird shot, but took and drank no alcohol.[10] When reports of the Creek pack train reached Colonel Caller, he and Major Daniel Beasley of the Mississippi Volunteers led a mounted force of 6 companies, 150 white militia riflemen, and 30 Tensaw métis (people of mixed American Indian and Euro-American ancestry) under Captain Dixon Bailey to intercept those warriors. They ambushed the Red Sticks in the Battle of Burnt Corn in July 1813[11] as the Creek were having their mid-day meal.[12] While the United States
United States
forces were looting the pack trains, the warriors returned and successfully drove off the Americans. The United States
United States
was now at war with the Creek Nation. In August 1813, Peter McQueen and Red Eagle (Weatherford) were the Red Stick chiefs who led the attack on Fort Mims. Nearly 1,000 warriors from thirteen Creek towns of the Alabamas, the Tallapoosas, and lower Abekas gathered at the mouth of Flat Creek on the lower Alabama River.[13] The mixed-blood Creek, also known as métis, of Tensaw, who had relocated from Upper Creek Towns with the approval of the Creek National Council,[further explanation needed] joined European-American settlers in taking refuge within the stockade of Fort Mims. Both these groups also brought slaves. There were about 517 people,[3][14] including some 265 armed militiamen in the fort.[3] Fort Mims was located about 35 to 45 miles (50–70 km) north of Mobile on the eastern side of the Alabama River.[15] Attack[edit]

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".[16] 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.[17] Beasley had claimed that he could "maintain the post against any number of Indians", but historians believe the stockade was poorly defended.[citation needed] 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.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20] The warriors forced their way into the inner enclosure and, despite attempts by Weatherford,[21] 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.[22] At least three women and ten children are known to have been made captive.[23][clarification needed] Some 36 people, nearly all men, escaped,[3] including Bailey, who was mortally wounded, and two women and one girl.[24] When a relief column arrived a few weeks later, it found 247 corpses of the defenders and 100 of the Creek attackers.[25] Aftermath[edit]

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[26]

Added to NRHP September 14, 1972

The Red Sticks' victory at Fort Mims spread panic throughout the Southeastern United States
Southeastern United States
frontier, and settlers demanded government action and fled. In the weeks following the battle, several thousand persons, about half the population of the Tensaw and Tombigbee districts, fled their settlements for Mobile, which, with a population of 500, struggled to accommodate them.[27] The Red Stick victory, one of the greatest achieved by Native Americans,[28] and massacre marked the transition from a civil war within the Creek tribe (Muskogee) to a war between the United States
United States
and the Red Stick warriors of the Upper Creek.[25] Since Federal troops were occupied with the northern front of the War of 1812, Tennessee, Georgia, and the Mississippi Territory
Mississippi Territory
mobilized their militias to move against the Upper Creek towns that had supported the Red Sticks' cause. After several battles, Major General Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
commanded these state militias and together with Cherokee allies defeated the Red Sticks Creek faction at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, ending the Creek War. Today, the Fort Mims site is maintained by the Alabama Historical Commission. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 14, 1972.[26] The Fort Mims massacre
Fort Mims massacre
is cited in Margaret Mitchell's epic novel Gone with the Wind. In the book, a minor character, Grandma Fontaine, shares her memories of seeing her entire family murdered in the Creek uprising following the massacre as a lesson to the protagonist, Scarlett. She explains that a woman should never experience the worst that can happen to her, for then she can never experience fear again.[29] See also[edit]

List of Indian massacres List of massacres in Alabama Mississippi Rifles
Mississippi Rifles
155th Infantry MNG Tombigbee District


^ 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 Historical Commission. ^ 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
National Park Service
(July 9, 2010). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.  ^ Waselkov, p. 142. ^ Waslkov, p. 138 ^ Margaret Mitchell
Margaret Mitchell
(1936). Gone With the Wind. Library Binding. pp. 452–53. ISBN 978-1439570838. 


Adams, Henry. History of the United States
United States
of America During the Administrations of James Madison (Library Classics of the United State, Inc. 1986), pp. 780–781 ISBN 0-940450-35-6 Burstein, Andrew. The Passions of Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
(Alfred A. Kopf 2003), p. 99 ISBN 0-375-41428-2 Ehle, John. Trail of Tears The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation (Anchor Books Editions 1989), p. 105 ISBN 0-385-23954-8 Halbert, Henry S., Ball, Timothy H.. The Creek War
Creek War
of 1813 and 1814, Chicago, 1895.[1] Heidler, David Stephen and Heidler, Jeanne T. "Creek War," in Encyclopedia of the War of 1812, Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, 1997. ISBN 978-0-87436-968-7 Mahon, John K.. The War of 1812
War of 1812
(University of Florida Press 1972) pp. 234–235 ISBN 0-8130-0318-0 Owsley, Jr., Frank L. "The Fort Mims Massacre," Alabama Review 1971 24(3): 192-204 Owsley, Frank L., Jr. Struggle for the Gulf Borderlands: The Creek War and the Battle of New Orleans, 1812-1815, Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1981. Thrapp, Dan L. "Weatherford, William (Lamouchattee, Red Eagle)", in Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography: in Three Volumes Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, 1991. OCLC 23583099 Waselkov, Gregory A.. A Conquering Spirit: Fort Mims and the Redstick War of 1813-1814 (University of Alabama Press, 2006) ISBN 0-8173-1491-1

External links[edit]

Fort Mims - official site at Alabama Historical Commission "Fort Mims Massacre", Encyclopedia of Alabama A map of Creek War
Creek War
Battle Sites, PCL Map Collection, University of Texas at Austin. "A Drawing of Fort Mims" Fort Mims Restoration Association Site about the Creek War
Creek War
including accounts, letters, etc. Jesse Griffin (survivor) letter W.S. Hoole Special
Collections Library, The University of Alabama

v t e

Conflicts of the War of 1812

Battles of the War of 1812

United States

Washington, D.C.

Burning of Washington


Battle of Fort Peter


Battle of New Orleans Siege of Fort St. Philip


Battle of Baltimore Battle of Bladensburg Battle of Caulk's Field Battle of North Point Battle of St. Michaels Raid on Havre de Grace


Battle of Hampden

New York

Battle of Big Sandy Creek Battle of Buffalo Battle of Ogdensburg Battle of Plattsburgh Capture of Fort Niagara Raid on Black Rock Second Battle of Sacket's Harbor


Battle of Fort Stephenson Copus massacre Siege of Fort Meigs


Battle of Craney Island Raid on Alexandria Skirmish at Farnham Church Battle of Rappahannock River

U.S. territories


Battles of Fort Bowyer


Battle of Fort Dearborn Battle of Rock Island Rapids Siege of Prairie du Chien


Battle of the Mississinewa Battle of Tippecanoe Battle of Wild Cat Creek Siege of Fort Harrison Siege of Fort Wayne


Battle of Brownstown Battle of Frenchtown Battle of Mackinac Island Battle of Maguaga Siege of Detroit Siege of Fort Mackinac


Battle of Burnt Corn Battle of Callabee Creek Canoe Fight Battle of Holy Ground Battle of Horseshoe Bend Battle of Talladega Battle of Tallushatchee Battles of Emuckfaw and Enotachopo Creek Fort Mims massacre Kimbell–James Massacre


Battle of Credit Island Battle of the Sink Hole

British North America

Lower Canada

Battle of the Chateauguay First Battle of Lacolle Mills Second Battle of Lacolle Mills

Upper Canada

Battle of Beaver Dams Battle of Chippawa Battle of Cook's Mills Battle of Crysler's Farm Battle of Fort George Battle of Frenchman's Creek Battle of Longwoods Battle of Lundy's Lane Battle of Malcolm's Mills Battle of Queenston Heights Battle of Stoney Creek Battle of the Thames Battle of York Capture of Fort Erie Raid on Elizabethtown Raid on Port Dover Raid on Gananoque Siege of Fort Erie

Spanish Empire

Spanish Florida

Battle of Pensacola

Naval battles

Atlantic Ocean

Capture of HMS Boxer Capture of HMS Cyane Capture of HMS Epervier Capture of HMS Frolic Capture of HMS Penguin Capture of HMS Dominica Capture of USS Argus Capture of USS Chesapeake Capture of USS President Chesapeake Bay Flotilla USS Constitution vs HMS Java Sinking of HMS Avon Battle of Fayal Sinking of HMS Peacock Sinking of HMS Reindeer USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere USS United States
United States
vs HMS Macedonian

Caribbean Sea

Battle of La Guaira

Great Lakes

Battle of Lake Erie Battle of Fort Oswego Engagements on Lake Huron Engagements on Lake Ontario First Battle of Sacket's Harbor

Gulf Coast

Action of 13 December 1814 Battle of Lake Borgne

Pacific Ocean

Action off James Island Action off Charles Island Nuku Hiva Campaign Battle of Valparaiso (Capture of USS Essex)

See also: American Indian Wars, Creek War, Napoleonic Wars, and Tecumseh's War

Category Portal

 definition  textbooks  quotes  source texts  media  news stories

v t e

U.S. National Register of Historic Places


Architectural style categories Contributing property Historic district History of the National Register of Historic Places Keeper of the Register National Park Service Property types

Lists by states

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Lists by insular areas

American Samoa Guam Minor Outlying Islands Northern Mariana Islands Puerto Rico Virgin Islands

Lists by associated states

Federated States of Micronesia Marshall Islands Palau

Other areas

District of Columbia Morocco


Coordinates: 31°10′50″N 87°50′17″W / 31.1805°N 87.838°W / 31.1