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Creek War

The Creek War of 1813-1814 began as a civil war within the Creek Nation. Inspired by the fiery eloquence of Tecumseh and their own prophets, Creeks known as Red Sticks sought aggressively to return their society to a traditional way of life. Creek leaders such as William Weatherford (Red Eagle), Peter McQueen, and Menawa violently clashed with other chiefs of the Creek Nation over white encroachment on Creek lands and the "civilizing" programs administered by U.S. Indian Agent Benjamin Hawkins. This civil war would ultimately lead to a Red Stick attack on Fort Mims, near Mobile on August 30, 1813 which left 247 dead and spread panic throughout the American southwestern frontier.

In response to the massacre at Fort Mims, Tennessee, Georgia, and the Mississippi Territory sent armies deep into the Creek country. Outnumbered and poorly armed, the Red Sticks put up a desperate fight from their wilderness strongholds but valor and the magic of their prophets failed to halt the converging armies. On March 27, 1814 General Andrew Jackson's Tennessee militia, aided by the 39th U.S. Infantry Regiment and Cherokee and Creek allies, finally crushed Red Stick resistance at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend on the Tallapoosa River. Jackson's decisive victory at Horseshoe Bend broke the power of the Creek Nation.

On August 9, 1814 the Creeks were forced to sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson, which ceded 23 million acres to the United States government. With the Red Stick menace subdued, Andrew Jackson was able to focus on the Gulf coast region and defeat the British at the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815. Afterwards, Jackson focused his attentions on the Seminole Wars in Florida. As a result of these victories, Jackson became a national figure and eventually rose to become the seventh President of the United States in 1829.

Red Sticks

Peter McQueen

William Weatherford


Benjamin Hawkins

The "civilizing" policy of the United States government and Hawkins personal influence on the Creek National Council unfortunately served to aggravate tensions which eventually led to civil war among the Creeks in the summer of 1813. During the Creek War of 1813-1814, Hawkins organized the friendly Creeks under Major William McIntosh to aid the Georgia and Tennessee militias during their forays against the Red Sticks. After the Red Stick defeat at Horseshoe Bend, activities in Georgia and Tennessee prevented Hawkins from moderating the Treaty of Fort Jackson in August 1814. Hawkins later organized friendly Creeks against a British force on the Apalachicola River that threatened to rally the scattered Red Sticks and reignite the war on the Georgia frontier. After the British withdrew in 1815 Hawkins began organizing a force to secure the area when he died from a sudden illness in June 1816.