Decisive Red Stick victory Red Sticks take Fort Mims and kill inhabitants
Red Stick Creek United States
COMMANDERS AND LEADERS
750 -1,000 warriors
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
Fort Mims, 22-Beasley's cabin, 25-Beasley's death, 26-eastern
gate Map of Alabama during the
War of 1812
The BATTLE AT FORT MIMS occurred on 30 August 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 Lower Creek, 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
* 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
American spies learned that
Peter McQueen 's party of
Red Sticks were
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.
The mixed-blood Creek, also known as métis, of Tensaw, one of the
Lower Towns, joined European-American settlers in taking refuge within
the stockade of Fort Mims. Both these groups also brought slaves.
There were about 517 people, including some 265 armed militiamen in
the fort. Fort Mims was located about 35 to 45 miles (50–70 km)
north of Mobile on the eastern side of the
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. 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.
Fort Mims Site
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 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. The Red Stick victory, one of
the greatest achieved by Native Americans, and massacre marked the
transition from a civil war within the Creek tribe (Muskogee) to a war
Since Federal troops were occupied with the northern front of the War
of 1812 ,
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.