Excerpts from the History of Coosa County, Alabama
By Rev. George E. Brewer
(transcribed from The Alabama Historical Quarterly, Vol. 04, No. 01, Spring Issue 1942)
Georgia claimed all the territory from its border to the Mississippi
As the colony filled with population, the tendency was to continually press westward. The Indians opposed it as trespassing upon them west of the Ocmulgee. The result was frequent clashings between the English settlers and the Indians So when wars were waged between England and France, the Indians were usually allies of the French.
Map of Georgia cession and Mississippi territory 1802
In the war of the Revolution, and that of 1812 to 1814, the Indians were allies of the English as against the colonists, because of this grudge against the encroaching colonists. In 1802, Georgia ceeded all her claim to what is now Alabama and Mississippi to the United States. This made it necessary for the United States to send armies.of invasion into this territory during the war of 1812-14 to put down the depredations of the warlike Indians.
1812 Map of Alabama
Some of them were, however, friends of the United States, and many of their braves were its allies, fighting against their own people.These Indians were the Muskogees, said to have been the most numerous, brave, and warlike of all the tribes north of the Gulf of Mexico.
Site of an Indian village on the Coosa River in the southern corner of Etowah County, Alabama, one and a half miles above the Greensport Ferry ca. 1930 – According to a note on the back of the photograph, “Here Soto crossed to this town of Taski en route to Coosa.”
Alabama Department of Archives and History
The Cherokees, Choctaws, and Chickasaws were also in the territory, but the general name of Creeks is applied to all of them, it is thought from the large number of creeks flowing through their country.
The Indians were again defeated at Hillabee Town, November 18th, by General White, when 60 warriors were killed. General Floyd invaded the country from Georgia about the same time, and built Fort Mitchell in what is now Russell County. From there he marched to Autossee in Macon County, and defeated the Indians, inflicting a loss of 200 warriors. He then fell back to Fort Mitchell.
Reinforcing, he advanced to Callebee Creek, where the Indians attacked him, inflicting a heavy loss upon him, though they also suffered a heavy loss. There had been some other victories gained over the Indians, both north and west. General Jackson had been delayed for want of supplies, but in January he again invaded their country with 900 whites and 200 friendly Indians.
Jackson was suddenly attacked again on January 24th, near Enitochopco, a Hillabee village, as he was retreating toward Fort Strother. His army was at one time in great peril, but the assailants were finally driven off, and Jackson continued his retreat to Ft. Strother.
Having received reinforcements of the 39th U. S. Infantry, and two brigades of Tennessee militia, he moved again into their country and, on March 21st, established Fort Williams, where Fayetteville, Talladega County, now is.
On the 27th of March, following the Chapman Road which he had opened, he attacked the Indians in their strong fortifications at Tohepoka, or Horseshoe Bend, on the Tallapoosa River.
Aerial view of Horseshoe Bend
This was a very severe and bloody battle, the Indians fighting with desperate bravery, though surrounded on all sides by their foes. Five hundred and fifty-seven of their warriors lay dead on the field, and others were shot in trying to escape by swimming the river.
Horseshoe Bend Battle
Of Jackson’s army, 54 were killed and 156 were wounded. The blow was so heavy that it about ended the war, as most of their warriors were dead. April 21st, Jackson returned to Ft. Williams.
He built a fort on the site of the old French Fort Toulouse, which he called Ft. Jackson, which name it yet bears. This was just one hundred years from the time Bienville built his fort on the same spot. From this fort detachments were sent out to burn and destroy the towns and crops, and kill what remaining warriors could be found The villages were generally deserted, and what Indians were left were generally suing for peace, for they were without food, and most of their leaders and warriors were dead.
The Federal government demanded as remuneration for expenses incurred in the war, a cession of territory embracing all the country claimed by Muscogees west of the Coosa River to the Tombigbee, and south of a line running southeast from the Coosa Falls, where Wetumpka now is, to a certain point on the Chattahoochee just below where the town of Eufaula is.
Fort Jackson Treaty
This opened the way for the whites to about half of the present limits of the State of Alabama. This treaty did not cover that part occupied by Coosa and several other counties of a later period. It was a very important concession from the Indians and was made with much reluctance, and would not have been granted had they been in condition to resist. The whites rapidly came into this new territory so that there was soon a considerable population gathered upon the soil.
This left still an important part of Alabama in the possession of the Indians, which remained theirs until by a treaty with them, made in 1832, at Cusseta, now in Chambers County, the preliminary negotiations were entered into with the Creeks to cede to the United States all their land east of the Mississippi River.
This was accomplished by formally signing the agreement on the part of their leaders at Washington, March 24th, 1832, in the presence of Wm. R. King, Saml. W. Mardis, C. C Clay, John A. Broadnax, John Tipton, Wm. Wilkins, Saml. Bell, J. Speight, and John Crowell. This treaty gave to the whites all that part of the State now embraced in the counties of Coosa, Talladega, Benton (now Calhoun), Etowah, Cleburne, Tallapoosa, Randolph, Chambers, Lee, Russell, Barbour, Bullock, Macon, and Clay, called for a long time New Alabama.
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Alabama Footprints Confrontation is a collection of lost and forgotten stories that reveals why and how the confrontation between the Native American population and settlers developed into the Creek-Indian War as well as stories of the bravery and heroism of participants from both sides.
Some stores include:
- Tecumseh Causes Earthquake
- Terrified Settlers Abandon Farms
- Survivor Stories From Fort Mims Massacre
- Hillabee Massacre
- Threat of Starvation Men Turn To Mutiny
- Red Eagle After The War