Battle of Horseshoe Bend

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Battle of Horseshoe Bend
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Battle_of_Horseshoe_Bend.jpg


ConflictCreek War, War of 1812
DateMarch 27, 1814
Placenear Wetumpka, Alabama
ResultUnited States victory
Combatants
Creek Indians
(Red Sticks)
United States
Cherokee
Creek allies
Commanders
Menawa Andrew Jackson
Strength
1,000 Red Stick Creek about 2,000 infantry
700 mounted infantry
600 Cherokee and Lower Creeks
Casualties
800 49 killed
154 wounded
Battle before: Battle of Talladega
Battle after: Battle of Pensacola

The Battle of Horseshoe Bend was fought during the War of 1812 in central Alabama. On March 27, 1814 United States forces and Indian allies under General Andrew Jackson defeated Creek Native Americans.

Contents

Background

Although having nothing to do with the British or Canadians, the battle is still considered part of the War of 1812. More specifically it was the major battle of the Creek War in which Andrew Jackson sought to clear Alabama for settlement. General Andrew Jackson was in command of an army of West Tennessee militia which he had turned into a well trained fighting force. To add to these militia units was the 39th United States Infantry and about 600 Cherokee and Lower Creek Indians fighting against the Red Stick Creek Indians. After leaving Fort Williams in the Spring of 1814, Jackson's army cut its way through the forest to within 6 miles of the Chief Menawa's Red Stick camp near a bend in the Tallapoosa River called Horseshoe Bend in central Alabama. Jackson sent General John Coffee with the mounted infantry and the Indian allies south across the river to surround the camp, while Jackson stayed with the rest of the 2,000 infantry north of the camp.

The Battle

On March 26, at 10:30 in the morning Jackson began an artillery barrage which caused little damage. Coffee's Cherokees began crossing the river and fighting the Red Sticks from the rear. Jackson ordered an all-out bayonet charge. The infantry charged the barricade surrounding the camp and quickly overwhelmed it. The battle quickly became a rout, and roughly 550 Red Sticks were killed on the field while many of the rest were killed trying to cross the river. Chief Menawa was severely wounded but survived to lead only about 200 of the origional 1,000 warriors across the river and into safety in Florida.

Results

The Battle of Horshoe Bend was a crushing defeat for the Red Stick Creek. Hostile Creeks held out against the U.S. for another few months. The Treaty of Fort Jackson, signed April 9, 1814 ceded 23 million acres (93,000 km²) of Creek land in Alabama and Georgia to the United States government.

This victory along with the Battle of New Orleans gave Andrew Jackson the popularity to win election as President of the United States.

Sam Houston (the future Governor of Tennessee and Texas) served as a third lieutenant in Jackson's army. He was the first soldier to make it over the log barricade alive, and received a wound from a Creek arrow that troubled him the rest of his life.

The battlefield is preserved in the Horseshoe Bend National Military Park.

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