The Battle of Horseshoe Bend 1814

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Recently, I completed a 16 page paper on the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. Since it is military history I am going to post parts of my paper here for my fellow history buffs to enjoy. If anyone wants to know more about the battle, ask and you shall recieve. NOTE: the meat of the paper was on the causes and events leading to the battle and not the battle itself.


[FONT=&quot]During the War of 1812, the [FONT=&quot]United States
[FONT=&quot] engaged in a campaign against Indians in frontier bordering
[FONT=&quot]Tennessee[/FONT][FONT=&quot], [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Georgia[/FONT][FONT=&quot] and [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Mississippi[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. The campaign began in 1813 and ended in 1814. The climax of the war with the Indians took place at a bend in the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Tallapoosa[/FONT][FONT=&quot]River[/FONT][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&quot]northeast of present day Alexander City, Alabama. 800 Creek Indian warriors and their families had set up a village at a meander in the Tallapoosa River.1 The Americans would call this bend the Horseshoe in reference to its shape. 2 General Jackson, with a force of over 3,000, surrounded the 800 Creeks and attacked. The battle was extremely one sided. The Creeks held low ground with their backs to the river, only one third of the Creeks had firearms and they were outnumbered three to one. Only a handful of Creek warriors survived the battle while 300 women and children were taken prisoner. The American and friendly Indian casualties only totaled 49 dead and 154 wounded. 3 Although the battle itself was simple, the causes and events that lead to the battle of Horseshoe Bend were extremely complicated.

BURNT CORN(June 1813)

[/FONT] Members of American militia heard reports of Creek Indians getting war supplies from Pensacola and decided to attack. The militia force consisted of 180 men and friendly Indians. The force met the diminished force of McQueen’s warriors. The Red Sticks had banished all those who were not willing to fight. They now numbered less than one hundred. The Americans caught the Red Sticks by surprise while they were eating dinner at a bluff near Burnt Corn Creek. The Red Sticks were initially driven off, and The Americans captured the supply train. However, while the Americans were busy securing the packhorses, the Red Sticks counter attacked and totally dispersed the American force. Many Americans fled on the captured horses. To the Red Sticks, the Battle of Burnt Corn would represent a declaration of war by the Americans. To get even, the Red Sticks planned to attack Ft. Mims.30


The Red Sticks planned to hit Fort Mims with 1,000 warriors and another 600 in reserve. The Red Sticks were under the leadership of McQueen and Weatherford, who use be against war with the Red Sticks. One account declares that Weatherford agreed to be with the Red Sticks after three Red Stick Chiefs demanded that he join their cause or die. The Red Sticks waited for the most opportune time to attack. That moment came on August 30, 1813. At noon, the drums sounded, signaling lunch. The commander of the fort, Captain Dixon Bailey, foolishly left the gate unguarded. He also dismissed the report by two slaves that there Indians in the area the day before. At the moment the drums beat, the Red Sticks attacked. The Americans were never able to retake the gate, which meant their doom. The Red Sticks, despite the pleas of the innocent, proceeded to kill every man women and child. The slaughter would take over 4 hours to complete. Some Americans may have been spared, but the reserve force of 600 Red Sticks entered the fort looking to spill blood and finished the job. The Indians took the fort with heavy losses and then killed all but about 36 of some 550 in the fort. 33 Most of the survivors were slaves because the Red Sticks did not kill slaves after battle, but the slaves would become prisoner to the Red Sticks.

Jackson’s army had a huge advantage over the Red Sticks in men and weaponry. At the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, only one third of the Red Stick warriors had muskets. 40 Unfortunately for the Americans, enlistment disputes, a lack of supplies and lack of military discipline would severely hinder Jackson’s army from November 1813 to January 1814. At one point, only six men of one company crossed a river to continue the campaign. The men had claimed that they only enrolled for three months and would not go on. 41 Officers constantly pleaded with Jackson for a solution to the enlistment problem. Jackson’s solution was to arrest the offenders and place them back into the ranks. 42 Governor Blunt had advised Jackson to retire from the winter campaign, but Jackson pressed on. Jackson was almost defeated at Emuckfau and Enotocho in January 1814. 43 He then withdrew to form a new Army.

In February, Jackson raised a new Army with the aid of Governor Blount. This new force would also have 600 regulars from the 39th U.S. Infantry Regiment. 44 Jackson finally had a unit of discipline soldiers for his campaign. He would use the regulars over the militia to charge the wooden wall defense that the Red Sticks had erected at Horseshoe Bend. To bolster discipline among the militia, Jackson carried out a death sentence of a soldier, who was guilty of running in the face of the enemy, in front of his entire army. At the time, death sentences of this type were rarely carried out, with the offender being pardoned.45 Jackson paid special attention to supplying his army. He declared that he would not lose the coming campaign for a want of meat and flour. 46 Jackson was finally able to supply his army and carry out the attack at the Horseshoe.

Jackson surrounded the Red Sticks at the Horse Shoe and attempted to offer terms of surrender to the Red Sticks. As the American delegation approached the wooden wall that the Red Sticks had built for defense, an Indian warrior shot at the Americans, which ended negotiations with the Indians. The wooden wall was the main defense for the Red Sticks and reflected the Red Sticks name for the battle. The Indians called the engagement the Battle of Tehopeska, Creek for wooden fence. Jackson began the attack by using his two artillery pieces, which had little effect on the wall.
Some Cherokee Indians, who were a part of the holding force on the other side of the Tallapoosa River, crossed the river and attacked the Red Sticks from the rear two hours into the artillery bombardment. When the Cherokees attacked the wall, Jackson ordered his men to charge the wall. The Red Sticks could not hold against the attack and fought nearly to the last man. 47
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Doody, awesome from what I see. I would like to see more. I have been to tjhe Horseshoe Bend Battleground and have read everything I can get my hands on about it. Perhaps a list of sources, maybe you know of some I haven't read yet??

I lived in Alexander City for two years.
PM me your e-mail address and I will send you the complete paper after I make a few minor edits that the professor wrote. He gave me a 70 out of 70 on content and research. I was happy with that since with his tests, the highest grade tends to be a high 80. As for sources, I have 50 footnotes and over 20 sources.
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the battle of horseshoe bend

I would love to have a copy of your paper. The parts I have read are great. My family home is only about 10 minutes for the park. I have been through there numerous times. My email addy is .

Thank you,
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