Published on February 10, 2013 by Carol
Since the early 19th century, the Creek Indians of present-day Georgia and Alabama were deeply troubled by the continuing encroachment of white settlers onto their lands. Though tribal leaders initially counseled neutrality and peace, this would change when Shawnee Chief Tecumseh visited the southern tribes, urging a confederation to end the encroachment on their lands and to maintain their way of life. He won many ardent supporters among the younger warriors, who joined with the northern Indians and the British.
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The first of the Creek campaigns constituted an initial phase of the War of 1812, as a series of raids were launched against white settlements. Later, the war reached crisis proportions when the Upper Creek, along with British soldiers, sacked Fort Mims, Alabama in August, 1813, massacring more than 500 men, women, and children.
These same Indians, grown to a force of about 900 warriors, were decisively beaten at Horseshoe Bend, Alabama in late March, 1814 by Andrew Jackson and his force of about 2,000 troops, plus several hundred friendly Indians. Eventually, the vast majority of Creek Indians were sent Indian Territory in 1832. Most of the rest of Creek who remained the Southeast were also moved to Indian Territory in 1836-37, after participating in the Second Seminole War.