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Fort Mims (1813-1813) - A settler defense established in 1813 during the Creek Indian War in Baldwin County, Alabama. Attacked, taken and destroyed by Creek "Red Stick" warriors in 1813.
Fort Mims History
A settler defense established in 1813 during the Creek Indian War. The defense included the Mims home surrounded by a stockade that encompassed a square acre of the Mims property. The stockade had two strong gates, one at the eastern side and one at the western side. A blockhouse was begun but never completed.
Inside the stockade some 553 defenders assembled in the summer of 1813 including 265 soldiers, the remainder being settlers and their families and a number of slaves. The fort had been built and the settlers had gathered because hostile Creek Indians who had been engaged in a civil war amongst themselves had begun to attack settlers. Commanding the military men at the fort was Major Daniel Beasley, 1st Mississippi Volunteers, who was not a professional military officer but a lawyer by profession.
The post was in a relaxed state of readiness at noon on 30 Aug 1813 when 1,000 Creek Indians of the "Red Stick" faction under Chief William Weatherford attacked the fort, forcing their way through an open gate during the noon meal. A number of the soldiers and settlers were killed during the initial attack including Major Beasley but the remaining troops and settlers rallied and temporarily drove the attackers back by inflicting heavy casualties on them. The remaining defenders were now under the command of Captain Dixon Bailey and grouped inside the Mims house and other cabins. The Red Sticks attacked again using flaming arrows to set the dwellings on fire forcing the defenders to exit the buildings and killing them as they did. Captain Bailey was severely wounded and the organized defense evaporated. In the end some 400 settlers and soldiers were killed while some of the slaves were spared and made slaves of the Red Sticks. The fort was destroyed and outrage over the Fort Mims Massacre sparked a retaliatory war that ended with Andrew Jackson defeating the Red Sticks at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. Jackson forced the Creek Indians to sign the treaty of Fort Jackson on 9 Aug 1814 and they ceded some 21 million acres of their lands to the U.S. Government.
Reconstructed fort site, Baldwin County, Alabama
Location: Baldwin County, Alabama.
Maps & Images
Lat: 31.1805 Long: -87.838
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 9
- North American Forts - Fort Mims
- Fort Mims massacre (Beirne, The War of 1812, pp235‑238)
- Wikipedia - Fort Mims massacre
Fort Mims Picture Gallery
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