The Battle of Horseshoe Bend
In March 1814, General Jackson's army left
Fort Williams on the Coosa, cut a 52-mile trail through the
forest in three days, and on the 26th made camp six miles north of
The next morning, Jackson sent General John Coffee and 700 mounted
infantry and 600 Cherokee and Lower Creek allies three
miles down-stream to cross the Tallapoosa and surround the bend.
He took the rest of the army - about 2000 men,
consisting of East and West Tennessee militia and the
Thirty-ninth U.S. Infantry - into the peninsula and at
10:30 a.m. began an ineffectual two-hour artillery
bombardment of the Red Sticks' log barricade.
At noon, some of Coffee's Cherokees crossed the river and
assaulted the Red Sticks from the rear. Jackson quickly ordered a
frontal bayonet charge, which poured over the barricade.
Fighting ranged over the south end of the peninsula
throughout the afternoon. By dark at least 800 of
Chief Menawa's 1,000 Red Sticks were dead (557
slain on the field and 200-300 in the river).
Menawa himself, although severely wounded, managed to escape.
Jackson's losses in the battle were 49 killed and 154 wounded,
Though the Red Sticks had been crushed at Tohopeka,
the remnants of the hostile Creeks held out for several months.
In August 1814, exhausted and starving, they surrendered to
Jackson at Wetumpka, near the present city of Montgomery, Alabama.
The Treaty of Fort Jackson ending the conflict required the Creeks
to cede some 20 million acres of land -
more than half of their ancestral territorial holdings -
to the United States. The state of Alabama was carved out
of this domain and admitted to the Union in 1819.
In 1829, partly as a result of his fame from the
battles of Horseshoe Bend and New Orleans,
Andrew Jackson was elected President of the
United States; a year later he signed the
Indian Removal Bill forcing all the tribes east of
the Mississippi River to move to Oklahoma,
a journey the Cherokees called the "Trail of Tears."
The Southeast, cleared of most Indians and free from
the threat of foreign intervention,
thus became part of the United States and was opened for
settlement by whites.