The Battle of Horseshoe Bend is considered part of the War of 1812. The battle was fought between a traditionalist faction of the Creek tribe known as the Red Sticks against United States forces and Indian allies under General Andrew Jackson.
The Red Sticks were part of a pan-Indian resistance against American expansionism inspired by the Shawnee leader Tecumseh. On the other side, General Jackson commanded the West Tennessee militia, the 39th United States Infantry and about 600 Cherokee, Choctaw and Lower Creeks.
On March 27, 1814, the Red Sticks were camped at a bend in the Tallapoosa River. General Jackson ordered his infantry and Indian allies to approach the Red Sticks from the south, across the river, while Jackson attacked from the north. The Red Sticks were caught in a devastating crossfire that killed hundreds. The battle effectively ended the Creek War.
Sadly, with the end of the war, Andrew Jackson would turn against his allies. Despite the fact that the bulk of the Creek Nation fought alongside Jackson, they were forced to cede 23 million acres (half of Alabama and part of southern Georgia) to the United States government. Jackson saw no difference between the Creeks that had fought alongside him and those who had opposed him.
In the 1830s, President Andrew Jackson would again turn on his former allies, signing the Indian Removal Act and eventually forcing the Cherokee (and Creek) west to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma). Chief Junaluska, a Cherokee who saved the life of Jackson in battle and who’d fought alongside Jackson at Horseshoe Bend, stated, “If I had known that Jackson would drive us from our homes, I would have killed him that day at the Horseshoe.”
Photos Copyright Christina Berry, All Things Cherokee
Horseshoe Bend National Military Park Travel Details
Park grounds are open from 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and admission is free.
Directions: The Horseshoe Bend National Military Park is northwest of Auburn, Alabama. For specific directions, click the “Directions” link in the location bubble of the map above and enter your starting location on the left.
GPS & Map: 32.978716146003336,-85.73593139648438