The Battle at Horseshoe Bend
In March 1814 General Jackson left Fort Creek Land Cessions, 1733–1832 Jackson’s losses were 49 killed and 154
Strother and built a new fort, Fort Wil- wounded, many of them mortally.
liams, farther south on the Coosa. Rein-
forced by Lower Creek and Cherokee allies The Red Sticks suffered defeat at Tohope-
and a regiment of U.S. infantry, Jackson’s ka but many refused to surrender and
army marched out of Fort Williams, cut- joined the Seminoles in Florida. In August
ting a 52-mile trail through the forest in 1814 a delegation of Creek chiefs surren-
three days. On March 26, the army made dered to Jackson at Wetumpka, near to-
camp six miles north of Horseshoe Bend. day’s Montgomery, Ala. In the Treaty of
In the morning Jackson sent Brig. Gen. Fort Jackson ending the conflict, Creeks
John Coffee and 700 mounted infantry ceded 23 million acres—nearly half their
plus 600 Cherokee and Lower Creek allies ancestral territory—to the United States.
three miles downstream to cross the Tall- The state of Alabama, created from this
apoosa and surround the bend. He took land, joined the Union in 1819.
the rest of the army, 2,000 men from East
and West Tennessee militia and the Thirty- In 1828, partly for his fame from the bat-
ninth U.S. Infantry, into the peninsula. At tles of Horseshoe Bend and New Orleans,
10:30 a.m. their artillery bombarded the attack, Jackson quickly ordered a frontal Andrew Jackson was elected president
Red Sticks’ log barricade for two hours assault that poured over the barricade. of the United States. Two years later he
without effect. Fighting ranged over the peninsula’s south signed the Indian Removal Bill requiring
end through the afternoon. By dark at southeastern tribes to move west of the
At noon some of Coffee’s Cherokees least 800 of Chief Menawa’s 1,000 Red Mississippi River to Indian Territory (Okla-
crossed the river and attacked the Red Sticks were dead. Menawa was severely homa), a journey the Cherokees called
Sticks from the rear. Once aware of the wounded but managed to escape. the “Trail of Tears.”
ALL PHOTOS NPS
“Gen. Andrew Jackson” at an annual March The park’s 1918 monument commemorating A Creek Stomp Dance demonstration at the
Battle Anniversary program. Horseshoe Bend carries the wrong date for annual March Battle Anniversary program.
About Your Visit
The park is on Ala. 49, both 50 miles north To arrange flintlock and biting fire ants. More Information System. To learn more
12 miles north of Dade- of the park on Ala. musket demonstra- Be cautious while Horseshoe Bend about national parks
ville and 18 miles 49. There is a picnic tions and group tours, boating or while National Military Park and National Park
north of Alexander area at Horseshoe contact the park. walking near the riv- 11288 Horseshoe Service programs in
City. Both towns offer Bend. erbank. Watch chil- Bend Road America’s communi-
restaurants and mo- A Junior Ranger pro- dren at all times. Daviston, AL 36256; ties, visit www.nps.
tels. The nearest A 3-mile loop road gram is offered for 256-234-7111 gov.
camping is at Wind through the battle- children 6–12 years Report all accidents or email hobe_Adminis-
Creek State Park, six field has trails and in- old. any hazards to park firstname.lastname@example.org. Laws protect all natu-
miles south of Alexan- formative markers. A rangers, who are here www.nps.gov/hobe ral and historical fea-
der City. Campgrounds 2.8-mile nature trail For Your Safety to help you enjoy tures. To disturb them
are also at Talladega through the battle- Please be alert to haz- your visit. Horseshoe Bend is is strictly prohibited.
National Forest and field begins at the ards like poisonous one of over 390 parks
✩GPO:20xx—xxx-xxx/xxxxx Reprint 20xx
Mt. Cheaha State Park, Overlook parking lot. snakes, poison ivy, in the National Park Printed on recycled paper.
A Tour of the Park
Before you tour the battlefield, stop at the visi- eight feet high & of remarkable compactness & river” to the barricade then under attack by
tor center to see the 23-minute orientation film strength . . . .” It was “prepared with double Jackson’s militia and regulars. Coffee also said
and museum exhibits about Creek culture, the rows of Port Holes well formed & skilfully ar- that “attempts to cross the river at all points of
Creek War, and the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. ranged, [and] was of such a figure that an Army the bend were made by the enemy but not one
could not approach it, without being exposed escaped, very few ever reached the bank, and
Overlook Andrew Jackson’s army arrived here to a cross fire.” Just before the battle, Jackson those were killed the very instant they landed.”
about 10 a.m. on March 27, 1814. Brig. Gen. placed two small cannon here, a 3-pounder and
John Coffee’s mounted infantry and Indian al- a 6-pounder, trained on the barricade. About Tohopeka Village Tohopeka (meaning fort or
lies crossed the Tallapoosa about three miles 10:30 a.m., he “opened a brisk fire upon its cen- fortification) was a temporary Red Stick village
downstream and encircled the “horseshoe” so tre; but altho the balls which passed through, begun several months before the battle. The
the Red Sticks could not get help from other killed several of the enemy, they were not dis- warriors’ families wintered here in crude log
towns or escape by swimming the river. Jackson pursed, nor was any important damage done huts while the men built the barricade across
deployed his own militia and regulars across the to the works.” Finally, at 12:30 p.m., Jackson the peninsula. The women and children stayed
field and placed his artillery on the hill to your ordered a frontal attack of the Creek position. here during the battle. The Cherokees burned
right. Straight ahead, behind their log barricade Surging forward, his troops quickly overran the Tohopeka during their assault on the Red Sticks’
(marked by the line of white stakes), 1,000 Red barricade and, after vicious hand-to-hand fight- position. After the fighting ended, 350 Red
Stick warriors awaited Jackson’s attack. ing, drove the Red Sticks down the peninsula Stick women and children were taken prisoner.
toward Coffee’s mounted infantry and Indian A short trail leads to the overlook shelter.
Note: This hill, called Cotton Patch Hill for its allies. “The event could no longer be in doubt,”
terraced cultivation before the park was cre- Jackson would later write. “The enemy altho Newyaucau Town and the Aftermath This
ated, is steep. Visitors with disabilities may many of them fought to the last with the kind Upper Creek town, across the river to the north-
find it difficult to climb. You can see the bat- of bravery desperation inspires, were at last east, was named for the 1790 Treaty of New
tlefield from Tour Stop 5 with no accessibility entirely routed and cut to pieces. The whole York guaranteeing Creek lands and perpetual
problem. margin of the river which surrounded the friendship with the United States. The Georgia
peninsula was strewed with the slain.” militia under Maj. Gen. David Adams burned it
The Island On March 27, Coffee ordered 40 before the battle, and, and its people joined
men of Lt. Jesse Bean’s Tennessee militia com- Cherokee Crossing The Red Sticks gathered the other refugees at Tohopeka.
pany to occupy this 15-acre island. Their mission in the “horseshoe” hoped the encircling riv-
was to prevent Red Stick warriors seeking ref- er would protect them from Jackson’s attack. After the battle the surrounding land and much
uge there. Many Creeks did attempt to escape But Jackson surrounded the bend with his al- of east-central Alabama remained Creek. This
to the island but were “sunk by Lt. Bean’s com- lied warriors, who, led by a Cherokee named area was not ceded to the United States under
mand ere they reached the bank.” Whale, launched a surprise rear attack into the Treaty of Fort Jackson, and Creek people
Tohopeka village. The warriors crossed the riv- continued to live here until the 1830s. Starting
The Barricade The log breastwork the Red er in canoes stolen from the Creeks, Coffee said, in 1836 the U.S. Army forcibly removed over
Sticks built across the peninsula was, Jackson “advanced into the village & very soon drove 19,000 Creeks from Alabama.
wrote, “eighty-poles in length, from five to the enemy up from the bank of the