Burnt Corn, AL, a town in Monroe Co., was rich in the history of the early Alabama Territory. Closeby was the famous Federal Road, a former Indian horse path, which crossed the territory into Georgia. For nearly a century whites and Creeks had lived in peace with good trade relations, intermarriage, and reliable treaties. There was almost full assimilation. But this was soon to change. In the fall of 1811, the great Shawnee Tecumseh came into the area to incite the Creeks against the whites. He gave a speech at Tuckabatchee, challenging the Creeks to regain their former glory. In Florida, the Spanish were also encouraging discord among the Creeks; it was to their advantage, both politically and monetarily. Thus arose the struggles of the whites against the Creeks to claim the land. And here in Monroe Co. whites staged a surprise attack on the Red Sticks in the first battle of the Creek War of 1813-1814-- the Battle of Burnt Corn.
The hostile Creeks were called Red Sticks because of the red-painted clubs that they carried; the name was a proud name for them. They sought however more sophisticated arms and journeyed to Pensacola tp purchase guns and gunpowder from the Spanish. On 7/27/1813, 80 Creeks under Peter McQueen and High Head Jim were returning from Florida to the Upper Creeks. They camped for the night at on the banks of Burnt Corn Creek.
The whites had heard about the gun purchase and were afraid of the consequences of such action, relations with the Creeks had so seriously deteriorated. About 180 white militia under Col. James Caller organized an attack to halt this threatening flow of supplies to the Indians.
As the Creeks relaxed before the evening meal, the horde of militia crept over the hill above and swooped down into the midst of the camp. A complete surprise! Horses scattered as did the Red Sticks. A war whoop went up! At first, the whites had the advantage. The startled Creeks stood their ground but soon began to run for cover in the swamps. The exultant militia began plundering, gathering horses and guns and whatever they could find. In their zeal for booty, they forgot their mission. Seeing this from their hiding places in the cane brake, the Creeks went on a furious attack. Panic ensued and the whites began to flee! Some, like the wounded hero Captain Sam Dale, fought on bravely but in vain. The whites' numbers were now greatly reduced. The situation was hopeless. Now it was the whites who retreated in humiliation with the Creeks in swift pursuit. The tragic Creek War was begun but for now the Red Sticks had won the day!
Click on the link to learn more of about the great Sam Dale.
Amongst the wounded at Burnt Corn was Alexandre Hollinger, son of Adam Hollinger and Marie Joseph Juzan.
Before the Creek War and after, whites and mixed bloods lived in the town of Burnt Corn. Among the mixed blood families were these names: Weatherford, Tait, Durant, McGilbray (McGillivray). Those were families of high descent among the noble Wind Clan of the Creeks; they were of the elite of the great Creeks. Also living there were my great great great grandparents, the Hightowers; my great great grandfather James A. Hightower, was born there in 1814.