In 1813, Red Eagle joined the Red Sticks' fight against the whites who were moving into their territory. Red Eagle and Peter McQueen, his cousin by marriage, planned an attack on Ft. Mims. It is said that Weatherford tried to stop the attack for he learned some of his family were there. See the letters below. See also the letter from Charles Weatherford in defense of his grandfather.
And heed this from Woodrow Wallace: "William Weatherford should not be considered a leader in the attack on Fort Mims. He was forced to participate not just from fear of losing his life but fear of being a traitor to his own people. He apparently thought he could restrain the bloodthirsty adherents of Tecumsee, who in 1811 exhorted the Upper Creeks to open the wombs of the whites and destroy the unborn children. In short to eradicate the whites from the Creek lands. If we have to select a leader of the Red Sticks I think it would be Peter McQueen, husband of Betsy Durant, daughter of Ben and Sophia Durant."
To view a map of the fort, click here.
It is August 30, 1813. There are at Ft. Mims, a total of 553 people -- whites, Indians, military officers and soldiers, and slaves -- all crowded into the enclosure. The fort is really just a stockade built around a cluster of houses on the Mims plantation. The people have been warned that attack is imminent.
View the list of one company, that of Captain Thomas H. Boyles.
Nearby, the Creeks -- the Red Sticks-- are mightily armed and preparing for war! They number over 1000. Their leaders are William Weatherford -- Red Eagle, Peter McQueen, and Josiah Francis. William Weatherford is surely torn for within the fort are his brothers and sister and their families. But there in the fort, also, are enemies and one, William's bitterest enemy, Dixon Bailey.
He tries to stop the attack but the other Creeks threaten to kill him. The Red Sticks are determined to attack. So he goes ahead with the attack plan.
To view a larger version of the picture, click here.
And it works. It is a massacre! In the end, almost 250 of the the settlers' party are dead and over 100 warriors are dead. Included among the dead are the families of Tates, Steadhams, Stiggins, Tarvins (uncle, aunt, cousins of my great great grandfather George Franklin Tervin), and Bailey.
Note: these are the surnames of those that died seeking refuge or protecting those within the fort.
Where there are family pages or mention of them within a family, on this site, I am trying to place a link. That does not necessarily mean that there is a page specifically for persons that died, but it would be pages of persons within the family.
Adcock, Allen, Bailey, Barlow, Bates, Benjamin, Bates, Beckum, Bennet, Bonner, Bradley, Breed, Bryars, Buford, Byrd, Campbell, Capel, Carson, Cato, Carter, Chatham, Clark, Cobb, Connell, Coppedge, Crossman, Curry, Dale, Daniel, Darling, Davenport, David, Davis, Devereau, Dennis, Dewitt, Dismukes, Dixon, Dubose, Durant, Dunn, Dwyer, Earle, Edmunds, Ellis, Espy, Gasque, Gates, Gayle, Glenn, Goolsby, Granade, Green, Hadley, Hall, Haley, Hammond, Harris, Hart, Hathaway, Hays, Holmes, Hollinger, Howell, James, Jernigan, Joiner, Jones, Kelly, Kennedy, Kimbrough, King, Lancaster, Langston, Lee, Leslie, Lindsey, Lipscomb, Little, Loper, Lott, Martin, Matthews, Meek, Middleton, Milstead, Mims, Mizel, Monger, Murphy, Myles or Miles, McCall, McConnell, McGhee, McDonald, McIntosh, McMillan, McNeal, Nelson, Newman, Owen, Page, Perkins, Perry, Perryman, Phillips, Pierce, Pollard, Powell, Raines, Randon, Richbourg, Rhodes, Riley, Reuben, Robinson, Richardson, Scott, Simmons, Simms, Slade, Slay, Senegochee, Sizemore, Smith, Spivey, Stiggins, Sumlin, Shamburger, Tate or Tait, Tanner, Turvin or Tarvin, Taylor, Terry, Thigpin, Slaughter, Thompson, Tryer, Tucker, Weekley, Womack, Whitehead, Williams, Wood, Worsham, Wright, Young.
Do you know of others who died?? If so, please tell me. Do you know these families? Are they yours? Please let me know.
On the site Some Creeks & Their Families and Friends, connected to this one, you may view histories of some of these very families.
Thanks to Mark Migura
Some time between the dates of these 2 letters, it is evident that Weatherford joined the war party, for before August closed we find him at Fort Mims; General Woodward places it in 1813, but does not name the month. And it may be here observed that Tecumseh seems to have had no influence over Weatherford. Woodward says that Sam Moniac and Weatherford, returning from a trip into the Mississippi Territory, where they had been 'trading in beef cattle', found several chiefs assembled - it is said on Tallewassee Creek, a mile and a half from the Alabama River - and taking the 'black drink'*. These chiefs told Weatherford and Moniac that they must join them or be put to death.
The following are General Thomas Woodward's own words:
'Moniac boldly refused and mounted his horse. Josiah Francis, his brother-in-law, seized his bridle. Moniac snatched a war club from his hand and gave him a severe blow and put out, with a shower of rifle bullets following him. Weatherford consented to remain. He told them that he disapproved of their course, and that it would be their ruin, but that they were his people, he was raised with them, and he would share their fate'. General Woodward names among these chiefs, Hopie Tustanugge, or Far Off Warrior, a Tuskegee, their eldest or principal chief, 'the one' says Woodward, 'looked upon as the General,' and who was killed at Fort Mims; Peter McQueen; Jim Boy or High Head Jim; Josiah Francis or Hillis Hadjo,'the new made prophet,' probably the same who is called Joseph by General Wilkinson; Seekaboo, the Shawnee prophet; and several others. He says that Weatherford offered some advice to these chiefs, but they declined to follow his suggestions. The reasons for which Weatherford assigned for joining the war party, as detailed at some length by Woodward, are very creditable to Weatherford's humanity. He thought he would thus be the means of preventing not a little bloodshed."
* The 'black drink'* was a ritual drink taken by warriors prior to war.
Letter that Major Beasley sent 2 hours before the attack to General Claiborne from, "Mississippi, As A Province"
Mims Block House, August 30th, 1813
"Sir: I send enclosed, the morning reports of my command. I have improved the Fort at this place, and made it much stronger than when you were here. Pierce's stockade is not very strong, but he has erected three substantial blockhouses.** On the 27th, Ensign Davis, who commands at Hanson's Mill, wrote me: "We shall by to-morrow, be in such a state of defense that we shall not be afaid of any number of Indians."
"There was a false alarm here yesterday. Two negro boys belonging to Mr. Randon, were out some distance from the fort minding some beef cattle, and reported that they saw a great number of Indians painted, running and whooping towards Pierce's Mill. The conclusion was that they Knew the Mill- fort to be more vunerable than this, and had determined to make their attack their first. I dispatched Captain Middleton with 10 mounted men, to ascertain the strength of the enemy, intending, if they were not to numerous, to turn out the most of our force here and march to the relief of Pierce's Mill. But the alarm has proved to be false. What gave some plausibilty to the report at first, was that several of Randon's negroes had been previously sent up to his plantation for corn, and had reported it to be full of Indians committing every kind of havoc. But now I doubt the truth of that report.
"I was much pleased with the appearance of my men at the time of the alarm yesterday, when it was expected every moment that the Indians would appear. They very generally seemed anxious to see them."
** Pierce's Mill was one mile from Fort Mims.