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Horseshoe Bend and Jackson's Land Grab
by William P. Meyers

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Andrew Jackson would become a President of the United States of America and the founder of the Democratic Party. Along the way he would murder many of his fellow men and live a life of depravity unmatched, so far as we know, by any other American President.

Continued from Andrew Jackson Fights the Red Sticks

The Creek army, or rather that section of the Creek bands that were fighting the United States in during the War of 1812, numbered a mere 800 men. Known as Red Sticks, they defended the Horseshoe Bend of the Tallapoosa River, facing Andrew Jackson's army of two thousand men on March 27, 1814. That morning the Creek women and children were evacuated. At half-past-noon Jackson ordered his men to charge.

Once past the ramparts the white soldiers faced Creek warriors on a difficult terrain. Many of the Creeks were armed with bows and arrows rather than rifles. Most Creeks refused to surrender. The bodies of 757 dead Indians were found. The U.S. Army lost 49 men, with an additional 147 wounded. However, the Creek leader Red Eagle, also known as William Weatherford, had been absent from the battle.

Days later Red Eagle walked into Jackson's camp and surrendered. Red Eagle agreed to a peace, then left the camp.

Because the British had won almost every battle of the war up to that time, General Jackson was again treated as a great hero throughout the nation. He was even promoted to the command of the regular U.S. Army for the Seventh Military District, the entire southwest of the nation.

Jackson did not like that two fair men, Benjamin Hawkins and General Pinckney, had been assigned to make the new peace treaty with the Creeks. Fair play with Indians was not popular with Jackson or most western pioneers. Jackson demanded and got the right to negotiate the peace.

It should be noted that many Creeks had remained neutral, or even sided with General Jackson, in the war with the Red Sticks. Those who had sided with Jackson expected to be rewarded. There was no negotiation. Jackson had written out his cruel terms, and read them to the assembled chiefs. "In all the checkered narrative of our dealings with the Indian people, General Jackson's terms are unequaled in exorbitance." [James, p. 177] The Creeks were to give up 23 million acres of land to the voracious white race; one fifth of the state of Georgia and three-fifths of Alabama. Allied and enemy Creeks got the same treatment. To save face the Creek representatives proposed to give 3 square miles to Jackson personally. Jackson accepted.

Now General Jackson turned his eye to the Spanish possession of Florida, where British agents were talking to a few Indian chiefs. The British had a tacit alliance with Spain, were building a fort at the mouth of the Apalachicola River, and were rumored to be training African-American troops in Jamaica. More importantly, the British had defeated Napoleon Bonaparte (Andrew Jackson's hero) in Europe, freeing troops for the war in the Americas. New England was invaded, and Washington D.C. had been burned by British troops.

Next: General Jackson Captures Pensacola

Main source: The Life of Andrew Jackson by Marquis James, Bobbs-Merrill company, 1938.

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