The Chehaw Expedition

The people of the Native American village of Aumuculle had a long history of friendship with the American government and white settlers in Georgia. Yet,  on the morning of April 23, 1818, soldiers of the Georgia militia massacred the village.

Captain Obed Wright, led the expedition.  Lott Warren was a young lieutenant in one of the companies under Wright’s command.  Warren’s memoir, published in 1853 in Portraits of Eminent Americans now Living: With Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Their Lives and Actions: Volume 2, provided  a brief sketch of the campaign against Aumuculle (Chehaw), “of which he [was], perhaps, the best if not the only living witness.” Warren later became the judge on the Southern Circuit Court of Georgia and presided over superior court trials at Troupville, GA and other county seats across Wiregrass Georgia.

Rise of Hostilities

The Chehaw Massacre followed on an escalating series of violent conflicts with factions of hostile Creek Indians who increasingly resisted the encroachment of white settlers on their lands, especially after the Red Stick War and the 1814 Treaty of Fort Jackson which ceded 22 million acres of Indian lands to the state of Georgia.

Portrait of David Brydie Mitchell, circa 1820-1830

David Brydie Mitchell

The January 22, 1818  Treaty of of the Creek Agency ceded two additional tracts of land to Georgia, a northern tract between the Appalachee and Chattahoochee rivers and a larger tract south of the Ocmulgee River. Of the southern tract Indian Agent David Brydie Mitchell wrote, “The number of acres will probably not exceed half a million, neither is the quantity of good land considerable, yet it is of vast importance to Georgia, as it stretches all along the Ocmulgee River for at least sixty miles….

January 22, 1818 Treaty of Creek Agency Signed Creek Indians signed the Treaty of Creek Agency ceding to Georgia land south of the Altamaha River, plus land between the Appalachee and Chattahoochee rivers.

January 22, 1818  Treaty of Creek Agency Signed
Creek Indians signed the Treaty of Creek Agency ceding to Georgia land south of the Ocmulgee River, plus land between the Appalachee and Chattahoochee rivers.

On the southern tract, Native Americans and encroaching settlers were soon in violent conflict.  On the afternoon of March 9, 1818 the Battle of Breakfast Branch was fought. It was “a skirmish between the Indians and some of the citizens of Telfair, on the south side of the Ocmulgee River,”  in which the Telfair militia was completely routed. The Battle of Breakfast Branch was reported by Isham Jordan, who in 1823 would assist General John Coffee in the construction of the Coffee Road opening Lowndes County for settlement.

Following the Battle of Breakfast Branch the situation quickly deteriorated:

Panic swept the area, and Major [Josiah D.] Cawthorn hastily penned a letter to Governor Rabun asking for assistance. Militia from Laurens county was dispatched to the area, and Rabun sent a request to Jackson that some of the militiamen under his command be released and sent to the Ocmulgee.

Receiving no reply, Rabun issued orders for Captain Obed Wright to lead Georgia militia companies in a reprisal raid on the Chehaw towns of Phillemmee and Hopaunee near the Flint river. However, on the way to the Flint, Wright received information that the raiding party came from the Chehaw town of Au-muc-cu-lee [and determined to punish that town contrary to his orders.]

 

Governor William Rabun’s Orders to Captain Wright.

Orders issued by the Executive to Cap. Wright.
Head Quarters, Georgia
Milledgeville, April 14, 1818

GENERAL ORDERS.

The executive having received information through sources which cannot be doubted, that the wanton and cruel murders so frequently committed on the frontier inhabitants of this state, and which are almost daily practised by the savages, ascertained to be the Phelemmes and Hoponnes, inhabitants of two small villages of their names, on or near Flint river, who have during the late hostilities endeavored to conceal their blood-thirsty and hostile disposition under a cloak of friendship- and the combined regular and militia force under Major Gen. Jackson being too far advanced into the heart of the Creek nation to admit of any speedy operations against them from that quarter; the commander in chief of the state deems it expedient for the safety of the frontier inhabitants, and to prevent further depredations by them, that a sufficient military force should be marched immediately against those towns, to effect their complete destruction; and for the speedy accomplishment of which, Capt. Obed Wright, commanding as senior officer of the militia stationed on the frontier, will order captains Dean [Elijah Dean] and Chiles [Daniel Childs], who are stationed at different points on the Ocmulgee, to proceed immediately with their respective companies to Hartford, or such other places as he shall deem expedient between that place and Point Early, with the exception of a small guard placed under the command of a subaltern or non-commissioned officer to defend the posts they now occupy; he is also authorized to receive such companies as may voluntarily join him. Cap. Timothy L. Roger, commanding a volunteer troop of light dragoons in Jones, and captain John Permenter, commanding a volunteer company of riflemen in Twiggs county, will join capt. Wright at Hartford. So soon as the respective companies shall have arrived at that place, capt. Wright will proceed with the whole to fort Early, where he is authorsed to call on captain Bothwell, or the commanding officer of that station, for the whole of his command, except so many as are actually necessary for its immediate protection.-
The utmost precaution will be necessary to the accomplishment of this important object, and to effect which, it will be necessary that a profound secresy should be observed, and the expedition prosecuted with the greatest possible dispatch, in order to take the Indians by surprise; as this is the only probably means of obtaining an effectual and decisive victory over an enemy who will not come into contact on equal terms.
By order of the commander in chief,
E Wood, Secretary

The Georgia Militia

Wright’s forces assembled at Hartford, GA: Captain Elijah Dean’s company of Laurens County Militia, with Lott Warren serving as Lieutenant;  and Captain Daniel Childs’ company of Wilkinson County Militia, with Henry Shepard as Lieutenant.  Dean and Childs had been stationed at  Hartford, Georgia, for the purpose of guarding supplies and military stores.  Joining the expedition there were Captain Jacob Robinson’s company of Laurens County Light Dragoons,  Charles S. Guyton and John Underwood serving as lieutenants; and Captain Timothy L. Rogers’ Company of Georgia Cavalry;    also two detachments under Lieutenants Cooper and Jones.

Seminole War service record of Lott Warren. Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers who Served During the Cherokee Disturbances and Removal in Organizations from the State of Georgia; (National Archives).

Seminole War service record of Lott Warren. Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers who Served During the Cherokee Disturbances and Removal in Organizations from the State of Georgia; (National Archives).

For this service, the state paid:  Captains, $1.87 per day;  1st Lieut, $1.53 per day; 2nd Lieut, $1.37 per day; Cornet, $1.20 per day; Sergeants, $0.86 per day;  Corporals, $0.80 per day; Trumpeter, $0.80 per day; Privates, $0.70 per day; Wagon & Team, $5.00 per day.

Leaving a third of the companies to garrison Hartford, Wright led the rest of his forces on a “secret expedition.”  Presented here are the available muster rolls of men serving under the command of Captain Obed Wright.  It is not known which of these men marched on the expedition against Chehaw (Aumuculle) and which remained behind at Hartford.

MUSTER ROLL OF CAPT. ROGERS’ COMPANY OF GEORGIA CAVALRY
ORDERED INTO SERVICE BY THE EXECUTIVE
FROM CAPT. HEAD’S COMPANY (Militia District) – Official History of Laurens County

Rank Name Commencement of Service Expiration of Service
Captain Timothy L. Rogers April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
1st Lieut Samuel Calhoun April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
2nd Lieut George Powell April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
Cornet Isaac Welch April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
1st Sergt Elisha Debose April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
2nd Sergt John Sperlin April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
3rd Sergt Charles Davis April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
4th Sergt Epharim Sanders April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
1st Corpl. Charles Broocks April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
2nd Corpl. Joseph Slaton April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
3rd Corpl.  Goodridge Driver April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
Trumpeter Seborn Durham April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
1 Private Alpherd, Jepthy  April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
2 Private Brooks, Samuel April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
3 Private Booth, John T. April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
4 Private Booth, Wiley April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
5 Private Barefield, Sampson April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
6 Private Cox, Waide P. April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
7 Private Caliway, Wm April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
8 Private Caliway, Benjn. April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
9 Private Caliway, Josiah April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
10 Private Corethers, George April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
11 Private Cormer, James April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
12 Private Champin, William April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
13 Private Corethers, Andy April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
14 Private Caten, Head Williams April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
15 Private Davis, Williams April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
16 Private Durham, Sanders April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
17 Private Davis, Joshua April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
18 Private Driver, Jules April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
19 Private Driver, Giles April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
20 Private Eles, Joshua Y. April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
21 Private Feltes, Cary April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
22 Private Finey, Henry April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
23 Private Gammon, Joel April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
24 Private Gammon, Willis April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
25 Private Gun, Moses April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
26 Private Hester, William B. April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
27 Private Harderson, Cullen April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
28 Private Hill, Wm. B. April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
29 Private Hancock, Simeon April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
30 Private Hunt, John R. April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
31 Private Isleants, Stephen April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
32 Private Jones, Wm. April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
33 Private Jones, John B. April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
34 Private Low, Wm. April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
35 Private Ledlow, Lewis April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
36 Private Long, Philip April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
37 Private More, Samuel April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
38 Private McLendon, Lewis April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
39 Private Marchel, Chesley April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
40 Private McLemore, Jesey April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
41 Private McLendon, Hugh April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
42 Private Medlock, George D. F. April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
43 Private McCardel, Charles April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
44 Private McLemore, William April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
45 Private Picket, Martin April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
46 Private Pleaseants, Thomas April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
47 Private Parmer, George April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
48 Private Pedey, Bradford April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
49 Private Roberts, Luke April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
50 Private Roberts, Reuben April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
51 Private Stubbs, John April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
52 Private Striplin, Benjamin April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
53 Private Stephens, Liles April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
54 Private Stewart, John April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
55 Private Stewart, Samuel D. April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
56 Private Tamplin, John April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
57 Private Tripp, Samuel April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
58 Private Turner, James April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
59 Private Word, Wm. April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
60 Private Wimberly, Titus April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
61 Private Wilder, Werd April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
62 Private Wilder, Green April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
63 Private Watley (or Wotley), Willmoth April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
64 Private Wilson, Reding April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
65 Private Woodsworth, Elbert April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
66 Private Williamson, Wm. April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
67 Private Woodsworth, John April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818
68 Private Woodsworth, Daniel April 18, 1818 April 27, 1818

 

MUSTER ROLL OF THE LAURENS TROOP OF LIGHT DRAGOONS, GEORGIA MILITIA,
COMMANDED BY CAPTAIN JACOB ROBINSON
AND ORDERED INTO SERVICE BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR – Official History of Laurens County

No.  Rank Name Present Time in Service
1 Captain Jacob Robinson 30 days
2 1st Lieut Charles S. Guyton 30 days
3 2nd Lieut John I. Underwood 28 days
4 Coronet Lewis Joiner 28 days
5 Trumpeter Terrel Higden 28 days
6 1st Sergt Wm. A. Underwood 31 days
7 2nd Sergt John Anderson 31 days
8 3rd Sergt John Fort 31 days
9 4th Sergt Frederick Carter 31 days
10 1st Corpl. Clement Fennel 28 days
11 2nd Corpl. David Speairs 28 days
12 3rd Corpl.  Nicholas Baker 28 days
13 4th Corpl. Wm. H. Parimore 28 days
14 Private Speir Knight 28 days
15 Private John Cory 28 days
16 Private Robert Knight 28 days
17 Private John Armstrong 28 days
18 Private Wm. Fountain 28 days
19 Private James Knight 28 days
20 Private John Spicer 28 days
21 Private Joel Ware 28 days
22 Private Henry C. Fukeway 28 days
23 Private John Underwood 28 days
24 Private Robert Coats 28 days
25 Private William Carson 28 days
26 Private James Pickeron 28 days
27 Private Samuel Hill 28 days
28 Private James Glass 28 days
29 Private John N. Martin 28 days
30 Private William Oliver 28 days
31 Private Eli Ballard 28 days
32 Private Robert Thomas 28 days
33 Private John G. Petre 28 days
34 Private William Cauthron 28 days
35 Private William Fulwood 28 days
36 Private Thomas Riggins 15 days
37 Private Thomas W. Anderson 8 days
38 Private Littlejohn G. Hall 15 days
39 Private Jones Levingston 15 days
40 Private Joel Culpeper 15 days
41 Private Lanier Smith 8 days
42 Private  ——  —-
43 Private Levan Adams 8 days
44 Private Daniel W. Duffie 6 days
45 Private William Picket 6 days
46 Private James Beaty 28 days
Baggage Wagon
& Team
Isaac Robinson 17 days
Baggage Wagon
& Team
John Barlow 10 days
Baggage Wagon
& Team
Mrs. Anderson 13 days

 

CAPTAIN DANIEL CHILDS’ COMPANY GEORGIA MILITIA, WILKINSON COUNTY
*Compiled from Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers who Served During the Cherokee Disturbances and Removal in Organizations from the State of Georgia; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M907, 1 roll); Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s-1917, RG 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Rank Name
1 Captain Daniel Childs
2 1st Lieutenant 
3 2nd Lieutenant  Thomas Wells
4 Musician William Spears
5 Musician Absolom Jordan
6 1st Sergt Joseph (or Josiah) Warren
7 Sergt William Smith
8 Sergt Alexander Robertson
9 Sergt Vineing Howard
10 Corpl. Jacob Fenderburk
11 Corpl. John Cannon
12 Corpl.  David McMilean
13 Corpl. Hugh Murphy
14 Private Ellis French
15 Private John Hencock
16 Private Samuel Howard
17 Private Josiah Eavens
18 Private David Welch
19 Private William Roland
20 Private William Arons [Aaron]
21 Private Isham Payne
22 Private Henry Goodman
23 Private Joseph Boggs
24 Private Eli Ward
25 Private James Richardson
26 Private Edward Ballard
27 Private Alexander Spears
28 Private Stephen Lott
29 Private Willis Wright
30 Private John Davis
31 Private Seaborn Johnston
32 Private Robert Thomson
33 Private Benjamin Psalter
34 Private Richard Trail
35 Private Israel Legget
36 Private George Wright
37 Private Hiram Davison
38 Private John Taylor
39 Private William Moore
40 Private William Wright
41 Private James Psalter
42 Private Jesse Willeby
43 Private John Eavens
44 Private Julius Porter
45 Private Charles Young
46 Private Robert Benson
47 Private Laban Castleberry
48 Private James Richards
49 Private Isaac H. Smith
50 Private John Castleberry
51 Private James Murphey
52 Private Henry Wright
53 Private William Rogers
54 Private John Mayo
55 Private Robert Thompson
56 Private Rowland Williams
57 Private Thomas Killingsworth
58 Private Richard Psalter
59 Private Richard Taff
60 Private James Newberry
61 Private Isaac Baker
62 Private Hampton Spears
63 Private John Belflour
64 Private Alexander Wheeler
65 Private Elijah Jones

 

DEAN’S COMPANY OF GEORGIA MILITIA
*Compiled from Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers who Served During the Cherokee Disturbances and Removal in Organizations from the State of Georgia; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M907, 1 roll); Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s-1917, RG 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C.

Rank Name
1 Captain Elijah Dean
2 1st Lieut James Beaty
3 2nd Lieut Lott Warren
4 Musician Moses E. Bush
5 Musician John McCullers
6 1st Sergt Mills Ezill
7 Sergt Alldrige Wiley
8 Sergt Thomas Cobb
9 Sergt David Smith
10 Corpl. Reuben Manning
11 Corpl. John Hammock
12 Corpl.  James Willis
13 Private Manning Spradly
14 Private Claiborn Watson
15 Private Joseph Jernigan
16 Private Daniel Shiver
17 Private Jarred Right
18 Private Benjamin Swearingham
19 Private William Hall
20 Private William Roberts
21 Private William Williams
22 Private James Bedgood
23 Private Benjamin Gainas
24 Private James Holingsworth
25 Private James Coleman
26 Private James Muselwhite
27 Private Emanuel Johnson
28 Private James Smith
29 Private Jessee Sanford
30 Private Jacob Pope
31 Private Lewis Hutchens
32 Private James Bush
33 Private James McLaughlin
34 Private Jessee Deese
35 Private William Brumbley
36 Private William Davis
37 Private Finley Holmes
38 Private A. M. D. Wilkerson
39 Private Murrell Finny
40 Private Robert Faircloth
41 Private John Dimond
42 Private Wright Manning
43 Private John H Calhoun
44 Private William Whitfield
45 Private James Willis
46 Private James Arline
47 Private Jonathan Avers
48 Private Travis Fenn
49 Private John Sermon
50 Private Noah Lamberth
51 Private David Miller
52 Private William Hall Sr
53 Private Henry Oneal
54 Private William Wallis
55 Private Lewis McLendon
56 Private Absalom Kinsey
57 Private Ferney Hall
58 Private Thomas Glass
59 Private James Hollensworth
60 Private Abram Pipkins
61 Private George W. Grant
62 Private James Cooper
63 Private Jesse Arline
64 Private Nathan Grantham

 

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A Jim Crow Comb

Georgia Telfair, born into slavery on a Georgia plantation about 1864, was interviewed in 1938 as part of the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP) of the Works Progress Administration, later renamed Work Projects Administration (WPA).  She talked about African-American folk life in the period after the war. In one passage she mentions how enslaved people cared for their hair,

“Ma combed our hair with a Jim Crow comb, or card, as some folks called ’em. If our hair was bad nappy she put some cotton in the comb to keep it from pulling so bad, ’cause it was awful hard to comb.”  – Georgia Telfair

The most common tool slaves relied on for combing out their hair were the cards used in carding wool. – Reenact This

Wool cards were used by African-Americans to comb out tangled hair. In this use they came to be known as Jim Crow combs. Image source: http://reenactthis.blogspot.com/2013/10/african-american-hair-wrapping-and-hair.html

Wool cards were used by African-Americans to comb out tangled hair. In this use they came to be known as Jim Crow combs. Image source: http://reenactthis.blogspot.com/2013/10/african-american-hair-wrapping-and-hair.html

Historical context and empirical findings on skin tone

In American history, slavery constituted a strict caste system that distinguished Black slaves by their skin tones. Lighter-skinned slaves were usually mixed-raced and favored by White slave-owners. These lighter-skinned slaves were frequently fathered by White slave-owners (typically from nonconsensual sexual relations with female slaves) and were, therefore, privileged (; ); unlike dark slaves, lighter-skinned slaves were spared physically strenuous, outdoor work and instead held domestic indoor jobs like housekeeping in closer contact to Whites. Over time, these privileges in the antebellum period allowed lighter-skinned Blacks to become more educated () and to own more property (). Furthermore, to maintain their elite status and privileges, lighter-skinned men engaged in social practices to exclude darker-skinned Blacks from entering their social circles; these practices included the “Paper Bag Test,” (which banned Blacks from joining fraternities if their skin tones were darker than a brown paper bag), the “Comb test,” (which banned Blacks with coarse, nappy African hair if combs could not glide through it) and the “Blue veins” society (which banned Blacks whose skin tones were too dark to see the blue veins on their arms) (). These findings consistently indicated that light skin tone resulted in clear social and economic advantages.

According to historians Shane White and Graham White,

Interviews with former slaves also frequently describe African American hair-styling practices and reveal something of what those practices meant. African-American women’s hair, though probably shorter than in the previous century, could soon become tangled and unmanageable if uncared for. This problem must have particularly affected field slaves, whose typical labor regime, stretching each day from “can see” to can’t see” and often involving cooking and mending duties as well, made adequate care of the hair difficult, if not impossible. Only on Sundays, their day off, could slaves find the time for grooming and styling, with whatever implements they could locate. Former slave James Williams recalled for his W.P.A. interviewer how the “old folks” used continually to talk about how much harder the life had been before freedom came. “Said the only time the slaves had to comb their hair was on Sunday. They would comb and roll each others hair and the men cut each others hair. That all the time they got. The would roll the children’s hair or keep it cut short.” Removing tangles must have been a painful process. Jane Morgan explained that “we carded our hair ’cause we never had no combs, but the cards they worked better. We used the cards to card wool with also, and we just wet our hair then card it. The cards they had wooden handles and strong steel wire teeth.” (The cards referred to here were implements used to prepare washed fleece for spinning, to make the fibers lie evenly in one direction.) Recalling his childhood on a large South Carolina plantation, Jacob Stroyer told how, before each inspection of the slave children by the plantation owner and his wife, attempts were made “to straighten out our unruly wools with some small cards, or Jim-crows,” as they were called. On one such occasion, and old woman had attempted to comb his hair straight, but “as she hitched the teeth of the instrument in my unyielding wool with her great masculine hand, of course I was jerked flat on my back. This was the common fate of most of my associates.” Aunt Tildy Collins’ account of the preparation of slave children for Sunday school is equally graphic: ” Us children hate to see Sunday come, cause Mammy and Granmammy they wash us and near about rub the skin off getting us clean for Sunday school, and they comb our heads with a jim crow. You ain’t never seed a jim crow? It most like a card what you card wool with. What a card look like? Humph! Missy, where you been raise – ain’t never seed a card? That jim crow sure did hurt, but us had to stand it, and sometimes after all that, mammy she wrap our kinky hair with thread and twist so tight us’s eyes couldn’t hardly shut.” – Stylin’: African American Expressive Culture from Its Beginnings to the Zoot Suit

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The Chehaw Massacre and Lott Warren

In April, 1818,  Native Americans at the Chehaw Indian village of Au-muc-cul-le near present day Leesburg, GA were massacred by soldiers of the Georgia militia.  Aumucculle (meaning “pour upon me”) was located on Aumuculle Creek [Muckalee Creek], ten or fifteen miles above its junction with Kinchafoonee Creek  (meaning Mortar Bone Creek). Captain Obed Wright, commanding the expedition, claimed his militia justifiably shot or burned to death more than 40 people.

Lott Warren was the presiding judge on the Southern Circuit at the Lowndes County Grand Jury Presentments of 1833.

Lott Warren was the presiding judge on the Southern Circuit at the Lowndes County Grand Jury Presentments of 1833.

A young lieutenant, Lott Warren, led the burning of the Indian houses.  Warren later became the judge on the Southern Circuit Court of Georgia, and presided over superior court trials at Troupville, GA and other county seats across Wiregrass Georgia.

The fact that the massacred Chehaw Indians were friendly to the American government and to General Andrew Jackson only deepened the tragedy.

Just a month before Wright’s attack, General Jackson was back in south Georgia to put an end to Indian depredations…

General Jackson’s weary soldiers had sojourned in the Chehaw village while traveling from Tennessee to Florida. The local chief, known as “Major Howard” among the whites, fed and provisioned the men. Subsequently, many Chehaw warriors joined Jackson’s troops to help pursue the Seminoles. – Gilder Lerhman Institute of American History

The Lower Creeks had settled along the Chattahoochee River watershed after the defeat of the Creeks in the Yamasee War 1715-1717.  Among the villages they eventually established was Aumucculle (later known as Chehaw) on a tributary of the Flint River. However, there was  another Indian town in early historical accounts and maps also known as “Chiaha” or “Chiaja”, and sometimes called Chehaw, on the Chattahoochee River about thirteen miles below present day Columbus, GA.  This town is represented as “Chiha” on John Mitchell’s 1755 Map of the Southeastern United States. The town was known to early traders in the region, and when the colonial government of Georgia regulated the Indian Trade in 1761, Chehaw [Chiaha?]  was assigned to  George Mackay and James Hewitt. “Cha-hah” is mentioned among the six principal Creek towns in Adair’s 1775 History of the American Indian.  This town also appears to be the one William Bartram passed upon crossing the Chata Uche [Chattahoochee River] at Chehaw about January 4, 1788 as he was traveling to Augusta with a company of traders.  In the 1790s, this town was know for raiding white settlers to steal their slaves, and for harboring a community of “free and maroon negroes, from the Americans and a a few from Pensacola, [who were] forming a type of palisade. They number more than 110.”

<br /> Southeastern part of the present United States : from the Mitchell map of 1755, showing Chiha (Chehaw) on the Chattahoochee River.

Southeastern part of the present United States : from the Mitchell map of 1755, showing Chiha village on the Chattahoochee River. Full map image in the Birmingham Public Library Digital Collections.

 

Aumuculle, the site of the Chehaw Massacre, appears as Amohkali in John R. Swanton‘s study of the distribution and movement of the tribes and towns of the Creek Confederacy.

John R. Swanton map showing Amohkali (Aumucculle; Chehaw) near the Flint River.

John R. Swanton map showing Amohkali (Aumucculle; Chehaw) near the Flint River.

Aumucculle (pour upon me) was described in 1799 by Benjamin Hawkins, General Superintendent of Indian Affairs.  Hawkins was known to the Creek Indians as Iste-chale-lige-osetate-chemis-te-chaugo: The beloved man of the Four Nations:

Aumuccullee. On a creek of that name, 60 feet wide, on the right bank of Thlonotiscauhatchee [Flint River]. The village is 15 miles up the creek, on the left bank; it is 45 miles below Timothy Barnard’s. There are 60 gun men in the village; they belong to Cheauhau. The lands are poor; limestone springs in the neighbourhood. The swamps are cypress, in hammocs, some water oaks and hickory. The pine lands are poor, with ponds and wire grass. This creek is a main branch of Kitchonfoone [Kinchafoonee Creek], which it joins 3 miles from its mouth (pg 172)…Cheauhau Village, situated on the river a pine barren surrounding it. There is a ford here opposite the town (pg 172).

In  A Sketch of the Creek Country, Hawkins added the village “is in some places well fenced; they have cattle, hogs and horses, and a fine range for them, and raise corn, rice and potatoes in great plenty.”

Hawkins described the buildings that would have been typical in a Creek Town:

Choocothlucco, (big house,) the …public square, consists of four square buildings of one story, facing each other, forty by sixteen feet, eight feet pitch; the entrance at each corner. Each building is a wooden frame, supported on posts set in the ground, covered with slabs, open in front like a piazza, divided into three rooms, the back and ends clayed, up to the plates. Each division is divided lengthwise into two seats; the front, two feet high, extending back half way, covered with reedmats or slabs; then a rise of one foot, and it extends back, covered in like manner, to the side of the building. On these seats, they lie or sit at pleasure.

The rank of the Buildings which form the Square.

  1. Miculgee intoopau, the Micco’s cabin.
    This fronts the east, and is occupied by those of the highest rank;
    the centre of the building is always occupied by the Micco of the town; by the agent for Indian affairs when he pays a visit to a town; by the Miccos of other towns, and by respectable white people.
    The division to the right is occupied by the Micugee, (Miccos, there being several so called in every town, from custom, the origin of which is unknown,) and the counsellors. These two classes give their advice, in relation to war, and are in fact the principal counsellors.
    The division to the left, is occupied by the Enehau Ulgee, (people second in command, the head of whom is called by the traders, second man.) These have the direction of the public works appertaining to the town, such as the public buildings, building houses in town for new settlers, or working in the fields. They are particularly charged with the ceremony of the a-ce, (a decoction of the cassine yupon, called by the traders black drink,) under the direction of the Micco.
    The Micco of the town superintends all public and domestic concerns; receives all public characters; hears their talks; lays them before the town, and delivers the talks of his town. The Micco of a town is always chosen from some one family. [The Micco of Aumuculle (Chehaw) was Cochamicco, know by the traders as Old Howard]. After he is chosen and put on his seat, he remains for life. On his death, if his nephews are fit for the office, one of them takes his place as his successor; if they are unfit, one is chosen of the next of kin, the descent being always in the female line…
    When a Micco, from age, infirmity, or any other cause, wants an assistant, he selects a man who appears to him the best qualified, and proposes him to the counsellors and great men of the town, and if he is approved of by them, they appoint him as an assistant in public affairs, and he takes his seat on this cabin accordingly.
  2. Tustunngulgee intoopau, the warriors’ cabin.
    This fronts the south; the head warrior sits at the west end of his cabin, and in his division the great warriors sit beside each other. The next in rank sit in the centre dividion, and the young warriors in the third. The rise is regular, by merit, from the third to the first division. The Great Warrior, for that is the title of the head warrior. He is appointed by the micco and counsellors, from among the greatest war characters.
    When a young man is trained up and appears well qualified for the fatigues and hardships of war, and is promising, the Micco appoints him a governor, or as the name imports, a leader, (Istepuccauchau,) and if he distinguishes himself, they give him a rise th the centre cabin. A man who distinguishes himself, repeatedly , in warlike enterprises, arrives to the rank of the Great Leader, (Istepuccauchau thlucco.) This title, though greatly coveted, is seldom attained; as it requires a long course of years, and great and numerous in war.
    The second class of warriors is the Tussekiulgee. All who go to war, and are in the company, when a scalp is taken, get a war name. The leader reports their conduct, and they receive a name accordingly. This is the Tussekiochifco, or war name. The term leader, as used by the Indians, is the proper one. The war parties all march in Indian file, with the leader in front, until coming on hostile ground; he is then in the rear.
  3. Istechaguculgee intoopau, the cabin of the beloved men.
    This fronts the north.

    There are great men who have been war leaders, and who although of various ranks, have become estimable in a long course of public service. They sit themselves on the right division of the cabin of the Micco, and are his counsellors. THe family of the Micco, and great men who have thus distinguished themselves, occupy this cabin of the beloved men.
  4. Hutemauhuggee intoopau, the cabin of the young people and their associates.
    This fronts the west.
  5. Choocofau thlucco, the rotunda, assembly room [or Council House].
    Called by the traders, “hot-house.” This is near the square, and is constructed after the following manner: Eight posts are fixed in the ground, forming an octagon of thirty feet diameter. They are twelve feet high, and large enough to support the roof. On these, five or six logs are placed, of a side, drawn in as they rise. On these, long poles or rafters, to suit the height of the building are laid, the upper ends forming a point, and the lower ends projecting out six feet from the octagon, and resting on posts five feet high, placed in a circle round the octagon, with plates on them, to which the rafters are tied with splits. The rafters are near together and fastened with splits. These are covered with clay and that with pine bark; the wall, six feet from the octagon, is clayed up; they have a small door into a small portico, curved round for five or six feet, then into the house.
    The space between the octagon and the wall, is one entire sopha, where the visiters lie or sit at pleasure. It is covered with reed, mat or splits. 
    In the centre of the room, on a small rise, the fire is made of dry cane or dry old pine slabs, split fine, and laid in a spiral circle. This is the assembly room for all people, old and young; they assemble every night, and amuse themselves with dancing, singing, or conversation. And here, sometimes, in very cold weather, the old and naked sleep.
    In all transactions which require secrecy, the rulers meet here, make their fire, deliberation and decide. When they have decided on any case of death or whipping, the Micco appoints the warriors who are to carry it into effect; or he give the judgement to the Great Warrior, (Tustunnuggee thlucoo,) and leaves to him the time and manner of executing it.

During the Red Stick War (1813-1814), the Aumuculle chiefs had repeatedly demonstrated their friendship and loyalty to the U.S., and to the state of Georgia.

In August, 1814 , the Chiefs from Aumuculle warned white settlers on the Ocmulgee River of impending danger from hostile Indians, and gave assurances that neither their people nor the Hitchiti Indians were responsible for the trouble. The Chiefs reported that a party of hostile Indians had joined the British. A Chehaw man encountered four of the hostile warriors on August 1, 1814 headed towards Hartford, GA who admitted that they were on a raid to steal horses and commit mayhem.

 

redsticks

Red Stick warriors depicted in “Four American Indians

The Chiefs had set their men to try to recover any stolen property.  The Aumuculle Chiefs went on to warn that the British had landed “300 negroes as soldiers and 300 white troops” at the mouth of the Apalachicola River, and were building forts there and at the confluence of the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers.  This intelligence was conveyed by letter from Timothy Barnard, an Indian trader and sometimes assistant agent to the Creek Indians:

Flint river 5th Augt  1814
Mr. Mumford
Sir

I write you this in consequence of some allarming news got late last Evening from two of the Aumauculle Cheifs. They say Mr Kenerd sent them on to bring me the information and also to request of me to write down Express to the Citizens of Hartford to put them on there gaurd and also that if any mischeif is done on Ockmulgee [river] that their friends the white people in that Quarter may not suspect the Aumuculle people or Hitchetaus for [illegible]. Its the report the Chiefs being [illegible] as follows – four men from the hostile partey that has Joined the Brittish was seen by a Chehaw man crossing Flint river at the old feild were the old Chehaw town
was formerly. The Chehaw man asked him were they were goeing. There answer was to ockmulge. They were asked if there business was to steal horses. There answer was that was not the whole they meaint to do. The man that saw them he sayes he Said Every thing he could to Stop them but to no purpose. They crossed the river and pushed [on].
Yesterday was the fourth day since they crossed flint river. Therefore I fear before this they have commited some murder or stole of some horses, perhaps both. The Aumauculle Cheifs  has appointed Sevin men to way lay the river and if they return back the same way and bring horses to take them from the robbers and have them Sent to Hartford.
It is time our Citizens on all our frontiers were better prepar’d to meet hostilities, as from the Brittish warriors we must Expect ravage and murders. The Chiefs here present also inform me that a red man that has been down at the mouth of these rivers — were the Brittish are landing Says they have landed 300 negroes as soldiers and 300 white troops wich he saw on the shore and that they are busey building a fort and are also comeing up to the Junction of the two rivers flint river and Chattahoche and build another fort there wich is 70 or 80 miles from the mouth of the two rivers. The Indian report is that they counted 70 Ships layeing near the mouth of these rivers and that they have landed Sheep hogs turkes geese ducks wich is a proof of they mean to trye to hold that countrey. I have give you here an account of Every thing I think necessary to put my friends in Hartford or on any parts of frontiers of Georgia [on] there gaurd wich appears to me to be too much Exposed in the present Situation of affairs. If you and the other Gentlemen in Hartford see cause you may send this information on to His Excly the governor of Georgia, as its rite he should know the present situation of his frontiers. If my Sons has not left you that went down with Mr Harris, plese send me a Quire or half a Quire of paper by them. If I hear any more bad news Shall rite you again

remin Sir your most Obdt Sert
[Signed] Timy [Timothy] Barnard

ps if any mischief has been done before you receive this plese write me T B

After finishing the talk the Cheif recolected something more that his Cheifs that sent him on here had told him to communicate wich is as follows —
That the Citizens of georgia from a few miles below Hartford on the west Side of ockmulge [Ocmulgee River] are setling thick from that down to the Allattamahau [Altamaha] and the woods full of cattle and hogs. Some White people the Cheifs say are also setled of[f] some distance from the river. The Cheifs say that they considered and heard by the conclusion of the treaty respecting the line that they, the red people, were to hold possession of all the land above the line they [therefore] beg of the goverment of the U. States to see justice done them as they say they have been alway freindly to their freinds, the white people, on the frontiers and neaver wish to doe them any injurye.

[Signed] Timy Barnard

In November 1814, the Aumuculle chiefs again provided intelligence on the actions of the British and the Red Stick Indians. The report was conveyed by Timpoochee Barnard to his father, Timothy Barnard, who relayed the information to Colonel Benjamin Hawkins, U. S. Agent to the Creeks.

Timpoochee Barnard, son of Timothy Barnard, conveyed intelligence from Aumuculle (Chehaw) village on the movement of hostile Red Stick Indians.

Timpoochee Barnard, son of Timothy Barnard, conveyed intelligence from Aumuculle (Chehaw) village on the movement of hostile Red Stick Indians.  History of the Indian Tribes of North America

Flint river 3d Novr 1814
Colo. B. [Colonel Benjamin] Hawkins

Sir

My Son Timpuge [Timpoochee Barnard] arrived here yesterd[ay] from his route to Chehaw and old — Kenerds. Old Kenerd told my Son that he had an Express come to him that the War Indians wer on there march wich allarmed him a good deal wich caused him to have an Express Sent on to you. Kenerd relates that the day after this happ[ened] five of the Aumanculle Cheifs that had been down at the mouth of the rivers were Perriman lives arrived at there [their] town and informed Kenerd that the war partey had stoped comeing on in consequence of wich Kenerd requested of my Son to proceed on up to Your house and give you the information. Catchaw micko hatke [Cochamico; Old Howard] of aumancule [Aumuculle] requested of my son to inform Colo [Colonel] Hawkins that all the people in his town take no part with the red Stiks [Red Sticks] but meain to hold the Americans there freinds [their friends] by the hand. Join the Cowetaws there [their] friends the red people. The Aumnucule [Aumuculle] Cheifs are all determined if the red Stick will begin to Spill blood that they meain [mean] to move there [their] Quarters up this way Somewer were [Somewhere where] they can Join there freinds [their friends], one thing the Catchaw micco says when he and his people moves they have large familyes and does not know what way he has to support them without his — freinds the white people will assist them —
One of the aumuculle Chiefs that went on to Perriman known by the name of hitchufulawa [Hitchiti Lawa?] wich I have always known to be a man of truth, if any of the [illegible] deserves the name in this land, was the man that stoped the red Stick from comeing on this Expedition wich has been a good thing.

It may give our frontier inhabitants time to be better prepard [prepared]. It seems the brittish officer that was up at perrimans at the time urging the red Stick on was much offended at the Red people not proceeding on the route he and perriman pushed on down to the Stores at the mouth of the river. Should not have Wrote you so much as my Son was goeing [going] up by request of the Chiefs to tell you all the news but Expected you might be gone in to fort Hawkins. Am still in so low a state am scarcely able to set up to rite or to walk aboute. My son can tell you aboute your runaway black. He says when he got down to Aumaucule that there was but very few red people in the town. The Wolfe Warrier at the time was laying very sick. The first and only news he could hear of them was that they were seen ten miles of[f] from the East Side of the river twenty miles below Obaunes. If you should be at home when my son gits up plese write me a few lines and if you have a late paper that you can spare plese send me one or two.

remain Sir with respect your most most Obdt &c &c
[Signed] Timy Barnard

A letter dated November 15, 1814 from Colonel Benjamin Hawkins, U.S. Agent to the Creeks, to Peter Early, Governor of Georgia (1813-1815), included extracts from other letters regarding appearances of “hostile” Creek and Seminole Indians along the Georgia frontier.  The excerpts  include testimony relating to the involvement of the British in inciting the Seminoles,  and information on the enrollment of “friendly” Creeks to fight against the Seminoles and “hostile” Creeks.

Information of hostile appearances among the Simenolies [Seminoles] and Hostile Creeks.

11th. novr.  from low down Flint river

“Two of the war or predatory parties had been turned back, one by the Aumucculle chiefs and the others by the chiefs in the neighborhood of Kinnards. The King of Micco Sookee dos what he can to restrain his young people. They are impudent and eager for mischief.  A man who called himself a British officer and Tom Perriman visited the King and urged him to war and to go out with the Warriors offering him 100 dollrs.  for every trader, cowbuyer or other American found in their country and the like sum for captured negros. The King answered, begin you first the war and you will then see what the Red people will do. The headquarters of the encouragers of mischief is Perrimans. Ten negros arrived almost perished from Pensacola and 100 expected to join the British.””

14 nov.  From three confidential people examined in presence of Colo. Jones, at Mr. Barnards, interprited by him

“The first movement of the Hostiles was from Perrimans. The Aumucculle Chiefs prevailed on them there to halt. A party of them came on and stole six horses from Mr. Barnard and family and four from the agency. The second ground movement was stoped  again on the adoption of a new plan which was to be kept secret under pain of death. This however has leaked out, from one in the secret, to his Uncle, who sent it to the agent.  When the Georgia army marched and shall have passed through to Jackson, they [the hostiles] are to attack and plunder the frontiers Eastward of F. [Fort] Hawkins for horses for the British officers who will want many, and for negros. When the Miccosookee King and the officer had the conversation related above, The latter said if the Simonolies would not go against the Americans as he had given them munitions of War for that purpose, he would take his negros and march through their country to St. Marys to mischief and bring the Georgians on them. He would give 40 dollrs. for the Scalp of every man brought to him. Where this second movement was charged two parties come on to mischief below fort Hawkins and about Mr. Barnards sons. One of them was stoped by the Aumucculle people and the other by Obaune.  A third party supposed to be one seen near Hartford must have gone round about; Its return trail was seen as supposed by one of the informants; a large one all moc,a,sin trailes [moccasin trails] no horse tracks and he thinks they were either called back by runners or that they discovered the scout of Horsemen coming out from Hartford, got alarmed and returned.”

In a “talk” dated December 27, 1816 from the Chiefs of the Chehaw Towns (Creek Nation) to David B. Mitchell, then Governor of Georgia (1815-1817), the chiefs complained of attacks made upon them by white settlers along the St. Marys River. They relate one incident in particular in which the settlers attacked a Chehaw hunting party, stole their horses, deer skins and other articles, and took one man prisoner. A similar attack was made on another party near the Okefenokee Swamp. The Chiefs remind the Governor of their long friendship with the white people of Georgia; and of their loyalty during the Red Stick War.  Despite these attacks on their people,  the Chiefs restrained their young warriors from seeking “satisfaction” from the settlers. Instead, they beseeched the governor to have their property restored and recover the man who was taken prisoner. The Chiefs also observe that white settlers are trespassing on Creek lands near the Altamaha [Ocmulgee] River. The letter is signed by Chefecksecoimmauthlau, as a representative of the Chehaw Chiefs, and Timothy Barnard, as interpreter.

Letter from Timothy Barnard esqr. dated 27th. Dec: [December] 1816.
Indian Affairs

A Talk Sent on by the Indian Cheifs who reside Sixty miles below this on flint river known by the name of the Chehaws to His Excellncy — David B. Mitchill,Governor and Commander of the State of georgia. Their talk is in consequence of depredations commited on them by the white people who reside on the river St maryes, Citizens of the United States. The Cheifs sent on to me three days past states there complaints as follows, that near two months past a party the red people were hunting near the St marys river at wich time a party of white people rushed on there camp and took on[e] red man a prisoner and took him of[f] and twelve hed of horses and Every thing Else that was movea[ble] at the dear Skins and many other articles. Since that not many days past a party of red people were in camp on the East side of the oconfenoga [Okefenokee] Swamp at wich time a party of white people rushed on them and robed [robbed] them of ten horses they say that they believe that if they had not run of[f] into Swamp that the white people meant to kill them as they were all armed — the Cheifs say they send this to his Excellency as freinds as its well known that they have neaver commited any hostile acts on the Citizens of georgia. The also say they neaver took no part with those called the red Sticks wich they say I know to be true and wich is true. They have been in all the last bad times in this countrey. They have behaved as well and better than any other tribe I know. The Chiefs therefore beg the favour of his Excellency as a freind to git there property restored to them and also the red man that was carrid of[f] a prisoner if he is Still liveing. The Cheifs say that a party of their young warriers had collected to goe down near were they were robed [robbed] and plunder property to the ammount of there loss but that they the Cheifs that Send this talk had Stopt them. They Cheifs therefore beg the favour of his Excellency as a freind to the red people to send them an answer to this communication directed to me that I may inform them if they may have any hopes of there property been [being] returned —

The above talk givein by the Cheif.
Sent on to me this 27th Decr 1816
Chefecksecoimmauthlau his X mark
Timy Barnard, Interpreter

After finishing [the] talk the Cheif recolected Something more that his Cheifs that sent him on here had told him to communicate wich is as follows —
That the citizens of georgia from a few miles below Hartford on the west side of ockmulgeare setling thick from that down to the Allattamahau [Altamaha River] and the woods full of cattle and hogs. Some white people the Cheifs say are also setled of[f] some distance from the river. The Cheifs say that they considered and heard by the conclusion of the treaty respecting the line that they the red people were to hold possession of all the land above the line. They beg the goverment of the U. States to see justice done them as they say they have been alway freindly to their freinds the white people on the frontiers and neaver wish to doe them any Injurye.

Thus it was that Aumuculle was well regarded as a friendly village and an ally, when Andrew Jackson came through the area in 1818 on his way to engage hostile Seminole Indians in Florida.

In early 1818, as he traversed the region, Andrew Jackson stopped at Aumucullee, now referred to as simply “Chehaw.” At this time, the town “consisted of fifteen or twenty cabins with a large Council house in the Centre” flying a white flag of peace ( GA Genealogy)General Glascock reported there was a ferry over the Flint River opposite the village.

FORT EARLY

Miniature portrait of Thomas Glascock, Jr.

Brigadier General Thomas Glascock, Jr. constructed and commanded Fort Early in 1818. He later served as a Georgia member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

To defend the Georgia frontier and in preparation for Jackson’s campaign,  Brigadier General Thomas Glascock had been sent in January of 1818 to oversee the reconstruction of Fort Early on the Flint River. His militia bivouac on the Flint above Chehaw village was called Camp Cumming.  A soldier wrote from Camp Cumming, “We arrived here after a fatigueing march of 12 days from Hartford, 10 of which rained. The whole of our march has been through a poor, flat, pine-woods glades, where I have seen eight horses frequently to a waggon, which they moved with difficulty. This detachment has had constant, various and almost insurmountable difficulties to encounter. We have had many false alarms, but no fighting; nor need there be any apprehension of an attack. A hostile party however is scouting in the neighborhood, consisting of about thirty men, and have rifled the house of a friendly Chehaw chief ( Raleigh Minerva, Jan 30, 1818).”   On January 10, 1818, Glascock wrote from Camp Cumming about hostile Indians from Fowltown (called Totalosi Talofa by the Native Americans) threatening the safety of his men and effectively cutting off their supplies from the friendly Indians at Chehaw.

In a letter written January 18, 1818 Glascock informed General Edmund Pendleton Gaines that sixty of his men were erecting blockhouses, and that he intended to bring up the rest of his force up to complete the works.  The log stockade was built near the site of an earlier breastworks originally constructed in the War of 1812.

 

August Herald Jan 30, 1818 reports construction of Fort Early

Augusta Herald Jan 30, 1818 reports construction of Fort Early

Augusta Herald
Jan 30, 1818

The LAST NIGHT’S MAIL from Milledgeville, brought us the following intelligence, being the latest received from the Georgia Troops now in service.

The Army.

An intelligent gentleman, who left the Army on the 18th instant, has favored us with the following particulars respecting the Georgia militia in service. The detachment is stationed on the east side of Flint river, 42 miles from Hartford, about 70 miles from Fort-Scott, and ten above the nearest settlement of Chehaw (a friendly Indian town) to which place a road has been opened. A new Fort is erecting on the site of old Fort-Early, selected by Gen. Blackshear, and considered very eligible—it is to be called Bloomfield. The adjacent country is open and glady, and the mud so extremely bad, that the troops have to be supplied by pack-horses. Boats are building at the Agency, to transport provisions down the river—they are to be shot-proof, and it is supposed are nearly finished. No difficulty is now believed to exist relative to crossing the Spanish line—and, it is understood, offensive operations, on our part, will soon be resumed—The army was expected to be reinforced in a few days, by three Companies of militia from the low-country, and 100 regulars. A party of thirty or forty hostile Indians were scouting about the lower part of Chehaw where they had rifled the house of a friendly Chief. When last beard from, they were only 12 miles from Camp, and were proceeding up the river to cut off a party that had been sent to Chehaw, which hastily and safely retreated. A volunteer corps was about forming to go in pursuit of them.
[Georgia Journal, Jan. 27. 

The new Fort Early would serve as a troop garrison, a bivouac point for federal troops and state militia, and as a depot for the shipment of army supplies from Hartford, GA to Fort Scott, sixty miles down the Flint River.

Style of blockhouse typically constructed along the Georgia frontier during the early 1800s.

Style of blockhouse typically constructed along the Georgia frontier during the early 1800s.

During the construction, Glascock’s detachment ran short on rations, “The Contractor’s Agent having failed to comply with the requisitions of Gen. Gaines, for subsisting the United States’ troops and the Georgia Militia under Gen. Glascock.”

We have now on hand about three days Rations of Flour, not more that two of meat, & scarcely any supply of corn. I am in expectation of procuring a further supply of meat from Chehaws, perhaps a little, but very little corn.

On January 22, 1818 Glascock received word that hostile Indians had attacked supply wagons four miles east of Fort Early, killing two men – decapitating  one and scalping the other. The attackers were presumed to be from the Indian village of Fulemmy (Philema, GA). A few hours later word was received that Fort Gaines, approximately 80 miles west on the Chattahoochee River, was under imminent threat of capture by hostile Creek Indians. Settlers in the area had been scalped and the small stockade was crowded with soldiers, men, women and children.   The next day,  Major Thomas Simpson Woodward took a detachment of  22 men from Fort Early and 14 warriors from Chehaw  (Aumuculle) village, the Indian chief Major Howard among them, to reinforce Fort Gaines.  A few days later, Woodward’s company was relieved by federal troops and returned to Fort Early.

Portrait of Andrew Jackson by Charles Wilson Peale, 1819

Portrait of Andrew Jackson by Charles Wilson Peale, 1819

General Jackson arrived at Fort Early about February 22, 1818, escorted by two companies of Kentucky militia.  But prior to  Jackson’s arrival, Glascock’s  Georgia militia men having completed their term of enlistment were discharged. Glascock went to Hartford to organize a new militia force called up by Governor Rabun.

Meanwhile, word had come from the commander of Fort Scott, GA that because of a lack of supplies and imminent threat of attack from hostile Indians gathering at Fowltown, he intended to abandon the post.  Jackson’s urgent mission was to “prevent such a disastrous movement.”  On February 25, 1818 General Glascock wrote of his return  to Fort Early with a fresh contingent of Georgia militia infantry and riflemen from Hartford, GA. The troops brought a drove of 1,100 hogs, but otherwise arrived without supplies, as excessive rains had made the roads impassable for their supply wagons. In a letter written from Fort Early, Jackson informed John C. Calhoun, Secretary of War, “Eleven hundred men are now here without a barrel of flour or bushel of corn. We have pork on foot; and tomorrow I shall proceed for Fort Scott, and endeavor to procure from the Indians a supply of corn that will aid in subsisting the detachment until we reach that place.

The arrival of the militia and the urgency of the situation at Fort Scott, obliged Jackson to depart with the available force on February 27, expecting to supplement the swine with some provisions he hoped to secure from friendly Indians en route (M. A., vol. 1, p. 698). At Jackson’s order, Maj. T. S. Woodward of the Georgia militia, had sent a talk to the Chehaw town, proposing that their warriors join the army, to which appeal they promptly responded when the army passed by, unaware of the tragic fate in store for their town during their absence. … Some supplies of corn, potatoes, and ground peas were secured at this place [Chehaw]… –River Basin Surveys Papers

General Jackson’s force passed through Chehaw about February 28, 1818 marching south to Fort Scott.  At this time, the town “consisted of fifteen or twenty cabins with a large Council house in the Centre” flying a white flag of peace (GA Genealogy)  David Brydie Mitchell, United States Indian Agent to the Creek Nation and former Governor of Georgia, said of “the principal chief called Howard…There was not a better, a more friendly or a more intelligent Indian in the Nation.”  The old chiefs welcomed the Americans and provided them with corn and other supplies that could be spared (- GA Genealogy) . Capt. Hugh Young, topographer of Jackson’s army, credited Chehaw with “from 70-80 warriors under Old Howard or Cochamico, and rated them as friendly but unreliable. They were invited to furnish a force of auxiliaries to Jackson’s army and responded with enthusiasm. It is not known whether Young’s comment expressed a pre- or post-campaign opinion.The chiefs sent Jackson off to Spanish Florida with forty of their young warriors to fight their common enemy – the Seminoles, fugitive Upper Creeks, and renegade Lower Creeks (- GA Genealogy)

General Glascock recalled, “In passing through that town, we not only obtained a large quantity of supplies for the use of the army, but had to leave some of our sick under the protection of these very people.”  Jackson later wrote of Chehaw village:

On my march from Hartford,[Georgia] to fort Scott, the necessities of my army were first relieved at the Chehaw village, and every act of friendship characterized the conduct of their old chiefs. The young warriors immediately entered, and were mustered into the service of the United States; and under the command of colonel [Noble] Kennard, were esteemed one of the most efficient corps of friendly Indians.  – Military Affairs, Vol 1, pg 776

A “Muster roll of friendly Creek troops raised during the First Seminole Waris held in the Andrew Jackson Collection at the Tennessee Virtual Archives includes It lists the names, ranks, expiration of service, and remarks for  68 Creek warriors under the command of Captain Powas Hanjo [chief of the Chehaw village of Eufala].  Since the 1818 Florida incursion was a US regular army operation, these native allies were likely being paid by the Federal government. Jackson as a military commander used Native American allies in nearly all of his military operations.”

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Letter from Camp Security, GA

During the winter of 1862,  the Campfires of the Berrien Minute Men were made at Camp Security near Darien, GA. A Civil War letter from Camp Security dated February 12, 1862 describes the prevalence of tonsillitis and measles among the men. This letter, signed Gussie, was probably written by Augustus H. Harrell, of the Thomasville Guards.

Camp Security, Darien Ga
February 12th 1862

Dear Cousin,
I received your kind letter yesterday and now hasten to respond. I am not well at present nor have been for three or four days. The health of our company is improving slowly. We have lost two men from this battalion since I wrote to you last. We have a disease here called Tonselital which is a swelling of the throat which is so severe with some that they cannot swallow any thing for three and four days and sometimes men choke to death. We have three hundred and forty or fifty men at this post and there is one hundred and fifty or seventy five able for duty. There is a great many that are not down sick but are unable for duty. I really thought I wrote to you before I left home of the death of sister Jane ——. I wrote to several cousins of it.

We have been in service nearly seven months and have just succeeded in electing a Colonel Mr. Young of Thomasville. Ours is the 29th Georgia Regiment Georgia Volunteers, we are in the Confederate service and enlisted for twelve months service which time will expire the 27th day of next July. We will draw pay in a day or two. I was at home and was the cause of all that sickness you read of. I went home to see sister Jane and had the measles fever on me when I left camp and did not know it and I came very near dying two or three times as I had two cases and then a relapse. Every one in this place white and black had them, but were very near well when I left. I guess you could get in this company if you wished. I have a negro boy to wait on and cook for me and if you were here you could tent and mess with me. Give Uncle and Aunt my love and kiss Emma for me and write soon to us.
Ever your cousin
Gussie

I liked to have forgotten to tell you I am going (if I live to see next September) be married and if it will suit your indulgence I would like very much to see you down about that time. There is a probability of our being moved from here and sent to Ft Pulaski. None of the companies in Savannah would volunteer to go there and ours has done volunteered but have not heard whether we are accepted. Excuse all imperfections and write soon as it is a great pleasure for a soldier to receive a letter in camps.

Suppose you come down and join our company. You cannot get a gun but you can get a pike or spear as there is several in our company has them. There is about one hundred men in ours, Capt. C. S. Rockwells Company…

Civil War Letter from Camp Security, GA, probably written by Augustus H. Harrell

scan of letter

Civil War Letter from Camp Security, GA, probably written by Augustus H. Harrell

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