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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