Lott Warren and the Arrest of Obed Wright

When Georgia militia troops attacked  the friendly Aumuculee  (Chehaw) Indian village in 1818, the nation was scandalized.

Let not the “star spangled banner” of our country be for a moment polluted with so foul a blot – Augusta Chronicle, May 16, 1818

The friendship of Aumuculle had been long known.  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.  Aumuculle had provisioned troops during the construction of Fort Early and sent 40 of their warriors to join the command of Andrew Jackson in his campaign against the Seminoles, who in the Creek language were called the Iste-Semole – the wild men.  Despite this record, the village was massacred by Georgia militia, under the supposed justification that the attack was a reprisal for earlier Indian depredations.

The attack itself was widely publicized with contradicting reports and a running dispute between General Andrew Jackson and Georgia governor William Rabun. Their dispute over military jurisdiction became so controversial, President James Monroe was required to furnish Congress with a complete set of the correspondence relating to the incident.

 

 

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 at the Lowndes County, GA Grand Jury of 1833.

Lott Warren, who had  been present at the massacre and who followed orders to loot and burn the Indian houses, now had a small role to play in the capture of the perpetrator of the attack, Captain Obed Wright.  Warren would go on to serve as Solicitor-General  of the Southern Circuit, including Lowndes County, GA.  In 1826 Warren prosecuted two Indians before Judge Fort in Thomas County, GA for murder, securing a conviction and sentence that they  be “hung by the neck until they were dead. The judge omitted to invoke the usual blessing, – “May God have mercy on their souls!” – for the reason that the prisoners did not understand English.”  Warren became an ardent supporter of the “States Rights” cause. Among the state rights he was most concerned with were the right of Georgia to incarcerate Native Americans without interference from the Federal Government, and the right of Georgians to retrieve fugitive slaves from other states.  Lott Warren was a slave owner, as shown in the 1860 Census of “Slave Inhabitants” of Albany, Dougherty County, GA.  Elected to the Georgia state legislature, he supported Indian Removal and Georgia’s defiance of U.S. Supreme court rulings that favored Native American rights.  Warren supported the expulsion of sympathetic missionaries from the Indian Territory, and the execution of Corn Tassels for a crime committed in the Indian Nation.  He was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives where he vehemently defended the character of Governor William Rabun and his assertion states rights.

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Following the attack on Aumuculle (Chehaw), Obed Wright, commanding officer at the Chehaw Massacre,  and the militia companies under his command had been discharged at Hartford and had returned to their homes. Lieutenant Lott Warren returned to Dublin, GA and resumed his work as a clerk in the store of Amos Love.  Warren’s employer, Amos Love, was the father of Peter Early Love who became a leading statesman of Georgia, serving as a solicitor general, superior court judge and U.S. Congressman.   Peter E. Love, as Solicitor General of the Southern Circuit, in 1845 prosecuted cases before the Lowndes County Superior Court, Judge Carlton B. Cole presiding.

Meanwhile, pursuant to orders from General Andrew Jackson, Major John M. Davis commenced tracking down Captain Obed Wright to secure his arrest.

 

Arriving in Hartford in mid-May, 1818 Major Davis found Captain Wright had already departed for Savannah, GA. Davis pursued, first going by way of Fort Hawkins and Milledgeville.  Major Davis finally tracked Wright to Dublin, GA. There, Davis sought out Lieutenant Lott Warren. In a statement to the U.S. Congress, Lott Warren later recounted, “Major Davis called upon me, and in great confidence disclosed his business, and inquired for Capt. Wright, to whom in a few minutes I introduced him…” – Georgia Journal, 26 Apr 1842

Major Davis… stated that he had orders from Gen. Jackson to arrest Capt. Wright. Lieut. Warren accompanied him to the hotel, where he introduced him to Capt. Wright, who at once submitted. It may as well be remarked here that Capt. Wright had not been mustered into the service of the United States, and was, of course, not subject to the orders of Gen. Jackson. His arrest, by the authority of the latter, was therefore regarded by Gov. Rabun and the justices of the Inferior Court of Baldwin county, as a usurpation of power.

 

Major Davis presented Captain Wright with an official, written letter of arrest.

Capt. Obed Wright, Georgia militia

Dublin, Georgia, May 24, 1818

Sir,
I am directed by major general Jackson, commanding the division of the south, to arrest you and conduct you to fort Hawkins, where you are to remain, until the pleasure of the President of the United States, be known on your case.
You will therefore, consider yourself in arrest, and proceed accordingly.

I am, respectfully yours, &c.

JNO. M. DAVIS
Ass’t inspr. gen. U.S. army;

 

Having taken Captain Wright into custody, Major Davis proceeded with his prisoner toward Fort Hawkins, at Macon, GA.  Wright prevailed upon Davis to go by way of the state capitol at Milledgeville, where he said he had papers important to his defense.  At Millegeville, however, Wright attempted to escape… or at least to delay the march long enough for his attorney to file legal proceedings.

Extract of a letter from a gentleman in Milledgeville to his friend in Raleigh, (N.C.) dated June 4.

Our metropolis has been in considerable commotion for several days past. Captain Obed Wright, the murderer of the friendly Indians, was arrested by order of gen. Jackson, the first of last week below this, and at his request was permitted to come to this place [Milledgeville], for the purpose of procuring some papers which he said would be necessary at his trial. On Thursday morning last, when the officer [Major John M. Davis] was about to proceed on his journey, the prisoner broke ground, and moved with such velocity that he succeeded in reaching the top of one of our longest hills before he was overtaken by persons on horseback. His conduct so enraged the officer, that he looked as if he intended severing the fellow’s head with his sword, which he “waved in fiery circles” (as Weams would say) above the trembling prisoner, who looked as if he expected every moment to meet old Howard in another world. This affair afforded time enough for a friend of Wright to procure a writ of habeas corpus, which was served on the officer, and he notified to attend a court called to try the case, in a few hours. The court decided that the orders of gen. Jackson were informal, as they contained no charge for which the prisoner was arrested, or to be tried – Jackson simply directs the officer to arrest and confine him until instructions can be received from the president. The prisoner was discharge, and the officer went off, cursing our governor and the whole state and threatening us with vengeance, to tell gen Jackson how he had been treated, who has never shewn much courtesy towards our chief magistrate. Jackson considered Wright in the service of the United States, and our governor thinks he was in the service of this state. There is much difference of opinion on the subject. The governor is censured, generally – perhaps justly too.  – The New York Evening Post, 25 Jun 1818

Wright’s attorney, Seaborn Jones, filed the writ of habeas corpus with the Inferior Court of Baldwin County, Milledgeville;

Chambers, May 28, 1818
Present: Their honors Robert Wynn, William Bevin, and James Fleming, Justices.
The court met for the purpose of hearing Obed Wright, who was brought up before them upon a writ of habeas corpus, which is as follows:
Georgia, Baldwin county.
To any Justice of the Inferior Court.
The petition of Obed Wright showeth: That he is detained in confinement by Major Davis, an officer in the United States service, and he therefore prays the benefit of a habeas corpus, to inquire into the cause of his confinement and detention.
Seaborn Jones
Attorney for petitioner.

Pursuant to the petition a writ of habeas corpus was issued by the court.

Habeas corpus, by the Constitution of the United States, and of the State of Georgia.
To Major Davis,
an officer in the United States service.

Georgia, Baldwin county:
It appears, from the petition of Obed Wright, that he is now kept in custody by you, and he having prayed a writ of habeas corpus, you are, therefore hereby commanded, that you bring before me, at the court-house of the county, by the hour of 11 o’clock of the forenoon of the day, the body of the said Obed Wright, by whatever title he may be known to you, together with the cause of his commitment and detention, that he may be dealt with according to law. Fail not, and have you then and there this writ.
Given under my hand and seal, the 28th of May, 1818.

William Bevin, J. I. C.

Major Davis produced Obed Wright in court in Milledgeville, GA

Milledgeville, May 28, 1818
I have the said Obed Wright in court, together with the cause of his commitment and detention.
John M. Davis,
Ass’t Inspector General U.S.A.

After hearing the case, the court ordered the immediate release of Obed Wright.

Major John M. Davis, assistant inspector general of the United States’ Army, in obedience to a writ of habeas corpus, this day served on him, having produced the body of said Obed Wright, mentioned in the habeas corpus, before the court, together with the cause of his commitment and detention:
And the court, on consideration, deeming that no sufficient cause is shown for his detention: on motion, ordered, that he be discharged forthwith.
Robert Wynn.
William Bevin.
James Fleming.

 

Upon reaching Fort Hawkins, Major Davis wrote a letter to Gen. Jackson explaining the circumstances of Wright’s release:

Fort Hawkins 30th May 1818

Sir,
By express I hasten to communicate to you, that in pursuance of your order to me of the 7th inst. I came up with Captain Obed Wright of the Georgia Militia, in Dublin on the 24th Inst. I arrested him, and brought him on with me as far as Milledgeville, where civil authority interfered and discharged him. A copy of the proceedings is herewith enclosed to you – I also enclose you copies of my letters to the Secy. War, & Govr. of Georgia, together with a copy of your order to me (which you kept no copy of) – and a copy of Wright’s arrest.
So far as I have had an opportunity of discovering, the minds of the Georgians is much agitated on this occasion, and many of them warmly advocate Wright’s conduct – I had to brook several insults while I had him in custody – The General impression of the rable was that Wright would be delivered up to the Indians – The enlightened class new better, & said that you were incapable of doing such an act – I did not let the court know the extent of my orders -I only shew my first order, which directs him to be delivered over to the military authority at Fort Hawkins there to be kept in close confinement untill the will of the President be known. The Govr. of Georgia is absent at present, whether he will on his return order him to be delivered over to me on my application, or not is uncertain, I dont expect he will.
I deem it necessary & therefore have communicated the facts as herein related to the Secy. War, I have enclosed him a copy of the proceedings of the court, and a copy of Wrights arrest – I notified him that I have communicated the circumstance to you.
I have the honor to very Respectfully your Obt Sert
Jno. M. Davis
Asst Ins. Genl

Augusta Herald

Friday June 5, 1818
Milledgeville, June 2.
Capt. Wright —Major Davis, of the United States army, in compliance with orders from General Jackson, arrested Captain Obed Wright in Dublin, a few days ago, for the purpose of carrying him to Fort Hawkins, and securing him until instructions could be received from the President. Whilst in this place, on Thursday last, the prisoner was released from custody by a writ of habeas corpus, before a Court called to determine the case. The Court, after suitable investigation, decided that the orders of Gen’l Jackson were informal, as they contained no specific charge against the prisoner, who was accordingly released from custody. We understand Capt. Wright has been arrested by order of Gov. Rabun, and is now on parole in this place, waiting the organization of a court-martial.

Meanwhile, among the Creeks over there was growing resentment over the attack…

Milledgeville Reflector
June 2, 1818

The Chehaw Indians estimate the property lost by the late attack on their town, at $8000. We understand that there will be a general meeting of the Creek Nation at Fort Mitchell on the 7th instant, for the purpose of investigating the late affair.

On June 28, 1818, President James Monroe finally wrote,

An officer of rank should be ordered to visit the Chehaw town in the name of the executive of the United States, to examine into the loss and damage that indemnity may be made and to console the survivors.

Chief William McIntosh

Chief William McIntosh

In a letter dated July 8, 1818 Nashville, Tennessee  Major General Andrew Jackson informed Creek leader General William McIntosh that he had ordered the arrest of Captain Obed Wright for the “wanton outrage and murder” at Chehaw, but that Wright had been released by civil authorities in Milledgeville. Jackson wrote that he was awaiting President Monroe’s instructions on how to proceed further in the matter.

Head Quarters
Division of the South
Nashville 8 July 1818
General William McIntosh.
Friend and Brother

Shortly after the capture of Pensacola, I was taken very ill which prevented my writing you; I have continued indisposed ever since & on my return to Nashville was taken seriously ill, — From this attack I have just recovered sufficiently to write you —

On my march from Fort Gadsden to Pensacola I received the disagreable  intelligence of the wanton and outrageous attack by Capt Wright, commanding a detachment of Georgia Militia, on the Chehaw Village — I immediately sent the Chehaws a talk which you have seen, and ordered Capt Wright to be apprehended & confined for trial. Major Davis executed this order, arrested Capt Wright, and in passing through Milledgeville, Capt Wright was released from his confinement by the Civil Authority. I am awaiting the instructions of your Father the President of the United States on this subject. That Capt Wright ought to be punished for this wanton outrage and murder all good men agree, and I have no doubt Your Father the President of the U. States will have ample justice done in this case —

Your Friend & Brother
Andrew Jackson
Major Genl Comdg

After the discharge of Capt. Wright, upon Habeas Corpus, at Milledgeville, the Governor had him immediately arrested for disobeying orders, in not destroying the Hoponee and Philemi towns, as well as Chehaw,… Portraits of Eminent Americans.    However, Wright  while still officially under arrest was soon released on a “parole of honor” pending instructions from the President on the disposition of the case.

Secretary of State John Quincy Adams followed up with another letter to Governor Rabun, telling him that “The President of the United States has directed that Captain Obed Wright should be prosecuted for the murder of friendly Indians.” – Massacre of American Indian Allies, 1818

The Savannah Republican reported the instructions from President Monroe; Captain Wright would be tried before justices of the Supreme Court, and if convicted, would be executed.  In a second article The Savannah Republican explained to the legal authority to prosecute Wright in federal court.

Savannah Republican
July 14, 1818

The President has issued orders for the arrest of captain Obed Wright, which the marshal of this district will execute forthwith. A special court has also been ordered for the trial of Wright, to be held in September next, in this city, or Milledgeville, at which two of the judges of the supreme court are to preside. Wright is charged with having committed murder, and the destruction of the Chehaw town.

Savannah Republican
Milledgeville, July 23.

The law of Congress passed in 1802 to regulate trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes, and to preserve peace on the frontiers, under which Captain Wright is to be tried, enacts, that “if any citizen, or other person, shall go into any town, settlement, or territory belonging to any nation or tribe of Indians, and shall there commit murder, by killing any Indian or Indians, belonging to any nation or tribe of Indians in amity with the United States, such offender, on being thereof convicted, shall suffer death.”
“And when the offender shall be apprehended or brought for trial into any of the United States, it shall be lawful for the President of the United States to issue a Commission to any one or more Judges of the supreme court of the United States, and the judge of the district in which such offender may have been apprehended, or shall have been brought for trial; which Judges, or any two of them, shall have the same jurisdiction, in such capital cases, as the Circuit Court of such district, and shall proceed to trial and judgement in the same manner, as such circuit court might or could do.”
For the immediate attainment of the objects of the general government in relation to captain Wright, the acting attorney of the United States for the district of Georgia, (Mr. Davies having temporarily left the state for the benefit of his health, which has been considerably impaired by an incessant devotion to business) has written to the Creek agent for Indian Affairs, we are informed, requesting him to pursue such steps as will authorize the Marshal to take captain Wright into custody; and the Governor has been desired to cause him to be delivered to any judicial officer of this county, whenever he shall be demanded by virtue of a warrant from the proper authority, and to detain him, till then, under his present military arrest. – Journal.

Wright heard that rather than facing a military courtmartial he was  to be tried before a federal court as soon as federal charges could be preferred. He petitioned Governor Rabun for immediate release from his arrest, but receiving no reply decided to flee from justice.

ESCAPE OF CAPTAIN WRIGHT.
From the Milledgeville Journal, 4th instant.
Capt. Wright, of noted memory, has broken his parole of honor, and absconded. On the 26th ult. [July 26, 1818] (the day previous to his dissappearing) he addressed the following note to the governor;-

“Sir – On the 28th of May last, I was arrested by order of your excellency. Since that time I have waited in the expectation, that a courtmartial would be ordered for my trial. No charge has yet made its appearance against me. I therefore pray that your excellency would withdraw the arrest. If you should think proper not to do so, suffer me to call and see you, as I have business of importance. (signed) Obed Wright.”

To this communication no answer was returned. His fears, we understand, were considerably excited by the statement in the Savannah Republican, of the determination of the president of the U. States to have him tried before the federal court for murder. Dreading a long and loathsome imprisonment in gaol [jail], and probably apprehending, from the “hue and cry” which had been raised against him, that his conduct would not be impartially investigated, he took the fatal resolution to flee from justice.
A reward of 500 dollars has been offered by the executive for his apprehension. The deputy marshal and assistant agent for Indian affairs, arrived here on Thursday with a warrant to take him into the custody of the civil authority- but the “bird had flown.”  – Savannah Republican, Aug 8, 2018

Governor Rabun then informed Secretary of State John Quincy Adams that Wright had fled.

Executive Department of Georgia
Milledgeville, 29th July, 1818

SIR
I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 30th ultimo, containing the determination of the President of the United States relative to the case of Captain Obed Wright; and was highly gratified that the affair should be brought before the civil authority of the United States, where, I have no doubt but ample justice would have been administered.
I had determined to detain him agreeably to your request, and would have cheerfully submitted him to the custody of the marshall, whenever he might have appeared; but the President’s instructions to the District Attorney were unfortunately made public in the newspapers of Savannah, and from them copied into others, and were thereby improperly communicated to captain Wright, who, being alarmed at the prospect that awaited him, (on the night of the 27th inst.) made his escape from the custody of the Adjutant General of this state, *who had been instructed to arrest and detain him) and I have received no information of him since.
I shall use every possible exertion to cause him to be arrested again, and hold him subject to the proper authorities of the United States.
I have the honor to be, Sir, very respectfully, your most obedient and very humble servant,
WM. RABUN
Hon. John Quincy Adams, Sec’y. of State.

Governor Rabun issued a proclamation offering a reward of $500 for the apprehension of the fugitive Obed Wright.

July 30, 1818 Proclamation of Governor William Rabun offering $500.00 reward for the capture of Captain Obed Wright.

July 30, 1818 Proclamation of Governor William Rabun offering $500.00 reward for the capture of Captain Obed Wright.

A proclamation, by his excellency William Rabun, governor and commander in chief of the army and navy of the state of Georgia, and of the militia thereof-
Whereas, captain Obed Wright, late of the Georgia militia, was on the 29th day of May last, arrested and confined by the executive authority of this state, for a violation of orders, in the commission of an outrage on the friendly Indians of the Chehaw village, in order that the president of the United States with regard to the manner in which he should be tried for said offence should be known: And whereas I have received information, that the said Obed Wright did on the night of the 27th inst. break his said arrest, and abscond from the place of his confinement and probably from this state: I have therefore though proper to issue this proclamation, hereby offering a reward of five hundred dollars, to any person or persons, who may apprehend the said Obed Wright, and deliver him into the custody of the deputy marshall of the United States, for the district of Georgia, residing at Milledgeville.- And I do moreover, hereby require and command all officers, civil and military, to be found within this state; and to give all aid and assistance in their power, to any person or persons, who may apprehend him for confinement, in order that he may be brought to trial for the crime of which he is charged.
Given under my hand and the great seal of the state, at the state house in Milledgeville, this thirtieth day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and eighteen, and of the independence of the United States of America the forty-third.
WM. RABUN
By the governor,
AB. HAMMOND, sec. of state.

Obed Wright is supposed to be about 30 years of age, 5 feet 11 inches high, slender, trim built, said to be very active, fair complexion, light blue eyes, and light brown hair. – Lancaster Intelligencer, 22 Aug 1818

In plotting his escape, Wright turned to Jacob Robinson, who had been his second in command at the Chehaw massacre. Robinson would later be court-martialed for falsifying the payroll report for the service of his men at Chehaw, keeping the excess pay for himself. “And in that trial his loyalty to Wright and his part in effecting his escape was brought out. A witness testified that Wright had gone to Robinson’s home in Laurens County and informed him that the Governor had “released him from under arrest,” and told him “that he had to fly his country,” and that Robinson helped. A third witness testified that Robinson had told him that he had “hope” Wright along by giving him “a wooden horse [canoe]” in which to float down the Ocmulgee River, and that by now he was in Florida or “gone on to South America.” A fourth witness stated that Wright had said that a United States marshal was going to arrest him and keep him in jail in irons and that his health would not stand it, but that he was willing to be tried if at once. Robinson, himself, testified that Wright called at his home “on his way to the low country,” stating that his arrest had been withdrawn, “and that a different course would be pursued and to contend with the ilnature and influence” of Jackson he could not, “that being destitute of friends and money, that confinement in a common jail would be death,” and that his health could not stand it, he had decided to leave. Robinson said, “I treated the man with that hospitality honest men at all times receive in my house. I permitted him to take a canoe of mine which I felt willing to spare.” – The Chehaw Affair

From Dublin, GA Wright could have canoed down the Oconee River some 50 miles to where the river merges with the Ocmulgee River near Lumber City, GA to form the Altamaha River. The Altamaha then flows some 130 miles to Darien, GA at the mouth of the river.  By land or sea, Wright made his way to Spanish Florida. In a story that was picked up by national newspapers, The Savannah Republican reported that Wright had been spotted at St. Augustine, FL.

Savannah, Sept. 8

From the South. – We have just seen a gentleman from St. Augustine, who informs us…that he saw captain Obed Wright in St. Augustine – that he had taken a Spanish protection, and intended in a few days to go to the Havana. -The United States Gazette, 19 Sep 1818

President Monroe consulted with Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, Secretary of War John C. Calhoun, and Attorney General William Wirt regarding the propriety of issuing a proclamation offering a reward for the apprehension of Obed Wright. The Attorney General advised that the President should instead seek an indictment from the next grand jury for the circuit court of Georgia. If Wright was indicted a federal warrant would be issued and the president could offer a reward for his arrest. U.S. marshals and federal authorities would be instructed that “if Wright should make his appearance anywhere within the United States, to cause him to be arrested according to law.” – Washington Daily Union, May 26, 1850

Probably reflecting on Andrew Jackson’s lack of respect for the sovereignty of the Spanish government in Florida, Obediah Wright decided to place a little more distance between himself and the U.S. authorities. By November Wright was spotted in Havana, Cuba.

From Havana. – Mr. Topliff’s correspondent at Havana writes him as follows, under date of Nov. 21 [1818]:… Capt. Obed Wright, late of the U. S. army, arrived here a few days since from St. Augustine. Capt. Wright was of the Georgia militia. – New York Evening Post, 14 Dec 1818.

National Intel.
A resolution has passed both branches of the Georgia Legislature, without a dissenting voice, exculpating the Governor from any blame on account of the unfortunate attack on Chehaw town, and the escape of Obed Wright. – Vermont Intelligencer, 21 Dec 1818 

Wright was never heard from again, and no one was ever held legally responsible for the massacre of the Chehaws.

In 1912, the Daughters of the American Revolution dedicated a monument  commemorating the Chehaw Massacre.

 

Chehaw Monument dedicated June 14, 1912 by the Americus Chapter of the DAR. The Atlanta Journal said the monument commemorated "the bloody massacre of innocent tribesmen, women and children by Captain Obed Wright, commanding a company of Georgia Militia, in 1818. The memorial is intended asa slight reparation for the great wrong thus done against a tribe of friendly Indians, and at a time when the men of the tribe were fighting in the ranks of Gen. Andrew Jackson;s two regiments sent against the Seminoles in the Florida Everglades in 1818."

Chehaw Monument dedicated June 14, 1912 by the Council of Safety (Americus) Chapter of the DAR. The Atlanta Journal said the monument commemorated “the bloody massacre of innocent tribesmen, women and children by Captain Obed Wright, commanding a company of Georgia Militia, in 1818. The memorial is intended as a slight reparation for the great wrong thus done against a tribe of friendly Indians, and at a time when the men of the tribe were fighting in the ranks of Gen. Andrew Jackson;s two regiments sent against the Seminoles in the Florida Everglades in 1818.” The inscription reads: Large Indian town, home of the Chehaws, a friendly agricultural people of the Creek Tribe, who aided our early settlers. They contributed men, food and horses to subdue the hostile Seminoles; Here Andrew Jackson rested with his starving army and was given help in 1818. Here also in 1818, through misunderstanding, were massacred seven of this tribe by Georgia troops, for which all possible amends were made. Erected in 1911 by Council of Safety Chapter, D. A. R.

 

Council of American Safety [Chapter of the DAR]. (Americus, Ga.) – Chehaw monument, near Leesburg, Ga., erected by the Chapter, was unveiled June 14th, 1912. The picture shows a scene after unveiling, and those of the rostrum who took part in the exercises on this occasion, follows from left to right: Mr. J.E.D. Shipp, orator; Miss Anna Caroline Benning, a former State Regent; Miss Annie May Bell; the three children who unveiled the monument: Lucy Simmons, Frank Harrold, Jr., Louise Dudley; Mrs. William Lawson Peel, Vice-President General; Mrs. Charles A Fricker, Chapter
We have done other good work, but erecting this monument by our Chapter is the greatest accomplishment since our organization five years since. Chehaw was an Indian town on the DeSoto Trail. The people were agricultural and friendly to our settlers. They were of the Creek tribe of Indians, and were of superior intelligence and civilization. In thus perpetuating the memory of this tribe, in recognition of their aid to our country, we emphasize the fact that Andrew Jackson, on his march in 1818, to subdue the uprising Seminoles in Florida, rested at Chehaw, and to him were contributed by the natives, shelter, food and horses for his starving army.
This monument is located exactly where stood the great “Council Oak” of the Chehaw Indians, a tree famous for its great size. The trunk was 8 feet in diameter, covering a space of 120 feet across, the outer circumference being clearly defined by a circle of oaks of perfect symmetry, sprung from the acorns dropped from the outspreading branches of the old tree, making one of the loveliest spots in Georgia. – Mary Charlton Fricker, Regent

Related Posts:

Attack on Aumuculle (Chehaw)

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

Lott Warren became judge at the Lowndes County Grand Jury of 1833.

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 under the command of Captain Obed Wright massacred the village.  In the attack, a young lieutenant named Lott Warren followed orders to loot and burn the Indian houses, some with people still in them.

Attack on Aumuculle (Chehaw).

Obed Wright’s expedition  had been formed as a punitive strike against the hostile Creek Indian villages of Philema and Hopaunee, for depredations made by these Indians on white settlers along the Ocmulgee River.  The expedition arrived at Fort Early on the Flint River on April 22, 1818.  Despite the specific orders from Governor Rabun, Wright planned to bypass the villages of Philema and Hopaunee and advance his force on Au-muc-cu-lee (Chehaw) where he believed hostile Indians were in residence.  Wright ordered the commanding officer of Fort Early, Captain Ebenezer Bothwell, to provide an additional company to support the attack. Although Bothwell disapproved of the plan and insisted that the Aumuculle Indians were friendly, he provided the men Wright required.

“A pilot employed by Capt. Wright took him to the Chehaw town,” according to a later statement by Lott Warren before the U.S. Congress.    Captain Jacob Robinson alleged that upon approaching “within a half mile of the town, we found an Indian herding cattle, the most of which appeared to be white people’s marks and brands. A Mr. McDuffee, of Telfair attached to my corps, swore to one cow as the property of his father, and taken from near where the late depredation on the frontier of Telfair was committed.

Now absolutely convinced that hostiles were holed up at Chehaw, the expedition advanced on the town. Captain Obed Wright ordered the attack on the Native American village just before noon on April 23, 1818.  Captain Dean, a veteran of the War of 1812, ordered a charge, but  it was countermanded by Capt. Wright. Captain Robinson led the attack on the right. Half of the village’s warriors were absent, having volunteered to serve with General Jackson in Florida. The town was soon decimated. 

The outcome of the attack was reported by Captain Wright in a letter to Governor Rabun dated April 25, 1818, which was published in the Georgia Journal on May 5, 1818.

The Georgia Journal
May 5, 1818

Hartford, (Ga.) April 25, 1818.
His Excellency Governor Rabun;
Sir – I have the honor to inform you that agreeable to your orders, I took up the line of march from this place on the 21st instant, with Captains [Jacob] Robinson’s & [Timothy L.] Rogers’s companies of mounted gun-men, Captains [Elijah] Dean’s and [Daniel] Child’s infantry, together with two detachments under Lieutenants Cooper and Jones, Captain Thomason acting as Adjutant, in all about 270 effective men.
      On the night of the 22d I crossed Flint river, and at day break, advanced with caution against the Chehaw Town. The advance guard, when within half a mile of the town, took an Indian prisoner, who was attending a drove of Cattle, and on examination, found some of them to be the property of a Mr. M’Duffy (who was present) of Telfair County.
      The town was attacked, between 11 and 12 o’clock, with positive orders not to injure the women, or children, and in the course of two hours, the whole was in flames; they made some little resistance, but to no purpose.
      From the most accurate accounts, 24 warriors were killed, and owing to the doors of some of the houses being inaccessible to our men, and numbers of guns being fired at us through the crevices, they were set on fire; in consequence of which, numbers were burnt to death in the houses; In all probability from 40 to 50 was their total loss; some considerable number of warriors made their escape, by taking to a thick swamp; a very large parcel of powder found in the town, was destroyed. It is supposed their chief is among the slain. The town is laid completely desolate, without the loss of a man. We re-crossed the Flint to Fort Early the same evening, making a complete march of 31 miles (exclusive of destroying the town) in 24 hours.
The conduct of the officers and soldiers on this occasion, (as well as on all others) was highly characteristic, of the patriotism and bravery of the Georgians in general.

I am sir, with respect, your most
ob’t humble serv’t,
OBED WRIGHT Capt.
(Ga.) Dft. militia Comd’g

Miniature portrait of Thomas Glascock, Jr.

Brigadier General Thomas Glascock, Jr. constructed and commanded Fort Early in 1818.

Four days after Wright’s attack , Brigadier General Thomas Glascock came upon the scene of destruction. He had returned to Chehaw village on his way to Hartford, his drafted Georgia militia men having completed their term of enlistment in Florida. In early 1818, Glascock had spent considerable time near Chehaw supervising the construction of Fort Early. He had depended on the friendly village for supplies and for intelligence on the movements of hostile Indians in the area.

Some of the men traveling with General Glascock were warriors from Chehaw who had served with him in the campaign against the Seminoles in Florida.  All were shocked at finding the people massacred and the village burned out.  Glascock, having arrived with depleted provisions had again hoped to resupply his command at Chehaw, but was forced to march his troops on to Fort Early.

In a letter written a week afterwards,  Glascock reported the attack to his superior officer, General Andrew Jackson. Glascock’s account of the Chehaw affair is important not only for its description of how 230 militiamen killed “seven men . . . one woman and two Children” but also for how it shaped Jackson’s response to the massacre.

Fort Early, April 30, 1818.

SIR,
I have the pleasure to inform you, that my command has safely reached this place having suffered some little for the want of meat. The Gods have proved equally propitious to us, on our return as on our advance at Mickasuky. Some of my men were nearly out of corn, and searching about some old houses that had not been consumed, to see if they could make any discovery, in entering one of them, to their great astonishment and surprize, they came across the man who was lost from captain Watkin’s company, on the 2d of April. It appears from his statement, that he was taken with a kind of cramp, and was unable to move and became senseless. — When he recovered, he became completely bewildered, and never could reach the camp; he therefore concluded it was prudent to secrete himself in some swamp, and after wandering about some time came across a parcel of corn, on which he subsisted until we found him: he was very much reduced, and apparently perfectly wild. On that night Gray struck a trail, pursued it about a mile and half, came to a small hut, which fortunately contained 50 or 60 bushels of corn, some potatoes and peas, which enabled us to reach the Flint, opposite Chehaw village; when arriving within thirty miles of the place, I sent on major Robinson, with a detachment of 20 men to procure beef. On his arriving there, the Indians had fled in every direction. The Chehaw town having been consumed about four days before, by a party of men consisting of 230, under a captain Wright, now in command of Hartford. It appears that after he assumed the command of that place, he obtained the certificates of several men on the frontier, that the Chehaw Indians were engaged in a skirmish on the Big Bend
[Ocmulgee River – Breakfast Branch]. He immediately sent or went to the governor, and received orders to destroy the towns of Filemme and Oponee. Two companies of cavalry were immediately ordered out and placed under his command, and on the 22d he reached this place. He ordered captain Bothwell, to furnish him with 25 or 30 men to accompany him, having been authorized to do so by the governor. The order was complied with. Captain Bothwell told him, that he could not accompany him, disapproved the plan, and informed captain Wright, that there could be no doubt of the friendship of the Indians in that quarter; and stated, that Oponne had brought in a public horse that had been lost that day. This availed nothing; mock patriotism burned in their breasts; they crossed the river that night, and pushed for the town. When arrived there, an Indian was discovered grazing some cattle, he was made a prisoner. I am informed by sergeant Jones, that the Indian immediately proposed to go with the interpreter, and bring any of the chiefs for the captain to talk with. It was not attended to. An advance was ordered, the cavalry rushed forward and commenced the massacre. — Even after the firing and murder commenced, major Howard, an old chief, who furnished you with corn, came out of his house with a white flag in front of the line. It was not respected An order was given for a general fire, and nearly 400 guns were discharged at him, before one took effect — he fell and was bayonetted — his son was also killed. These are the circumstances relative to the transaction — Seven men were killed, one woman and two children. Since then three of my command, who were left at fort Scott, obtained a furlough, and on their way one of them was shot, in endeavoring to obtain a canoe to cross the Flint. I have sent on an express to the officer commanding fort Scott, apprising him of the affair, and one to adjutant Porter, to put him on his guard. On arriving opposite Chehaw, I sent a runner to get some of them in, and succeeded in doing so. They are at a loss to know the cause of the displeasure of the white people. Wolf has gone to the agent to have it inquired into. We obtained from them a sufficient quantity of beef to last us to Hartford, at which place I am informed there is a plentiful supply of provisions. I have the honor to be very respectfully,
Your friend and obedient servant,
[Signed]
THOMAS GLASSCOCK,
Brig. gen. comg. Ga. militia, U.S.S.

General Glascock gave orders that Major James Alston, paymaster to the Georgia Militia, should not pay the soldiers who marched against Chehaw under the orders of Captain Wright, but to pay only those who had remained behind to garrison the station at Hartford, GA.

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Augusta Herald May 5, 1818 edition reports massacre of Chehaw Indians.

Augusta Herald May 5, 1818. The first sketchy newspaper reports on the Chehaw expedition assumed that Captain Obed Wright had followed orders to attack two hostile Indian villages.

Lott Warren’s Account of the Massacre

Among the soldiers in Captain Wright’s command at the Chehaw Massacre was a young lieutenant Lott Warren, who would later serve as the judge on the Southern Circuit of Georgia. Judge Lott Warren presided over the Lowndes County Grand Jury of 1833, at Franklinville, GA,  then the county seat of Lowndes County. The role of Lott Warren in these events is described in Portraits of Eminent Americans,

Arrived within a few miles of the Chehaw town, which was supposed to be Philemi [Now the site of Philema, Lee County, GA?], a council of war was called, and it was determined to send forty of the best mounted men to reconnoitre. They discovered large herds of cattle that had been stolen from the whites on the Ocmulgee, and an Indian minding them. Captain Obed Wright, of the Chatham militia, who had volunteered his services, had positive orders from the Governor to destroy the Hoponee and Philemi towns, which were known to be hostile. Captain Wright then formed the command into a column, and gave express orders that the women and children should not be hurt, and that a white flag should be respected. Within half a mile of the main town a gate was opened by an aged warrior, and the troops passed in. Every thing was quiet. The children swung in their hammocks, and the women were beating meal. The cavalry in front fired several pistols to the left, killing the warrior who opened the gate. Capt. Dean ordered a charge, but Capt. Wright countermanded the order. Two Indians were seen loading their guns. About this time, Howard, a friendly chief, was killed, while holding up a white flag. The men dashed off in pursuit of the Indians, who fled in every direction. Lieut. Warren was ordered, with eighteen men, to burn the cabins. First removing whatever was valuable, two or three cabins only were burnt. The command then returned to Fort Early that night, sold the plunder next day, and divided the spoil. Lieut. Warren refused his portion.

It was the opinion of all concerned at the time, that it was Philemi town which had been destroyed. The chief Howard, and two other Indians who placed themselves in the power of the troops, were murdered in cold blood. But the error had been committed rashly, under excitement, and could not be repaired. 

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Lieutenant Lott Warren’s recollection of the plundering and selling of trophies taken during the raid supports a report published in the Augusta Chronicle, May 16, 1818, about three weeks after the attack. The Chronicle reported that Wright’s troops sacked and looted the village, the “spoils, consisting of breech-clouts, flaps, shirts, and blankets, some of which were sold (the products divided among the victors), and the remainder kept as patriotic mementos. The ear ornaments of poor old Howard were worn by a Mr. Thompson, of Elbert, acting adjutant of the expedition, as a trophy of his gallant conduct. This being, we understand, boasted of having killed with his own hand, two Chehaws, one of whom had been previously mortally wounded!”

Calls for Justice

Indian Agent D. B. Mitchell wrote to Governor Rabun, requesting an official inquiry “into the conduct of the officers engaged in the enterprise,” and to present the case for reparations to be paid to the survivors of the attack. A copy of this letter is in the collection of the Newberry Library, Chicago. Transcriptions were subsequently published in the Milledgeville Reflector, May 26, 1818, and the National Register, June 13, 1818.

Letter written May 5, 1818 by David Brydie Mitchell, Indian Agent, to William Rabun, Governor of Georgia, protesting the destruction of Chehaw village.

Letter written May 5, 1818 by David Brydie Mitchell, Indian Agent, to William Rabun, Governor of Georgia, protesting the “unwarrantable and barbarous” destruction of Chehaw village.

Indian War. DESTRUCTION OF THE CHEHAW VILLAGE.
Copy of a letter from D. B. Mitchell, esq., agent for Indian affairs, to governor Rabun, dated Milledgeville, May 5, 1818.

Sir,
On the 2d inst I rec’d information that a party of mounted men had attacked and destroyed the Chehaw town on Flint river, and killed many of the inhabitants. From all I could then learn it appeared to be uncertain what troops they were, and under whose command, or by whose order this unwarrantable and barbarous deed had been done; and as the consequences cannot be foreseen which may result, when the justly exasperated warriors of the town return, and find their town and property destroyed;—their unoffending and helpless families killed or driven into the woods to perish, whilst they were fighting their and our enemies, the Seminoles, I deemed it best to come to the state and endeavor to procure correct information. I now find that the party had been sent out by your orders, but failed to execute them; and that the attack on Chehaw was unauthorized. I present the case for the consideration of your Excellency, under a confident hope, that as the people of Chehaw were not only friends, but that their conduct during the present war entitle them to our favor and protection, some immediate step will be taken to render that satisfaction which is due for so great an injury.
The extent of their loss in a pecuniary point of view, I am not at this moment prepared to state, but so soon as I return to the agency I will loose no time in having that ascertained; and in the mean time, permit me to suggest the propriety of instituting some legal inquiry into the conduct of the officers engaged in the enterprise. I leave this early in the morning for the agency, from whence I will address you again upon this subject.
I have the honor to enclose an extract of a letter rec’d from old Mr. Barnard on this subject, the contents of which is corroborated by a verbal statement of the Wolf Warrior, who came to me directly from the spot.
I am, sir,
      with high consideration and respect
      Your Very Ob Servt,
     D. B. MITCHELL, agent for I. A.
P. S.—Since writing the above, I have rec’d a letter from the Little Prince, [speaker of the Lower Creeks,] upon this subject, a copy of which l also enclose.

 The Chief on the left hand in this Etching, was the well known Little Prince was head of the Creek Nation of Indians, and a man of considerable energy of purpose and respectability of character...The position of his fingers, was described as being characteristic of the old man. [On the right] - One of those settlers who, in other parts of the country, are called squatters, but who bear the appellation of Crackers in Georgia, - men who set themselves down on any piece of vacant land that suits their fancy, till warned off by the legal proprietor. The man here sketched lived...almost entirely by hunting and shooting. Drawn with the Camera Lucida by Capt B. Hall, R.N.


The Chief on the left hand in this Etching, was the well known Little Prince was head of the Creek Nation of Indians, and a man of considerable energy of purpose and respectability of character…The position of his fingers, was described as being characteristic of the old man. [On the right] – One of those settlers who, in other parts of the country, are called squatters, but who bear the appellation of Crackers in Georgia, – men who set themselves down on any piece of vacant land that suits their fancy, till warned off by the legal proprietor. The man here sketched lived…almost entirely by hunting and shooting. Drawn with the Camera Lucida by Capt B. Hall, R.N.

Copy of a letter from the Little Prince, speaker of the Lower Creeks, to D.B. Mitchell, Indian Agent to the Creeks, dated Fort Mitchell, April 25, 1818.

Fort Mitchell, April 25, 1818

“My Great Friend: I have got now a talk to send to you. One of our friendly towns, by the name of Chehaw, has been destroyed. The white people came and killed one of the head men, and five men and a woman, and burnt all their houses. All our young men have gone to war with General Jackson, and there is only a few left to guard the town, and they have come and served us this way. As you are our friend and father, I hope you will try and find out, and get us satisfaction for it. You may depend upon it that all our young men have gone to war but a few that are left to guard the town. Men do not get up and do this mischief without there is some one at the head of it, and we want you to try and find them out.”
(signed) TUSTUNNUGGIE HOPOIE

∫∫∫

Copy of a letter from Timothy Barnard, esquire (a white man), residing on Flint River, to D. B. Mitchell, agent for I. A.

April 30, 1818.

Sir,
The Wolf Warrior, the bearer of this, has just arrived here, and brings bad news from the Au,muc,culla town (Chewhaw.) Nearly all the warriors belonging to that town are now with our army. Seven days past a company of white people collected and rushed on the town; and as there were but few red people there, and all friendly, just what few were left to guard their town, the rest still with our army, the white people killed every one they could lay their hands on: killed the old chief Tiger King, and one other chief, both I have known always to be friendly to our color, ever since I have been in this land. The whole of what are killed is nine men and one poor old woman. They took of what horses were there, the owners of some of which are still living; they took the horses to the fort, which is not far from the town they have destroyed. The chiefs that are still alive, beg that you will get their horses, or any thing else returned. The red people don’t know whether it is the regular troops, or Georgia militia that have committed this unwarrantable act. I have wrote you all that I think necessary – If you see cause to write anything to me, to inform them of, I will do it with pleasure. If these people do not get some friendly treatment for the damage done them, I am afraid, when their warriors return back from our army, something bad will happen to some of our color. I am very sorry to have to write you on such a horrid piece of business. I write you in haste, as the bearer is in great hurry to see you.
I remain, sir, your friend, and most ob’t serv’t
(Signed) T. BARNARD

Timothy Barnard wrote with some authority:  He was the “first white settler known to live on land now in Macon County, operated an Indian Trading Post on the west bank of the Flint River, from pre-Revolutionary days until he died in 1820. For his loyalty to the American cause, his sons by his Uchee wife were give reserves in the County. Trusted by his Indian neighbors, he became Assistant and Interpreter to Benjamin Hawkins, Indian Agent… He blazed Barnard’s Paths, principal early trails from the Chattahoochee River to St. Mary’s and St. Augustine. = Waymarking.com

Every one will admit that the anger which blazed up in the heart of General Jackson when he received this intelligence was most natural and most righteous. He instantly dispatched a party to arrest Captain Wright, and convey him in irons to Fort Hawkins. The following letters, all dated on the same day, are of the kind that require no explanation:—

GENERAL JACKSON TO MAJOR DAVIS.

“HEADQUARTERS Division of the South,
“May 7th, 1818. }

“SIR: You will send, or deliver personally, as you may deem most advisable, the inclosed talk to Kanard, with instructions to explain the substance to the Chehaw warriors.

“You will proceed thence to Hartford, in Georgia, and use your endeavors to arrest and deliver over, in irons, to the military authority at Fort Hawkins, Captain Wright, of the Georgia militia, who has been guilty of the outrage against the woman and superannuated men of the Chehaw village. Should Wright have left Hartford, you will call upon the Governor of Georgia to aid you in his arrest. To enable you to execute the above, you are authorized to take a company with you of the Tennesseans that went from hence lately for Fort Scott, and await, if you think it necessary, the arrival of the Georgians, now on march, under Major Porter. “You will direct the officer commanding at Fort Hawkins to keep Captain Wright in close confinement, until the will of the President be known. “The accompanying letters, for the Secretary of War and Governor of Georgia, you will take charge of until you reach a post-office. “ANDREW JACKSON.”

∫∫∫

Major General A. Jackson.
Gen. Jackson to the Chiefs and Warriors of Chehaw Village.
On my march to the west of Apalachicola, May 7, 1818.

Friends and Brothers,
I have this morning received, by express, the intelligence of the unwarrantable attack of a party of Georgians on the Chehaw village, burning it, and killing six men and one woman.

Friends and Brothers,
The above news fills my heart with regret and my eyes with tears. When I passed through your village your treated me with friendship, and furnished my army with all the supplies you could spare; and your old chiefs sent their young warriors with me to fight, and put down our common enemy. I promised you protection: I promised you the protection and fostering friendship of the United States by the hand of friendship.

Friends and Brothers,
I did not suppose there was any American so base as not to respect a flag; but I find I am mistaken. I find that Captain Wright of Georgia has done it. I cannot bring your old men and women to life, but I have written to your father, [James Monroe] the President of the United States, the whole circumstance of your case, and I have ordered Captain Wright to be arrested and put in irons, until your father, the President of the United States, makes known his will on this distressing subject.

Friends and Brothers,
Return to your village; there you shall be protected, and Capt. Wright will be tried and punished for this daring outrage of the treaty, and murder of your people; and you shall also be paid for your houses, and other property that has been destroyed; but you must not attempt to take satisfaction yourselves; this is contrary to the treaty, and you may rely on my friendship, and that of your father, the president of the United States.

I send you this by my friend, Major [John M.] Davis, who is accompanied by a few of my people, and who is charged with the arrest and confinement of Captain Wright; treat them friendly; they are your friends; you must not permit your people to kill any of the whites; they will bring down on you destruction. Justice shall be done to you; you must remain in peace and friendship with the United States. The excuse that Captain Wright has made for this attack on your village, is that some of your people were concerned in some murders on the frontiers of Georgia; this will not excuse him. I have ordered Captain Wright, and all the officers concerned in this transaction, in confinement, if found at Hartford. If you send some of your people with Major Davis, you will see them in irons. Let me hear from you at Fort Montgomery. I am your friend and brother.

ANDREW JACKSON
Maj. Gen. Com’dg, Division of the South

∫∫∫

GEN. JACKSON TO WILLIAM RABUN, GOVERNOR of GEORGIA.

“Seven miles advance of Fort Gadsden, May 7th, 1818.

“SIR:

I have this moment received by express the letter of General Glascock (a copy of which is inclosed) detailing the base, cowardly and inhuman attack on the old women and men of the Chehaw village, while the warriors of that village were with me fighting the battles of our country against the common enemy, and at a time, too, when undoubted testimony had been obtained and was in my possession, and also in the possession of General Glascock, of their innocence of the charge of killing Leigh and the other Georgian at Cedar Creek.

“That a Governor of a State should assume the right to make war against an Indian tribe, in perfect peace with and under the protection of the United States, is assuming a responsibility that I trust you will be able to excuse to the government of the United States, to which you will have to answer, and through which I had so recently passed, promising the aged that remained at home my protection, and taking the warriors with me in the campaign, is as unaccountable as it is strange. But it is still more strange that there could exist within the United States a cowardly monster in human shape that could violate the sanctity of a flag when borne by any person, but more particulaly when in the hands of a superannuated Indian chief, worn down with age. Such base cowardice and murderous conduct as this transaction affords has not its parallel in history, and shall meet with its merited punishment.

“You, sir, as Governor of a State within my military division have no right to give a military order whilst I am in the field; and this being an open and violent infringement of the treaty with the Creek Indians, Captain Wright must be prosecuted and punished for this outrageous murder, and I have ordered him to be arrested and to be confined in irons until the pleasure of the President of the United States is known upon the subject. If he has left Hartford before my order reaches him, I call upon you as Governor of Georgia to aid in carrying into effect my order for his arrest and confinement, which I trust will be afforded, and Captain Wright brought to condign punishment for this unparalleled murder. It is strange that this hero had not followed the trail of the murderers of your citizens; it would have led to Mickasucky, where we found the bleeding scalps of your citizens; but there might have been more danger in this than attacking a village containing a few superannuated women without arms or protectors. This act will to the last age fix a stain upon the character of Georgia.

“I have the honor, etc.,
“ANDREW JACKSON.”

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There were those who came to Captain Wright’s defense. Jacob Robinson, captain of the Laurens County Light Dragoons, who participated in the attack, gave an account that significantly differed from that of Lieutenant Lott Warren. Robinson wrote in the May 5, 1818 edition of the Milledgeville Georgia Journal:

I find some people are misled, or under wrong impressions, as to the late expedition to the Nation, supposing the town destroyed by Capt. Wright’s detachment (acting under the orders of the Executive) was actually friendly. As an officer commanding a volunteer corps on that occasion, I feel it my duty to state, that when the army, or rather the advance, appeared within half a mile from the town, we found an Indian herding Cattle, the most of which appeared to be white people’s marks and brands. A Mr. M’Duffee of Telfair, attached to my corps, attached to my corps, swore to one cow as the property of his father and taken from near where the late depredation on the frontier of Telfair was committed. We found in the town a rifle gun, known to be the one taken from a man of the name of Burch, who fell in the before mentioned skirmish [Battle of Breakfast Branch]. When we determined to attack the town, positive orders were given to spare the women and children, and all such as claimed protection; which was strictly enforced by the Officers, so far as was practicable, or came within my observation. My Troop was directed to advance on the right of the Town, which was done speedily. On our approach & before a man of my company fired a gun, the Indians, from a sink or cave near the path we were in, fired apparently 12 or 15 guns at my men; the bullets were distinctly heard by all, and slightly felt by two or three of the men. Some of the Indians found in the town were painted; all I saw evinced a disposition to fight or escape. We killed 24 warriors and burnt the town, agreeable to orders. A considerable number of new British muskets, carbines, &c. were destroyed – in nearly all of the houses there were explosions of gun-powder. The Indian we found herding cattle informed us that Hoponee resided there, and was then in the town. I am not certain whether he was slain or not. In possession of the last Indian killed, who was painted red, was found letters, one from Col. Milton, the other from Maj. Minton, both addressed to Gen’l Gaines, the seals of which had been broken.
JACOB ROBINSON
April 30th, 1818

Captain Jacob Robinson was later court martialed and cashiered for making out a false payroll report for the service of his men who participated in the Chehaw Massacre, keeping the excess pay for himself (Georgia Journal, Sept 28, 1819).  Those serving on the military court that convicted Robinson included Captain Elijah Dean and Lieutenant Charles S. Guyton, who served with Robinson at the attack on Chehaw.  Robinson later attempted to coerce them and other members of the court, under threat of law suit, to certify that his men had been paid properly.

On May 20, 1818 Governor Rabun responded to Mitchell,  U.S. agent to the Creek Indians regarding letters that he has received about Captain Obed Wright’s unwarranted attack on innocent Creeks in the Chehaw Village. Rabun tries to justify the attack by explaining that Captain Wright’s detachment descended on the village because they had been told by credible sources that the Indians living there were under the leadership of Chief Hopaunee, whose warriors had been hostile towards frontier settlers. Rabun apologizes for the mistake but says that civilian casualties are an unfortunate part of war. He laments the negative attention that this attack has generated among the people of the state, particularly as it obscures the recent “outrages” committed by the Creeks. To appease the public, Rabun has ordered a tribunal to investigate the attack. In the meantime, he urges Mitchell to express his apologies to the Creeks.

Executive Department Georgia Milledgeville 20th May, 1818.
Sir

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of yours of the 6th inst. [instant] enclosing a Copy of a letter from Old Mr. Barnard, & one from the Little Prince, Speaker of the Lower Creeks, both on the subject of the late unfortunate attack made by a detachment of Georgia Militia under Captain Wright on the Chehaw Village which had previously been supposed to be friendly.

I have examined these Communications with the candor their importance naturally required. It is unquestionably your duty as Agent to attend to the complaints of the Red people and cause justice to be done to them as far as your powers will extend. — It will also readily be acknowledged by all, that my duty as Governor of the State, requires that I should defend the cause of the Whites as far as that cause can be supported by the great principles of Justice. — As you have furnished me with the Indian account of this transaction, and assured me of the friendship towards the whites that existed among them prior to the attack; I feel it incumbent on me to explain to you and thro’ you to the Nation over which you preside, the motives by which the Officers were actuated who conducted the enterprise and the grounds upon which they will attempt to justify the proceeding, or extenuate the guilt that may in the view of some men be attached to them — You will readily acknowledge the decided and inveterate hostility of those Indians which belong to the Vilages under the immediate direction and controul of the Chiefs Hopaunee and Phelemmee, and that the orders which eminated from this department for their chastisement was both necessary and proper — You are also well apprised that the orders given confined them Specially to that object — So far then as respects myself I feel perfectly justified in the measures I adopted and which I deemed essentially necessary to prevent a repetition of the horrid murders and depredations committed by those Indians on our unprotected frontier —

I will now undertake to offer in behalf of the detachment the best apology for their conduct that I may be able to furnish and which I am authorized to state, can be supported by ample proof. — When the detachment was on their way to and reached the neighborhood of Fort Early they were credibly informed by several persons of veracity that the celebrated old Chief Hopaunee (whose town had all joined the hostile party) had removed and was at that time living in [added: the] Village upon which the attack was made, and was considered as their principal leader, and that a great portion of them was alledged to be under his immediate direction, altho’  part of them might be with [Chief William] McIntosh — They therefore considered themselves authorized to attack it as being one of Hopaunee’s Towns. — The result I need not mention, as you have seen the statements made by Captains Wright and Robinson which I am authorized by very respectable testimony to assure you, was substantially true, except as to the number reported to have been killed, which was fortunately incorrect. —

Now Sir if I have been misinformed and given a wrong construction to this affair, I should like very much to have more Correct information, but if it should be founded in fact, what more can you or the Indians require, than for me to assure you, that I regret the circumstance, and consider it as one of the misfortunes attendant on war, where the innocent frequently suffer in Common with the guilty — I have however, for the satisfaction and information of the public, as well as for the reputation of the Officer who commanded the expedition, Ordered him to this place for the purpose of having his conduct investigated by a military tribunal. — This unfortunate affair has been shamefully misrepresented by many of our Citizens, whose delicate feelings seem to have forgotten the many wanton outrages that have been committed on our frontier by the Indians, and would even cover the whole State with disgrace, merely because this small detachment have in this instance  carried their resentment to an improper extent. —

The experience of all ages have shewn, that it it is much easier for us to complain of the conduct of others (and especially those in responsible Stations) than to correct our own. —

I have ascertained, that the property left by the Indians who were run off from, or near Docr.  Birds Store on the Ocmulgee, some time past, is now in the possession of Mr. Richard Smith in the lower end of Twiggs County, and will be delivered at any time when proper application shall be made. —

You will please to assure the Red people under your care, that I feel a disposition to maintain peace and friendship with them on liberal terms. —

I have the honor to be,
Very Respectfully your Ob. [Obedient] Servant.
[Signed] Wm [William] Rabun

A heated exchange of letters ensued between General Jackson and Governor Rabun regarding the jurisdiction of military authority in Georgia. The full text of the correspondence of Governor William Rabun and General Andrew Jackson is available in the Life of Andrew Jackson: In Three Volumes. II The incident came under intense national scrutiny and was eventually reviewed by Congress.

The whole issue became an early States’ Rights argument. Jackson maintained that a Governor had no right to issue orders to the militia while a Federal officer was in the field, and in a series of heated letters with Rabun, called Telfair county residents ” . . . a few frontiers settlers . . . who had not understanding enough to penetrate the designs of my operations.” Rabun fired back that Jackson’s own actions at St. Augustine were on par with Wright’s at Chehaw, and that Jackson was more interested in his career than in protecting Georgians. – Kevin J. Cheek

General Jackson viewed the incident as shamefully disloyal and extremely dangerous, with the potential to turn the friendly Chehaws, who Glascock described as “at a loss to know the cause of this displeasure of the white People,” into enemies. Soon after he received Glascock’s account of the massacre, Jackson wrote to William Rabun, the governor of Georgia, calling Wright a “cowardly monster in human shape” and demanding that “Capt. Wright must be prosecuted and punished for this outrageous murder.”  – Massacre of American Indian Allies, 1818

 

Related Posts:

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

 

Related Posts:

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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