by Denise Weimer
In mid-January, impatient for action, Jackson took fresh recruits against the enemy at Emuckfau, where he found the Red Sticks more difficult to vanquish than expected. On his way back north, he was attacked again while taking his cannon across Enitachopco Creek.
By March, Fort Strother swelled with new recruits, and Jackson was ready to land the final blow on the last major Red Stick village of Tohopeka in a teardrop peninsula of the Tallapoosa River. He sent his Cherokee Regiment ahead to scout and burn deserted Creek villages and his engineers to widen narrow trails for cannon and supply wagons.
On Sunday, March 27, 1814, Colonel Gideon Morgan’s five hundred Cherokees and Major William McInstosh’s one hundred National (friendly) Creeks were ordered to come up from behind the town to prevent enemy escape. Hundreds of Red Stick warriors gathered behind a five-to-eight-foot wall of logs and rock-hard mud. Jackson fired his three- and six-pound artillery at the barricade for two hours to no effect.
Across the river, the Cherokees grew impatient. Several warriors swam the Tallapoosa to commandeer canoes on the opposite bank, ferrying their comrades across under fire. They took captives and burned huts at the rear of the village, the smoke alerting Jackson of the wisdom of an infantry assault on the wall. Young Ensign Sam Houston was among the first to heed his mortally wounded commander’s summons to scale the wall, taking an arrow in his thigh. Dozens fell dead every minute as the cannons were dragged to the barricade and fired on retreating Red Sticks, and the Cherokees corralled the enemy from the rear.
|Re-enactors at Horseshoe Bend|
Represented by Hartline Literary Agency, Denise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. She’s a managing editor for the historical imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas and the author of almost a dozen published novels and a number of novellas. A wife and mother of two daughters, she always pauses for coffee, chocolate, and old houses!
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