Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Horseshoe Bend National Military Park - Daviston, Alabama - July 26, 2011

We began our day by driving about 80 miles south-east to Horseshoe Bend National Military Park. This was not in our original plan for the day, but we were so close that we couldn't pass it up.

The boys were immediately drawn to the bright blue cannon in front of the visitors' center.
The small museum gave a brief history and description of the area and the battle complete with dioramas, artifacts, and replicas.
The first stop along the driving tour was "The Island." On March 27, 1814 forty members of the Tennessee Militia were ordered to occupy the 15-acre island to prevent Red Stick warriors from seeking refuge. Any Red Sticks crossing the river were sunk before they could reach the island.
The second stop on the tour was "The Barricade." The log barricade was built by the Red Sticks across the peninsula. It was anywhere from 5 to 8 feet high with port holes all along it so the Jackson's Army could not approach it without being exposed to enemy fire. The white fence posts mark the position of the barricade.
The third stop was "Cherokee Crossing." The Red Sticks hoped the river would protect them from Jackson's attack, but Jackson surrounded the bend with his Creek and Cherokee allied warriors who launched a surprise rear attack into the Tohopeka village.

Stop #4 was the Tohopeka Village site. Tohopeka means fort or fortification. This was a temporary Red Stick village built several months before the battle. The Cherokees burned the village during their attack. We took a short hike up to "The High Ground" or village overlook. Although it was a pretty hot day, the clouds made for great pictures.
After the battle the surrounding land and much of east-central Alabama remained Creek. This area was not ceded to the United States under the Treaty of Fort Jackson, and Creek people continued to live here until the 1830s. Starting in 1836 the U.S. Army forcibly removed over 19,000 Creeks from Alabama.
Up the hill behind this shelter is a monument dedicated in 1918 to Andrew Jackson and his men. The funny thing about this monument is that it has the wrong date for the battle. It says the battle took place on March 29, 1814 when the battle actually happened on March 27th.
#2 wanted to put this picture on the blog. He was impressed with this foot-sized mushroom. 

The boys thought this was an okay stop-over on our way to Auburn. They would have liked it more if we'd had the time to hike the nature trail.

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