The CreeksFirst Nations
The Upper Creeks called for help and militia units from the surrounding states responded hoping to stop the violent attacks that threatened their settlements.
The Red Sticks also sought outside support and, through British contacts, secured gunpowder and lead from Spanish authorities in Florida in July of 1813. The Red Stick force returning with these provisions was ambushed by American militia at Burnt Corn Creek. The Red Sticks were driven off at first, but they regrouped and routed the Americans. The victory won over even more Creeks to the Red Stick cause.
White settlers began congregating in makeshift forts for safety as the threat of Red Stick attacks loomed. One such community, Fort Mims, fell victim to a Red Stick attack in August of 1813 despite the presence of a large body of Lower Creek warriors. It was a brutal and bloody raid in which over 250 civilians, and a large number of Creeks perished. The attack shocked the American public to such an extent, that it pressured the American administration to make a firm commitment to ending the Red Stick war.
The United States government could only move slowly against the Red Sticks since its army was occupied with the war on their northern borders. Therefore, it fell to the state militia to deal with the problem, though the American administration would help with logistics and supplies when it could. The militia operation was plagued with communication problems, inadequate supplies and short terms of service which made long term planning almost impossible. But most of these men had invested in these lands and were not about to be driven from them any time soon. Andrew Jackson, a major general of the West Tennessee militia, capitalized on this determination and, with a great deal of effort, eventually turned these militia units into a well organized force.
In the spring of 1814, after months of fruitless skirmishing, Jackson was in the position to make a concerted strike at the Red Stick stronghold at Tohopeka. On March 27, Jackson attacked their camp and by nightfall eight hundred Red Stick warriors were dead. This rout became known as the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. The defeat can be compared to Tecumseh's downfall at the Battle of the Thames; a few dozen Red Stick warriors escaped to Florida, but their war for independence was all but over.
Andrew Jackson was rewarded with a regular commission in the American army and given command of the Louisiana Territory. He was asked to draw up the peace treaty between the Red Sticks and the United States before moving on to meet the British who had arrived in Spanish Pensacola. He gathered together all the Creek chiefs; all the chiefs present had been on his side, since no Red Sticks could be found. The treaty he presented at Fort Jackson made absolutely no distinction between Red Stick and American-allied Creeks and stated that the entire Creek Nation must cede lands totaling twenty-three million acres. This stunned the Creek chiefs, but Jackson declared that the treaty was non-negotiable and warned all Creeks that, "Destruction will attend a failure to comply with those orders."
This deception on the part of Jackson and the United States army prompted many of the former allied Creeks to declare their allegiance to the Red Stick cause, and some even called on the British for aid. But the British-American war ended before they could capitalize on such an alliance. Some of these betrayed Creek and Choctaw would meet Jackson again when fighting to defend territory in Florida in the first seminole war.