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Otsego Herald

October 24, 2013

Fort Mims Massacre


Our loss is great; sixty-five including officers and men killed belonging to the 1st Regiment of Mississippi Territory volunteers, and 27 volunteer militia, officers included. Many respectable citizens, with numerous families who had abandoned their farms for security, were also killed or burnt in the houses into which they had fled.

The loss of the enemy must have been from 150 to 200 killed and wounded. Their force is supposed to have been from five to seven hundred....

COMMENT: If the War of 1812 is largely forgotten today, the fighting between Creek Indians and American troops (and civilian volunteers) in the American southeast is almost totally so. The Fort Mims Massacre of Aug. 30th, 1813, described above, was one of the most horrific events of this campaign. Fort Mims was a stockade and blockhouse surrounding the home of Samuel Mims, some 35 miles north of today’s Mobile, Ala.

Not mentioned in this “heroic” account is that Major Daniel Beasley, the American commander, is said to have been drunk and to have ignored warnings of an imminent attack. His force, totaling some 526 men including militia and volunteers, was attacked by almost 1,000 Indians (who had been given arms by the Spanish authorities in Florida). Some 517 of the American force were killed or captured.

The “Fort Mims Massacre” spread panic throughout the Southeast, which ended only on March 27, 1814, when American and allied Indians under Major General (and later President) Andrew Jackson decisively defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend near Tohopeka, Ala.


Married, on Thursday last, Mr. John Williams to Miss Sophia Stephens, both of this town.

COMMENT: This was the second of three wives for John Williams (1790-1879); they were (1) Julia Tanner (1793-1812); Sophia Stephens (1796-1826); and Mary Polly Metcalf (1799-1869). He had a total of three children, of which Julia, born in 1816, lived until 1903. John came from Connecticut and was a farmer.

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