On the Battle ground, in the Bend of the Talapoose,Maj. Gen. Pinckney
28th March, 1814
28th March, 1814
I feel particularly happy in being able to communicate to you the fortunate evenutation of my expedition to the Tallapoosie. I reached the head near Emuc fau (called by the whites the Horse-shoe) about 10 o’clock on the forenoon of yesterday, where I found the strength of the neighboring towns collected; expecting our approach, they had gathered from Oakfuskee, Oakehoga, New Yaacau, Hillibees, the Fish Pond and Eufalee towns, to the number it is said of 1000. It is difficult to conceive a situation more eligible for defence than the one they had chosen, or one rendered more secure by the skill with which they had erected their breastwork. It was from 5 to 8 feet high, and extended across the point in such a direction, as that a force approaching it would be exposed to a double fire while they lay in perfect security behind. A cannon planted at one extremity could have raked it to no advantage.
Determining to exterminate them, I detached Gen. Coffee with the mounted and nearly the whole of the Indian force early on the morning of yesterday to cross the river about two miles below their encampment, and to surround the bend in such a manner, as that none of them should escape by attempting to cross the river. With the infantry I proceeded slowly and in order along the point of land which led to the front of their breastwork; having planted my cannon, (one six and one three pounder) on an eminence at the distance of 150 to 200 yards from it. I opened a very brisk fire, playing upon the enemy with the muskets and rifles whenever they shewed themselves beyond it; this was kept up with short interruptions for about two hours, when a part of the Indian force and Captain Russell’s and Lt. Bean’s companies of spies, who had accompanied Gen. Coffee, crossed over in canoes to the extremity of the bend, and set fire to a few of the buildings which were there situated; they then advanced with great gallantry towards the breastwork, and commenced a spirited fire upon the enemy behind it. Finding that this force, notwithstanding the bravery they displayed, was wholly insufficient to dislodge them, and that Gen. Coffee had entirely secured the opposite bank of the river, I now determined to take their works by storm. The men by whom this was to be affected had been waiting with impatience to receive the order, and hailed it with acclamation.
The spirit which animated them was a sure augury of the success which was to follow. The history of warfare I think furnishes few instance of a more brillant attack – the regulars led on by their intrepid and skillful commander Col. Williams, and by the gallant Major Montgomery, soon gained possession of the works in the midst of a most tremendous fire from behind them, and the militia of the venerable General Doherty’s brigade accompanied them in the charge with a vivacity and firmness which would have done honor to regulars. The enemy were completely routed. Five hundred and fifty seven were left dead on the peninsula, and a great number were killed by the horsemen in attempting to cross the river – it is believed not more than twenty have escaped.
The fighting continued with some severity about five hours, but we continued to destroy many of them who had concealed themselves under the banks of the river until we were prevented by the night. This morning we killed 16 who had been concealed. We took about 250 prisoners, all women and children except two or three. Our loss is 106 wounded and 25 killed. Major M’Intosh (the Cowetau) who joined my army with a part of his tribe, greatly distinguished himself. When I get an hour’s leisure I will send you a more detailed account.
According to my original purpose, I commenced my return march to Fort Williams today, and shall, if I find sufficient supplies there, hasten to the Hickory Ground. The power of the Creeks is I think forever broken.
I send you a hasty sketch taken by the eye of the situation in which the enemy were encamped, & of the manner in which I approached them.
I have the honor to be, with great respect, your obedient servant,
Maj. Gen. Pinckney
Source: The Papers of Andrew Jackson, Volume III, 1814-1815, p. 52-53.