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Battle of Burnt Corn Creek

The Battle of Burnt Corn, also known as the Battle of Burnt Corn Creek, was an encounter between United States armed forces and Creek Indians that took place July 27, 1813 in present-day southern Alabama. The battle was part of the Creek War.

In July 1813, Peter McQueen and a large party of 80 "Red Sticks" warriors proceeded to Pensacola, Florida, with a letter from a British officer at Fort Malden and four hundred pounds to buy munitions. The Spanish governor gave them, in McQueen's words, "a small bag of powder for each ten towns, and five bullets to each man". The governor represented this as a "friendly present, for hunting purposes".

United States soldiers at Fort Mims, having heard of McQueen's mission, responded by sending a disorganized force of about 180 white militia, led by Colonel Caller and Captain Dixon Bailey, to intercept McQueen's party. The Americans ambushed the Red Sticks as they bedded down for the evening on the banks of Burnt Corn Creek, in what is now northern Escambia County, Alabama.

The Americans scattered the Red Sticks, who fled to the nearby swamps. Flush with victory, the Americans began looting the Red Sticks' pack-horses. From the swamp, the Creeks noticed that the Americans were getting carried away with their looting and had dropped their guard. The Creeks re-grouped and launched a surprise attack of their own, which scattered the Americans.

The Red Sticks considered this ambush to be a "declaration of war" by the American settlers. Since the American militia had attacked from Fort Mims, the Red Sticks directed their next offensive at that fort. Many mixed-blood Creek families from the lower towns had fled to Fort Mims at the outbreak of the Creek War, and these refugees were also likely targets of the Red Stick aggression. So the Battle of Burnt Corn Creek led to the "Massacre of Fort Mims."

Before the Creek War and after, whites and mixed bloods lived in the town of Burnt Corn. Among the mixed blood families were these names: Weatherford, Tait, Durant, McGilbray (McGillivray). Those were families of high descent among the noble Wind Clan of the Creeks; they were of the elite of the great Creeks.