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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Where was Ft. Defiance? #genealogy #history #georgiapioneers

Ft. Defiance and Camp Hope on the Georgia Frontier

The conflict of Georgia during the War of 1812 was a Naval one. Ft. Morris at Sunbury was regenerated to protect the coast from British invasion, but it was a poor one. Initially a resort town date from the 1740s, Sunbury suffered a hurricane ca 1800 which devastated the town. The other important site was a fort at St. Marys designed to prevent the British who had conquered St. Catherines Island, from seizing the coast. The British ultimately one, and continued the fight until about 1816, because they were unaware that the conflict had ended.

Meanwhile, Georgia was engaged in a devastating Creek war. This was the war which Andrew Jackson fought against the "Red Sticks" (creeks) in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana, with the final battle in Ft. Mims, Alabama in August of 1814, ending the war. Morgan County was the frontier. There were several forts involved. On the edge of Jasper County and near the frontier was Ft. Defiance. A temporary camp to train 36,000 volunteers was Camp Hope (sometimes called Ft. Hope) which was located on Georgia Highway 49 near the Bibb and Jones Counties line near Fort Hawkins. To determine what activity one's ancestor had in this fight, one should follow the officers. In the War of 1812 records I found my ancester as follows:

William Holland, Morgan frontier Feb 13, 1813. Captain William Barton. Last muster Feb 11, 1814.

Creek Nation
The Creek Nation was divided into two groups. (1) The Upper Creeks who occupied territory along the Coosa, Alabama, and Tallapoosa rivers in central Alabama. (2)The Lower Creeks who occupied the areas along the lower Chattahoochee, Ocmulgee and Flint rivers in southwestern Georgia. Because the Creek War involved Alabama, Mississippi and New Orleans, the quest here is to follow Captain William Barton to determine if he fought in Alabama, or particularly at the Calabee Creek. The volunteer militia's of Georgia, Tennessee, and the Mississippi Territory bore the brunt of the Creek War. Augmenting them were two regiments of regulars, the 3d and the 39th U.S. Infantry and some friendly Choctaws, Cherokees and Creeks who also played a role. The greatest handicap posed by the militiamen was their frequent unwillingness to serve for longer than their initial term of enlistment,which was often six months and sometimes less. Short-term enlistments became serious obstacles since the tasks of raising, organizing and moving a force into the Red Stick territory. The last offensive of the Georgia Militia was the battle of Calabee Creek when the chiefs attacked Fort Mims during August of Alabama. Thus, the Treaty of Fort Jackson ended however, word not reaching Georgia until September 16, 1814. 

William Holland first came in Georgia in 1812, apparently as part of a Virginia regiment from Nansemond County destined for the Georgia frontier to fight Indians, his record reflected that he was being trained at Camp Hope in 1813, but mustered out during February of 1814. It would appear that he did not have action Alabama, nor re-enlist. Captain James Barton must have joined the Tennessee militias, because he was listed as being Captain of the First Rigle Regiment of Lt. Colonel George W. Sevier on January 24, 1814. 
br> The estimated deaths of the combined U. S. forces is 575, while about 1600 Red Stick warriors died. During the battles, many Indian civilians died of starvation or disease brought on by the loss of their homes in winter. While some Creeks moved westward or into Florida after 1814, most of them remained on their territory until 1832 when the Treaty of Cusseta transferred the ownership of Creek lands from the tribe to individual Indians. Actually, the sales by owners of individual allotments to white settlers and landspeculators, as well as illegal encroachment, caused continued friction and eventually sparked the Second Creek War of 1836. Finally, all of the remaining Creeks were forced to emigrate to west of the Mississippi River. 

While the War of 1812 pensions provide very little information, it behooves the genealogist and historian to delve deeper into the conflicts of the Creek wars. 

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