The most horrific result of that plan was an attack in south Alabama, the Fort Mims massacre. Historians estimate from 250 to 400 people died, the largest mass killing of civilians in US history until recent times.
In response, Andrew Jackson led a militia and Tennessee volunteers south to fight back. They were joined by friendly native Americans, and in the Battle of Talladega, they rescued friendly Creeks besieged by 1,000 hostile “Red Sticks” at a trading post called Fort Leslie. Hundreds of Red Sticks, and 15 of Jackson’s men, died in the pre-dawn attack.
Plans for a local observance of the 200th anniversary of that battle were dropped after funding for a proposed Creek museum in Talladega was put on hold.
But in a fitting remembrance, area artist Tommy Moorehead and a group of his students are planning an observance on the day of the anniversary, Nov. 9, for the 299 Red Stick warriors who were slain and unceremoniously left on the battlefield. According to local lore, settlers who arrived almost 20 years later collected the bones of the dead and dumped them in a spring.
Moorehead and his students are creating 299 portraits to represent each of those fallen warriors for a remembrance — the funeral they never had.
There are a number of ways a battle anniversary could be observed. We can’t think of one more appropriate.