Ove Jensen, park ranger for the Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, will relate the story of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend for the “Old Times Are Not Forgotten” series at Comer Library.
“We have had many programs on the struggle between the Indians and the whites for dominion over the land in this area of Alabama, but we have never had much information on this park, and we’ve never had a park ranger to tell that Horseshoe Bend story,” said Dr. Shirley Spears, director for B.B. Comer Library.
“So many of my program friends have recommended Ove Jensen as the person to tell about the park and to relate the story of that fateful battle that brought an end to the struggle between the white men and the red men in this last stronghold,” Spears said.
Jensen describes his presentation with some information about the circumstances of that uneven match.
“On the morning of March 27, 1814, General Andrew Jackson and an army of 3,300 men consisting of Tennessee militia, United States regulars, and both Cherokee and Lower Creek allies attacked Chief Menawa and 1,000 Upper Creek or Red Stick warriors fortified in the “horseshoe“ bend of the Tallapoosa River,” he said. “To seal off the bend of the river, the Upper Creeks built a strong 400 yard long barricade made of dirt and logs.”
As the Cherokee and Lower Creek warriors crossed the Tallapoosa and attacked from the rear, Jackson launched his militia and regular soldiers against the barricade, Jensen said.
“Facing overwhelming odds, the Red Sticks fought bravely, yet ultimately lost the battle,” Jensen said. “Over 800 Upper Creeks died at Horseshoe Bend defending their homeland. This was the final battle of the Creek War of 1813-1814, which is considered part of the War of 1812.”
In a peace treaty signed after the battle, both the Upper and Lower Creeks were forced to give the United States nearly 23 million acres of land in what is today Alabama and Georgia.
The victory at Horseshoe Bend brought Andrew Jackson national attention and helped elect him as the seventh president of the United States in 1828. Established in 1959, Horseshoe Bend National Military Park preserves and interprets this important event in American history.
While growing up in Auburn, Jensen developed a fondness for Alabama history as well as an interest in military history.
After earning a bachelor’s degree from Auburn University in 1988, he served in the United States Army for three years as a field artillery officer. During the Gulf War in 1991, Jensen participated in the liberation of Kuwait and earned the Bronze Star Medal for combat service.
Jensen continues to further his interest in both Alabama and military history at Horseshoe Bend National Military Park. He strives to communicate this interest to park visitors each year and hopes to increase awareness of the importance of southeastern history in the development of the United States.
The “Old Times Are Not Forgotten” brown bag lunch series is sponsored by SouthFirst Bank.
The refreshment room opens at 11 a.m. and participants are invited to bring a sandwich and enjoy drinks and desserts provided by the library.
Working people are invited to come by on their lunch break to enjoy the programs, which will begin promptly at noon in the Harry I. Brown Auditorium.
Seating is limited, so groups must have approved reservations by calling 256-249-0961 or emailing email@example.com to attend brown bag programs.