11 January 2006

Andrew Jackson and the Start of the First Seminole War in 1818

“Recovery of American slaves, who for years had been fleeing from plantations to the north, brought on the conflict in Florida, with demands for action increasingly insistent when slave values soared after the outlawing of further importation to the United States. The First Seminole War, called ‘the first slave-catching expedition undertaken by the Federal Government,’ not only led to the cession of Florida by Spain and the ultimate conquest of the Indians but formed a link in the chain of events ending in Civil War.”
[Source: Indian Wars of the U.S. Army (1776-1865) by Fairfax Downey, 1964)


The route General Andrew Jackson took through Georgia and Georgia forts with his small army on his way to fight the Seminole Indians in Florida in 1818.

Dispatches From General Andrew Jackson to the Secretary of State (below):

20 January 1818 – Nashville
Leave on the 22nd for Fort Scott via Fort Hawkins

10 February 1818 – Fort Hawkins
Received communication from Brevet Major Gaines that the Georgia militia, under General Glasscock, had all returned home, leaving the frontier in a very exposed situation.

14 February 1818 – Hartford, Georgia
Arrived here on the 12th and met with General Gaines

26 February 1818 – Fort Early
The Georgia detachment marched from their encampment near Hartford on the 19th instant. The excessive rains have rendered the roads so bad that I ordered the troops on their march here to take their baggage on the wagon horses and abandon the wagons, this facilitated their march to this place, which they reached today; and 1100 men are now here without a barrel of flour or bushel of corn.

25 March 1818 – Fort Gadsen
On the 9th instant Andrew Jackson reached Fort Scott with the brigade of Georgia militia, 900 bayonets strong, along with some friendly Creeks [about 600]. He assumed command on the 10th. Having to cross the Flint River, which is very high….on the 14th ordered boats down the river to this place…. The Tennessee volunteers have not yet joined me; they promptly left their homes and through the inclement weather reached Fort Mitchell, where I ordered them supplies, and where Colonel Haynes, who had led them, met my instructions to pass by Fort Gaines, where he would get a supply of corn that would enable him to reach Fort Scott, but the idea of starvation had stalked abroad; a panic appears to have spread itself everywhere, and he was told they were starving at Fort Gaines and Fort Scott and he was induced to pass into Georgia for supplies.

From the report of James Gadsen, topographical engineer:

23 February 1818 – At Ft Early
27 February 1818 – Camped at creek, one mile south of Ft Early
1 March 1818 – Encamped near Chehaw village
6 March 1818 – Colonel Arbuckle - letter to Jackson at Chickasawhache, near Flint River
8 March 1818 – Arbuckle’s letter to Jackson addresses him as near Ft Hughes, Flint River
[Source of Dispatches: The Constitution, Atlanta, Georgia, October 18,1914]

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