Monday, July 13, 2009

New Website on Scott's Massacre of 1817

I've launched a new web page on Scott's Massacre of 1817, the battle that took place on the Apalachicola River at present-day Chattahoochee during the First Seminole War.

The battle took place when Creek and Seminole warriors, outraged over an unprovoked attack by U.S. soldiers on the Creek village of Fowltown (in today's Decatur County, Georgia) swarmed to the Apalachicola River seeking to stop supply boats from reaching Fort Scott. The fort stood on the Flint River arm of today's Lake Seminole near Wingate's Restaurant.

Seeking to speed up the movement of the boats, General E.P. Gaines at Fort Scott sent down 40 men down the river in a boat under Lieutenant Richard W. Scott of the 7th U.S. Infantry. Scott reached the supply flotilla, but was ordered back up to the fort with 20 sick soldiers, 7 women and 4 children. The women and children were the wives and children of soldiers at Fort Scott. He had only around 20 able bodied men.

As Scott's boat rounded the sharp bend of the river between the railroad and U.S. 90 bridges at Chattahoochee, the strong current forced the men to navigate close to the east or Gadsden County shore. As the boat neared the short just south of today's Chattahoochee Landing, several hundred warriors opened fire.

Lieutenant Scott and most of his able bodied men fell in the first volley. The warriors quickly waded into the river and stormed the boat. By the time the fighting was over, only six of Scott's men and one woman survived.

The six soldiers, four of whom were wounded, escaped by leaping overboard and swimming away underwater to the Jackson County shore. The female survivor, Elizabeth Stewart, was captured by the warriors and carried away as a prisoner. She spent next five months working as a slave, cooking and doing other chores. She was rescued by troops under Andrew Jackson the following spring at the Battle of Econfina Natural Bridge east of Tallahassee. The rest of the soldiers and women were killed and mutilated. The four children were killed by having their heads beaten against the sides of the boat.

Please click here to visit the new website:

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