FW: Fort Mims is Burning!
From: BrienMcW@... [mailto:BrienMcW@...]
Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 12:46 AM
Subject: Fort Mims is Burning!
Friends of Fort Mims, greetings...
On behalf of the Sixth Alabama Cavalry and the Fort Mims Restoration
Association, we hope that you will support our upcoming event this August
27-29. That would be our epic struggle of the Creek Indian War and War of
1812, the Battle of Fort Mims....or as the losing side prefers to call it,
The Fort Mims Massacre. It was indeed the bloodiest massacre of a combined
military and civilian force in our young nation's history. Over 500 men,
women, and children were brutally butchered and burned. It launched the
Creek Indian War, led to the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (or Horseshoe Bend
Massacre, to you NA's), and propelled Old Hickory (Andy Jackson) into the
We camp and fight on the site of the fort itself. These are hallowed
grounds where many lost their lives nearly 200 years ago. We use
pyrotechnic arrows to set the fort "ablaze." Smoke generators add to the
burning impression within the camps inside the fort. A partially
constructed stockade wall and gate are the stage and back drop for the
attack. We also fight a morning skirmish, the Battle of Burnt Corn Creek.
This was the sneak attack on a Red Stick trading party that infuriated
Creeks and led to the Fort Mims fight a month later.
Okay you Native Americans, it's gettin' time fer a little pay back. Wanna
take out your frustrations and hostilities on the encroaching whiteyes?
Then sharpen yer scalpin' knives, tighten up yer bow strings, daub on the
warpaint, tie on the feathers, and let's wipe out that little wooden
stockade on the Tensaw...again.
We ask our own members of the Sixth to galvanize and lend numbers and
firepower to the Indian side...they were overwhelming, about 1000 strong,
and we need to show that. You don't HAVE to go Indian, but it sure would
help if you did. We have a lot of fun. If you have a flintlock weapon
(rifle, pistol, or shotgun) bring it! The year is 1813 and this was the
weapon of the time. Talk about excitement in shooting! If you don't have
one, bring your civil war musket. We put the flints up close to the crowd
and the percussions further away. But all get to fight. That includes you
feisty ladies, if you care to. The women of the fort fought bravely beside
their menfolk. This is one battle where women shooters are correct and
welcome. All we ask is that you be thoroughly trained in the use of your
weapon, for the safety of us all. We have an excellent safety record at
We can offer help as to what to wear without being extravagant. It helps to
look the part of a Creek or Seminole, rather than an Apache or a Sioux.
This is easily achieved without purchasing a new wardrobe. You can achieve
an Indian impression by wearing civil war type trousers, suspenders, white
shirt (or no shirt - cooler!), brogans or mocassins, or go barefoot. A red
cloth headband of some sort with a feather finishes the impression. The
Indians in this area wore the feathers down, tied in their hair, rather than
up (western style). Many of the people at that time were half-bloods, having
intermarried for many years. Indian clothing was often white man's clothing
too. Some of us have really gotten into the native garb, with moccasins,
breechcloths, and leggings. Creek warpaint was red and black in color. We
slap on some Coppertone for an instant tan, and waa laa...whiteboy injuns!
If we could ever get enough real NA's to come out, this wouldn't be
necessary. Email me if you have any questions. I'll be happy to help.
If you prefer to portray a member of the fort garrison, you may dress as
settlers, traders, buckskinners, or militiamen. The straw planter's hats,
so popular among the CW units, are a perfect for this period. Again, civil
war britches, shirts, and shoes work fine. No wool coats necessary. You
can even roll your sleeves up. Bring wigs for scalp taking and all the fun
blood you like. We make it out of red food coloring and dish detergent so
it won't stain. Wrap it in little plastic baggies you can slap it on for a
big splash. Spectators love it!
It's not as hot as you think. There is a great canopy of tall trees above
us to shield the sun and there is often a nice breeze in the shade. It can
actually get chilly at night. I've been there a few times when I had to go
back to the truck for blankets. The big treat we all look forward to is the
cool soak in the swimming hole at Majors Creek about 3 miles down the road
from the fort. Following Saturday's battle, the majority of the reenactors
jump into pickups and ride to the site for a cool, refreshing dip in some of
the chilliest creek water you'll find. We take our ice chests too, and much
sipping and singing takes place in the waist deep waters. The Fort Mims
Restoration Association feeds us a good meal on Saturday evening following
our party in the creek. They also provide free bags of ice and a powder
ration for the reenactors. Souvenir wood arrow head plaques are given to us
Here is the Fort Mims Restoration Association website:
Photos from last year:
Here is a great site for Indian style clothing:
Good account of the battle here:
Please visit these sites and they'll refer you to others as well. I have
seen this battle listed as one of the top ten nation shaping events in our
Wait until you hear the eerie strains of the Ballad of Fort Mims around a
See you at Fort Mims....the good Lord willin' an' the Creek don't rise....
Far Out Warrior McWilliams