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A War Within a War
Acts of Tennessee (1813)

"An act to repel the invasion of the state of Tennessee by the Creek Indians...," Acts of Tennessee, Chapter 1, Section 1, 1813
Library Holdings

The Creek War (1813-1814) was a sub-conflict of the War of 1812, but for most Tennesseans the Creek War was the War of 1812. With the noticeable exception of the campaign at New Orleans, the battles fought in the Creek conflict represented the majority of fighting by Tennessee troops. Most Tennessee deaths and casualties occurred during the Creek War. Iconic figures such as Sam Houston and David Crockett fought the Red Sticks, the warring faction of the Creek Nation, although neither man had yet to achieve any fame. The Creek War established Andrew Jackson as a household name, and his victories prompted officials in Washington to promote him to major general in the U.S. Army. This promotion placed him in command at New Orleans and set him on a road to immortal fame. For the Creek Nation (or Muscogees), the Creek War was the beginning of a downward spiral leading to the Indian Removal.

Andrew Jackson

Engraving of Andrew Jackson by Thomas Phillibrown, 1858
Library Photograph Collection













 

Andrew Jackson
(1767-1845)

Early in the War of 1812, Andrew Jackson led his Tennessee militiamen on an expedition to New Orleans to defend the city against a possible British attack. The 2,000 men made it as far as Natchez when Jackson received a curt War Department order to disband his troops without pay or provisions. At his own expense, he marched the men 600 miles back to Nashville. His toughness along the way earned him the nickname, "Old Hickory."

Jackson delivered the last blow to the Red Sticks at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (March 1814), where he annihilated the main enemy force. Afterward, he was promoted to major general in the regular army. His victory over the British at New Orleans (January 1815) brought him national celebrity and another nickname, "The Hero of New Orleans." Jackson's wartime successes led to his election as the 7th President of the United States (1829-1837).

 

David Crockett

Engraving of David Crockett, 1834
Library Photograph Collection

David Crockett
(1786-1836)

David Crockett volunteered and served as a scout for General John Coffee. He fought at Tallushatchee and in several skirmishes with the Red Sticks. Crockett became a famous storyteller, hunter, and politician. He was elected to Congress, but failed to win reelection when he abandoned the Democratic Party and joined the Whigs. He went to Texas in 1836 and died at the Alamo during the Texas Revolution.

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Muster roll

Andrew Jackson's division orders to volunteer soldiers, 1812
Dyas Collection of John Coffee Papers

Jackson issues a call to arms in order to avenge those citizens who were killed by the "treacherous hands of the Savages" on November 7, 1812.

Quartermaster's account book
Quartermaster's account book

Quartermaster's account book, March 14-15, 1813
Dyas Collection of John Coffee Papers

The records include a list of companies serving with the regiment of Tennessee volunteer cavalry as well as the number of rations assigned to each. The record is signed by Colonel John Coffee and Major General Andrew Jackson.



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