Forgotten Trails: Story of Burnt Corn battle continues

Published 3:11 am Wednesday, February 6, 2008

By Staff
We get some more background that was leading to the battle at Burnt Corn. I hope you are enjoying the account written in 1951 by Edley Franklin. He had a very good way of writing that keeps it interesting.
Reaching Jackson, half starved, ragged and more dead than alive, Curnells spread the news of the Indian attack on his trading post, and warned the settlers to be better prepared in case they were attacked. The news of Curnells's misfortune at the hand of McQueen spread from settlement to settlement-Claiborne, Jackson, Tensaw Lake, Fort Mims and others.
Col. James Caller of the United States Army, on hearing of the attack on Curnells' trading post, got a little excited. With an itchy trigger finger and thirst for Indian blood, he ordered out the Militia. This sudden Indian uprising was just what he had been wishing and waiting for. It meant fighting-excitement!
Caller sent several of his men to Pensacola to watch and spy on McQueen. He and the rest of his men then crossed the Alabama and Tombigbee Rivers to the east side where they were joined by Militia companies from Tensaw Lake and Little River.
With Caller in full command they marched east over the wolf trail. Caller's intention was to head off Peter McQueen and his party somewhere in the vicinity of Burnt Corn Creek on their return trip from Pensacola.
A few miles west of Burnt Corn, Caller and his men met the two spies which had been sent to Pensacola. They informed Caller they followed McQueen and his party out of Pensacola, traveling at a safe distance behind, and they were now camped just a short distance across Burnt Corn Creek.
Reaching Burnt Corn Creek, Caller and his men quietly forded it and rode out on the other side. A little later, through openings among the trees they could see the Indian camp, located on a sloping hillside and on the north side of a large branch, later to become known as Battle Branch.
It was a small party of Indians. Around small fires Indian squaws were cooking. Children romped and played, while old Indians and young bucks lay sprawled under trees resting, many of them asleep. Shaggy ponies and mustangs grazed along the edge of the branch.
Col. Caller gave his men last minute instructions.
Captain Simpson, who had been watching and studying the Indians in camp turned to Caller. “Colonel, I'm not sure that is McQueen's party of Indians. From what I heard there was about 350 of them and all young warriors and no women and children along.”
(The date was July 27, 1813.)
We will continue with the story next week.