Battle changed Escambia

Published 3:19 am Wednesday, September 16, 2009

By Staff
Lydia Grimes
Forgotten Trails
I want to continue writing about the history of Escambia County as written by Ethel Hoomes back in 1934.
The territory now constituting Escambia County was, by turns, from 1559 until September 1783, when by the Treaty of Paris, England acknowledged the independence of the United States, under the control of Spain, France, Spain again, and then England, from 1753 until 1783.
England had previously ceded to Spain the territory as far north as 32 deg. 28th parallel, thus the Spaniards claimed by a prior treaty with England the southern portion of Alabama including Escambia County, but by the Pinkney Treaty, in 1795, Spain ceded this territory to the United States. From that date the territory embracing Escambia County had belonged to the United States with the exception of the period from 1861 to 1865, when it was a part of the Confederate States of America.
Escambia County was at one time a part of Florida and at one time a part of Georgia. It has, at different times, been a part of Monroe, Conecuh and Baldwin counties. By an act of the legislature, approved on Dec. 10, 1868, the present county was formed. The name “Escambia” was given the county from the river that the Indians had named Escambia meaning “clear water.”
While Escambia was still a part of Conecuh County, the county seat was moved from Sparta to Evergreen in 1868. This caused a feeling of indignation on the part of the people in the southern end of the county, the result of which was the formation of Escambia County, with the county seat being at Pollard.
For many years the Indians held uninterrupted domain over the territory that is now Escambia County. It was there that the important fight between the Indians and white settlers of this section, known as the Battle of Burnt Corn, took place. This battle, which was the beginning of the great Indian War, occurred about 10 miles north of Brewton in 1813. Peter McQueen gathered about 350 Indian warriors and carried them to Pensacola to obtain supplies from the British so that they might make an attack on the settlers at Fort Mims on the Alabama River. When the settlers on the Tombigbee heard of this they sent Col. James Caller with a small body of cavalry, to intercept and surprise the Indians.
They pitched camp at a point on the Burnt Corn Creek when they returned from Pensacola with their supplies and arms. They turned their ponies out to graze, and the warriors were lounging around the camp while the squaws were preparing supper. It was at this point that Col. Caller’s forces located them, having crossed Burnt Corn Creek and coming south, and the direction from which the Indians had just come.