The Second Creek War and Removal in the Decatur County Area

The Second Creek War and Removal in the Decatur County Area (HM27EJ)

Location: Bainbridge, GA 39819 Decatur County
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Country: United States of America
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N 30° 54.493', W 84° 34.756'

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—Creek Heritage Trail —

Conflict between Creeks, Seminoles and Americans continued in the years after the First Seminole War. Beginning in the 1820s in Florida, the United States pressured the Seminoles to relocate to the West. At the same time in Georgia and Alabama, the Creeks witnessed the last portions of their homelands come under American control through treaties, fraud, and illegal settlement. Natives eventually resist in all three states, resulting in what would become known as the Second Seminole War and the Second Creek War.

Fighting in the Second Creek War began in 1836 after desperate Creeks struck against those who had taken their lands. After several sharp engagements in May and June of 1836, American military leaders prematurely pronounced the war over. Many rebel Creeks resisting removal remained in the area, however. A new phase of the fighting began in the summer of 1836 as these scattered groups attempted to escape to join the Seminoles in Florida with the Georgia militia in pursuit.
East of here, militiamen and Creek forces met in several small engagements. A company of cavalry from the Bainbridge area under the command of Captain Jonathan C. Hawthorn participated in some of them. The largest fight took place at the Battle of Cow Creek on August 27, 1836. Despite the militia's efforts, most of the fugitive Creeks managed to make their way to join their Seminole cousins in Florida. Many would continue to resist American forces alongside them until the close of the Second Seminole War in 1842.

The Second Creek War ended in 1837, and defeated Creeks who had not migrated to Florida were forced to remove to the West in the "Creek Trail of Tears." These removal efforts in Georgia and Alabama continued until the 1840s. Although it was technically illegal for them to reside in Georgia, a small number of Creeks managed to evade removal by hiding, being sheltered by white friends, or otherwise assimilating into American society. Many people in southwest Georgia trace their ancestry to these survivors.

The Battle of Cow Creek
Article about the Battle of Cow Creek which appeared in the Milledgeville Federal Union on September 20, 1836.

Bottom left: Map of Second Creek War battles in southern Georgia.
Middle top: Depiction of Second Seminole War battle in Florida.
Middle bottom: This image portraying an action during the Second Seminole War is representative of the type of fighting that took place in the swamps of southern Georgia during the Second Creek War.
HM NumberHM27EJ
Year Placed2014
Placed ByHistoric Chattahoochee Commission, Georgia Department of Economic Development and Georgia Council for the Arts, Decatur County Commission, Decatur County Historical and Genealogical Society, Bainbridge State College and City of Bainbridge
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, May 6th, 2018 at 7:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16R E 731351 N 3421941
Decimal Degrees30.90821667, -84.57926667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 30° 54.493', W 84° 34.756'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds30° 54' 29.58" N, 84° 34' 45.36" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)229
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near W Jackson St, Bainbridge GA 39819, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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