The First Seminole War in Decatur County

The First Seminole War in Decatur County (HM27EM)

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° 34.759'

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—Creek Heritage Trail —

The area that became Decatur County played a major role in the First Seminole War. Located on the border with Spanish Florida, the region witnessed persistent violence and raiding between American settlers, Creeks and Seminoles in the early nineteenth century. Central to the unsettled situation was the existence of a military outpost to the south, originally built by the British during the War of 1812, which had been abandoned to Seminoles and escaped slaves. Americans referred to it derisively as the "Negro Fort."

United States military forces entered the area in 1816 desiring to extend American control over the region. They sought to remove the Seminoles from Georgia and secure the border while simultaneously pressuring Spain to relinquish control of Florida. They first moved on the "Negro Fort," destroying the post on July 27, 1816. The First Seminole War officially began the next year, after U.S. forces fought Seminole warriors at the prominent village of Fowltown and Seminoles counterattacked a short time later.

Gen. Andrew Jackson commanded the American and allied Creek army sent to the area in the wake of the violence. Departing nearby Fort Scott in March of 1818, Jackson entered Spanish territory. In a rapid three-month campaign he conducted without official permission, he destroyed several Seminole towns

and captured Spanish forts at St. Marks and Pensacola. The Spanish protested but soon ceded Florida to the United States.

First Seminole War Fortifications Located in Decatur County

Fort Hughes
American forces built Fort Hughes on this spot shortly after the Battle of Fowltown. They named it in honor of Pvt. Aaron Hughes, who was killed in the battle. After Creek and Seminole warriors attacked the outpost in December of 1817, the fort's garrison evacuated to the more substantial Fort Scott.

Fort Scott
Originally known as Camp Crawford in honor of Secretary of War William Crawford of Georgia, Fort Scott was located on a bluff about fifteen miles downriver. Lt. Col. Duncan Clinch built the fortification in 1816 to use as a base of operations for patrolling the U.S.-Spanish border. In 1817 he rebuilt and strengthened Camp Crawford and named the new fortification in honor of Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott. The fort became the launching point for American operations during the First Seminole War. It was garrisoned until 1821.

Photo captions
Bottom left: Lt. Col. Duncan L. Clinch commanded U.S. Army forces that helped destroy the "Negro Fort." Andrew Jackson's army built Fort Gadsden on the site.
Creek prophet Hillis Hadjo (also known as Josiah Francis) was a prominent anti-American leader in Florida

during the First Seminole War. He was captured by Jackson's army and hung at St. Marks, Florida.
Fort Gadsden
Top right: Map of Jackson's first Seminole War Campaign.
Bottom right: Mural depiction of Fort Scott in Dothan, Alabama
HM NumberHM27EM
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 7:03pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16R E 731346 N 3421941
Decimal Degrees30.90821667, -84.57931667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 30° 54.493', W 84° 34.759'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds30° 54' 29.58" N, 84° 34' 45.54" 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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