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Fireside Chats: On the Road—The Fort Mims Massacre

Hitting the road to stay sane during this time of continuing quarantine here in my home state of Alabama. Restrictions have eased up a bit, but all the places I enjoy going—movie theaters, museums, festivals, flea markets and antique shops—are still off-limits. That leaves the great outdoors and the open road. Now, at least, there are places where one can pull in to pee if need be.

The blockhouse, where the defenders made their last stand.

Inside the blockhouse. Those aren’t tiny windows. They’re for rifles.

When I visit a place, a historic site or what-have-you, I’m going both as a history buff and as a paranormal investigator. Most of the historic sites I visit have some tradition of bloodshed attached, thus leaving said places rife for disquieted spirits.

How many people entered this structure never to leave it?

I didn’t bring any equipment with me when I visited Fort Mims in Tensaw, Alabama, but the individual traveling with me, who is a sensitive, had to remain in the car because the feelings she was getting were overwhelming. (Also it was raining.) Considering that between 350 and 500 people were killed there on August 30, 1813, it isn’t surprising.

Inside the blockhouse. I saw no one else, yet I was not alone.

Fort Mims wasn’t really a fort as we think of them. Government troops had constructed a stockade around the home of a local settler named Samuel Mims, and a blockhouse within the palisade. These preparations weren’t enough to repel the band of Creek Indian warriors under the command of Chief William “Red Eagle” Weatherford, and almost everyone who had fled to the fort for security was slaughtered. It was a bloodbath.

I also, while I was in the area, sought to locate the gravesite of Chief Red Eagle, but all the roads back there were dirt roads. No gravel, either; these were *dirt* roads, pure Alabama red clay. And remember that I mentioned how it had been raining? The idea of getting stuck in the mud again* looking for an historic Indian site—nearing sunset, during a pandemic—didn’t appeal to me, so I had to call that search off.

(*It wouldn’t have been the first time I had gotten stuck in mud while looking for a historic Indian site.)

TheCheezman • May 31, 2020

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