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Battle of Holy Ground

Battle of Holy Ground
Part of the Creek War

The Alabama River at Holy Ground Battlefield Park
Date December 23, 1813
Location Mississippi Territory
Result Indecisive
Belligerents
Red Stick Creek  United States
Commanders and leaders
William Weatherford Ferdinand Claiborne
Pushmataha
Strength
~320 ~1,000
Casualties and losses
~20-30 killed 1 killed
Holy Ground Battlefield Park
Location Lowndes County, Alabama
Official name: Holy Ground Battle Site
Designated May 26, 1976[1]

The Battle of Holy Ground, or Battle of Econochaca, was a battle fought on December 23, 1813 between the United States militia and the Red Stick Creek Indians during the Creek War. The battle took place at Econochaca, the site of a fortified encampment established in the summer of 1813 by Josiah Francis on a bluff above the Alabama River, in what is now Lowndes County, Alabama. It was one of three encampments erected by Red Stick Creeks that summer. In addition to the physical defenses, Creek prophets performed ceremonies at the site to create a spiritual barrier of protection. Hence the Creek name "Econochaca," loosely translated as holy ground, but properly translated as sacred or beloved ground.[2][3]

History

Following the Battle of Burnt Corn and the subsequent Fort Mims massacre, General Ferdinand Claiborne, under the orders of General Thomas Flournoy, began attempting to round-up troops to attack the Red Stick Creeks. By early December he had amassed a force of roughly 1000 men, including 150 Choctaw warriors under their leader, Pushmataha. On December 22, 1813, Claiborne's force set up camp about 10 miles (16 km) south of Econochaca. Upon learning of this, the Creeks, under William Weatherford, evacuated women and children from settlement. On December 23 Claiborne attacked the defenses, killing between 20 and 30 Red Stick warriors and losing one man himself. Most of the Creeks escaped, with Weatherford riding his horse Arrow over the bluff and into the river while under fire. The U.S. forces then destroyed the encampment and the Creek supplies.[2][3][4]

The site is now home to Holy Ground Battlefield Park, maintained by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.[5] It was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on May 26, 1976.[1]

Two active battalions of the Regular Army (1-1 Inf and 2-1 Inf) perpetuate the lineage of the old 3rd Infantry Regiment, elements of which were at the Battle of Econochaca.

References

  1. ^ a b "Properties on the Alabama Register of Landmarks & Heritage". Alabama Historical Commission. www.preserveala.org. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Kathryn E. Holland Braund (2008-10-08). "Battle of Holy Ground". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  3. ^ a b Jones, Pam. "William Weatherford and the Road to the Holy Ground". Alabama Heritage 77 (Fall 2004): 24–32. 
  4. ^ "William "Red Eagle" Weatherford". The Year of Alabama History. Alabama Tourism Department. Archived from the original on 3 January 2010. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  5. ^ "The Battle of Holy Ground - White Hall, Alabama". ExploreSouthernHistory.com. Archived from the original on 28 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
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