History comes alive in frontier book

By Nancianne Parkes Suber

Southern history buffs should take note of a new book set for release Oct. 15. “AConquering Spirit, Fort Mims and The Redstick War of 1813-1814″ by Gregory A. Waselkov documents not only the story of this fierce frontier battlebut framesthe events that caused it and the repercussions felt from it – eventoday – in perfect historical perspective.

Waselkov is a professor of anthropology and director of the Center for Archaeological Studies at the University of South Alabama. He has authored, edited and contributed to several books including “Old Mobile Archaeology.”

The Fort Mims massacre occurred Aug. 30, 1813 when a force of “Red Sticks,” (so named for the red painted sticks these Indians carried into battle) attacked a group of settlers and militia who had taken shelter within Fort Mims, located some 35 miles north of Mobile on the Alabama River.

Of the 800 Red Sticks in the attacking party, 200 lost their lives. Of the reported 550 men, women and children who had taken refuge in the Fort, 500 deaths were recorded.

The Red Sticks victory spread panic throughout the Southeastern United States frontier. The massacre marked the transition from a civil war within the Creek tribe to a war between the U.S. and the Red Stick warriors of the Upper Creek.

With Federal troops occupied on the Northern front of the War of 1812, Tennessee, Georgia and the Mississippi Territory mobilized their ownmilitias to move against the Upper Creek towns that had supported the Red Sticks’ cause.

General F. L. Claiborne of Natchez responded to the call for help from the Alabama area and took 1,000 men from this portion of the Mississippi Territory to join the conflict. These brave Mississippians would leave an indelible mark on the outcome of the war.

After several further battles, the Battle of Horseshoe Bend actually brought an end to the Creek War. But the war which began with theFort Mims tragedy changed the course of American history in many fascinating ways.

Reviewers are already declaring this to be the definite history of this event and essential reading for history buffs of this period. It would make an excellent addition to any home library or collection.

The 424-page book is cloth bound and published by the University of Alabama Press. It costs $39.95.

Orders for the book may be placed through UA Press at (773) 702-7000. For further information visit http://www.uapress.ua.edu

Does anyone know?

n Jeanette Dickson (Oregon, ejd@echoweb.net) is looking for ALEXANDER M. DICKSON who was born about 1829 in Tennessee, the son of WILLIAM DICKSON and TABITHA CHISUM DICKSON. The family moved to Tishomingo/Alcorn County, Miss. about 1838. Alexander is listed in the 1850 Tishomingo County Census and again in the 1860 Boneyard PO, Tishomingo County Census where he is married to SARAH with one child, WILLIAM H., born May 1854. It is possible Alexander was enlisted in the Civil War and died since she can find no record of him after 1860. Any help or leads would be greatly appreciated. Can any reader help with this long distance search?

n Glen Taylor (barneydixiedog4@yahoo.com; Pearl, Miss.) is seeking information on the following people: WILLIAM GLENN HURST (1881-1956) from Ireland and his wife CLARA E. HURST; GEORGE RHINEHAMMER and his wife VERA RHINEHAMMER; THOMAS L. PILLSBURY (1845-1925) son of JOSEPH B. PILLSBURY and SARAH A. PILLSBURY from Garland, Maine and moved to Oconto County, Wisconsin; and JOHN WILLIAM TAYLOR and CORA EDNA HITT of Jackson, Miss. Can any reader be of assistance?

Please send your announcements and queries to FAMILY TREES, 900 Main St., Natchez, MS 39120 or e-mail Famtree316@aol.com. All queries printed free of charge.