Fort Mitchell (3)
Fort Mitchell (3) (1813-1837) - A U.S. Army post established in 1813 during the War of 1812 and the Creek Indian War by General John Floyd in present-day Russell County, Alabama. Named for David Bryde Mitchell, governor of Georgia. Abandoned in 1837 by the U.S. Army but reused during the U.S. Civil War by Confederate forces. Abandoned at the end of the war.
First established in Creek Indian country near the Chattahoochee River in 1813 by Georgia Militia troops. The fort was built amid Creek Indian unrest and in anticipation of the Creek Indian War in 1814. In 1817 the Creek Indian Agency was established at the site and the U.S. Government built an Indian trading post to supply food and supplies in return for furs.
In 1825, with unrest among the Creek Indian Tribes, Major Donahoe and elements of the 4th U.S. Infantry arrived at the now dilapidated Fort Mitchell and rebuilt it on the same site as the original. The new fort Mitchell was palisaded and had two blockhouses on opposing corners. The major difference between the 1813 fort and the 1825 fort was that the two blockhouses jutted further out from the main palisade and better covered the exterior of the palisade.
The Treaty of 1832 and the resulting Second Creek Indian War in 1836 caused the Creeks to cede their land to the U.S. Government and in 1837 they were removed to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. The local Creeks were assembled at Fort Mitchell and removed on 2 Jul 1836 to Montgomery Alabama where they boarded boats to begin their journey to the Indian Territory (Oklahoma). Creek warriors were removed in chains with the women, children and elderly left to follow along behind. Soon after their departure, the fort was abandoned.
U.S. Civil War (1861-1865)
During the U.S. Civil War Fort Mitchell was used to recruit and organize Confederate units from Alabama. Confederate General James Cantey organized the "Cantey Rifles" at the fort in August 1861. Some eleven companies were raised from the surrounding counties for what would become the 15th Alabama Volunteer Regiment. Over 900 volunteers were raised for the 15th Alabama which ended up fighting in East Tennessee and Virginia.
Must See! A great example of the Creek wars and removal era forts. There are very few reconstructions of these forts and this one is in great shape. The site now includes a reconstruction of the 1813 fort and the 1817 Indian trading post. A visitor center is located at the entrance to the site in Russell County, Alabama. The turn into the site is a bit obscure and easy to miss on the first try. Turn in where a low stone wall has a Fort Mitchell Park sign.
Make sure to tour the Creek Trail of Tears Memorial and ball field area on the hill above the visitor center. Lots of insights into Creek life.
Visited: 17 Apr 2016