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William Weatherford, aka Red Eagle

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William Weatherford aka Red Eagle c. 17801824,

Native American chief,

Red Eagle, also known as William Weatherford, was born about 1780, the son of Scottish trader Charles Weatherford and a Creek chieftain's daughter. In his early thirties he became an ally of Tecumseh, and led one of the Creek factions to resist the advance of the white frontier. After an attack by white frontiersmen upon a party of Creeks returning from a trading expedition to Florida, Red Eagle assembled a force of a thousand warriors and trailed the attackers to Fort Mims, an outpost north of Mobile. On August 30, 1813, they overran the poorly defended fort and after , refusing to heed his plea for restraint ,killed about five hundred of its 550 occupants, who consisted of whites, black slaves, and Creeks loyal to the U.S. The Fort Mims massacre brought several columns of militia and regular Army troops in pursuit of Red Eagle's warriors. With Menewa and other Creek leaders, Red Eagle built a stronghold at Horseshoe Bend on the Tallapoosa River. On March 27, 1814, General Andrew Jackson's forces surrounded and severely defeated the Creeks. After the battle, Red Eagle boldly entered Jackson's headquarters, surrendered, and promised that if his life was spared he would spend the remainder of it working for peace. Impressed by the man's courage and intelligence, Jackson pardoned him. Red Eagle kept his word, settled on a plantation in Monroe County, Alabama, and was accepted in the community as a man of peace and strict honor. This great American Indian leader died March 9, 1822, shortly before his people underwent their mass removal to Indian Territory.

“I am a soldier, I have done the white people all the harm I could. I have fought them and fought them bravely. If I had an army I would yet fight!”