History

NATIVE AMERICAN
The Story of Tukabatchi. Tukabatchi, the last great capitol of the Creek Nation, was located about one mile south of Tallassee, or Talisi, as it was called by the Creeks. It was believed to have been the second largest city on the North American continent in the late 1700s and early 1800s. In the center of the village stood a huge oak tree where the Indians carried on important business. Under this Great Council Tree unfolded one of the most romantic stories of our area’s Indian history.

In 1811, the great Shawnee warrior Tecumseh, visited Tukabatchi. Standing under the great oak, he made an impassioned plea for the Creeks to join the Indian confederation against the white man. When the Creeks hesitated to give such a pledge, Tecumseh threatened to return to his native Ohio country and stamp his foot with such force that they would feel the earth tremble in Tukabatchi. Several days after his departure, a slight earthquake occurred and tremors rocked the village of Tukabatchi. This incident helped persuade the Indians to join in the Creek War in which they were defeated by General Andrew Jackson at the nearby Battle of Horseshoe Bend.

Battle of Horseshoe Bend
A world famous bend in the Tallapoosa River is the site of perhaps the most tragic defeat of an Indian tribe in the state of Alabama.

On the morning of March 27, 1814, General Andrew Jackson and an army of 3,300 men consisting of Tennessee militia, United States regulars and both Cherokee and Lower Creek allies attacked Chief Menawa and 1,000 Upper Creek or Red Stick warriors fortified in the “horseshoe” bend of the Tallapoosa River. To seal off the bend of the river, the Upper Creeks built an incredibly strong 400 yard long barricade made of dirt and logs. As the Cherokee and Lower Creek warriors swam the Tallapoosa and attacked from the rear, Jackson launched the militia and regular soldiers against the barricade. Facing overwhelming odds, the Red Sticks fought bravely yet ultimately lost the battle. Over 800 Upper Creeks died at Horseshoe Bend defending their homeland. This was the final battle of the Creek War of 1813-14, which is considered part of the War of 1812. In a peace treaty signed after the battle, both the Upper and Lower Creeks were forced to give the United States nearly 20 million acres of land in what is today Alabama and Georgia. The victory here brought Andrew Jackson national attention and helped him to be elected the seventh President of the United States in 1828. This 2,040-acre park preserves the site of the battle. (NPS-site)

Hickory Ground, “Ocheopofau,” Elmore County. Category: Archaeology Threat: Destruction for Casino Development. The last capital (from 1802 until 1814) for the National Council of the Creeks in the Muskogean people’s original homeland, Hickory Ground was a small village before the residents of Little Talisi abandoned that town to relocate there in the 1790s. Afterwards the town quickly progressed in size and importance until Chief Ifa Hadsho transferred the National Council from Tuckabatchi to Ocheopofau in 1802. It is also significant for having been occupied until the Indian removal in 1832, as the town was allowed to be resettled even after the Treaty of Fort Jackson in 1814. In 1980 the property was donated by the Alabama Historical Commission under a 20 year easement (that expired in June) to the Poarch Creek Band of Native Americans entrusting them as the best stewards to protect it in perpetuity as a traditional cultural and archaeological site. Poarch Creek Chairman Eddie Tullis has confirmed with the Alabama Historical Commission that a contract has been signed with Harrah’s to build a casino, hotel, and parking deck on the site and that the project will proceed as soon as necessary legal hurdles are cleared.

ANTEBELLUM
Because of the impassable falls of the Tallapoosa at Tallassee, no significant towns were born along the river in the early years of the state. (Keith)

William Bartram on first seeing the confluence of the Coosa / Tallapoosa famously commented, This is perhaps one of the most eligible situations for a city in the world. The city of Montgomery was later begun just a few miles south of this location. (Keith)

The Tallassee Calvary Carbine Mill, was the only southern armory to survive the civil war and the destruction of Wilson’s raiders.

INDUSTRIAL
The famous country singer Hank Williams wrote a song about the wooden head of the Indian Kowaliga, the name given to the first major lake settlement at Lake Martin. (Rivers of AL)

1873 – The Savannah and Memphis Railway comes to Youngsville, brought by S&M president Edward P. Alexander. The town is renamed in his honor and boundaries are extended to one mile from the center of the public square.

1874 – The first train arrives in Alexander City.

1902 – Twenty-six-year-old Ben Russell begins today’s international, Fortune 500 textile company, Russell Corporation, with a single knitting mill manufacturing women’s and children’s underwear.

1956 – Horseshoe Bend becomes a national military park, 57 years after the action is first proposed by Alexander City Outlook editor F.O. Hooton.