Thursday, July 27, 2017

Burnt Corn Creek Re-enactment

There will be a re-enactment of the Battle of Burnt Corn Creek this weekend in Brewton, Alabama. I guess my interest in Creek Indian history was whetted by my Grandmother, Eunice Jernigan Gillis, telling us every time we crossed over the bridge at Burnt Corn Creek that this was where the battle of Burnt Corn was fought. What that was or why it was important to us never registered -- until I did my genealogy and discovered that led to Andrew Jackson later asking my fourth great grandfather, Benjamin Jernigan, to settle in that area and herd some cattle. Jackson learned the hard way that an army travels on its stomach and he wanted to be prepared to battle the Spanish who supplied the arms and supplies to the Creeks who were attacked at Burnt Corn by the militia the Red Sticks later returned the favor at the Massacre at Fort Mims August 30, 1813.
Jernigan, according to one of the Escambia County history books, was a neighbor of Jackson in South Carolina. Ironically, he was also married to a Cherokee Indian, Vashti Vann. His friends, Loftin and Loddy Cotton apparently accompanied him and their children intermarried with the Jernigans and were pioneer settlers in Escambia and Santa Rosa County Florida.
Participating in that battle was Josiah Francis, whom I have discovered was a cousin several times removed. He was later executed by Jackson in what came to be known as the First Seminole War. 
This discovery let to my writing Swimming with Serpents (Creek War) and In Pursuit (First Seminole War) mainly from the perspective of the Creek. Everywhere I looked there was history written by the victors (among whom we also had ancestors) But what happened to the Creek and what was their story? 

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