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Red Sticks is the English term for a traditionalist faction of Creek Indians who led a resistance movement which culminated in the outbreak of the Creek War in 1813.

The term "red sticks" is derived from the red-colored war clubs and the alleged magical red sticks used by Creek shamans. This faction of Creeks aggressively supported traditional views of Creek society such as hunting and communal land. Inspired by the Shawnee leader Tecumseh and angered by the unrestrained encroachment of white culture, Red Sticks went to war against their own people.

The Red Sticks came primarily from the Upper Towns of Creek Territory and opposed white acculturation. The Red Stick War, more commonly called the Creek War, raged from 1813–1814. During the war, Redsticks would lash out at symbols of white influence. They would kill domesticated animals, destroy farming equipment, and burn crops. Metal pots and pans as well as spun cloth would be routinely gathered and burned. The United States entered the war after the Fort Mims Massacre. Led by William Weatherford, Menawa, and Peter McQueen, the war resulted in the loss of half of the traditional Creek territory and another migration of Creeks into the Florida Seminole territory.


  • John Ehle, Trail of Tears The Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation (Anchor Books Editions 1989), ISBN 0-385-23954-8


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