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Red Eagle redirects here, for the Red Eagle Division, see 4th Infantry Division (India)
Chief Red Eagle grave site, Baldwin County marker.

William "Red Eagle" Weatherford, (1781 – March 24, 1824), was a Creek (Muscogee) Native American who led the Creek War offensive against the United States. William Weatherford, like many of the high-ranking members of the Creek nation, was a mixture of Scottish and Creek Indian. His father was Charles Weatherford, a Scottish trader and his mother was Sehoy III. Due to his mother's mixed lineage and his father's Scottish heritage, Weatherford was only one-eighth Creek Indian.[1] Though the exact location is unknown, descendants of Weatherford generally agree that he was born in Alabama around 1781. His "war name" was Hopnicafutsahia, or "Truth Teller," and was commonly referred to as Lamochattee, or "Red Eagle," by other Creeks.[2] William Weatherford was the Great grandson of Jean Baptiste Louis DeCourtel Marchand, the French commanding officer of Fort Toulouse who was murdered in 1722 in a mutiny. He was a nephew of Alexander McGillivray [1], and by marriage, the nephew of Le Clerc Milfort. He was also a cousin of William McIntosh.

During the Creek Civil War, in February 1813, Weatherford reportedly made a strange prophecy that called for the extermination of English settlers on lands formerly held by Native Americans. He used his "vision" to gather support from various Native American tribes who, despite similar prophecies used before by other tribes, eventually united against tribes that did not believe his prophecy. Late in August of 1813, he led a war party against Fort Mims on the lower Alabama River.

Weatherford is considered to be the architect of the Fort Mims Massacre, although one account indicates that he tried to stop the massacre after the fort was captured but was unable to do so. His grandson maintained that Weatherford was opposed to the attack because some of his own relatives had taken refuge in the stockade; however, there is no record of this to date and Weatherford did in fact participate in the battle. It is agreed that the many Red Sticks who harmed women and children did so despite his orders.

Sehoy III and Red Eagle graves in the distance with an information sign in foreground.

Red Eagle also participated in the Canoe fight with Sam Dale of the Alabama Militia, the Battle of Holy Ground, where he escaped capture. William Weatherford was not at the climactic Battle of Horseshoe Bend as has been asserted in several accounts.

William Weatherford was among the 200 Red Sticks who escaped after the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. However, he did not flee to Florida[3], but voluntarily turned himself in at Fort Jackson (formerly Fort Toulouse). Andrew Jackson spared Weatherford and used him to bring the other Upper Creek to a peace conference.

After the war, Weatherford became a citizen of the lower part of Monroe County, Alabama, where he became a wealthy planter. He died there in 1824.

External links

References

  1. ^ Red Eagle
  2. ^ The Creek Families 3B
  3. ^ Digital Library on American Slavery -- Petition 20582202 Details Location: Escambia, Florida Salutation: To the Honbl H M Brackenridge Judge of the Superior Court of West Florida (BRACKENRIDGE, Henry M.) Filing Court and Date: Superior, 1822-August-4 Ending Court and Date: No Ending Court Specified
  • Benjamin W. Griffith, McIntosh and Weatherford, Creek Indian Leaders (University of Alabama Press, 1998) ISBN 0-8173-0340-5 (Page 252, 253)
  • Floripedia [2]
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