Horseshoe Bend National Military Park

Location: Dadeville, Alabama

Webpage: National Park Service

General Description: The battle at Horseshoe Bend took place on March 26, 1814 and was the final battle between the US Infantry under the command of General Andrew (Stonewall) Jackson and the Red Stick faction of the Creek Nation under the command of Chief Menawa in a large bend of the Tallapoosa River.  The Red Sticks were well prepared for the battle having constructed an extensive wooden barricade along the neck of the bend with the river on both flanks and the Indian village behind the barricade.  However, General Jackson had split his force and sent General Coffee to cross the river from behind using canoes they found on their side of the river.  With this attack from behind and a frontal assault of the barricade around noon on March 26, General Jackson was able to nearly wipe out the Creek Nation forces.  This battle made a national hero of General Jackson along with the Battle of New Orleans and he became the seventh president of the United States in 1828, just 14 years after the battle.  The National Military Park consists of a small visitor center that provides the background and timeline of the battle, as well as, hiking trails around the battlefield.

Brochure

Impressions:

1) Although the visitor center is small, it includes a well made movie and exhibits about the background leading up to the battle, as well as, a detailed timeline of the battle itself.

2) The hiking trail around the bend is well maintained and fairly easy.  There are a number of places to view the Tallapoosa River and exhibits at all the major points of the battle.

3)  At the exhibit of the wooden barricade, which is marked out across the field by wooden posts, Kal and I met up with around 30 grade school students that were visiting the park.  The muskets demonstrations earlier at the Visitor Center were fun to watch along with the kids.  While we were reading the various interpretative signs at the site, I was asked some questions by some of the students and the teachers overheard us.  They approached me and asked if I would be willing to tell the students about what they were seeing.  Being a teacher myself, I could hardly refuse, so I proceeded to describe what I had just read on the interpretative signs.  After a short 10 minute presentation including some questions from the students, I sure they went away with a better understanding of the battle and maybe even impressed with the “experts” the National Park provided for their visit.  In any case, I enjoyed it and the teachers seemed to appreciate having someone the students might stop long enough to listen to.

BattlefieldTallapoosaTeaching

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