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Regimental Histories of Tennessee Units During the War of 1812

Prepared by Tom Kanon, Tennessee State Library and Archives



COLONEL JOHN ALCORN

  • DESIGNATION: 2nd Regiment of Volunteer Mounted Riflemen
  • DATES: September 1813 - December 1813
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, and Wilson Counties (Winston's company from Madison County, Alabama)
  • CAPTAINS: John Baskerville, Richard Boyd, Thomas Bradley, John Byrne, Robert Jetton, William Locke, Alexander McKeen, Frederick Stump, Daniel Ross, John Winston

BRIEF HISTORY:
Colonel John Coffee commanded this regiment until the end of October 1813, when Coffee was promoted to Brigadier General. John Alcorn took over as colonel and the unit was incorporated with Colonel Newton Cannon's Mounted Riflemen to form the Second Regiment of Volunteer Mounted Riflemen. The Second Regiment, along with Colonel Robert Dyer's First Regiment of Volunteer Mounted Gunmen, formed the brigade under John Coffee. Muster rolls reveal that the regiment went by various designations besides volunteer mounted riflemen: volunteer cavalry; mounted militia; or mounted gunmen.

Many of the men from this unit were with Andrew Jackson on the expedition to Natchez (December 1812 - April 1813) and, consequently, felt their one-year's enlistment expired in December 1813. Jackson insisted that the time not spent in the field did not apply to the terms of enlistment. Hence, a dispute broke out between the troops and Jackson late in 1813. Most of the troops did leave by the end of that year, despite Jackson's strenuous efforts to keep them.

The regiment participated in the battles at Tallushatchee and Talladega (3 November and 9 November 1813) and muster rolls show that practically all of the companies sustained casualties, the most being in Captain John Byrne's company. The regiment's line of march took them from Fayetteville (where the regiment was mustered in), through Huntsville, Fort Deposit, Fort Strother, to the battles, and back the reverse way.




COLONEL EWEN ALLISON

  • DESIGNATION: 1st Regiment of East Tennessee Militia
  • DATES: January 1814 - May 1814
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Greene, Sullivan, Washington, Carter, and Hawkins Counties
  • CAPTAINS: Joseph Everett, John Hampton, Jacob Hoyal, William King, Jonas Loughmiller, Henry McCray, Thomas Wilson, Adam Winsell

BRIEF HISTORY:
This regiment was also designated as the First Regiment of East Tennessee Drafted Militia. The unit was part of General George Doherty's brigade, along with Colonel Samuel Bunch's Second Regiment. Doherty's brigade participated in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (27 March 1814) where they were part of the right line of attack on the Creek fortifications. There were casualties in many of the companies, especially in those of Captains Everett, King, Loughmiller, and Winsell. The Nashville Clarion of 10 May 1814 has a complete listing of the dead and wounded from this climactic battle of the Creek War.

The principal rendezvous point for this regiment was Knoxville. From there they traveled to Ross' Landing (present-day Chattanooga), to Fort Armstrong, Fort Deposit, Fort Strother, Fort Williams, to Horseshoe Bend, and back by the reverse route. Captain Hampton's company was ordered to man Fort Armstrong in mid-March 1814. Arms were scarce in this unit and rifles often had to be impressed from the civilian population along the line of march.




COLONEL SAMUEL BAYLESS

  • DESIGNATION: 4th Regiment of East Tennessee Militia
  • DATES: November 1814 - May 1815
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Washington, Jefferson, Carter, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Greene, and Sullivan Counties
  • CAPTAINS: Joseph Bacon, John Brock, James Churchman, Joseph Goodson, Joseph Hale, Solomon Hendricks, Branch Jones, James Landen, Joseph Rich, Jonathan Waddle

BRIEF HISTORY:
This regiment, along with Colonel William Johnson's Third Regiment and Colonel Edwin Booth's Fifth Regiment, defended the lower section of the Mississippi Territory, particularly the vicinity of Mobile. They protected the region from possible Indian incursions and any British invasion. These regiments were under the command of Major General William Carroll. They manned the various forts that were located throughout the territory: Fort Claiborne, Fort Decatur, and Fort Montgomery, for example. Sickness was rampant in this regiment and the desertion rate was high. The regiment mustered in at Knoxville and was dismissed at Mobile.




COLONEL THOMAS BENTON

  • DESIGNATION: 2nd Regiment of Tennessee Volunteer Infantry
  • DATES: December 1812 - April 1813
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Williamson, Rutherford, White, Bedford, Davidson, Franklin, Lincoln, and Maury Counties
  • CAPTAINS: Robert Cannon, George Caperton, George Gibbs, Benjamin Hewett, James McEwen, James McFerrin, William Moore, Isiah Renshaw, Benjamin Reynolds, William J. Smith, Thomas Williamson

BRIEF HISTORY:
This regiment, along with Colonel William Hall's First Regiment of Tennessee Volunteer Infantry and Colonel John Coffee's Volunteer Cavalry, comprised the army under Andrew Jackson that undertook the expedition to Natchez in late 1812. Many of these men re-enlisted in September 1813 and were then put under the command of Colonel William Pillow, maintaining the same designation of the Second Regiment of Tennessee Volunteer Infantry. See the entry under Colonel William Pillow for further information.




COLONEL EDWIN BOOTH

  • DESIGNATION: 5th Regiment of East Tennessee Militia
  • DATES: November 1814 - May 1815
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Knox, Blount, Sevier, Anderson, Bledsoe, Hawkins, Rhea, and Roane Counties
  • CAPTAINS: Alexander Biggs, John Lewis, Wilson Maples, Richard Marshall, John McKamy, John Porter, Miles Vernon, John Sharp, John Slatton, Samuel Thompson, George Winton

BRIEF HISTORY:
Along with the Fourth Regiment of Colonel Samuel Bayless and Colonel William Johnson's Third Regiment, this regiment was part of the division under the command of Major General William Carroll. These units were sent to the vicinity of Mobile to protect that region from Indian and/or British offensive activities.

The regiment was organized at Knoxville and their line of march took them to Lookout Mountain (present-day Chattanooga), to Fort Strother, and finally to Mobile. Many of the men may have been stationed at Camp Mandeville, a military post located outside of Mobile. Most of the companies were dismissed at Mobile at the end of the war.




COLONEL EDWARD BRADLEY

  • DESIGNATION: 1st Regiment of Tennessee Volunteer Infantry
  • DATES: September 1813 - December 1813
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Sumner, Giles, Lincoln, Montgomery, Overton, Rutherford, Smith, and Wilson Counties
  • CAPTAINS: Abraham Bledsoe, Harry Douglass, James Hambleton, John Kennedy, William Lauderdale, Brice Martin, John Moore, Travis Nash, Thomas Haynie, John Wallace

BRIEF HISTORY:
This unit was originally under the command of Colonel William Hall during Jackson's excursion to Natchez. Bradley took over the regiment when Hall was promoted to brigadier general. Bradley's regiment then became part of Hall's brigade, along with Colonel William Pillow's Second Regiment of Tennessee Volunteer Infantry. This brigade participated in Jackson's first campaign into the Creek Nation. Bradley's regiment fought at the Battle of Talladega (9 November 1813) and muster rolls show many casualties from that battle, especially in the companies of Captains Abraham Bledsoe and Brice Smith.

The line of march for this first campaign followed the route from Fayetteville to Huntsville, then to Fort Deposit and Fort Strother. The troops were dismissed in December 1813. The number of men in each captain's company varied from twenty-nine to seventy-two soldiers.




COLONEL JOHN BROWN

  • DESIGNATION: 2nd Regiment of Tennessee Volunteer Infantry
  • DATES: September 1813 - January 1814
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Roane, Anderson, Knox, and Sullivan Counties
  • CAPTAINS: Allen Bacon, Hugh Barton, William Christian, William Neilson, Lunsford Oliver, James Preston, John Underwood, William White

BRIEF HISTORY:
Colonel John Brown commanded two separate regiments at different times during the war. This regiment, along with a unit commanded by Colonel Samuel Bunch, comprised a brigade commanded by General George Doherty of the East Tennessee Volunteer Militia. Accounts of the movement of this regiment show it at Fort Armstrong (late November 1813) and Fort Deposit, which indicate that this unit was probably used to protect the supply lines from East Tennessee.



  • DESIGNATION: East Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Gunmen
  • DATES: January 1814 - May 1814
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Bledsoe, Roane, Anderson, Blount, and Cocke Counties
  • CAPTAINS: John Chiles, Charles Lewin, James McKamy, Jesse Rainey, James Standifer, John Trimble, William White

BRIEF HISTORY:
This was the second regiment that Colonel Brown commanded during the war. With just over 200 volunteers in the unit, they were used primarily as guards for the supply wagons traveling through Creek territory. As part of Doherty's brigade, they were put under the command of General John Coffee at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (27 March 1814) where they participated in the fighting. Their line of march took them from East Tennessee through Lookout Mountain, Fort Strother, Fort Williams, and Fort Jackson. Colonel Brown was the sheriff of Roane County at the start of the war.




COLONEL SAMUEL BUNCH

  • DESIGNATION: 1st Regiment of Volunteer Mounted Infantry
  • DATES: October 1813 - January 1814
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Claiborne, Grainger, Cocke, Greene, Hawkins, Jefferson, and Washington Counties
  • CAPTAINS: James Cumming, William Houston(Huston), John Inman, William Jobe, Thomas Mann, James Penny, Henry Stephens, David G. Vance

BRIEF HISTORY:
Colonel Samuel Bunch commanded two separate regiments at different times during the war. This regiment of three-month enlistees, in the brigade of General James White, participated in the action against the tribe of Creeks known as the Hillabees (18 November 1813). Although Jackson was negotiating a peace proposal with this tribe, the East Tennesseans under General White were not aware of this situation when they attacked the Hillabee village. This attack by White's brigade, aided by a band of Cherokees, led to a stubborn resistance by the Hillabees until the end of the Creek War.

This regiment passed through Fort Armstrong, located on Cherokee land, in late November 1813. There was much protest by the Cherokees concerning property destroyed by the Tennessee troops as they were marching home. The Cherokees claimed that their livestock was "wantonly destroyed for sport" by the Tennessee soldiers.




  • DESIGNATION: 2nd Regiment of East Tennessee Militia
  • DATES: January 1814 - May 1814
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Claiborne, Grainger, Washington, Jefferson, Knox, Blount, Cocke, Greene, Hawkins, Rhea, and Sevier Counties
  • CAPTAINS: James Allen, Amos Barron, Francis Berry, Andrew Breeden, Edward Buchanan, Moses Davis, Solomon Dobkins, Joseph Duncan, John English, Nicholas Gibbs, George Gregory, Jones Griffin, John Houk, John Howell, John McNair(McNare), Francis Register, Samuel Richerson, (Maj.)Alexander Smith, Isaac Williams, Daniel Yarnell

BRIEF HISTORY:
Andrew Jackson's official report of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (27 March 1814) mentions that "a few companies" of Colonel Bunch were part of the right line of the American forces at this engagement. More than likely, some of those companies included Captains Francis Berry, Nicholas Gibbs (who was killed at the battle), Jones Griffin, and John McNair. In addition, muster rolls show some casualties from this battle in the companies led by Captains Moses Davis, Joseph Duncan, and John Houk. Other men from this regiment remained at Fort Williams prior to Horseshoe Bend to guard the post -- provision returns indicate that there were 283 men from Bunch's regiment at the fort at the time of the battle.

This regiment was in General George Doherty's Brigade and many of the men stayed after the enlistment expiration of May 1814 to guard the posts at Fort Strother and Fort Williams until June/July. The line of march went through Camp Ross (near present-day Chattanooga), Fort Armstrong, and Fort Jackson.




COLONEL NEWTON CANNON

  • DESIGNATION: 2nd Regiment of Volunteer Mounted Riflemen
  • DATES: September 1813 - December 1813
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Bedford, Rutherford, Smith, Dickson, Franklin, Lincoln, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson Counties
  • CAPTAINS: Robert Allen, George Brandon, Ota Cantrell, John B. Demsey, William Edwards, John Hanby, John Harpole, David Hogan, Francis Jones, William Martin, Andrew Patterson, James Walton, Isaac Williams, Thomas Yardley

BRIEF HISTORY:
Along with Colonel John Alcorn's regiment, this unit was part of General John Coffee's brigade that conducted the first campaign into the Creek Nation. Marching from Fayetteville, they went through Huntsville; crossed the Tennessee River at Ditto's Landing (mid-October 1813); stopped at Fort Strother; and fought in the battles at Tallushatchee and Talladega (3 November and 9 November 1813). Muster rolls show that just about every company in this regiment suffered casualties in these battles.




COLONEL ARCHER CHEATHAM

  • DESIGNATION: 2nd Regiment of Tennessee Militia
  • DATES: January 1814 - May 1814
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Robertson, Davidson, Rutherford, and Williamson Counties
  • CAPTAINS: Richard Benson, Hugh Birdwell, Robert Carson, George C. Chapman, William Creel, James Giddins, Charles Johnson, William Smith

BRIEF HISTORY:
With a total complement of 520 men, this regiment was part of the reserves at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (27 March 1814). Prior to the battle, many of the men transferred to the artillery squad. One of the transfers, young Private John Caffery, Jr. of Captain Charles Johnson's company, was the nephew of Andrew Jackson's wife, Rachel. After the battle, Jackson proudly wrote to his wife that her nephew "fought bravely and killed an Indian." Archer Cheatham was a prominant citizen of Springfied, Robertson County.




MAJOR JOHN CHILES

  • DESIGNATION: East Tennessee Mounted Gunmen
  • DATES: September/October 1814 - May 1815
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Knox, Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Grainger, Jefferson, Hawkins, Rhea and Roane Counties
  • CAPTAINS: Charles Conway, James Cumming, Daniel Price, Jehu Stephens, Ruben Tipton

BRIEF HISTORY:
This battalion, along with a battalion under the command of Major William Russell, was part of an expedition led by Major Uriah Blue (39th U.S. Infantry) into West Florida in December 1814/January 1815. Their mission was to roam the Escambia River in search of refugee Creek warriors who escaped Jackson's capture of Pensacola (7 November 1814). The mission was largely unsuccessful, as the troops suffered from lack of supplies.

Their rendezvous point was Fort Montgomery and at the end of the war they were in the vicinity of Baton Rouge, where they were waiting to go to New Orleans to participate in the campaign there. The war concluded before they were called out. The muster rolls of Captains Conway, Cummings, Price, and Tipton contain physical descriptions of the soldiers, as well as the county of residence. Captain Rueben Tipton and his four brothers served in the same company.




MAJOR THOMAS C. CLARK

  • DESIGNATION: Battalion of East Tennessee Militia
  • DATES: January 1814 - July 1814
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Roane, Bledsoe, and Rhea Counties.
  • CAPTAINS: Allen S. Bacon, James Berry, John Hankins, (Lt.) John Hixson(Hixon), and Thomas Walker

BRIEF HISTORY:
This unit, a detachment from the 8th Brigade of Tennessee Militia, was ordered to Fort Armstrong in January 1814. A letter from Major Clark to Andrew Jackson written from that post in late January, stated that Clark's battalion was made up of approximately 300 men. Clark related that he left one of his captains' companies of fifty men at Camp Ross (near present-day Chattanooga) to take care of the public stores found there. Although little is known of this unit, the battalion was more than likely used to facilitate the transfer of supplies from east Tennessee to the armies fighting in the Creek campaigns.




COLONEL JOHN COCKE

  • DESIGNATION: 2nd Regiment of West Tennessee Militia
  • DATES: November 1814 - May 1815
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Montgomery, Williamson, Dickson, Hickman, Robertson, Rutherford, and Stewart Counties
  • CAPTAINS: George Barnes, Samuel Carothers, Richard Crunk, John Dalton, Francis Ellis, James Gault, James Gray, Bird Nance, Joseph Price, John Weakley

BRIEF HISTORY:
This regiment was one of three West Tennessee militia units at New Orleans under the command of Major General William Carroll. They were part of the flotilla that went down to New Orleans via the Cumberland, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers. The Nashville Clarion of 21 February 1815 mentions that Captain John Weakly, of Montgomery County, was at the breastworks of Jackson's line at New Orleans during the battle of 8 January. Muster rolls of the regiment show no battle casualties, but do reveal many deaths due to sickness -- a common occurrence for troops stationed at New Orleans in the months of February/March 1815.

Colonel Cocke was sheriff of Montgomery County at the time of war. He is not to be confused with Major General John Cocke of East Tennessee who commanded the 1st Division and was counterpart to Andrew Jackson -- Jackson commanding the 2nd Division.




COLONEL JOHN COFFEE

  • DESIGNATION: Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry
  • DATES: December 1812 - April 1813
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Rutherford, Davidson, Dickson, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson Counties
  • CAPTAINS: John Baskerville, Thomas Bradley, John W. Byrn, Blackman Coleman, Robert Jetton, Charles Kavanaugh, Alexander McKeen, Michael Molton, David Smith, Frederick Stump, James Terrill

BRIEF HISTORY:
This regiment of cavalry joined Jackson's forces at Natchez in early 1813. The strength of the regiment was approximately 600 men. While the bulk of Jackson's troops traveled by boat to Natchez, Coffee's mounted men went overland after rendezvousing near Franklin, Tennessee in mid-January 1813. The officers of this regiment were considered to be the elite citizens of their counties.

Many of the men in this regiment later became part of the unit led by Colonels Alcorn and Dyer during Jackson's first campaign into the Creek territory in the fall of 1813. John Coffee was a wealthy landowner in Rutherford County and a one-time business partner of Andrew Jackson. Coffee was married to Rachel Jackson's niece, Mary Donelson (they named two of their children Andrew and Rachel).




COLONEL STEPHEN COPELAND

  • DESIGNATION: 3rd Regiment of Tennessee Militia
  • DATES: January 1814 - May 1814
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Overton, Smith, Wilson, Franklin, Warren, Bedford, and Lincoln Counties
  • CAPTAINS: John Biler(Byler), John Dawson, William Douglass, William Evans, Solomon George, William Hodges, John Holshouser, Alexander Provine, Richard Sharp, George W. Still, James Tait, Moses Thompson, Allen Wilkinson, David Williams.

BRIEF HISTORY:
There were approximately 660 men in this regiment. They were part of a brigade led by General Thomas Johnson (the other regiment of Johnson's brigade was led by Colonel R. C. Napier). Jackson's report of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (27 March 1814) mentions that Copeland's regiment was held in reserve during this engagement. But a part of the regiment saw action, as muster rolls show casualties from this battle in the companies of Captains Moses Thompson and Allen Wilkinson. Their line of march took them from Fayetteville (where they were mustered into service), through Fort Deposit, Fort Strother, and finally to Fort Williams.




COLONEL ROBERT DYER

  • DESIGNATION: Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Gunmen or Cavalry
  • DATES: September 1813 - May 1814 (some enlisted in January 1814)
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Davidson, Rutherford, Williamson, Dickson, Giles, Overton, Robertson, Stewart, and Sumner Counties
  • CAPTAINS: (Lt.)James Berry, Samuel Crawford, Nathan Farmer, James Haggard, Charles Kavanaugh, Archibald McKenney, John Miller, William Mitchell, Michael Molton, Edwin G. Moore, David Smith, George Smith, James Terrill

BRIEF HISTORY:
One of two regiments which Dyer commanded at different times of the war, this regiment was part of General John Coffee's cavalry brigade throughout most of the Creek War. The unit participated in most of the battles of the war, including Talladega (9 November 1813), where they formed the reserves, and Horseshoe Bend (27 March 1814). There were several companies of "spies" in the regiment: companies of cavalry that were sent on reconnaissance patrols and usually took the lead in the line of march for Jackson's army.




  • DESIGNATION: 1st Regiment of West Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Gunmen
  • DATES: September 1814 - March 1815
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Davidson, Dickson, Williamson, Bedford, Maury, Montgomery, Rutherford, Smith, and Stewart Counties
  • CAPTAINS: Bethel Allen, Ephraim D. Dickson, Robert Edmonston, Robert Evans, Cuthbert Hudson, Thomas Jones, James McMahon, Glen Owen, Thomas White, Joseph Williams, James Wyatt

BRIEF HISTORY:
Part of Coffee's brigade at New Orleans, most of this regiment took part in the night battle of 23 December 1814. Most of the company muster rolls show casualties from this engagement. Portions of this regiment also participated in the capture of Pensacola from the Spanish in West Florida (7 November 1814). The initial rendezvous point for this unit was Fayetteville, Tennessee. From there they passed through Fort Hampton, to Baton Rouge, and finally to New Orleans.




COLONEL WILLIAM HALL

  • DESIGNATION: 1st Regiment Tennessee Volunteers
  • DATES: December 1812 - April 1813
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Sumner, Davidson, Giles, Lincoln, Montgomery, Overton, Rutherford, Smith, and Wilson Counties
  • CAPTAINS: William Alexander, Abraham Bledsoe, William Carroll, Harry L. Douglass, James Hambleton(Hamilton), John Kennedy, Brice Martin, John Moore, Travis Nash, Henry M. Newlin, John Wallace

BRIEF HISTORY:
Part of Andrew Jackson's expedition to Natchez, this regiment had a complement of about 620 men (the average company having between fifty and seventy soldiers). Each company was assigned a fife and drummer. There were two rifle companies (Captains Bledsoe and Kennedy) which had buglers instead of the fife and drummer. After the abortive mission at Natchez, this unit was dismissed at Columbia, Tennessee (April 1814) but many of men later re-enlisted under Colonel Edward Bradley and joined Jackson in the first campaign of the Creek War.




COLONEL WILLIAM HIGGINS

  • DESIGNATION: 2nd Regiment Tennessee Mounted Volunteers
  • DATES: December 1813 - February 1814
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Madison (Ala.), Lincoln, Robertson, Smith, and Wilson Counties
  • CAPTAINS: Samuel Allen, John B. Cheatham, John Crane(Craine), Adam Dale, William Doak, Thomas Eldridge, Stephen Griffith, James Hamilton(Hambleton), John Hill, Joseph Kirkpatrick

BRIEF HISTORY:
Along with Colonel Perkins' regiment, this unit comprised the sixty-day volunteers enlisted by William Carroll to fill the rapidly dwindling ranks of Jackson's army decimated by the desertions of December 1813. Determined to make the most of this new army, Jackson marched these 850 green troops into Creek territory where they encountered the Red Sticks at Emuckfau and Enotochopco (22 and 24 January 1814). The Tennesseans at these battles suffered heavy casualties. The line of march went through Huntsville to Fort Strother and then to the battlefields.




COLONEL WILLIAM JOHNSON

  • DESIGNATION: 3rd Regiment East Tennessee Militia
  • DATES: September 1814 - May 1815
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Knox, Claiborne, Greene, Jefferson, Anderson, Blount, Carter, Cocke, Grainger, Hawkins, Rhea, Roane, and Sevier Counties
  • CAPTAINS: Christopher Cook, Henry Hunter, Joseph Kirk, Andrew Lawson, Elihu Milikin, David McKamy, Benjamin Powell, James R. Rogers, Joseph Scott, James Stewart, James Tunnell

BRIEF HISTORY:
Part of General Nathaniel Taylor's brigade, this unit of drafted militia (about 900 men) was mustered in at Knoxville and marched to the vicinity of Mobile via Camp Ross (present-day Chattanooga), Fort Jackson, Fort Claiborne, and Fort Montgomery. Along the way the men were used as road builders and wagon guards. Many of them were stationed at Camp Mandeville (near Mobile) in February 1814, where there was much disease. For example, the company of Captain Joseph Scott had thirty-one listed sick out of an aggregate of 104 at the final muster.




COLONEL WILLIAM LILLARD

  • DESIGNATION: 2nd Regiment East Tennessee Volunteer Militia
  • DATES: October 1813 - February 1814
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Greene, Jefferson, Sullivan, Cocke, Grainger, Hawkins, and Washington Counties
  • CAPTAINS: George Argenbright, Zacheus Copeland, Jacob Dyke, William Gillenwater, (Ensign)Abraham Gregg, William Hamilton, Jacob Hartsell, George Keys, Benjamin H. Kings, James Lillard, Robert Maloney, Hugh Martin, Robert McAlpin(McCalpin), Thomas McCuiston, William McLinn, John Neatherton, John Roper, Thomas Sharp

BRIEF HISTORY:
This regiment of about 700 men was assigned to fill the ranks at Fort Strother for Andrew Jackson after the December 1813 "mutiny" of his army. While at Fort Strother, they comprised half of Jackson's forces until mid-January 1814 when their enlistments were up. This regiment was used to keep the lines of communication open and to guard supply lines.

Their route was from Kingston, Tennessee to Fort Armstrong (early December 1813) to Fort Strother. Cherokees friendly to the United States fought with various units of the Tennessee militia and Lieutenant Colonel William Snodgrass commanded a detachment of Cherokees at Fort Armstrong from mid-January to early February 1814.




COLONEL ALEXANDER LOURY & LT. COL. LEROY HAMMONS

  • DESIGNATION: 2nd Regiment West Tennessee Militia
  • DATES: September 1814 - April 1815
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Davidson, Warren, Humphreys, Lincoln, Maury, Robertson, Smith, Sumner, White, and Williamson Counties
  • CAPTAINS: James Craig, Thomas Delaney, James Kincaid, John Looney, Gabriel Mastin, Asahel Rains, George Sarver, James Tubb, Thomas Wells, Joseph N. Williamson

BRIEF HISTORY:
Part of General Nathaniel Taylor's brigade, this regiment was scattered throughout the Creek territory and the vicinity of Mobile to man the various forts in the region: Forts Jackson, Montgomery, Claiborne, and Pierce. Some of the companies participated in the taking of Pensacola (7 November 1814) from Spanish authorities that were accused by Jackson of supporting British troops there.

Loury resigned on 20 November 1814 and Lieutenant Colonel Leroy Hammonds took over as commander. The regiment was plagued by disease during its tenure in the Mississippi Territory. For example, a morning report of Captain Asahel Rains on 6 January 1815 shows twenty-seven on the sick list and twenty-seven additional men required to take care of the sick (totaling half the company).




COLONEL THOMAS McCRORY

  • DESIGNATION: 2nd Regiment West Tennessee Militia
  • DATES: October 1813 - January 1814
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Williamson, Maury, Giles, Overton, Rutherford, and Smith Counties
  • CAPTAINS: William Dooley, Thomas K. Gordon, Samuel B. McKnight, Anthony Metcalf, Isaac Patton, John Reynolds, James Shannon, Abel Willis

BRIEF HISTORY:
Part of General Isaac Roberts' Second Brigade, these three-month enlistees were mustered in at Franklin, Tennessee and mustered out at Fort Strother. The regiment participated in the Battle of Talladega (9 November 1813). Jackson tried to get them to serve longer than the three-month term, but only Captain Abel Willis (Overton County) and nineteen men stayed.

The number of men in each company was relatively small, averaging about fifty (one company, led by Captain James Shannon of Williamson County had a complement of twenty-nine men). Famed Presbyterian minister Gideon Blackburn served as regimental chaplain.




COLONEL WILLIAM METCALF

  • DESIGNATION: 1st Regiment West Tennessee Militia
  • DATES: November 1814 - May 1815
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Davidson, Bedford, Franklin, Lincoln, Maury, Warren, and Giles Counties
  • CAPTAINS: John Barnhart, Daniel M. Bradford, Barbe Collins, John Cunningham, Lewis Dillahunty, Alexander Hill, Bird S. Hurt, John Jackson, Thomas Marks, William Mullen, Andrew Patterson, William Sitton, Obidiah Waller

BRIEF HISTORY:
Part of the division under Major General William Carroll's at New Orleans, this regiment comprised the right section of Carroll's line at the breastworks at Chalmette. Muster rolls show casualties in the engagements of December 1814 and January 1815. Lieutenant Colonel James Henderson was killed in the skirmish of 28 December 1814. Captain Daniel Bradford led the elite corps known as "Carroll's Life Guard." The division reached New Orleans in mid-December 1814 after an excursion down the Mississippi River.




COLONEL RICHARD C. NAPIER

  • DESIGNATION: 1st Regiment West Tennessee Militia
  • DATES: January 1814 - May 1814
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Maury, Dickson, Montgomery, Sumner, Giles, and Stewart Counties
  • CAPTAINS: Drury Adkins, Abraham Allen, Samuel Ashmore, Early Benson, John Chism, Thomas Gray, Andrew McCarty, James McMurry, Edward Neblett, Thomas Preston

BRIEF HISTORY:
Part of General Thomas Johnson's brigade, this regiment mustered in at Fayetteville and marched to Huntsville, then Ft. Deposit, Fort Strother, and Fort Williams. While some detachments participated in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (27 March 1814), others stayed at Fort Williams on guard duty (Capt. Preston, for example). Jackson's report of the battle mentions that the troops under Captain James McMurray were on the left line at Horseshoe Bend.

Many of the men then marched to the Hickory Ground (near present-day Montgomery, Alabama) where Jackson anticipated another battle with the Creeks, but the defeat at Horseshoe Bend had been decisive and the Tennesseans faced no further massed resistance. The regiment numbered about 500 men.




COLONEL NICHOLAS PERKINS

  • DESIGNATION: 1st Regiment West Tennessee Mounted Volunteers
  • DATES: December 1813 - February 1814
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Davidson, Williamson, Maury, Montgomery, Rutherford, Sumner, and Wilson Counties
  • CAPTAINS: John Doak, George Elliott, Mathew Johnson(Johnston), George W.L. Marr, James McMahan, Matthew Patterson, Phillip Pipkin, John B. Quarles

BRIEF HISTORY:
This regiment, along with the regiment under Colonel Higgins, comprised the sixty-day volunteers enlisted by William Carroll to fill the depleted ranks of Jackson's rapidly dwindling army after the first campaign of the Creek War. Although the enlistment terms were short, this regiment saw some of the fiercest action of the Creek War at Emuckfau and Enotochopco (22 and 24 January 1814) where Jackson's army was nearly routed by attacking Creeks.

Captain John Quarles' company was in the center column of the rear guard at Enotochopco and suffered heavy casualties; Quarles himself died at this battle. Colonel Perkins and Lieutenant Colonel Stump were accused of cowardice, disobedience of orders, and abandonment of their posts as a result of the actions at Enotochopco. Perkins was acquitted at his court martial but Stump was found guilty and cashiered out of the army.




COLONEL WILLIAM PILLOW

  • DESIGNATION: 2nd Regiment Tennessee Volunteer Infantry
  • DATES: September 1813 - December 1813
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Rutherford, White, Williamson, Davidson, Franklin, Lincoln, and Maury Counties
  • CAPTAINS: John H. Anderson, George Caperton, (Lt.)Joseph Mason, C.E. McEwen, James McFerrin, William Moore, Isiah Renshaw, William J. Smith, Thomas Williamson

BRIEF HISTORY:
This regiment, composed of about 400 men, participated in Jackson's first campaign into Creek territory along with the regiment under Colonel Bradley. Both these regiments fought at the Battle of Talladega (9 November 1813) where Colonel Pillow was wounded. An anecdote concerning Pillow at Talladega claimed that Jackson ordered the colonel to fall back once the Creeks attacked, but Pillow refused on the grounds that he would not let his wounded men be "scalped by the demons." Lieutenant Colonel William Martin, who took over the regiment after Pillow was wounded at Talladega, was later at the center of a dispute with Andrew Jackson over the enlistment terms of the regiment.

The line of march would have taken these men from Fayetteville to Huntsville and on to Fort Strother, where the regiment was stationed after the Battle of Talladega.




COLONEL PHILIP PIPKIN

  • DESIGNATION: 1st Regiment West Tennessee Militia
  • DATES: June 1814 - December 1814
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Robertson, Williamson, Davidson, Giles, Hickman, Maury, Sumner, and Wilson Counties
  • CAPTAINS: James Blakemore, Ebenezer Kilpatrick, William Mackay(Mackey), George Mebane, Henry M. Newlin, John Robertson, Peter Searcy, John Strother, David Smythe

BRIEF HISTORY:
This regiment of about 960 men was ordered to man the various forts of the Mississippi Territory: Forts Jackson, Williams, Strother, Claiborne, and Pierce. Many of the men were stationed in the vicinity of Mobile, where disease put large numbers of them on sick lists. The unrest caused by such conditions led to a high desertion rate throughout the regiment.

The desertions, along with enlistment disputes, led to court martials in December 1814 at Mobile, resulting in the execution of six soldiers on 21 February 1815 -- on the next day, news of the peace treaty arrived. The court martial was reviewed by the House Committee on Military Affairs in Washington (1828), probably to embarrass Andrew Jackson, who was then running for the office of president.




COLONEL JAMES RAULSTON

  • DESIGNATION: 3rd Regiment West Tennessee Militia Infantry
  • DATES: November 1814 - May 1815
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Jackson, Sumner, Wilson, Overton, Smith, and White Counties
  • CAPTAINS: James A. Black, Matthew Cowen, Henry Hamilton, Elijah Haynie, Wiley Huddleston, Matthew Neal, Daniel Newman, Edward Robinson, Charles Wade, Henry West

BRIEF HISTORY:
Part of Major General William Carroll's division at the battles for New Orleans, this regiment suffered casualties during the skirmish of 28th December 1814 and had two of the handful of fatalities on the famous 8 January 1815 battle. General Carroll's report of the battle tells that Captains Elijah Haynie and Matthew Neal "had the honor of receiving and repelling the attacks of the British forces." After the war, James Raulston became a prominant member of the state legislature of Alabama.




MAJOR WILLIAM RUSSELL

  • DESIGNATION: Separate Battalion of Volunteer Mounted Gunmen
  • DATES: September 1814 - March 1815
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Franklin, Bedford, Blount, Madison (Ala.), Rutherford, Warren, and Wilson Counties
  • CAPTAINS: William Chism, John Cowan, Fleman Hodges, George Mitchie, William Russell, John Trimble, Isaac Williams

BRIEF HISTORY:
Along with a battalion commanded by Major Chiles, this unit served in the Pensacola/Mobile region and was a part of Major Uriah Blue's expedition that roamed along the Escambia River in Florida in search of renegade Creeks toward the end of the war. Approximately 500 men served in this battalion, one of whom was David Crockett, a sergeant in Capt. John Conway's company.

From Fayetteville, where the battalion was mustered in, they traveled to Fort Stephens (crossing the Tennessee River at Muscle Shoals); leaving their horses behind, the battalion marched to Pensacola (via Fort Montgomery) where they participated in the battle of 7 November 1814; and returned to Fort Montgomery. At Fort Montgomery they were put under the command of Major Uriah Blue.




COLONEL ROBERT STEELE

  • DESIGNATION: 4th Regiment West Tennessee Militia Infantry
  • DATES: January 1814 - May 1814
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Jackson, White, Bedford, Giles, Lincoln, and Maury Counties
  • CAPTAINS: James Bennett, Robert Campbell, John Chitwood, Samuel Maxwell, James Randals, Richard Ratton, James Shinault

BRIEF HISTORY:
Part of the brigade led by General Thomas Johnson, this regiment was composed of about 450 men. Colonel Steele and his men were left at Fort Strother while Jackson marched the rest of his army to Horseshoe Bend where the climactic battle of the Creek War was fought (27 March 1814). Steele's regiment served as wagon guards for supplies from Fort Deposit and built boats to transport supplies down the Coosa River to Fort Williams. From Camp Blount at Fayetteville, the regiment took the much-traveled route through Huntsville, Fort Deposit, and Fort Strother.




COLONEL SAMUEL WEAR

  • DESIGNATION: 1st Regiment East Tennessee Volunteer Militia
  • DATES: September 1813 - December 1813
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Knox, Sevier, Blount, Washington, Anderson, Campbell, Carter, and Jefferson Counties
  • CAPTAINS: John Bayless, Samuel Bowman, Joseph Calloway, John Chiles, Jesse Cole, Robert Doak, James Gillespie, William Mitchell, Rufus Morgan, Simeon Perry, Daniel Price, Jehu Stephens, James Tedford

BRIEF HISTORY:
Muster rolls show this regiment at Fort Strother in early November 1813 and at Fort Armstrong in late November of the same year. The regiment, in the brigade commanded by General James White, helped attack a tribe of Creek Indians known as the Hillabees on 18 November 1813 where sixty-eight Creeks were killed and about 250 taken prisoner. Unbeknownst to the Americans, the Hillabees had sued Jackson for peace the day before the attack. Actually, a detachment of Cherokees friendly to the United States did most of the fighting -- there were no American casualties.




COLONEL JOHN WILLIAMS

  • DESIGNATION: Mounted Volunteers of East Tennessee
  • DATES: December 1812 - March 1813
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Blount, Grainger, Knox, and Washington Counties
  • CAPTAINS: Samuel Bunch, David Vance, William Walker

BRIEF HISTORY:
While the volunteers under Andrew Jackson were gathering at Nashville for their expedition to the Natchez region, a similar gathering was taking place in Knoxville. Their destination was the territory of East Florida, under the domain of Spain, and the leader of the expedition was John Williams of Knox County.

Williams, along with approximately 250 volunteers, marched to East Florida to join with the combined forces of U.S. troops and Georgia "patriots" to "liberate" this region from Spanish control. Ostensibly, the expedition was raised to eliminate the threat of marauding Creeks and Seminoles on the borders of Georgia.

Like Jackson's Natchez Expedition, the men of the Florida Expedition were considered to be from the finest families of the region and, like the Natchez Expedition, the excursion into Florida accomplished little. Some Creek villages were destroyed and the Tennessee volunteers suffered only one casualty. John Williams later became colonel of the 39th U.S. Infantry, a unit instrumental in Jackson's victory at Horseshoe Bend (27 March 1814).




COLONEL THOMAS WILLIAMSON

  • DESIGNATION: 2nd Regiment West Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Gunmen
  • DATES: September 1814 - April 1815
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Bedford, Davidson, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, Wilson, Giles, and Smith Counties
  • CAPTAINS: Giles Burdett, James Cook, John Crane, John Doak, John Dobbins, John Hutchings, William Martin, Anthony Metcalf, Robert Moore, James Nealy, James Pace, Thomas Porter, Thomas Scurry, Robert Steele, Richard Tate, Beverly Williams

BRIEF HISTORY:
Along with Colonel Robert Dyer's unit, this regiment was part of General John Coffee's brigade that fought at Pensacola and New Orleans. Marching from Fayetteville to Camp Gaines (30 miles from Fort Montgomery), they helped Jackson take the port of Pensacola from the Spanish on 7 November 1814. Williamson's men then participated in all of the engagements at New Orleans, where they were part of the left line of Jackson's breastworks. In March 1815 they returned to Tennessee via the Natchez Trace.




MAJOR WILLIAM WOODFOLK

  • DESIGNATION: Separate Battalion of West Tennessee Militia
  • DATES: September 1814 - March/April 1815
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Jackson, Wilson, Overton, Stewart, and Williamson Counties
  • CAPTAINS: Abraham Dudney, William McCulley, James C. Neill, Abner Pearce, Ezekiel Bass, John Sutton, James Turner

BRIEF HISTORY:
This battalion was based at Fort Jackson most of the time from late November 1814 to early 1815. Some of the men were stationed at Fort Decatur, where the remnants of the defeated Creek Nation came to surrender, seeking food and supplies (surrendering Creeks also went to Fort Jackson). One company, under Captain Abner Pearce, was stationed at Fort Montgomery. Woodfolk was a wealthy land speculator who owned a large plantation in Jackson County. He served in the state legislature and was also a justice of the peace in Jackson County.




COLONEL JOHN K. WYNN

  • DESIGNATION: 1st Regiment West Tennessee Militia
  • DATES: October 1813 - January 1814
  • MEN MOSTLY FROM: Wilson, Jackson, Robertson, Bedford, Lincoln, Montgomery, Robertson, Sumner, and White Counties
  • CAPTAINS: Bailey Butler, Robert Braden, William Carothers, James Cole, James Holleman, William McCall, Bayless E. Prince, John Porter, John Spinks, William Wilson

BRIEF HISTORY:
Along with Colonel McCrory's regiment, this unit was part of the brigade commanded by General Isaac Roberts. Wynn's regiment totaled approximately 417 men. They participated in Jackson's first campaign into Creek territory where they fought at the Battle of Talladega (9 November 1813). At this battle the regiment sustained heavy casualties, especially in Captain John Porter's company, where the captain himself was among the wounded.

Colonel Wynn was a planter and politician from Wilson County who was serving as state senator at the time of the outbreak of the Creek War. His regiment was mustered in at Fayetteville in early October 1813 and mustered out in early January 1814.




MISCELLANEOUS UNITS
Although the bulk of Tennessee volunteers and militia units served in the regiments and battalions mentioned above, there were hundreds who enlisted in miscellaneous units of artillery and "spies" (companies that did the reconnaissance work and usually rode ahead of the main army). Some of the more prominent units include Lieutenant Jesse Bean's company of Mounted Spies (who fought at Horseshoe Bend and New Orleans); Captain David Deadrick's artillery company (who were noted by Jackson for their bravery at Enotochopco); and Captain William Russell's company of Spies who fought at practically every battle of the Creek War. For a complete listing of the various miscellaneous units, including several companies that patrolled the "frontier" of Stewart and Hickman Counties, consult the index to the muster rolls at the Tennessee State Library and Archives.

In addition to the state militia and volunteer units, many Tennesseans joined the U.S. Regular Army. In particular, the U.S. 39th Infantry was composed mostly of East Tennesseans. This regiment was key to Jackson's victory at Horseshoe Bend and elements of the regiment also participated in the attack on Pensacola in September 1814. The 24th U.S. Infantry recruited heavily in Tennessee (especially in Nashville) and this regiment participated in the campaigns of the Northwest. Also, the Kentucky-based 7th U.S. Infantry had enlistees from Tennessee.


Map of the Creek Campaign

 

Updated November 20, 2007

 

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