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The Battle of Ekanachatte, Florida
by Dale Cox
Copyright 2010 by Dale Cox
All Rights Reserved
Ekanachatte was located at today's Neal's
Landing Park on the Chattahoochee River.
One of the most significant incidents of the
First Seminole War took place on March 13,
1818, just 12 miles by road from downtown
Two Egg, Florida.

Ekanachatte ("Red Ground") was an noted
Lower Creek village that stood at the site of
Neal's Landing Park. The park, located off
State Highway 2 where it intersects with the
Chattahoochee River and the Georgia line,
occupies a location rich in local history. In
addition to the Indian village, it was also the
site of a British camp during the American
Revolution and later of a major steamboat
landing that operated in the 19th and 20th
centuries.

When the First Seminole War erupted in
1817, Ekanachatte was a prominent and
prosperous town. Led by the powerful chief
Econchattimico ("Red Ground King"), the
village had received a huge influx of refugees
who left their homes in central Alabama
fleeing the devastation of the
Creek War of
1813-1814. Most of these individuals were
fiercely anti-American, due to the losses they
had suffered at the hands of the American
armies that advanced through their nation.

As a result and also because Econchattimico
and his sub-chiefs feared the U.S. Armies
might turn south, Ekanachatte was among
the villages that formed an alliance with the
British when they arrived on the Apalachicola
River during the summer of 1814. The War of
1812 was then raging and the British were
preparing for new campaigns in the South.
They hoped that the thousands of Indian
allies they recruited could be used as an
irregular force to assist in subduing Georgia
and the Mississippi Territory.

The stunning American victory at the Battle of
New Orleans stalled these plans, however,
and the War of 1812 ended before the Indian
forces could take part in major fighting. The
British withdrew from the Apalachicola and
the Creeks and Seminoles were left on their
own.

In November of 1817, however, U.S. troops
from Fort Scott in today's Decatur County,
Georgia, attacked the Lower Creek village of
Fowltown. The attack was largely unprovoked
and led to a massive uprising by the chiefs
and warriors of the Creek and Seminole
villages scattered across North Florida,
Southwest Georgia and Southeast Alabama.

Econchattimico and his warriors joined the
war against the whites, taking part in the
Battle of Ocheesee on the Apalachicola River
on December 15-20, 1817.

A dramatic drop of temperatures took place
about that time, however, as one of the
coldest winters in recorded history settled on
the Two Egg area. The volcano Tambora in
Indonesia had erupted the previous year,
sending so much ash into the atmosphere
that it temporarily changed the climate of
much of the world. Snow was reported in
New England in July and across Florida that
winter, ice and snow were common. Running
streams froze over and humans and animals
alike suffered.

Knowing that the Indians were huddled
around fires in their villages, General Andrew
Jackson took advantage of the severe
weather to march an army south to the
frontier. Thousands of troops were called to
duty, among them 1,500 Creek Indians.

Led by Brigadier General William McIntosh,
the war chief of Coweta, these warriors had
sided with U.S. forces during the earlier
Creek War and agreed once again to fight
against their relatives and tribesmen.
Leaving Fort Mitchell, Alabama, in early March
of 1818, McIntosh and his warriors started
down the Chattahoochee. A sub-chief named
Major Lovett was sent with 600 of these to
scour the east bank of the river, while the
main force moved down the west side of the
Chattahoochee under McIntosh himself.
Their objective was Econchattimico and his
village near Two Egg.

Conditions during the march were horrible. A
heavy snow fell during early March of 1818
and the men had to break up ice in ponds
and creeks in order to wade across. Despite
such conditions, however, they continued
forward.

As he neared the Florida line, McIntosh left
the main trail to prevent Econchattimico's
scouts from detecting his approach. The plan
succeeded. As the Creek force neared
Ekanachatte on the night of March 12, 1818,
none of Econchattimico's warriors knew they
were coming.

Swinging around the head of Irwin's Mill
Creek and crossing into Florida, McIntosh
spread his warriors into battle formation and
attacked the village on the morning of March
13, 1818. The residents of Ekanachatte were
taken completely by surprise. What feeble
resistance they could offer was quickly
snuffed out and McIntosh's warriors rounded
up 53 captured men and 130 women and
children.

In the midst of the post-battle confusion, 20
of the captured warriors suddenly made a
break for freedom. They were shot down by
their captors.Econchattimico was not among
them. Prisoners told McIntosh that he had left
a day or two earlier with 30 warriors to round
up a herd of cattle that was hidden along the
upper Chipola River.

Leaving one group of men to gather supplies
and other booty, the general turned west on
the old Pensacola-St. Augustine Road (which
ran roughly parallel to today's State Highway
2)  with the rest of his force. They caught up
with the chief somewhere west of Malone
and captured the herd of cattle in a second
brief skirmish. Econchattimico and most of
his warriors, however, escaped.

Turning back to Ekanachatte, McIntosh had
the houses, corncribs, council house and
other structures of the village burned to the
ground. He then proceeded on to Fort Scott
with the surviving male prisoners, while the
women and children were sent to the Creek
villages up the Chattahoochee River.

No marker or monument points out the site
of Ekanachatte today, but the Chattahoochee
River still flows past the site just as it did
more than 190 years ago.