Fort Mims was a small pioneer settlement developed in the early 19th century. At its height it was home to around 550 people from various backgrounds. Strained relations with local Creek tribes in the south lead to the Creek in 1813. During the conflict Fort Mims was over run by the "Red Stick" faction of Creek who proceeded to massacre the inhabitants of the fort. The remains of Fort Mims are located at the Fort MIms State Historic Site
Fort Mims was founded by Samuel Mims on one of the high banks of Tensaw lake. The settlement would eventually grow in size being made up of 17 structures, a blockhouse and a palisade for protection. Of the 550 settlers that would call the fort home not all were of European decent. Many Indians who decided to live at Fort Mims were traders or were simply looking for a safe place to live. In fact marriages between settlers and Indians happened regularly and many of the Forts inhabitants were bi-racial.
Fort Mims is most well know for the massacre that took place there August 30th,1813. Which saw most of the forts inhabitants killed with the exception of the African slaves which were taken by Red Sticks to work for them. At the outbreak of the Creek war in 1813 a number of forts across the southern frontier were reinforced with a few dozen militiamen, the rest were simply volunteers from the settlements themselves. The forces at Fort Mims were placed under the command of a lawyer named Daniel Beasley and Dixon Bailey. Beasley had no military experience and not fearing an attack he only constructed moderate defenses for the fort. On August 13th fifty of Beasley's men were sent to reinforce along the Mobile River. Seeing the fort in a weakened condition the leaders of the Red Stick faction, Williams Weatherford (Red Eagle) and Peter Macqueen, gathered anywhere from 750 to 1000 warriors to attack the fort. The two men were also looking to retaliate for ambushed know as the Battle of Burt Corn which took place one month prior and was lead by Dixon Bailey.
On The day of the attack east gate of the fort was stuck open by a mound of sand that was formed by the wind. This presented an opening for the Creek to flood in and take the fort. Their initial charge was bloody and from holes in the palisade the Americans were able to freely fire on the Creek. But once the Red Sticks were able to push through the gate the Americans lost their advantage and fell back to their fortified buildings. Once in the town many of the creek were exhausted and feared taking more casualties. So a meeting was held during a break in the fighting. It was decided that the fort would be destroyed and the remaining settlers were to be killed. The buildings in the fort were razed, those who didn't die in the fire tried to escape through the north gate. Although many were cut down some did manage to escape. They included two women a child and 33 men including Bailey who later died of his wounds.