Econochaca, battle at.
Marching from Fort Deposit
, in Butler county, Ala.
(December, 1813), General Claiborne
, pushing through the wilderness nearly 30 miles with horse and foot and friendly Choctaw Indians
, arrived near Econochaca, or Holy Ground, a village built by Weathersford
upon a bluff on the left bank of the Alabama
, just below Powell's Ferry, Lowndes
co., in an obscure place, as a “city of refuge” for the wounded and dispersed in battle, fugitives from their homes, and women and children.
No path or trail led to it. It had been dedicated to this humane purpose by Tecumseh
and the Prophet a few months before, and the Cherokees had been assured by them that, like Auttose, no white man could tread upon the ground and live.
There the Indian
priests performed their incantations, and in the square in the centre of the town the most dreadful cruelties had already been perpetrated.
prisoners and Creeks friendly to them had been there tortured and roasted.
On the morning of Dec. 23 Claiborne
appeared before the town.
At that moment a number of friendly half-bloods of both sexes were in the square, surrounded by pine-wood, ready to be lighted to consume them, and the prophets were busy in their mummery.
The troops advanced in three columns.
The town was almost surrounded by swamps and deep ravines, and the Indians, regarding the place as holy, and having property there of great value, though partially surprised, prepared to fight desperately.
They had conveyed their women and children to a place of safety deep in the forest.
By a simultaneous movement, Claiborne
's three columns closed upon the town at the same moment.
So unexpected was the attack that the dismayed Indians
broke and fled before the whole of the troops could get into action.
fled in droves along the bank of the river, and by swimming and the use of canoes they escaped to the other side and joined their families in the forest.
, when he found himself deserted by his warriors, fled swiftly on a horse to a bluff on the river between two ravines, hotly pursued, when his horse made a mighty bound from it, and the horse and rider disappeared under the water for a moment, when both arose, Weathersford
grasping the mane of his charger with one hand and his rifle with the other.
He escaped in safety.
Econochaca was plundered by the Choctaws and laid in ashes.
Fully 200 houses were destroyed, and thirty Indians killed.
lost one killed and six wounded.