Thursday, August 13, 2009
Battle of Shepherd's Plantation - Stewart County, Georgia
Just up the Highway 39 from Florence Marina State Park in Stewart County, Georgia, a weathered monument sits off the shoulder of the road pointing out the site of the Battle of Shepherd's Plantation. Fought on June 9, 1836, the engagement was one of the largest fights of the Creek War of 1836.
After the disastrous raid on Roanoke by Jim Henry and the Yuchi warriors, the United States went to war against the portion of the Creek Nation that had taken up arms. General Winfield Scott was assigned to the command of the effort and in his typical plodding style slowly implemented a plan to surround a large block of Creek country with regular and militia troops.
To achieve this, Forts McCreary (sometimes spelled McCrary) and Jones were established along the east side of the Chattahoochee River in Stewart County, Georgia. By June, a force of Georgia militia had also camped at Shepherd's Plantation, a large farm between these two forts. The slave cabins and other structures of the plantation were used to house soldiers.
Despite reports of Indian activity in the area, the militia soldiers were not particularly on their guard. What they did not know was that they were being closely watched by a large force of Creek warriors, probably led by Jim Henry of Roanoke notoriety.
The opportunity for an attack came on June 9, 1836, when the soldiers at Shepherd's Plantation divided into multiple groups. Some went to Fort McCreary (just north of present-day Omaha), some went out to scout and others broke off to wash clothes.
Firing off their weapons to create the ruse of a battle in progress, the Creeks lured Captain Hamilton Garmany and his men into coming out of their quarters at the plantation to a nearby swamp to investigate. They walked right into a trap.
To learn more about at the Battle of Shepherd's Plantation and to see additional photos of the site, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/GAShepherds.