Fighting Long Knife

August 9, 1814
Jackson Signed the Treaty of Fort Jackson

Do you recognize the man in the photograph? President Andrew Jackson is on the $20 bill, but the military knew him as Major General Jackson. The Native Americans called him Long Knife. Jackson earned his nickname and his reputation as a ruthless Indian fighter during the Creek War of 1814.

The war began in August 1813, when the Red Sticks, a group of the Creek Indians, attacked American settlers at Lake Tensaw, Alabama. Tensions between the frontier settlers and the Creeks had been brewing since the Revolutionary War era. It was the settlers’ greed that brought on the attack.

As they moved west, settlers took large amounts of land, often acquired by unfair means. After the attack at Lake Tensaw, Jackson led militiamen in the destruction of two Creek villages.

Seven months later, Jackson’s forces destroyed the Creek defenses at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. Eight hundred Creek warriors were killed and 500 women and children captured.

On August 9, 1814, Jackson signed the Treaty of Fort Jackson, bringing an end to the war. The Creeks lost 23 million acres of their land in present-day Alabama and Georgia to the United States.