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Fort Williams (Alabama) facts for kids

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Fort Williams
Fayetteville, Alabama in United States
Coordinates 33°08′25″N 86°27′54″W / 33.14028°N 86.46500°W / 33.14028; -86.46500
Type Stockade fort
Site information
Owner Private
Controlled by Private
Open to
the public
No
Condition Inundated by Lay Lake
Site history
Built 1814
Built by United States Army
In use 1814-1832
Battles/wars Creek War

Fort Williams was a supply depot built in early 1814 in preparation for the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. It was located in Alabama on the southeast shore where Cedar Creek met the Coosa River, near Talladega Springs.

History

Creek War

During the Creek War (part of the larger War of 1812), General Andrew Jackson dispatched Colonel John Williams and the 39th Infantry Regiment from Fort Strother. The supplies were originally transported down the Coosa River from Fort Armstrong. The regiment brought supplies to the area where Fort Williams would be built and were met there by Jackson. A fort was erected at this site on March 22, 1814 and named for Colonel Williams. The majority of Jackson's forces were garrisoned at Fort Williams prior to the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, and blazed a 52-mile trail from the fort to the battle site. After the battle, Jackson returned to Fort Williams on April 2, then marched the forts provisions to Hickory Ground. The soldiers who were killed at Horseshoe Bend were buried in a cemetery at Fort Williams. After William Weatherford surrendered to Jackson at Fort Jackson, Major General Thomas Pinckney took command of the forces at Fort Jackson. He then commanded Jackson to return to Fort Williams and search for any hostile Creeks in the Cahaba River Valley.

The Jackson Trace, a military road, once connected Fort Strother and Fort Williams.

Postwar

Fort Williams was used as a holding area for Creeks during the Trail of Tears as part of the Indian Removal. An unknown number of Creeks died here due to scarce provisions and were buried in unmarked graves in the adjacent cemetery.

Present

The original site was submerged under Lay Lake with the 1914 construction of the Lay Dam 14 miles downstream. The headstones from the military cemetery were relocated from their original site in 2006 due to the development of a neighborhood.

Units

The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Regiment of East Tennessee Militia and the 1st and 4th Regiment West Tennessee Militia were stationed at Fort Williams.

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