"The Early Indian Wars with Henry County Connections"
Our pioneering settlers had to endure all kinds of obstacles in the new frontier which was our part of
Georgia. In 1818, General Andrew Jackson brought his troops to neighboring Jasper County and
spent two weeks fighting the Seminole Indians. Henry County hadn't been establish at this time. It
was still on the frontier. Our county was still part of the Creek Nation.
Some of the earliest pioneers to Henry County were from Wilkes County. Ezekiel Cloud was one of
these settlers and he gives an account which is included (see attachments) of an attack in Wilkes
County by Creek Indians that he was involved with in 1782.
During the Seminole uprising of 1836 which began in Florida, the Federal Government told the State
of Georgia to put together companies of men for battle. These soldiers were needed in response to
the massacre of a company of United States soldiers commanded by Captain Dade near Withloocha.
The Governor of Georgia called for volunteers to come forth as asked by the United States
Government. Also in 1836, several horrible murders were committed by the Western Creeks who
had joined with the Seminoles. These murders were committed on the Chattahoochee River. Many
companies of men were formed all over the state and Governor Schley personally led them to meet
the uprising. Henry County responded by sending groups of volunteers and those of the militia to
meet this emergency.
There is a connection to the Cherokee Indians here in Henry County. In 1828, after Andrew Jackson
was elected President the State of Georgia annexed the remainder of the land that was occupied by
the Cherokee Indians. By 1830, Congress passed an Act that was approved by President Jackson to
remove all Indians east of the Mississippi River. The Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Cherokee
had not yet been removed. The Cherokee lands of northern Georgia were in need of opening up for
settlement because gold had been discovered.
Henry County was originally Creek land and there had never been any hostile conflicts with the
Creeks and the settlers here in Henry. But our county does have a connection to the Cherokee
William C. Hardin was the son-n-law of Ezekiel Cloud. Mr. Hardin was born in 1798 and died in
1850. He had friends in the Cherokee Nation that he had made in the War of 1812. Mr. Hardin was
the first Clerk of the Superior Court of Henry County and he was also a diplomat for the United
States Government in dealing with the Cherokee between 1823 to 1838. He personally knew Chief
John Rogers. These Rogers were ancestors to comedian Will Rogers. Mr. Hardin brought some of
the Cherokee children to Henry County to be educated in McDonough. He also knew the editor of
the Cherokee paper.
William Hardin received a commission of Colonel as the enrolling Agent for the United States
Government in 1831. This was granted by Lewis Cass the Secretary of War under President
Jackson. To take this position Mr. Hardin resigned his Clerk of the Court job with Henry County.
He moved from McDonough to New Echota which was the Capitol of the Cherokee Nation. Mr.
Hardin helped to create the Treaty of Echota in 1835.
In May 1838, The United States Army gathered the 14,000 Cherokee's and their 1300 slaves into
camps. Then they marched to the west to Oklahoma in what was known as the "Trail of Tears."
The Hardin letters show how McDonough and Henry County were involved with Georgia and United
States history during the infancy of the county.
1. Library of Congress, Washington DC.
2. Georgia State Archives.
3. Mother of Counties, Mrs. Rainer, 1971.
4. Davy Crockett, Steward Holbrook, 1955.
5. A Study in American History, 1977.
"Tallapoosa Indian Site Survey 1979"
The 1818 Battle of Tallapoosa River, Alabama
The site is west of the Georgia State Line. I joined a group for a weekend at the site that was
being investigated by the University of Alabama.
At the site spear points, arrow points, and musket balls were found. We worked with screening
methods on the east side of the river. There were also discovered the remains of Creek Indian men
who were likely killed at the scene. The bones showed that these people had died a violent death.
The property owner stated that in the past years that many artifacts had been discovered through
farming in and around the site. He donated a musket barrel to the University of Alabama that he
had discovered some 30 years earlier along the river bank. This site will probably take years to
excavate but it is in good hands with the folks at the University of Alabama.