The Battle of Fowltown

The Battle of Fowltown (HM27EK)

Location: Bainbridge, GA 39819 Decatur County
Country: United States of America

N 30° 54.493', W 84° 34.757'

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—Creek Heritage Trail —

The Battle of Fowltown, fought just a few miles to the south of this spot, marked the beginning of the First Seminole War. Fowltown was a Seminole village led by Chief Neamathla which had been allied with the British during the War of 1812. It lay on land ceded to the United States by the defeated Creeks in the Treaty of Fort Jackson ending the Creek War. American officials demanded Fowltown's residents leave the area. Neamathla refused, asserting that his people had not participated in the Creek War and were not subject to the treaty. On November 21, 1817, General Edmund P. Gaines ordered Major David E. Twiggs, commander at nearby Fort Scott, to march on Fowltown with 250 men and capture Neamathla. A brief skirmish resulting in perhaps five Seminole casualties ensued, but Twiggs failed to capture the leader.

Gaines sent another, larger force to Fowltown under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Arbuckle's men found the town abandoned upon their arrival. As they entered the village, though, Neamathla and a few dozen warriors suddenly emerged from hiding in the nearby woods. A pitched fight raged for about twenty minutes before the outnumbered warriors were forced to retreat. Seminole losses are believed to have been about ten killed, while American forces suffered only one killed and perhaps three wounded.


week later, on November 30, 1817, a force of several hundred Creek and Seminole warriors in reprisal attacked a U.S. supply boat headed by Lt. Richard W. Scott. In what became known as the "Scott Massacre," nearly forty men and women were killed. Federal officials ordered General Andrew Jackson to the area in the aftermath.

Leaders in Battle
Neamathla, whose name meant "large" or "brave" warrior, was the headman of Fowltown. Courtesy of the State Archives of Florida
Major David E. Twiggs (top) and Lt. Col. Matthew Arbuckle (bottom) commanded the United States forces that engaged in the two attacks that comprised the Battle of Fowltown.

Image of Twiggs courtesy of the Library of Congress, Image of Arbuckle from Benjamin Lossing, Pictorial Fieldbook of the War of 1812

Bottom right: The Creek Land Cession of 1814, obtained by the United States through the Treaty of Fort Jackson.
Top right: Map showing important First Seminole War locations in relation to modern Decatur County
Bottom right: The mural depiction of the "Scott Massacre," which stands in Dothan, Alabama, portrays the capture of the lone female survivor of the attack, Elizabeth Stewart. According to reports, one of the soldiers on the boat picked up a small cannon and fired it at the Seminoles during the encounter.

HM NumberHM27EK
Year Placed2014
Placed ByHistoric Chattahoochee Commission, Georgia Department of Economic Development and Georgia Council for the Arts, Decatur County Commission, Decatur County Historical and Genealogical Society, Bainbridge State College and City of Bainbridge
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, May 6th, 2018 at 7:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16R E 731350 N 3421941
Decimal Degrees30.90821667, -84.57928333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 30° 54.493', W 84° 34.757'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds30° 54' 29.58" N, 84° 34' 45.42" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)229
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near W Jackson St, Bainbridge GA 39819, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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