Fort Williams (Alabama)

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.[1][2]

Fort Williams
Fort Williams (Alabama) is located in Alabama
Fort Williams (Alabama)
Location of Fort Williams in Alabama
LocationTalladega County, Alabama
Coordinates33°08′25″N 86°27′54″W / 33.14028°N 86.46500°W / 33.14028; -86.46500Coordinates: 33°08′25″N 86°27′54″W / 33.14028°N 86.46500°W / 33.14028; -86.46500

During the Creek War, 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.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5] After the battle, Jackson returned to Fort Williams on April 2, then marched the forts provisions to Hickory Ground.[6] The soldiers who were killed at Horseshoe Bend were buried in a cemetery at Fort Williams.[7]

Fort Williams was used as a holding area for Creeks during the Trail of Tears as part of the Indian Removal.[8] An unknown number of Creeks died here due to scarce provisions and were buried in unmarked graves in the adjacent cemetery.[2]

The Jackson Trace, a military road, once connected Fort Strother and Fort Williams.[9]

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.[10]

The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Regiment of East Tennessee Militia and the 1st and 4th Regiment West Tennessee Militia were stationed at Fort Williams.[11]


  1. ^ Tom Kanon. "Regimental Histories of Tennessee Units During the War of 1812". Tennessee State Library and Archives. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
  2. ^ a b "Alabama Trails War 1812 index page". Retrieved 23 July 2020.
  3. ^ Braund, Kathryn E. Holland (2012). Tohopeka: Rethinking the Creek War & the War of 1812. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-8173-5711-5.
  4. ^ Harris, W. Stuart (1977). Dead Towns of Alabama. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press. p. 56. ISBN 0-8173-1125-4.
  5. ^ Braund 2012, p. 147.
  6. ^ Albert James Pickett (1851). History of Alabama: And Incidentally of Georgia and Mississippi, from the Earliest Period. Walker and James. p. 346.
  7. ^ "Fort Williams to Horseshoe Bend". Digital Alabama. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  8. ^ Kim Johnston (20 August 2013). Haunted Shelby County, Alabama. Arcadia Publishing Incorporated. p. 39. ISBN 978-1-61423-990-1.
  9. ^ Daughters of the American Revolution (1911). Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine. National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. p. 2.
  10. ^ Brannon, Michael (28 February 2017). "Historic Marker Series: Fort Williams". Sylacauga News. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  11. ^ Kanon, Tom. "Regimental Histories of Tennessee Units During the War of 1812". Tennessee State Library and Archives. State of Tennessee. Retrieved 9 August 2020.