In 1811, a portion of the Creek Indians who inhabited a vast area across the American Southeast interpreted a tremor as an omen that they had to return to their traditional way of life. What was an internal Indian dispute soon became engulfed in the War of 1812. At immediate stake was whether the Creeks and their British and Spanish allies or the young United States would control millions of acres of highly fertile land. The conflict's larger issue was whether the Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw would be able to remain in their ancestral homes. Beginning with conquistador Ferdinand DeSoto's fateful encounter with Indians of the southeast in the 1500s, A Paradise of Blood: The Creek War of 1813-14 by Howard T. Weir, III, narrates the complete story of the cultural clash for this landscape of stunning beauty. Using contemporary letters, military reports, and other primary sources, the author places the Creek War in the context of Tecumseh's fight for Native American independence and the ongoing war between the United States and European powers for control of North America.The Creek War was marked by savagery, such as the murder of hundreds of settlers at Fort Mims, Alabama, and fierce battles, including Horseshoe Bend, that marked the end to the war.
Many notable personalities fought during the conflict, including Andrew Jackson, Sam Houston, William Weatherford, and Davy Crockett. When the war was over, more than twenty million acres had been added to the United States, thousands of Indians were dead or homeless, and Jackson was on his way to the presidency. The war eliminated the last effective Native American resistance to westward expansion east of the Mississippi, and by giving the United States land that was ideal for large-scale cotton planting, it laid the foundation for the Civil War a generation later. A Paradise of Blood is a comprehensive and masterful history of one of America's most important and influential early wars.