Southern Anthology

Families on the Frontiers of the Old South

Will Milfort

Male Abt 1790 - 1813  (~ 23 years)

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  • Name Will Milfort 
    Born Abt 1790  Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Military Oct 1811  Tuckabatchee, Upper Creek Nation (Alabama) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • "The day after the council met, Tecumseh, with a suite of twenty-four warriors, marched into the centre of the square, and stood still and erect as so many statues. They were dressed in tanned buckskin huntingshirt and leggins, fitting closely, so as to exhibit their muscular development, and they wore a profusion of silver ornaments; their faces were painted red and black. Each warrior carried a rifle, tomahawk, and war-club. They were the most athletic body of men I ever saw. The famous Jim Bluejacket was among them. Tecumseh was about six feet high, well put together, not so stout as some of his followers, but of an austere countenance and imperial mien. He was in the prime of life. The Shawnees made no salutation, but stood facing the council-house, not looking to the right or the left. Throughout the assembly there was a dead silence. At length the Big Warrior, a noted chief of the Creeks and a man of colossal proportions, slowly approached, and handed his pipe to Tecumseh. It was passed in succession to each of his warriors; and then the Big Warrior- not a word being spoken- pointed to a large cabin, a few hundred yards from the square, which had previously been furnished with skins and provisions. Tecumseh and his band, in single file, marched to it. At night they danced, in the style peculiar to the northern tribes, in front of this cabin, and the Creeks crowded around, but no salutations were exchanged. Every morning the chief sent an interpreter to the council-house to announce that he would appear and deliver his talk, but before the council broke up another message came that "the sun had traveled too far, and he would talk next day." At length Colonel Hawkins became impatient, and ordered his horses to be packed. I told him the Shawnees intended mischief; that I noted much irritation and excitement among the Creeks, and he would do well to remain. He derided my notions, declared that the Creeks were entirely under his control and could not be seduced, that Tecumseh's visit was merely one of show and ceremony, and he laughingly added, 'Sam, you are getting womanly and cowardly.' I warned him that there was danger ahead, and that, with his permission, as I had a depot of goods in the nation, I would watch them a while longer. We then packed up and publicly left the ground, and rode twelve miles to the Big Spring, where Colonel Hawkins agreed to halt for a day or two, and I returned at night to the vicinity of the council ground, where I fell in with young Bill Milfort, a handsome half-blood, nearly white, whom I had once nursed through a dangerous illness. Bill-alas! that he should have been doomed to perish by my hand- was strongly attached to me, and agreed to apprise me when Tecumseh was ready to deliver his talk. Next day, precisely at twelve, Bill summoned me. I saw the Shawnees issue from their lodge; they were painted black, and entirely naked except the flap about their loins. Every weapon but the war-club-then first introduced among the Creeks-had been laid aside. An angryscowl sat on all their visages: they looked like a procession of devils. Tecumseh led, the warriors followed, one in the footsteps of the other. The Creeks, in dense masses, stood on each side of the path, but the Shawnees noticed no one; they marched to the pole in the centre of the square, and then turned to the left."
    Died Nov 1813  Monroe County, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    • "A day or so after, one of my scouts brought news of eighty or a hundred Indians camped on the east side of the Alabama, near what is now called Dale's Ferry. I took sixty men, intending to bury Jack Evans, and, if practicable, attack the enemy. Crossing the river in two canoes, which I had previously concealed, we spent the night in the canebrake. At daylight I manned each canoe with five picked men, and directed them to move cautiously up the river, while the rest of us followed the trail which ran along the bank. I considered that the canoes would be useful if we had to retreat or cross the river, or to carry our wounded. When we reached Bailey's, whose cabins were on the east, and his corn-crib and field on the westbank, we discovered two Indian canoes, laden with corn, paddling up stream. I ordered Jerry Austill to lay his canoes under the bluff and conceal his men from the Indians until I could get ahead of them. Unfortunately, the path left the river bank on account of swamp and cane-brakes, and so continued two and a half miles before it again approached the river. The Indians had, doubtless, perceived my canoes from the first, and I now saw them moving rapidly up, still far above us. We pushed on at a lively rate, George Foster and myself being a hundred yards in advance of the others. At an abrupt turn of the path we suddenly encountered five warriors. The file-leader leveled his rifle, but, before he could pull trigger, I shot him down. Foster shot the next, and the rest broke into the cane-brake. The leader of the party was Will Milfort, three quarters white, tall, handsome, intelligent, and prepossessing, and a strong attachment existed between us. He camped with me at the great council of Took-a-batcha, and privately informed me when Tecumseh was about to speak. By the influence of Weatherford he joined the hostiles, and was on his first war-path when he met his fate. We recognized each other in a moment; there was a mutual exclamation of surprise- a pang of regret, perhaps- but no time for parley. I dropped a tear over his body, and often bewail the destiny that doomed him to fall by the hand of his best friend. Such are the dreadful necessities of war. Some time after I sought and interred his fleshless bones; they now moulder on the banks of the river he loved so well; and often since, in my solitary bivouac, in the dead of night, have I fancied that I heard his wailing voice in the tops of the aged pines. Even now my heart bleeds for poor Will."
    Person ID I6024  Dickinson
    Last Modified 5 Feb 2013 

    Father Louis le Clerc Milfort,   b. 02 Feb 1754, Thin-le-Moutier, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1814, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 59 years) 
    Mother Jeanette McGillivray,   b. Abt 1748, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1799, Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 51 years) 
    Married Abt 1777  Little Tallasee Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Married Abt 1784  Alabama Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Family ID F1604  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsDied - Nov 1813 - Monroe County, Alabama Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S336311] The McGillivray and McIntosh Traders on the Old Southwest Frontier 1716-1815, Amos J. Wright, Jr., (Montgomery, Alabama: NewSouth Books, 2001), 235.

    2. [S336433] Life and times of Gen. Sam Dale: the Mississippi partisan, J F H Claiborne , (New York, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1860), 114-115.

    3. [S336311] The McGillivray and McIntosh Traders on the Old Southwest Frontier 1716-1815, Amos J. Wright, Jr., (Montgomery, Alabama: NewSouth Books, 2001), 212.

    4. [S336345] A Conquering Spirit: Fort Mims and the Redstick War of 1813-1814, Gregory A. Waselkov, (Tuscaloosa, Alabama: University of Alabama Press, 2006), 37.