One athletic boy, after having seen his father, mother, four sisters, and four brothers tomahawked and scalped, pursued by the savages, with frantic energy succeeded in leaping the palisades. Several Indians gave chase. He rushed for the woods. They hotly pursued. He reached a sluggish stream, upon the shore of which, half-imbedded in sand and water, there was a mouldering log, which he chanced to know was hollow beneath. He had but just time to slip into this retreat, when the baffled Indians came up. They actually walked over the log in their unavailing search for him. Here he remained until night, when he stole from his hiding-place, aud in safety reached Fort Montgomery, which was distant about two miles from Fort Mimms.
The Soldier Life.
War with the Creeks.—Patriotism of Crockett.—Remonstrances of his Wife.—Enlistment.—The Rendezvous.—Adventure of the Scouts.—Friendlier Indians.—A March through the Forest.— Picturesque Scene.—The Midnight Alarm.—March by Moon-light.— Chagrin of Crockett.—Advance into Alabama.—War’s Desolations.— Indian Stoicism.—Anecdotes of Andrew Jackson.—Battles, Carnage, and Woe.
The awful massacre at Fort Mimms, by the Creek Indians, summoned, as with a trumpet peal, the whole region to war. David Crockett had listened eagerly to stories of Indian warfare in former years, and as he listened to the tales of midnight conflagration and slaughter, his naturally peaceful spirit had no yearnings for the renewal of such sanguinary scenes. Crockett was not a quarrelsome man. He was not fond of brawls and fighting. Nothing in his life had thus far occurred to test his courage. Though there was great excitement to be found in hunting, there was but little if any danger. The deer and all smaller game were harmless. And even the grizzly bear had but few terrors for a marksman who, with unerring aim, could strike him with the deadly bullet at the distance of many rods.
But the massacre at Fort Mimms roused a new spirit in David Crockett. He perceived at once, that unless the savages were speedily quelled, they would ravage the whole region; and that his family as well as that of every other pioneer must inevitably perish. It was manifest to him that every man was bound immediately to take arms for the general defence. In a few days a summons was issued for every able-bodied man in all that region to repair to Winchester, which, as we have said, was a small cluster of houses about ten miles from Crockett’s cabin.
When he informed his wife of his intention, her womanly heart was appalled at the thought of being left alone and unprotected in the vast wilderness. She was at a distance of hundreds of miles from all her connections. She had no neighbors near. Her children were too young to be of any service to her. If the dreadful Indians should attack them, she had no one to look to for protection. If anything should happen to him in battle so that he should not return, they must all perish of starvation. These obvious considerations she urged with many tears.