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On Measures to Deal with Creeks

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionGeorgia Department of Archives and History: Georgia Military Affairs, 1775. view image
Document Information
Date May 30, 1793
Author Name Henry Knox (primary) Location: War Department
Recipient Name Governor Edward Telfair (primary)
Summary Advised avoiding expeditions to Creek Country. Increased forces for defense authorized by President. Detailed knowledge of Indian interactions on frontier, how to engage them, and creation of fortifications. Includes schedule of pay.
Document Format Copy of Signed Document
Document Notes Original second page missing.
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Edward Telfair; Governor of Georgia; Henry Knox; President; foreign powers; Northern Indians; Indians; Creek; Infantry; foot militia; cavalry; officers; Continental troops; drum; fife; Major General Habersham; Major Forsyth; scouts; spies; frontier citizens; magistrate; Major Commandant of Artillery; Major of Dragoons; paymaster; quartermaster; adjutant; majors of Infantry; captains; lieutenants; ensigns; cornets; surgeons; mates; sergeant majors; quartermaster sergeants; senior musicians; sergeants; corporals; privates; musicians; artificers; light dragoons; artillery; ;
Related Places War Department; frontier; Georgia; post; block house; Savannah; Creek country; Augusta; Kentucky; ;
Keywords policy; pending treaty; expeditions; depredations; defensive purposes; pay; Schedule No. 2; schedule; stand of arms; arms and accoutrements; powder; lead; flints; invasion; Constitution; unnecessary expense; block houses; imperfect security; Indian warfare; settlements; give alarm; mustered; pay; paid; map; Schedule No. 1; monthly pay; rations; forage; horses; ;
Key Phrases [not available]

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Copy of a Letter from the Secretary of War, to His Excellency the Governor of Georgia, dated War department 30th May 1793.
The duplicates of your two letters dated at Savannah on the 22d, and 29 Ultimo, were received on the 28th instant, and submitted to the President of the United State, who, after having seriously considered their contents, has directed me to make the following reply to your Excellency.
That from considerations of policy at this critical period relative to foreign powers, and the pending treaty with the Northern Indians, it is deemed adviseable to avoid for the present, offensive expeditions into the Creek country.
But from the circumstances of the late depredations on the frontiers of Georgia, it is thought expedient to increase the force in that quarter for defensive purposes.
The President therefore authorizes your Excellency to call into, and keep in service, in addition
them for as long a time as possible.
The authority for the above purpose is specially vested by law in the President of the United States. But the Infantry, or foot militia must be called into service; according to the general course of the Militia law, to which you will please to advert the pay of the Infantry will be the same as the troops of the United States agreeably to the Schedule No. 2.
I will however by important that proper endeavours be used to engage them for as long a period as the Cavalry. The Commissioned, and non-commissioned Officers for the Infantry to be the same as for the Continental troops: to wit one Captain, one Lieutenant, one Ensign, six Serjeants, six Corporals, one Drum, one Fife and eighty six privates.
An additional thousand stand of arms, and accoutrements, fifty barrels of powder, and a proportional quantity of lead and flints, will be forwarded to Major Habersham with all expedition, to be by him forwarded to Augusta, to the care of Major Forsyth under the provisions of the former quantity.
As it does not yet appear that the whole force of the Creek Nation is disposed for, or engaged in hostility
hostility, it is considered that the above force will be sufficient for the object designated.
As is is to be apprehended that the objects of the western frontiers may (notwithstanding the treaty require the energy of all the regular troops in that quarter, and also of the recruits, who are marching that way, it has been considered that no part of them could be sent to Georgia in the present instance. But if the Treaty should be successful, or if the Troops should be victorious it may be otherwise in future.
The case of a serious invasion of Georgia by large bodies of Indians, must be referred to the provisions of the Constitution.
But the proceeding with efficacy in future (the necessity of which appears but too probably) requires absolutely that no unnecessary expence shall be incurred in the mean time.
It has been heretofore considered that Block houses afford but a very imperfect security to a frontier, and nothing has occurred lately to induce a contrary impression and they serve to cover little more than
than the persons who are actually within them. The garrisons are necessarily too small too afford any considerable party to sally out, and the experience of Indian warfare evinces that the Savages soon learn the force within, and either despise or avoid it. It has been found by practice in Kentucky, and along the whole Western frontiers that a few Scouts or Spies who are formed of the hardiest and best hunters, and who shall be advanced a few miles of the settlements transversing incessantly at right angles, the paths most used by the Indians are better calculated to give the alarm to the settlers, and secure them from danger, than any other species of troops whatever. And in order that nothing on the part of the government should be wanting to induce the best frontier citizens to undertake this service, the high rate of five sixths of a dollar per day has been allowed to each scout. Two Men or Scouts, will cover an extent of ten or twelve miles - they are to be mustered upon oath at the time of their entering and leaving the service...this is essential in
in order to prevent abuse.
Indeed it is indispensible that all troops who are to be paid by the general government should be mustered in the same manner by some respectable Magistrate, or high Officer of the Militia.
If your Excellency should have any Map which may be depended upon, of the Creek country, a copy of it will be of service.
I have the honor to be yo.
Copy of Schedule No. 1.
Monthly pay of the commissioned non-commissioned Officer and privates in the service of the United States, vizt.
Lieutenant Colonel Commandant - Seventy five dols.
Major Commandant of Artillery and Major of Dragoons { Fifty five dollars
Pay Master in addition to his pay in the line { Ten dollars
Quarter Master
Quarter Master, in addition to his pay in the line ... Eight dollars.
Adjutant, in addition to his pay in the line ... Ten dollars.
Majors of Infantry ... Fifty dollars.
Captains ... Forty dollars.
Lieutenants ... Twenty six dolls.
Ensigns and Cornets ... Twenty dollars.
Surgeons ... Forty five dollars.
Serjeant Majors and Qr.Mr. Serjeants. Seven dollars.
Senior Musicians ... Six dollars.
Serjeants ... Six dollars.
Corporals ... Five dollars.
Privates ... Three dollars.
Musicians ... Four dollars.
Artificers, allowed to Infantry, light Dragoons and Artillery, and included as Privates { Eight dollars.
No. 2
And be it further enacted, That the President be, and he bereby is authorized, from time to time to call into service, and for such periods as he may deem requisite.
requisite, such number of Cavalry as in his judgement, may be necessary for the protection of the frontiers, Provided that the non-commissioned Officers, shall not be allowed more than one dollar per day, nor the privates more than seventy five cents per day, each person finding his horse, arms and accoutrements, and at his own risque, and twenty five cents per day in lieu of rations and forage, Provided he furnish himself therewith.
And be it further enacted That the President alone, be and he hereby is authorized to appoint for the Cavalry so to be engaged the proper commissioned Officers, who shall not exceed in number and rank, the proportions assigned to the said three Regiments, and whose pay and other allowances, shall not, exclusively of fifty cents per day for the use and risque of their houses, exceed those of Officers of corresponding rank in the said Regiments.
The above is an extract from an Act intitled, "An Act for making father and more effectual provision for the protection of the frontiers of the United States" passed the fifth day of March 1792.