Henry Shepard letter to F. Walker
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Henry Shepard letter to F. Walker

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Shepard, Henry.
Title: Henry Shepard letter to F. Walker
Dates: 1824
Extent: 0.05 cubic feet (1 folder)
Identification: MS 1751

Biographical/Historical Note

Henry Shepard, was a Lieutenant under Captain Daniel Childs in the Georgia militia from Wilkinson County. After the Chehaw Expedition of 1818 was carried out, Shepard learned that General Glaperek(?) gave the orders for Major Alston not to pay the soldiers who marched under the orders of Captain Wright, but to pay those who remained behind at Fort Dean during the expedition.

The Chehaw Expedition refers to the event on April 23, 1818 when Captain Wright ordered the Georgia militia under his command to attack a Chehaw town, also called Au-muc-cul-le, in Southwest, Georgia, resulting in the slaughter of the villagers. The Chehaw town was located in Lee County, Georgia on the Flint River. The town, comprised of Creek Indians, was governed by their local chief, referred to as "Major Howard" by the whites. The occupants of this town were friendly to General Andrew Jackson during the First Seminole War, 1817-1819.

In late January of 1818, the Governor of Georgia, William Rabun (1771-1819), made a requisition to place the lower counties militias under the control of Captain Daniel Childs of Wilkinson County and Captain Elijah Deans of Laurens County at the Big Bend of the Ocmulgee (river) at Fort Dean in Hartford, Georgia, for the purpose of guarding supplies and military stores.

On the 18th of April, Captain Wright came into command of militias and obtained orders from Governor Rabun to destroy Chehaw towns under the control of the Chiefs Hopaunee (Oponee) and Phelemmee (Philemma) due to accounts of hostilities towards the locals. The expedition was outfitted with the infantry militia under Captains Childs and Deans, a mounted company under the command of Captains Robinson and Rogers and two detachments under Lieutenants Cooper and Jones. A third of the companies were left to guard the fort, while the rest were ordered to march on a "secret expedition".

General Andrew Jackson later wrote to Governor Rabun condemning the incident. Captain Wright avoided prosecution by the state and fled before the federal inquiry could be arranged.


Smith, Gordon Burns. History of the Georgia Militia, 1783-1861. (Milledgeville, Ga.: Boyd Publishing, 2000)

White, George. Historical Collections of Georgia. (Danielsville, Ga.: Heritage Papers, 1968)

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of one letter from Lieutenant Henry Shepard to Hon. F. Walker, Esq. of the War Office in Washington, D.C, from Sandersville, Georgia on March 17, 1824. Shepard requests advice on the injustice of the government in not paying the soldiers that marched with Captain Obed Wright on the Chehaw Expedition in Lee County, Georgia in April 1818. He further explains that the refusal by any of these soldiers to disobey orders from a superior officer would have been considered mutiny.

Index Terms

Chehaw Town (Ga.)
Creek Indians--History--19th century.
Georgia--Militia--History--19th century.
Indians of North America--Georgia.
Lee County (Ga.)
Letters (correspondence)
Shepard, Henry.
Walker, F.
Wright, Obed.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Material was acquired from the New Hampshire Historical Society.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], Henry Shepard letter to F. Walker, MS 1751, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of the New Hampshire Historical Society, 2007.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List



1Henry Shepard letter to F. Walker, 1824