Solomon Fann, who is believed to be the son of John Fann, was born just prior to the Revolutionary War and hence was to young to join in with his brothers, Phillip and George, to help end tryanny in the colonies under Britsh rule. Not long after that as the country continued to grow and face new obstacles on the path to Manifest Destiny. The British once again pressed to bring the United States under their rule and Native American tribes did not let expansion come easy as more and more settlers migrated west looking for better opportunity for them and their families. In 1814, Solomon took up arms with other men of Greene County under the command of Colonel Samuel Bayless reporting to Major General William Carroll. Most of the men in Greene County were a part of Captain Joseph Hale's company.
Most think of the War of 1812 as a conflict with the British, but that was only a small part as the nation was pushing west and Native American tribes were not so happy to see thier new neighbors. The men of Tennessee, Georgia, and Mississippi were called upon to defend American interest throughout the territory. Also the Spanish were not the most trusted and the British used the panhandle in part of their efforts during the War of 1812.
This regiment, along with Colonel William Johnson's Third Regiment and Colonel Edwin Booth's Fifth Regiment, defended the lower section of the Mississippi Territory, particularly the vicinity of Mobile. They protected the region from possible Indian incursions and any British invasion. They manned the various forts that were located throughout the territory: Fort Strother, Fort Deposit, Fort Claiborne, Fort Decatur, and Fort Montgomery. Their enlistment started on November 13th, 1814 in Knoxvile to May 18th. 1815.
The Creek War
Tensions between the frontier settlers and the Creeks had been brewing since the Revolutionary Era. During the years preceding the Creek War, the Continental Congress received numerous reports on the status of Indian affairs in the South. The Creek nation identified settler greed as a major cause of the concern for their nation.
The war began on August 30, 1813, when a faction of Creeks known as the Red Sticks—because of their red war clubs—attacked American settlers at Fort Mims, near Lake Tensaw, Alabama, north of Mobile. This attack is considered a primary cause of the Creek War. In response, Jackson led a force of militiamen in the destruction of two Creek villages, Tallasahatchee and Talladega. On March 27, 1814, Jackson's forces destroyed the Creek defenses at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. More than 800 Creek warriors were killed defending their homeland.
Following the attack on Fort Mims and the ensuing escalation, the divided Creek towns faced an invasion of their country by military forces from Mississippi, Georgia, and Tennessee. The sprawling and open lay-out of Creek towns, however, made them difficult to defend or fortify.
On March 27, aided by Cherokee and Creek allies, Jackson's army routed the Red Sticks, killing nearly all of the estimated 800 warriors who had gathered behind an impressive barricade. From Horseshoe Bend, Jackson proceeded along the Tallapoosa River, burning towns and improvements in his path, until he reached the junction of the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers, where he built Fort Jackson, the site of the earlier French post, Fort Toulouse. In addition to dispatching scouting parties who attacked any Creeks they encountered, Americans also burned virtually every town in the Upper Creek Nation, nearly 50 in all.
Post Creek War
The death rate during the various Creek war battles was high, with estimates ranging from 1,500 to 3,000. Even after hostilities ceased the death toll continued to climb among the factions in the territory. Even though with the treay the United States needed to protect their interest with the building of new roads, new forts, and placing garrisons in those forts. The Creek were still a threat and some scattered to other ares for safety like Florida where they settled among the Seminoles.
With the Red Sticks subdued, Jackson turned his focus on the Gulf Coast region in the War of 1812. On his own initiative, he invaded Spanish Florida and drove a British force out of Pensacola. His next objective was New Orleans, but with concerns of the Creek and British forces in Florida, Jackson saw the need to provide more militia in the Mississippi Territory until the conflict with the British ended and the Creek were no longer seen as a threat. He defeated the British at the Battle of New Orleans on January 8, 1815 and the Treaty of Ghent, which was signed in December 1814, ended the conflict between the United States and Great Britain. But until word could spread to every British and American force, the war continued. On February 7th, 1815 the second battle of Fort Bowyer took place. Mobile was very important, especially to the British after Jackson defeated them in New Orleans the month prior.
4th East Tennessee Militia Regiment
Once Jackson decided to turn his attention to the British, he also determined he would need men to protect the Mississippi Territory and build roads to connect the forts in the area. Volunteers from Tennessee were among the men chosen to defend the Mississippi Territory.
Solomon Fann was a private in Captian Joseph Hale's company. The company was mustered in November 13th, 1814 in Knoxville, TN. In January 1815 the company was stationed at Fort Strother, Alabama..
After a few weeks at Fort Strother, Solomon along with others were detached with Ensign Jamison to Fort Deposit. At Fort Deposit there were ordered to cut a road through to the Black Warrior River. The weather made it very difficult at times and they had very little to eat.
|1852 Pension Claim|
In April Solomon was furloughed along with his brother-in-law Frederick Ricker due to disabilities contracted during their time in the service. They walked home together, a distance of over 160+ miles. Each one with a single blanket and nothing else for cover. They left in mid April returning home in June.
|1855 Pension Claim|
I have in my possession copies of the pension letters submitted in 1852 and 1855 by Solomon Fann. Along with letters for his pension in support from his wife Polly, his brother-in law Frederick Ricker also neighbor, commanding officer Capt Joseph Hale, fellow soldier Leonard Keller also neighbor, and Savannah Noells who was employed as a hired girl in the Fann house prior to him be drafted and after his return from service. If anyone would like a copy please let me know. I have all of them saved in PDF digital files.