Woodward on John Ward


From Woodward's Reminiscences of the Creek, or Muscogee Indians by Thomas S. Woodward of Louisiana, formerly of Alabama. 1859

I (Thomas J. Woodward) became acquainted with an Indian countryman by the name of John Ward; and the first time I ever visited the Creek agency, which was then on Flint river, was in company with Ward, an old uncle of mine and one Andrew McDougald. Col. was then holding a council with some chiefs from various parts of the nation. I met with Ward occasionally from that time until the war commenced. When Gen. Floyd moved his troops to Flint River, Ward was the interpreter for the officer that was in command at Fort Manning. He then came into Gen. Floyd's camp, and remained with the army until it reached the Chattahoochee, and commenced building Fort Mitchell.

He was often sent out with Nimrod Doyle as a spy. Christian Limbo, John Ward, Bob Walton and Nimrod Doyle saw Tecumseh at the Tallassee Square, opposite Tuckabatchy, and the reason why they were permitted to see him, was, that Walton and Doyle had known him in his younger days...

There was also an Indian countryman along by the name of Bob Moseley. Moseley's wife was the niece of Peter McQueen. Ward's wife was a relation of Daniel McDonald, more generally known to the whites as Daniel McGillivray, and both of their wives were then with the hostile Indians. Ward and Moseley seemed willing to risk any and everything to forward the movement of the army, in order to reach the neighborhood of their families. There was a detachment of soldiers sent out to Uchee creek, to throw up a breast-work. I was one of the party, and among the rest was a Baptist preacher by the name of Elisha Moseley, a very sensible and most excellent man at that, as grave as men ever get to be; for he could pray all night and fight all day, or pray all day and fight all night, just as it came to his turn to do either; and this preacher was a brother to Bob Moseley, the Indian countryman. While at this breast-work, one night, by a campfire, I listened to Elijah Moseley inquiring into his brother's motives for leaving a white family and making his home among a tribe of savages. Bob's reply was, as well as I now recollect, that there was no false swearing among Indians. The preacher then commenced making some enquiry into Ward's history. Ward informed him that his father had taken him into the Creek nation near where Oweatumka or Wetumpka now stands, when he (Ward) was a child, and shortly after died. He recollected very little of his father; that he had been raised by Daniel McDonald, or McGillivray, as he was commonly called; that he heard McDonald say that his father was a Georgian, and had left a wife and children in that State. Ward's history, as far as it went, soon became known in the camp. and some one in the camp, that had heard of Ward's father quitting his family and disappearing with one of his children, and knowing something of the Wards in Georgia, looked at John Ward and said, from the near resemblance of him and a Georgia Ward, they must be brothers.

The Georgia brother was written to, and in a few weeks, made his appearance in camp. In this time, the Indian Ward, from exposure, had fallen sick, and was very low. The Georgia brother came into camp one night, and the next morning John Ward was a corpse--though John was perfectly rational on the arrival of his brother and, before he died, knew who he was. They proved to be twin brothers. A very intimate acquaintance of your messed with me at the time, and Ward frequently messed with us. It was Capt. Arnold Seals, of Macon County, Ala. Ward died in one of the tents of Adams' riflemen, and Elijah Moseley was his nurse. The most feeling pulpit talk I ever heard dropped from the lips of Elijah Moseley, in a soldiers's tent, on the death of John Ward. John, though raised among Indians, spoke our language very well. He was enrolled among the Tuskegees. He was a floater, under the treaty, but by the permission of Col. Albert Nat. Collins, of Macon county, and myself, he located him a tract in the fork of Coosa and Tallapoosa. I think he sold to Col. George Taylor. The Indian countryman, John Ward, died in 1813. His remains rest on the hill just above old Fort Mitchell...

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