No wonder ………. “The Big One” happens here.
Check this story somebody put in the ESPN NASCAR forum……No wonder the place is so crazy.
THE CURSE OF TALLADEGA
They say that the track at Talladega is on a Native American burial ground. There is a historical account that bears witness to that and it was written by none other than that famous American Patriot, David Crockett, congressman from Tennessee, late of the Alamo. If you thought a bad day at Talladega had something to do with a couple o'dozen wrecked race cars, this little piece of local history could change the way you look at things.
In his autobiography, he gave an account of his actions in militia service as a scout and hunter in the "Creek War of 1813-1814". That military action, a part of the "War of 1812", was commanded by General Andrew Jackson, "Old Hickory". This part of Davy's narrative took place in what we now call the southeastern states of Alabama, Georgia and Florida, and happened shortly before the more famous "Battle of New Orleans" that occurred after the end of the War of 1812.
Jackson's army consisted of a militia of "thirteen hundred mounted volunteers" and drafted militia of an unstated number. Old Hickory's objective was to gain revenge for "a most bloody butchery at Ft. Mimms" that took place on August 30th, 1813. In today's politspeak, the purpose would have been "to bring terrorists to justice". Davy didn't say how many were killed at Ft. Mimms, only that all the inhabitants were killed and scalped. He also didn't say what made the Creek angry in the first place. Maybe one of them had a premonition of a tech. inspection. Actually, the British, who were still in denial and more than a little chapped about the sorry outcome of their previous police action in the colonies that began on the 4th of July in 1776, were arming and inciting "the Indians" against "the rebel colonials" on all fronts and these battles Davey described were a part of the over-all war against England.
Anyway, during Old Hickory's crusade to commit genocide upon the Creek nation (or bring the terrorists to justice, as we say nowadays), a couple of the battles Davy took a part in occurred in the neighborhood of Talladega and probably are the source of local lore about cursed ground. One, "generally called the battle of Tallushatchee"(sic) and the other "the famous battle of Talladega, fought under Jackson's immediate command, Dec. 7, 1813."
First, the battle of Tallushatchee, as written in Davy's words.
"When we got near the town we divided; one of our pilots going with each division. And so we passed on each side of the town, keeping near to it, until our lines met on the far side. We then closed up on each end so as to surround it completely; and then we sent Captain Hammond's company of rangers to bring on the affray. He had advanced near the town, when the Indians saw him, and they raised the yell, and came running at him like so many red devils. The main army was now formed in a square around the town, and they pursued Hammond till they came in reach of us. We then gave them a fire, and they returned it, and then ran back into their town.
We began to close on the town by making our files closed and closer, and the Indians soon saw they were our property. So most of them wanted us to take them prisoners; and their squaws and all would run and take hold of any of us they could, and give themselves up.
I saw seven squaws have hold of one man, which made me think of the Scriptures. So I hollered out that the Scriptures was fulfilling; that there was seven women holding to one man's coat tail. But I believe it was a hunting shirt all the time.
We took them all prisoners that came out to us in this way; but I saw some warriors run into a house until I counted fourty six of them. We pursued them until we got near the house, when we saw a squaw sitting in the door, and she placed her feet against the bow she had in her hand, and then took an arrow, and, raising her feet, she drew with all her might, and let fly at us, and she killed a man, whose name, I believe was Moore. He was a lieutenant and his death so enraged us all, that she was fired on, and had at least twenty balls blown through her. This was the first man I ever saw killed with a bow and arrow.
We now shot them like dogs; and then set the house on fire, and burned it up with the fourty six warriors in it.
I recollect seeing a boy who was shot down near the house. His arm and thigh was broken, and he was so near the burning house that the grease was stewing out of him. In this situation he was still trying to crawl along; but not a murmur escaped him, though he was only about twelve years old. So sullen is the Indian, when his dander is up, that he would sooner die than make a noise, or ask for quarters."
"The number that we took prisoners, being added to the number we killed, amounted to one hundred and eighty-six; though I don't remember the exact number of either. We had five of our men killed.
We then returned to our camp, at which our fort was erected, and known by the name of Fort Strother. No provisions had yet reached us, and we had now been for several days on half rations. However, we went back to our Indian town on the next day, when many of the carcasses of the Indians were still to be seen. They looked very awful, for the burning had not entirely consumed them, but given them a terrible appearance, at least what remained of them.
It was, somehow or other, found out that the house had a potato cellar under it, and an immediate examination was made, for we were all as hungry as wolves. We found a fine chance of potatoes in it, and hunger compelled us to eat them, though I had a little rather not, if I could have helped it, for the oil of the Indians we had burned up on the day before, had run down on them, and they looked like they had been stewed with fat meat. We again returned to the army, and remained there for several days, almost starving, as all our beef was gone. We commenced eating the beef hides, and continued to eat every scrap we could lay our hands on.
At length an Indian came to our guard one night, and hollered, and said he wanted to see "Captain Jackson." He was conducted to the general's markee, into which he entered, and in a few minutes we recieved orders to prepare for marching."
Now, "the famous battle of Talladega, fought under Jackson's immediate command, Dec. 7, 1813."
"In an hour we were all ready, and took up the line of march. We crossed the Coosa River, and went on in the direction of Fort Talladega.
When we arrived near the place, we met eleven hundered painted warriors, the very choice of the Creek nation.
They encamped near the fort, and had informed the friendly Indians who were in it, that if they didn't come out, and fight with them against the whites, they would take their fort and all their ammunition and provision. The friendly party asked three days to consider of it, and agreed that, if on the third day they didn't come out ready to fight with them, they might take their fort. Thus they put them off. Then they immediately started their runner to General Jackson, and he and the army pushed over, as I have just before stated."
"The camp of warriors had their spies out and discovered us coming some time before we got to the fort. They then went to the friendly Indians, and told them Captain Jackson was coming, and had a great many fine horses, and blankets, and guns and everything else, and if they would come out and help to whip him and to take his plunder, it should all be divided with those in the fort. They promised that when Jackson came they would then come out and help whip him.
It was about an hour by the sun in the morning when we got near the fort. We were piloted by friendly Indians and divided as we had done on a former occasion, so as to go to the right and left of the fort, and consequently, of the warriors who were camped near it. Our lines marched on as before, till they met in front, and then closed in the rear, forming again into a hollow square.
We then sent old Major Russel with his spy company, to bring on the battle; Captain Evan's company went also. When they got near the fort, the top of it was lined with friendly Indians, crying out as loud as they could roar, "How-dy-do, brother, how-dy-do?" They kept up till Major Russel had passed by the fort and was moving on towards the warriors.
They were all painted red as scarlett, and were just as naked as they were born. They had concealed themselves under the bank of a branch that ran partly around the fort, in the manner of a half moon. Russel was going right into their circle, for he couldn't see them, while the Indians on the top of the fort were trying every plan to show him his danger. But he couldn't understand them. At last, two of them jumped from it, and ran and took his horse by the bridle, and pointing to where they were, told him there were thousands of them laying under the bank. This brought them to a halt, and about this moment the Indians fired on them, and came rushing forth like a cloud of Egyptian locusts, and screaming like all the young devils had been turned loose, with the old devil of all at their head.
Russel's company quit their horses and took into the fort, and their horses ran up to our line, which was then in full view. The warriors then came yelling on, meeting us, and continued till they were within shot of us, when we fired and killed a considerable number of them. Then they broke like a gang of steers, and ran across to the other line, where they were again fired on; and so we kept them running from one line to the other, constantly under heavy fire, till we had killed upwards of four hundred of them.
They fought with guns, and also with their bows and arrows; but at length they made good their escape through a part of our line which was made up of drafted militia, which broke ranks and they passed.
We lost fifteen of our men, as brave fellows as ever lived or died. We buried them all in one grave, and started back to our fort; but before we got there, two more of our men died of wounds they had recieved, making our total loss seventeen good fellows in that battle."
This is Davy Crockett's account of "the famous battle of Talladega", fought under General Jackson's command, Dec. 7, 1813. Another reason for December 7th to be remembered as a "date that will live in infamy"? Only if you are Creek, I suppose.
Later in Davy's narrative, he and the other militia, with the help of "friendly Indians", killed hundreds more Creek and other "hostile natives". The whole story has lots of descriptions of scalpings, be-headings, mutilations of many sorts and the starvation of men and horses. But hey! They were the good guys, coonskin caps and all.
In early 1814, General Jackson had gone off to take a little trip down the mighty Mississipp', took the bacon and the beans, and fought the bloody British at the town of New Orleans, etc. (the War of 1812, you know) and left Crockett and others to starve and deal with the "Indian problem".
In February or March they (again, Davy's words) "had to pass directly by Fort Talladega, where we first had the big Indian battle with the eleven hundred painted warriors. We went through the old battle ground, and it looked like a great gourd patch; the skulls of the Indians who were killed, still lay scattered all about, and many of their frames were still perfect, as the bones had not separated."
So there is the testimony of the famous American patriot and freedom fighter, Davy Crockett, about the "famous battle of Talladega". Perhaps in today's parlance Davy, Old Hickory and the militia would have been an "anti-terrorist task force", ya' think? The original residents of the area might have a different opinion, but they shouldn't have gone around killing people, either. As for the British, it isn't like the American colonists were messing with their opium trade, or anything as serious as that. That was half the world away, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and China. My, how times do change.
Racing lore has it that driver Bobby Isaac pulled in the pits and quit on the 90th lap of the spring race in 1973 because he heard a voice between turns 3 and 4 tell him to park the car and get out and never drive a race car again. There are probably some other colorful stories about Bobby that we know nothing of, so who can say if that sort of thing was unusual for him? A lot of strange things happened in the `70's, many of them not well remembered. Stories such as Bobby's and the typical mayhem of a race at that track fuel the story of the "curse".
If there is, or isn't, such a curse, in light of Davy's testimony, there is plenty of reason to think there might be. If you were a Creek spiritual leader, what would you have said and done?
In the end, if you think so, or you think not, you're absolutely right.