Battle of Shepherd’s Plantation Monument, 1936, Florence

This monument, placed as a centennial remembrance by the Roanoke Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the WPA in 1936, commemorates the bloodiest engagement of the largely forgotten Creek War of 1836. The main text reads: On this site was fought the Battle of Shepherd’s Plantation between Creek Indians and pioneer settlers aided by volunteer soldiers stationed at Forts Ingersol Jones and McCreary under Major Henry W. Jernigan and Captain Hamilton Garmany. A second tablet lists the four Stewart Countians killed in the battle: Captain Robert Billups; Jared Irwin*; David Delk; and —-Hunter. *-[Jared Irwin was the nephew of Governor Jared Irwin].

I believe commemorations of victories and massacres against Native Americans should have different verbiage indicating that the Native people were here first and therefore not the ones who initiated the warfare but I believe they’re important as geographical markers of historic places and invite broader study.


4 thoughts on “Battle of Shepherd’s Plantation Monument, 1936, Florence

  1. Nancy Fuller

    This will provide information on the relationship of Jared Irwin.
    Jared Jr. was the son of Alexander Irwin, brother of General Jared Irwin who served as governor of Georgia for two terms. His father Alexander never recovered from wounds received in the Revolutionary War. After his father’s death, Jared and his brother John were adopted by their Uncle, Governor Jared Irwin. Both boys graduated in the first class of Franklin College in 1804. This is now the University of Georgia.
    Jared was the first settler of the town of Lumpkin, Georgia. He and his cousin, General William Irwin were land speculators who bought lottery grants from holders. Jared Jr. camped on a site in Lumpkin where he eventually built his home. His wife said that when they awoke the next morning, Indians were squatting around the breakfast fire that a Negro had built earlier. After breakfast, their oldest son Alexander told the family goodbye and headed west to Texas. Alexander fought in the Battle of San Jacinto and was a member of the party that captured Santa Anna, the Mexican commander. His portrait appears in a mural on the wall of the Texas Capitol.
    Jared Jr. married Ann Williams who was the daughter of Thomas Williams Jr. of Washington County. Governor Irwin opposed the marriage. Jared Irwin Jr. was killed in the Battle of Shepherd’s Plantation. Jared was stooping over his wounded friend Green Ball when he was attacked by the Indians. He was scalped by the natives and was said to be the last white man scalped by the Indians. A friend of Jared’s tied his body to his horse to take back to town. Unfortunately the battle continued and the horse broke away and headed back home to Lumpkin. Judge J. L. Wimberly said that as a boy he witnessed the arrival of the horse in Lumpkin. Mrs. Irwin ran to the horse only to discover her husbands bloodied head. She fainted and was said to have brain fever for several weeks.
    Several soldiers including a Gwinnett Count militia Captain are buried in the Irwin lot as well as victims of the Roanoke massacre. They are buried in a long grave that is covered with red sandstone rock.
    (History of Stewart County by Dixon and Clark) pages 866-867

  2. Patricia Dennis

    Several times I’ve driven by this monument but never took the time to stop. Thanks Brian for taking the slow lane and caring to stop. I need to do the same.

    Just a few miles south at Roods Creek was a large Creek village. The naturalist at Florence Marina State Park is very knowledgeable about Creek Indian history.

  3. Tom Robinson

    As always, your comments – as well as photos – have reminded us of part of our history, that’s almost impossible to understand, without having lived then. Why couldn’t the settlers coexist peacefully with the native Americans? How was it thought or understood that the settlers could just take the land, for themselves, without any real thought or regard for those who lived here for generations? Thanks for all you capture, and share.


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