Visit CHICKASAW.NET

Chickasaws Aid American Militia: Native Patriots

As Told By Lisa Billy

Watch one story of the hospitable Chickasaws unfold as Lisa Billy, Chickasaw and Oklahoma state legislator, recalls a time during the War of 1812. Colonel John Coffee’s militia was suffering as they traveled along the Natchez Trace through Indian Territory. Their fate looked grim, but the Chickasaws and their leader George Colbert would not let the Americans falter, as they came to their aid during their time of need.

Tennessee militia members organized by Natchez Trace Parkway Association Living History. US Army Re-enactors provided by The 7th United States Infantry Living History Association "The Cottonbalers." Historical Military Adviser/George Colbert Costume & Props by Mark Hilliard, Heart of Oak Historical Services.

Watch one story of the hospitable Chickasaws unfold as Lisa Billy, Chickasaw and Oklahoma state legislator, recalls a time during the War of 1812.

Chickasaws Aid American Militia

Native Patriots


The War of 1812 tested American strength and resolve. The United States took on Great Britain in a conflict that would have an immense impact on the young country’s future. 

Colonel John Coffee’s militia suffered as they traveled along the famous Natchez Trace in 1813. The U.S. had not provided proper provisions, and as a result, soldiers were weary and starving as they journeyed into Chickasaw territory. George Colbert, the Chickasaw leader, came to their rescue, ordering that the winter storage of Chickasaw food be brought out and served to the American troops. 

This precedent was set and repeated over the harsh winter months to keep the Americans alive and well. And this was just the beginning of many instances in which Colbert, Tishomingo and other Chickasaw warriors aided America in winning the War of 1812.

CLOSE