Unfortunately, the Chickasaw blockade of the Mississippi prevented communication, and Bienville had no way of informing Artaguette of his delay

Unfortunately, the Chickasaw blockade of the Mississippi prevented communication, and Bienville had no way of informing Artaguette of his delay

Although they were slow to answer, the Chickasaw ultimately refused to do either, and as a way of emphasizing that he was serious about this, Prier in 1731 got the Choctaw to burn three of their Chickasaw prisoners at the stake.

However, the Choctaw at this time, from their previous experience with the Chickasaw and their own desire to trade with the British, would prove reluctant allies forcing the French to turn to their allies north of the Ohio River: Illinois; Wabash Tribes (Wea, Piankashaw, Kickapoo); and Detroit Tribes (Wyandot, Ottawa, Ojibwe, and Potawatomi).

Unlike the Natchez, the Chickasaw villages were not on the Mississippi but in the rugged hill country of northeast Mississippi, a remote location which made them very difficult to attack.

To make matters worse, the Chickasaw were heavily armed and in times of war withdrew into a few large fortified towns which made them virtually impregnable to anything but a large army with cannon and other heavy equipment.

Unable to get the Choctaw to attack the Chickasaw, the French in 1731 encouraged a series of punitive raids by their northern allies, but the attackers suffered heavy loses, and Chickasaw retaliatory raids over the next few years turned southern Illinois and Indiana into a war zone and decimated the Illinois and Wabash Tribes.

Of course, the Chickasaw had not failed to notice the presence of a French army on the bluffs and were waiting in their forts

These efforts eventually bore fruit, and in 1733 the Chickasaw were able to conclude a separate peace with the northern Choctaw.

The French had endured the losses of their northern allies and defection of the Choctaw, but the closure of the Mississippi was the final straw.

The e manner as the Fox and Natchez, and to accomplish this, two separate armies were assembled in 1736 for a coordinated attack on the Chickasaw homeland.

At the beginning of the year, the northern force under the command of Major Pierre d’Artaguette gathered at Fort de Chartres (Kaskaskia, Illinois).

Besides 30 French regulars, it included 100 militia and almost 300 Illinois, Wea, and Piankashaw warriors led by the Illinois chief Chicagou and Francois de la Valterie, Sieur de Vincennes, the commandant of Fort Vincennes on the Wabash River.

However, Bienville was delayed until the first week of April by unusually heavy rains and the slow appearance of his Choctaw allies

Meanwhile, the Chickasaw’s old antagonist, Bienville was to command a second force of 600 French and 1,000 loyal Choctaw warriors which was to follow the Tombigbee River north from Mobile and strike the Chickasaw from the south.

The original plan was for both armies begin their attacks at the end of March and meet at the main Chickasaw town of Ackia (Tupelo, Mississippi).

After a swift trip down the Mississippi, the northern force arrived at the Chickasaw Bluffs (Memphis) in early March and built a small fort as a supply base while awaiting news from Bienville.

None came, and after three weeks, Artaguette was running out of food and faced the difficult choice of returning to Illinois or attacking on his own.

Leaving 25 men to garrison the fort, he moved southeast towards the Chickasaw villages, his progress slowed by the necessity of dragging cannon and supply wagons through mud.

Artaguette was not a fool and, with his small force, chose to attack Chocolissa, one of the smaller Chickasaw towns on March 25th.

However, it was heavily fortified, and after the initial assault failed, the French and their allies were pinned down by a crossfire.

About the author

echo ''; echo ''; echo ''; // realfactory-copyright-wrapper } } echo ''; if( $fixed_footer == 'disable' ){ echo ''; // realfactory-body-wrapper } echo ''; // realfactory-body-outer-wrapper // disable footer }else{ echo ''; // realfactory-body-wrapper echo ''; // realfactory-body-outer-wrapper } $header_style = realfactory_get_option('general', 'header-style', 'plain'); if( $header_style == 'side' || $header_style == 'side-toggle' ){ echo ''; // realfactory-header-side-nav-content } $back_to_top = realfactory_get_option('general', 'enable-back-to-top', 'disable'); if( $back_to_top == 'enable' ){ echo ''; } ?>