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This Day in Georgia History

March 20, 1777

Edmund Pendleton Gaines Born

To view an image of Edmund Pendleton Gaines, see the Digital Library of Georgia.

Military leader Edmund Pendleton Gaines was born in Culpepper County, Va. He quickly rose through the military ranks to become a brigadier general in 1814. The following year, as commander of the Southern Division of the U.S. Army, Gaines came to Georgia to survey the boundaries of Creek land cessions. The Creeks believed the treaty had been nullified, however, and resisted. In 1816, a fort named for Gaines was erected on the Chattahoochee River to protect settlers. For a time Gaines commanded the Western Division, but returned to Georgia in 1825 to arbitrate the dispute between Georgia governor George Troup - who had signed another treaty ceding Creek lands with Creek chief William McIntosh. A majority of the Creeks did not agree to this cession and McIntosh was murdered. Meanwhile Troup insisted that the land in question belonged to Georgia. Gaines and Troup wrote angry letters to each other over the situation, but Gaines was able to ease tensions with the Creeks. Most of the rest of his military career was spent outside of Georgia. While frequently in conflict with the Creeks and Cherokees, Gaines was one of the few military leaders who opposed the forcible removal of Indians from U.S. territory. In 1821, the new town of Gainesville, Ga. was named in his honor. Gaines died June 6, 1849, in New Orleans, Louisiana.