Madison Alabama Native American Tribes
This area was occupied historically by the Koasati (also
known as Coushatta), a Muskogean-speaking people and, before them, thousands of years of indigenous cultures. They were historically closely allied and intermarried with the Alabama people, also members of the Creek Confederacy. Their languages are closely related and mutually intelligible. By the time of the American Revolution, the Coushatta had moved many miles down the Tennessee River where their town is recorded as Coosada. In the 18th century, some of the Coushatta (Koasati) joined the emerging Creek Confederacy, where they became known as part of the “Upper Creek“.
Madison’s first European-American resident was John Cartwright, who settled in the area in 1818. The city was originally known as Madison Station, and it developed in the 1850s around a stop of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad. Textile mills were built in the area in the late 19th century for processing of cotton.
Madison was the site of a battle in the American Civil War on May 17, 1864, when Col.
Josiah Patterson’s 5th Alabama Cavalry, supported by Col. James H. Stuart’s cavalry battalion and a section of horse artillery, drove Col. Adam G. Gorgas’s 13th Illinois Infantry Regiment from the city. Patterson’s men captured the 13th Illinois Regiment’s wagon train, taking 66 prisoners. They also burned Union supplies and tore up the railroad tracks before retreating. Portions of the 5th Ohio Cavalry, the 59th Indiana Infantry, and the 5th Iowa Infantry were sent in pursuit from Huntsville. They skirmished with Patterson’s rear guard that evening at Fletcher’s Ferry on the Tennessee River south of Madison.
During the War Between the States, growth was brought virtually to a standstill, and one battle, referred to as “The Affair at Madison Station,” was fought on local soil. The battle took place on May 17, 1864, when the federal soldiers took over the railroad, which was on a direct route for men and supplies to be shipped to Georgia.
According to records kept by the Union soldiers, the Confederates had killed 18 and wounded 55, and the Union had killed one, wounded three, and taken 66 prisoners.
Today, Madison is one of the fastest growing cities in the southeastern United States, with one of the highest per capita incomes and a school system that is recognized for scholastic excellence at the local, state, and national level.
Madison Alabama Today
The Mayor and the City Council continue to invest in economic development, public facilities, and infrastructure.
Madison has been listed as a US News & World Report “Top 10 Places to Grow Up”, a CNN Money “Top 100 Best Places to Live”, one of Family Circle’s “10 Best Towns for Family”, and was recognized as Google’s “2013 Digital Capital of Alabama”.
Madison Alabama Attractions:
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