Date of Award

Spring 5-2022

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Daniel A. LaDu

Committee Chair School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 2

Dr. Marie Elaine Danforth

Committee Member 2 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 3

Dr. H. Edwin Jackson

Committee Member 3 School

Social Science and Global Studies

Committee Member 4

Dr. Ashley A. Dumas


The frontier fort known as Tombecbe is situated on the Tombigbee River in present day Epes, Alabama. Tombecbe was constructed in 1736 as a staging point for Bienville’s campaign against the Chickasaw and to block encroachments by the British military. Following the Treaty of Paris, the fort was occupied successively by the British and then Spanish in the eighteenth century. Fortunately, historic documents and physical modifications to the fort suggest that it is possible to isolate and examine the French, British, and Spanish separately, however the breadth of the faunal analysis leaves this for future research. The soldiers at Tombecbe were reliant on supply chains from their countries of origin but also depended on trade with their Indigenous neighbors, the Choctaw, due to perennially late shipments.

My thesis analyzes, compares, and contrasts the French and British faunal subsistence strategies employed by those stationed at the fort as observed from the Bakery and soldiers’ Barracks contexts. My findings of analyzing faunal remains from these contexts shows that both French and British soldiers were forced to rely on white-tailed deer when rations were short, regardless of preferred subsistence practices, supplemented by chicken, with very little fish identified compared to what is expected for a river-front fort. Fragmentary bone indicates purposeful making of bone marrow and broth to supplement possible shortages in meat supplies. In combination, this data shows there were occasions of dietary stress on those garrisoned at Tombecbe.