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seminolewar


Volunteer Militia Rowdy on New Year’s 1838

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From the Army and Navy Chronicle: Vol. 6, pg. 56 & 57.

Image below: From Harper's Weekly, 1860: "Training Day in the Country"
Harpers Weekly 1860 Training Day

St. Augustine, Jan. 1. – “Save us from our Friends.” – On Monday last, a large body of men, calling themselves Alabama Volunteers, arrived in the vicinity of this city from Picolata. The arrival of troops from any quarter to assist in conquering a savage foe, we have hitherto looked upon with gratification; but we greet the arrival of this body of men with anything else than pleasurable feelings. It is reported that their conduct during their march from Tallahassee to this city has been a series of excesses of every description. They have committed almost every crime except murder, and have even threatened life, from wantonness, if from no worse principle.
After forming their camp on the west side of St. Sebastian river, large numbers of them came into town, paraded our streets, grossly insulted our females, and were otherwise extremely riotous in their conduct. Shortly after sunset they commenced returning to their camp, highly excited with liquor, in large squads. One of these squads, 40 or 50 in number, on reaching the bridge, where there was a small guard of three or four men stationed, assaulted the guard, overturned the sentry box into the river, and bodily seized two of the guard, and threw them into the river where the water was deep, and they were forced to swim for their lives. The guard having no orders to interfere with any white man coming to and from, were unprepared for such an attack, and especially when there was not the least provocation given. At one of the men, while in the water, they pointed a musket, and threatening to kill him; and pelted him with every missile which came to hand, until some one of them from shame, or some better principle, interfered in his behalf, and called him out of the water, and they suffered him to come to town, ignorant of the fate of his comrade.
The other remained in the water, concealed in the marsh for about half an hour, suffering much from cold. He states, that just previous to their assault, the proposed going over to the residence of Judge Reid, who resides near the bridge on the west side of the river, and has no doubt that serious consequences would have ensued, had they not first interfered with the guard.
Such conduct is deserving of condign punishment, but from the difficulty of ascertaining and identifying the perpetrators, they have not been brought, to justice; but representation have been made to Gen. Jesup, of their conduct, and if he has the power, we have no doubt he will, so far as he is able, use such measures as will teach them that they are yet under authority, and the rights of our citizens are not to be outraged with impunity. – Herald.
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