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seminolewar


Battle of Wahoo Swamp

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On November 21st, 1836 was the battle of Wahoo Swamp. I believe I told about it last year, so I won't dig into my books again. One thing to note is that it is the major action of General Richard K. Call's campaign. Call was both governor of Florida, and head of the army operations in Florida until General Thomas S. Jesup took over in December. It was a failed campaign for Call, who failed to penetrate the Wahoo Swamp with this battle, and retreated to the abandoned Fort Micanopy and ended the campaign soon after. He was both criticized by President Jackson and General Jesup for his handling of the campaign, but responded by saying he was sick and unable to fully command. What Jackson and Jesus did not understand was the Seminole's tactics and determination to stay in Florida.

Call's failure to cross the slough and drive out the Seminoles was the result of fighting in unknown territory while hampered by logistical failure which resulted in lack of enough food and ammunition supplies to continue on. The soldiers came right into an area the Seminoles and their Black Seminole allies had set up an ambush to prevent them from crossing. After retreating to Fort Micanopy, the soldiers were starving for lack of provisions. It was ironic that a few years later, it was discovered that Call's men were camped right on top of the barrels of provisions of salt port and hardtack that were buried when the fort was abandoned a few months earlier.

This battle also involved the Creek regiment. 759 Creek Indians from Alabama had been recruited by the Army to chase after the Seminoles for a year in Florida. David Moniac was the son of Sam Manac from Baldwin County, Alabama. David was the first Native American to graduate from West Point but resigned his commission to take care of family business of his father. Still, his past military training gave him the highest rank as Major with the regiment. He was killed while trying to cross the slough at Wahoo Swamp.

Another killed / died among the regiment was the husband of Millie Francis. Millie was the daughter of Creek Medicine Maker Josiah Francis, and right before her death in the late 1840s, received a congressional medal for causing her father to spare the live of a wayward soldier during the First Seminole War. Few people know that she is the Indian maiden on the old Florida state seal. About 10 years ago, her clothing on the state seal was changed from western plains war bonnet to 1900's Seminole. Well, that is still a little closer to what she may have worn.

After serving a year in Florida, the remaining Creek regiment was taken to Pass Christian, Mississippi, to join their families and removal to Oklahoma (Arkansas Territory.) They served the United States but were still removed to the western Indian Territory. The story of the regiment is very tragic.
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in front of the computer; where else?
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