Seminole War Events for April
A lot of interesting things happened in April!
1 April 1818 - Jackson starts the attack of the town of Miccosukee, the huge village complex of Chief Kenhaggee on Lake Miccosukee. The town was abandoned by the time Jackson arrived. They find many scalps believed to be taken from local settlers in Florida and Georgia over the past few years. Much of the town’s food stores that were found are burned. After this many of the Florida Indians face starvation.
2 April 1513 - Ponce de Leon sights Florida and lands the next week somewhere between the mouth of the St. Johns River and Cape Canaveral. He claims Florida for the King of Spain and sails around the peninsula.
3 April 1856 - Army troops attack the town of Oscen Tustenuggee at Charley Apopka Creek east of the Peace River. Two Indian scalps are taken by the army troops and displayed in the local towns.
4 or 15 April 1528 - Panfilo de Narvaez lands an exhibition of 400 soldiers in Tampa Bay to search for gold. It ends in failure with only four survivors who reach Mexico City eight years later.
5-17 April 1836 - A Georgia Volunteer Battalion establishes Fort Cooper to observe the Cove of the Withlacoochee. They are under heavy siege until reinforcements arrive about two weeks later.
6 April 1818 - Jackson forces the Spanish at Fort San Marcos (St. Marks) to surrender. British trader Alexander Arbuthnot is captured.
7 April 1818 - An American ship anchored off St. Marks and flying a British flag captures Red Stick leaders Himathlemico and Josiah Francis (the Creek Prophet). They are hanged the next day. Jackson leaves St. Marks and heads towards Suwannee Old Town.
8 April 1834 - The U.S. Senate approves the treaties of Payne’s Landing and Fort Gibson after President Jackson waits several months to submit them to the senate for a vote.
10 April 1813 - An army report details an attack of Creeks under Little Warrior, who kill 7 whites at the Duck River in Tennessee. This is one of the incidents leading to the First Creek War. The Creek warriors were supporters of the Shawnee leader Tecumseh and his plan of uniting all the Tribes.
10 April 1837 - Deadline set by the Fort Dade agreement for the Seminoles to be ready at Fort Brooke to emigrate west. Because of a slow turnout, Jesup allows the deadline to be extended.
10 April 1840 - An expedition of Marines and Navy sailors lands on Cape Sable and are attacked by a large force of Seminoles. The naval force defends itself for a few hours until rescued, without loss of any of their group.
10 April 1840 - Skirmish near Fort Wool.
12 April 1812 - Colonel Smith’s force occupies Fort Moosa near St. Augustine. They are forced to pull back after an attack by the Spanish & their free Black allies. Smith sets up an encampment further back from town. The Spanish burn Fort Moosa.
12 April 1818 - Battle of Econfina River at Peter McQueen’s village. 37 of McQueen’s warriors are killed, the highest casualty rate of a single battle during the First Seminole War. 14-year-old Billy Powell (Osceola) and his mother are taken prisoner by William MacIntosh’s Creeks under Jackson. They are released when they promise to bring in Peter McQueen. Osceola and his mother eventually move to the town of Talakchopco along Peas Creek (Peace River). Jackson never captures McQueen.
12-15 April 1836 - After guarding a blockhouse on the Withlacoochee River for six weeks, an army company under Captain Holleman is attacked by a large force of Seminoles. A force from Fort Brook rescues the soldiers after a messenger is sent. The company guarding the blockhouse had been forgotten by General Scott.
12 April 1840 - Skirmish between Forts Griffin and Fanning.
12 April 1856 - Seminoles burn and loot abandoned houses on the lower Manatee River. Three days later, the same Indians kill settler John Carney.
14 April 1840 - One soldier killed on patrol near Fort King.
16 April 1818 - Jackson reaches Suwannee Old Town, a large Seminole town under the leadership of Chief Boleck (Also known as the first Chief Bowlegs.) The town was already warned of Jackson’s advance and had previously been evacuated. Black Seminoles put up a strong defensive action to allow more time for the women and children to escape on the other side of the river. British Marine Officer Robert Ambrister is captured.
17 April 1822 - William DuVal becomes territorial governor.
18 April 1856 - Army troops attack Billy Bowlegs’ town. The Indians put up a good defense and escape.
19 April 1842 - Colonel Worth leads an attack on Halleck Tustenuggee’s camp at Peliklakaha Hammock near Lake Ahapopka (Apopka.) Army forces take the camp and defending position, but the Indians escape. One soldier killed in the battle is buried in the muck of the surrounding swamp. This is the last battle of the Second Seminole War.
20 April 1836 - The Seminoles make a night attack on Fort Drane.
21 April 1840 - General Taylor receives permission to leave Florida after he requests to be relieved of command. Colonel Twiggs of the 2nd Dragoon Regiment becomes acting commander of the forces in Florida until a general officer can be found to replace Taylor. General Walker K. Armistead will be the next one to take command, and is father of Louis Armistead who will become famous during Gettysburg at Pickett's Charge.
23 April 1835 - A third conference is conducted at Fort King where Thompson tries to convince the Seminole chiefs to emigrate to the west. Thompson declares that all the chiefs not present and don’t agree to emigrate are no longer leaders of their people, including Micanope and Arpeika (Sam Jones). Even President Jackson disagrees with Thompson’s actions, saying that it is up to the Seminoles to decide who will be their leaders.
23 April 1840 - Massacre of the McLane homestead in Gadsden/Liberty County area.
24 April 1834 - John Eaton replaces DuVal as territorial governor. Eaton was formerly Secretary of War, but had left Washington over a scandal that resulted in nearly all of President Jackson’s cabinet resigning.
24 April 1838 - Battle at Sam Jones’ camp in the Everglades.
24 April 1840 - Skirmish near Fort Lauderdale.
25 April 1840 - Indians attack a supply train near Fort Barker; one soldier killed.
27 April 1836 - The Seminoles attack an army garrison dismantling Fort Alabama (later reactivated as Fort Foster) at nearby Thlonotosassa Creek. The soldiers booby trap the powder magazine and hear a large explosion after they leave.
28 April 1840 - Battle near Fort King. Captain Gabriel Rains sets explosive traps outside of Fort King in retaliation for recent attacks against his soldiers. While checking a device that had exploded the night before, a large body of 120 Indians attack the company of soldiers numbering 17. The Indians are said to be Miccosukees under the leadership of Halleck Tustenuggee. The soldiers are almost surrounded but fight their way out in a desperate battle. Rains is severely wounded along with several of his men. Four Indians are killed. Captain Rains lives on to become known as the father of land mines.
29 April 1818 - Jackson orders a trial and quick execution of the British prisoners Alexander Arbuthnot and Robert Ambrister. They were charged with inciting the Indians to wage war against the United States. Although there was little evidence and Arbrister is recommended for non-capitol punishment, Jackson orders the executions. General Gaines as President of the Court sentences Arbuthnot to be hung and Ambrister shot. This causes outrage in Britain, and Jackson has to defend this action for years to come.
29 April 1838 - Indians attack an Army escort near Micanopy and kill three soldiers, two of which are recruits.
30 April 1562 - French Huguenot Jean Ribault lands at the mouth of the St. Johns River and establishes Charles Fort. It is abandoned when food supplies run out.
30 April 1825 - Creek Indians surround the house of Coweta Chief William MacIntosh and execute him for illegally signing the Treaty of Indian Springs, which sells the remaining Creek lands to the United States.