Once again, some pretty interesting things in Florida / Seminole War History. Actually events outside of Florida as well, as the 2nd Creek War in 1836 was mostly this month.
May 1528 - The Spanish force under Panfilo de Narvaez battles a large force of Natives near the Withlacoochee River.
May 1814 - The British train and supply their Indian and free Negro allies, and established a fort for them on the Apalachicola River, known as Negro Fort.
May 1835 - Indian Agent Wiley Thompson puts Osceola in irons for disorderly conduct until he agrees to bring in his band to emigrate to the west.
May 1841 – The entire Florida Militia is discharged from duty because of the high war costs. Only regular army troops are used in Florida.
May 1857 - Seminoles attack an army detachment at Palm Hammock near Pavilion Key. Later the same month, they capture an army ammunition supply.
1 May 1841 - Lieutenant William T. Sherman escorts Coacoochee to Fort Pierce.
2 May 1856 - Several companies of regular Army and Florida militia troops scout the Everglades in pursuit of Indians and burn abandoned villages.
3 May 1839 - Skirmish near Fort Frank Brooke; two soldiers killed.
4 May 1858 - After two and a half months of negotiations, a large group of Seminoles under Billy Bowlegs and Assinwah emigrate to the west. The negotiation team is made up of Western Seminole John Jumper, Yucabatche Micco (a Creek), and Halleck Tustenuggee. The ship Grey Cloud that is carrying them stops at Egmont Key in Tampa Bay and picks up another waiting group of Indians. There are a total of 165 Indians who agree to emigrate. When the ship stops at St. Marks, a small party of Seminoles escape.
5 May 1836 - The 2nd Creek War begins. Neamathla and Jim Henry attack white settlements along the Chattahoochee River, and between Columbus, Georgia, and Montgomery, Alabama. Col. William Flournoy is shot dead near Fort Mitchell, Alabama. Creeks in the area believe that the Seminoles in Florida have defeated the Americans (which they had so far.)
5 May 1840 - Brigadier General Walker Armistead takes over the command of the army in Florida from Colonel David E. Twiggs.
8 May 1836 - Skirmish near General Hernandez’s plantation. (Today Palm Coast in Flagler County.)
8 May 1858 - Colonel Gustavus Loomis declares the Third Seminole War officially over, ending the last Indian war east of the Mississippi. The Indian population in Florida is estimated from 100 to 300.
Seminole bands remaining in Florida are under the leadership of Sam Jones, Chipco, and Ismahtree.
9 May 1832 - The Treaty of Payne’s Landing is signed to force the Seminoles to emigrate to the west. No minutes were taken of the negotiations, so it is not known what happened at the talks. Later, many of the chiefs deny that they had signed.
The treaty said that the chiefs would inspect the western lands and decide if it was good enough for them to emigrate, and that they would reunite with the Creeks. The chiefs said that the Seminoles were not obligated to follow them to the west, and that they had only agreed that they would inspect the land.
10 May 1800 - William Bowles forces the Spanish fort at San Marcos to surrender.
10 May 1842 - Secretary of War Spencer notifies General Scott that the administration wants the war to end soon at discretion of the commander in Florida.
14 May 1856 - Seminoles attack the Bradley house near Darby in Pasco County and kill Mrs. Bradley and two children.
15 May 1836 - Young Hitchiti Creek leader Jim Henry leads a Creek Indian force that destroys the town of Roanoke, Georgia, with the survivors fleeing to Columbus. Steamboats along the Chattahoochee River are attacked.
15 May 1838 - Zachary Taylor, recently promoted to Brigadier General, replaces General Jesup as commander of the forces in Florida.
17 May 1842 - Two soldiers killed on patrol near Fort Wacahoota.
Also the same day, Indians shoot at an Army patrol on the Suwannee River. One soldier receives fatal wounds and dies at Fort Fanning. These are the last soldiers killed by Indians during the war.
17 May 1856 - A supply train going between Forts Brooke and Fraser is attacked with only one survivor.
18 May 1539 - Hernando de Soto lands in search of gold in what is either Tampa Bay or Charlotte Harbor.
18 May 1839 - The Commanding General of the Army, Major General Macomb, visits Florida and declares the war over after negotiations with two Miccosukee leaders. Two weeks later, Seminoles camped around Fort Brooke disappear, and murders by anti-removal bands continue.
19 May 1836 - Quartermaster General of the Army Thomas Sidney Jesup becomes commander of the western troops involved in the Creek war, and soon comes in conflict with General Scott over conflicting tactics and strategies. The Jackson administration starts to implement removal of the Creeks even when they had not signed a removal treaty.
19 May 1840 - The Battle of Bridgewater. An Army courier is attacked between Forts Wacahoota and Micanopy. A command of about 18 soldiers from Fort Micanopy searching for the attackers are ambushed by a large number of Seminoles. (Probably Miccosukees under Halleck Tustenuggee.) 11 soldiers are killed and four missing, making this one of the deadliest skirmishes in the war.
20 May 1838 - Seminoles kill several soldiers at Fort Clinch on the Withlacoochee River.
20 May 1839 - Skirmish “between Forts No. 3 and No. 4.”
22 May 1836 - Creek Indians surround and attack the town of Irwinton, Alabama (today the city of Eufaula.) They are repulsed after sustaining heavy losses.
23 May 1837 - A group of 12 Indians are captured on Alaqua Creek (Walton County) by the local militia and massacred. There was never any formal investigation into the incident, even when it was condemned by local citizens as barbaric.
23 May 1840 - Seminoles under Coacoochee attack a company of actors at Picolata Landing on the St. Johns River and steal their costumes. They then surround nearby Fort Searle to try and force the soldiers out for a fight, but the badly outnumbered soldiers stay inside.
24 May 1803 - At a conference of the Creek Confederacy at the town of Tukabatchee, William Bowles declares himself king of all the Indian nations present. The next day American Indian Agent Benjamin Hawkins gains enough supporters to have Bowles captured and placed in irons, and delivered as prisoner to the Spanish governor in Pensacola. Bowles was taken to Morro Castle prison in Havana, where he dies in 1805.
27 May 1838 - Skirmish in Okefenokee Swamp on the Florida / Georgia border between the Florida Militia & Seminoles.
28 May 1818 - Jackson forces the surrender of Fort Barrancas and Pensacola. A few days later he leaves for his home in Tennessee. Later, Congress is outraged by his actions (invading Spanish territory and hanging British citizens.)
28 May 1830 - The Indian Removal Act is passed by congress and signed by President Jackson. All tribes east of the Mississippi River are to be removed to the west.
31 May 1841 - General Armistead is relieved of command because of Washington’s political turmoil and the fact that the war has not ended yet.