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Battle of Black Point

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The Battle of Black Point can be considered the first battle of the 2nd Seminole War, on December 18th, 1835. A lot of people say Dade's Battle was, but that is not quite correct. Both battles involved a movement of troops from one location to another, as an incentive for the Seminoles to run down to Tampa and jump aboard those ships going to Indian territory out west.

The difference from Dade's Battle, is that the Battle of Black Point involved Florida troops and not federal. There are about six accounts of the battle, and all seem so different that they might as well be describing a different battle. For this reason you have to consider the source, and how close to skirmish they were. And also different from Dade's Battle where we have accounts by Ransom Clark and Alligator, none of the written accounts of Black Point were by the soldiers who were there.

In fact, the name, "Black Point" does not show up on these written accounts at all. If my memory serves me correct, this name didn't appear until the 1960s in an issue of the Florida Historical Quarterly.

What we do know:

In November 1835, the Florida governor ordered Florida volunteer troops organized to help with the Seminole removal, when a large part of the Seminoles seemed inclined to stay and not move. It was felt that a show of force would change their attitude and convince them to remove.

A force of Florida militia traveling from Newnansville to Wacahoota detached their baggage train so it wouldn't slow them down, and sent it on to Micanopy. A few miles after, the Seminoles ambushed the wagon train. (Smart; hitting the supplies instead of the main force of soldiers.) Several of the soldiers fled, a few stayed to fight, six or eight were killed, and the Seminoles made off with a couple of the wagons. It was a Seminole victory. Two days later a large force of Florida militia located the wagons, but none of the gunpowder or clothes. (I am trying to write this from memory.)

The Seminole force is not identified, but one source said Osceola was leading them. This could be possible. If so, this was the furthest north that Osceola fought during the war.

The location of the battle has been said to have been Alachuca prairie or Paynes Prairie, but this is not correct. The road that they would have been traveling went through Wacahoota Prairie and was three miles south of Paynes Prairie. The confusion is easily explained, because back then Wacahoota Prairie was considered part of Paynes or Alachuca Prairie on maps back then.

In 1995 Earl and myself found what we believe was the site of the battle. Along side a graded road, we also found wagon nails and ceramic ware dating no later than 1835. The next spring we gave a report of it to the annual meeting of the Florida Anthropological Society.
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