Many years ago I imagined what it would be like to have millions and establish a foundation for saving Seminole War historic sites. Well I never go the millions, but some folks went ahead and created the foundation I wanted, and even gave it the same name that I would have.
The Seminole Wars Historic Foundation is dedicated to preserving historical sites and publishing books and articles on the Seminole War. They have one or two neat events during the year, like two years ago when we met at St. Francis Barracks in St. Augustine to see the museum there, inside the walls that the Spanish built.
They have reprinted both Sprague and Bemrose's books on the Seminole War, when the facsimile copies were becoming very hard to find.
Their latest publication is "The Life of Luis Fatio Pacheco, Last Survivor of Dade's Battle" by Alcione M. Amos. If you are a member of the historic foundation, you will receive a copy of this in the mail.
Pacheco was the black interpreter with Major Dade's command, who was captured by the Seminoles during the battle and held as their prisoner, and then shipped out west with the rest of the Black Seminoles. He returned to Florida late in life and lived near Jacksonville. He gave an account of his life in a newspaper in 1892, telling how he was innocent of the charge of betraying Major Dade's command to the Seminoles.
Looking into military records of Major Dade's departure from Fort Brooke, Pacheco's claims are verified. Pacheco did not leave at the same time as Major Dade, but was hired for the job a few hours after Dade left, and then sent up to the command. He was not even with Major Dade when the command left the post. Military officers of the time did not want to put the blame on Major Dade and poor military tactics, but needed to find a scapegoat. Pacheco stated for the rest of his life that he was innocent.
The Seminole Wars Historic Foundation offers another Author's Day on August 19th. Speakers present will be Brent Weisman, Patsy West, and artist Jackson Walker, among several others. I don't know if I can make this event since I have a family wedding the weekend before. At the park they only let me loose for so many weekends--it's only fair to the other rangers.