Even though the Seminole Wars / Florida Wars were the most costly and longest wars the United States fought against any Native American Indian Tribe, the markers and monuments are few and far between. I am not talking about the plaque or roadside historical marker, of which there are many, but actual stone monuments. You know of Dade Battlefield, and St. Francis Barracks, National Cemetery, in St. Augustine, which are among these monuments.
Then there is the obelisk in front of the Old Capitol building in honor of the battle near Royal Palm Hammock and the death of Capt. John Parkhill.
Now here is another rare one. In Fort Meade, Polk County. A few weeks ago I showed you the gravesite and cemetery with the Tillis family. Willoughby Tillis was at the Battle of Black Point on December 18th, 1835, which was the first major battle of the 2nd Seminole War. Actually it was 10 days before the official start of the war at Dade Battlefield. His brother Titus Tillis was killed at Black Point.
This monument in the town of Ft. Meade is in honor of the battle of Tillis farm, owned by Willoughby Tillis, June 1856. Approximately 160 miles away from the battle of Black Point and over 20 years later. The largest battle of the 3rd Seminole War, which Tillis also had the misfortune to participate in.
This monument is not easy to find. It is hidden in the residential area of Fort Meade. Between S. Church St. and S. Henry St. off of Broadway, with an address of 801 SE 2nd Street. Also known as Veteran's park, with some other veteran's graves here. Although I do not know why some veterans are buried here, and others on the other side of Broadway in Evergreen Cemetery, which has a Spanish American War vet buried there.
I believe that the marker may be incorrect, because it was Florida Militia who participated at the battle, not regulars.
One side says, "A group of United States Army soldiers led by Lt. Carlton engaged the Seminole Indians in what is known as the Willoughby Tillis battle in this vicinity on June 14-16, 1856. These five men who lost their lives in this engagement are buried here."
On the other side it lists the names of the five soldiers killed.
This was the largest battle of the 3rd Seminole War, lasted three days, and killed important soldiers and warriors from both sides.