03 June 2007

The Seminole War

Ok, so this is a good time to put here somre sites I saw related to the early part of the Seminole Wars. Unfortunetly, many of these sites are lost except for historic markers, and few people know much about or have even heard of the Seminole wars. Yet they were the country's longest and most expensive Indian wars, and were a constant point of argument, mainly between North and South, eerily similar to the power struggle before the Civil War. The Seminoles, who were descended from other Indian tribes, including hostile factions of Creeks defeated a few years earlier, were constantly in skirmishes with white pioneers along the Florida Georgia border. Important to note is that at this time, Florida still belonged to Spain, and as such, many Southern slaves ran south into Florida for freedom, where they found sanctuary among the Seminoles. With tensions quickly growing between the two sides, a fort was built in southern GA, named Fort Scott (previously known as Fort Crawford.) This fort was located near the Seminole village of Fowltown, which was informed that they were on white lands according to the Treaty of Fort Jackson. The village leader, named Neamathla, responded that the treaty was void because his village did not recognize it. According to Seminole tradition, he was technically correct, because there was no way for any Indian to speak for all the individual tribes and villages. This problem continued to plague the US for the rest of the war. But consequently, on Nov 21, 1817, soldiers from Fort Scott were sent to Fowltown to bring Neamathla to Fort Scott. The Seminoles resisted and two days later the village was burned. A state of war now existed. The army selected Andrew Jackson to lead the fight against the Seminoles and he raised volunteers from Southern states which he led to Florida. Within a year, hostilities had ceased, and the first of three Seminole Wars was over. Most Seminoles were now in the peninsula of Florida, with some remaining around the Appiachicola river. The photo above is in Bainbridge, GA, where Fort Hughes was located. The fort was named for the first US casualty, a bugler named Hughes, killed on Nov 28, 1817. The two markers below are located south of Cordelle, GA (see earlier post) marker points along Jackson's march south.

Site of Herod town (below), where Jackson led his men South through, and was joined by a friendly Indian named Herod and his men. It is located south of Dawson, GA (see earlier post).
Early marker for Herod Town.

Site of Fort Scott, where soldiers were based that attacked Fowltown. Jackson also collected his forces here prior to invading Spanish Florida to attack the Seminoles. It is located on the southern bank of Lake Seminole, west of Bainvridge, GA. Below: the site of Fowltown, the attack on which signaled the begining of the First Seminole War.
Site of Fort Hughes, in Bainbridge, GA. The closer of the two canon was originally placed at Fort Scott, before the site was covered by Lake Seminole. The farther of the canon is on the site of Fort Hughes. They are protected in the J.D. Chason park.