The Project Gutenberg eBook of A correct and authentic narrative of the Indian war in Florida

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Title: A correct and authentic narrative of the Indian war in Florida

Author: Captain James Barr

Release date: August 29, 2015 [eBook #49814]
Most recently updated: January 25, 2021

Language: English

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IN the beginning of January, 1836, the inhabitants of New Orleans received tidings from Florida of a very alarming and distressing nature. An able and brave, but unscrupulous chieftain, named Powell, had been for some time suspected of harboring designs to prevent the removal of the Seminole Indians, beyond the Mississippi, according to treaty. For this or some such cause, Powell was arrested and thrown into double irons, at Fort King, by General Thompson, the Indian agent. He was soon released: the head chief of the tribe, Attemottely, (I know not if I spell his name properly) pledging himself that Powell should raise no disturbances. Powell repaid him with the blackest ingratitude: he was no sooner free from his confinement, than he with a party of his warriors, killed Attemottely, who was in favor of fulfilling the terms of the treaty, and thus obtained for himself the consequence he now enjoys in the nation. Soon after this, Dalton, the carrier of the mail from Tampa Bay to Fort King, was murdered, and his body found in the woods a few miles from Fort Brooke. Next came the murder of the Indian agent, General Thompson, and several of the officers of Fort King. This was soon followed by the massacre of Major Dade’s command, and the engagement of General Clinch, on the Ouithlacouchy. The houses of the inhabitants were also burned, their plantations destroyed, their property plundered, and they themselves, were, in many instances murdered. On receipt of these tidings, the citizens of New Orleans held a meeting, at which it was unanimously resolved to raise a regiment in defence of their suffering friends in Florida.{4}

Gen. Persifor F. Smith volunteered his services as Colonel, and Mr. Lawson, as Lieut. Colonel: the latter gentleman, the head physician of the United States, has since proved that the profession of arms is not inconsistent with the duties of a follower of Æsculapius. The enlistment was commenced on the 24th January, and a body of seven hundred men was quickly raised. The citizens, with their usual liberality and patriotism, supplied the troops with comfortable quarters, till the 3d of February. Each intervening day the regiment was inspected in the Custom House yard: on the 2nd February the troops received their uniform, blankets and other necessaries, and on the 3rd were mustered in the Barrack yard. Louisiana had done her part—she had raised a fine and as was afterwards proved, an effective body of men. They received their arms, colors and bounty, thirty dollars (the wages were ten dollars per month) and marched, some that evening, others next morning, to the rail road, where we found the cars in readiness and were soon embarked on Lake Ponchartrain. Two steamboats, the Watchman and Merchant were chartered to transport us to Tampa Bay, and the David Brown proceeded to the same point, via the Balise. The Watchman reached Pensacola on the 6th without any adventure except being detained a few hours on a mud bank. We took in wood and again put off, but the evening looked very dirty and the vessel was any thing but a good sea boat. Our captain accordingly determined not to go to sea, and lay too, close to the Fort, which is a few miles below the town. Here we had comfortable quarters for the night, and next morning again embarked. We arrived at Tampa Bay, on the 9th, and landed on the 10th. The Merchant had been in a day before us, and the David Brown arrived the day after. Here was a scene well calculated to rouse the spirits of the lukewarm, (if any such were among us). Almost every house in this beautiful spot had been torn down or burnt, and the inhabitants had been compelled to fly for protection to the vessels in the bay. We bivouacked outside the Fort, under the boughs of the live oak trees, which are very numerous; the watch-fires at night—the groups of men lying around them sleeping in their blankets—the stack of arms—the flash reflected from the musket and bayonet of the centinel as he stalked slowly by the fires; the tout ensemble had a very imposing, and in my eyes, a very military aspect. We were twice alarmed on the second night; the first time from the accidental discharge of a musket, and the second{5} time from the mistake of a Dutch centinel; he had been posted on the piquet guard, with orders to hail any thing which should approach and to fire if he received no answer to the third challenge. Minheer Dutchman heard some noise in the bushes and called three times as he had been ordered, “Who goes dere?” no answer, “Den I fire.” He did fire, and in an instant, the bugles rang, the drums rattled, and we were soon in a posture to defend ourselves; but the alarm was groundless, it served only to show that the men were on the alert, it was soon found that a harmless dog had alarmed the sturdy Dutchman. On the 12th, I received the unwelcome intelligence that my company had been selected to remain in the Fort, to guard the sick and baggage, and to my great mortification was compelled to march inside the piquets. But I must describe Fort Brooke. It is situated at the junction of Hillsborough river with Tampa, or rather Hillsborough Bay. The Fort is a triangle, the hypothenuse or base of which rests on the sea, in the apex are two block houses, which command two sides, and are fortified with cannon, on the breeches of which their sorrowing friends have painted the names of Dade, Gardiner and others who fell in the massacre. The base is commanded by a lunetta, and the whole is surrounded by a strong palisade, with sharp stakes on the top, amply supplied with loop holes for the musketry, and port holes for the cannon; outside the palisades, there has been dug a number of wolf traps, with a strong, sharp stake, in the bottom of each on which the enemy must be impaled, if they should succeed in approaching so near us. There are eighty or ninety volunteers, and eighty regulars and marines, in all about one hundred and sixty fighting men left in garrison: the whole under command of Major Sandes, a fine soldier looking gentleman of the regulars.

The army marched on the 13th, under command of General Gaines, of the United States army. Each man was supplied with ten days provisions. There were two battalions, one commanded by Lieut. Colonel Lawson, the other by Major Marks. The regulars, about four hundred in number, were led by Colonel Twiggs, Major Montfort, and other United States officers. They marched in high spirits and seemed eager for a brush with the enemy.

I should have mentioned that on the morning previous to our arrival, the friendly Indians had had a skirmish with the hostiles, in which two of the friendly tribe were wounded, and one named Old John was missing. This skirmish took place within four miles of{6} Fort Brooke. We found two Indians prisoners within the piquets: they had been taken in a manner which might well grace even the romantic days of ancient chivalry. A fine looking young Indian, named Yellow Hair, asked in marriage the daughter of Black Dirt, a friendly chieftain. The old man declared that none, save a warrior, need pretend to his daughter, and desired Yellow Hair if he wished to prove himself one, to go into the woods and make prisoners of three hostile Seminoles. Yellow Hair accordingly dashed into the forests, and at three different times brought in a prisoner. Two of them we found chained in the Fort; the third was killed by a centinel, on the morning of our arrival, in a desperate attempt to escape. He was a large, fierce looking man. His head has been secured and submitted to skilful craneologists. Yellow Hair of course married his black haired damsel, and a few days after, set out at the head of a party of his countrymen to act as scout to General Gaines.

When the army had marched, we were a good deal employed in drilling at the small and great guns. Seventeen men were detached from my company for the artillery, and all lamented their inactive life, while their companions were ranging the wild woods in search of the foe.

23d.—On this day we had a melancholy duty to perform, viz:—the burial of one of the Louisiana volunteers; and on the day following we buried two friendly Indians. One of the Indians died a natural death, the other had been missing since the last skirmish with the hostile tribe, on the 8th inst. He was discovered on the 22d, by some hunters about six miles from Fort Brooke, with two bullet holes in his body. He died a warrior’s death, and received a warrior’s burial. When the body was laid in the coffin, one of his tribe placed a small bag beside it, containing his tobacco, ammunition, and other little articles which they suppose needful on the journey to the “pleasant hunting grounds.” The coffin was borne by the volunteers, preceded by the band, playing the dead march, and the guard appointed to fire over the grave; the officers of the garrison, with Major Sandes, the commander followed, and the sad procession was closed by a few men and several women of the tribe. The party halted beneath the flag staff; the flag was lowered half mast high, the union-jack was flung over the bier, the band struck up and we moved along to his “narrow resting place.” I{7} could not help observing the control which the Indians possess over their emotions, and for which they are so remarkable. The men, indeed, are perfect stoics, but the poor women could not resist the voice of nature. Some of them (perhaps his wife and daughter) shed many and bitter tears, and when the coffin was lowered into the grave, pressed forward to take a last look at what had been so dear to them, and sobbed loudly and bitterly. When they had indulged their grief for a short time, they were gently removed from the grave, the guard fired three volleys over the body of the deceased warrior, the band struck up a merry tune and the party dispersed, forgetting most of them, that there had ever been such a being as old Indian John.

26th—Received two hundred and sixty volunteers from St. Marks, under the gallant Major Reed. He was too independent to place himself under United States officers, but encamped on the other side of the river Hillsborough.

29th—Buried another Louisiana volunteer, named Gray. On his arrival at Tampa Bay, he had become extremely ill, and was left behind on the sick list, when General Gaines marched; soon after, his malady turned to madness, which was, I fear, confirmed by the treatment he received. Instead of being properly attended to, he was chained by the leg, outside the Fort, with nothing whatever to shade him from the burning sun. He was kept in this state several days; he was at length admitted into the hospital, but it was too late; he died soon after. Poor fellow! He perished far from his friends and home, the victim of the grossest negligence and brutality. Such conduct in the medical department should not be overlooked.

March 5th—Alabama volunteers arrived, and the day after another company from Louisiana; the whole amounting to twelve hundred men, was commanded by Colonel Lindsay.

9 h—News was brought in early in the night, that a party of the enemy was driving away cattle in the neighborhood. Major Reed crossed the river with his command, at midnight, and was fired on, happily without effect, by our piquet guard, who knew nothing of his movements. About six o’clock, A. M. he came up with a small party of Indians, fast asleep. Their dogs quickly roused them, and they themselves, when they saw the white skins rushing on, threw away their rifles, blankets, and other incumbrances, and jumped{8} into a river close by, where four or five of them were shot. Major Reed returned at twelve o’clock, bringing with him a number of mess pans and spades, also several ponies and blankets which they had left behind in their haste. He reported that there was a large quantity of camp kettles, spades, &c., on the ground. A party was immediately sent for them with a team and brought them in before night. They had been buried by General Gaines army sometime before, and were discovered and dug up by the Indians. We christened this skirmish the battle of the Messpans.

13th—Buried a volunteer from Alabama, a fine young man. Colonel Lindsay refused to allow him a glass of wine, from the sutler’s store, though ordered by the doctor, a few hours before his death. This was carrying his ideas of temperance a little too far. We also buried one of the friendly Indians, who had been killed in a drunken fray the day before. The camp of the friendly tribe is on the other side of the river. Two Spaniards have been for some time supplying them with liquor, and they have been more than a week in a state of beastly intoxication. I paid them a visit yesterday, and saw among other curiosities a fine young squaw with her nose and ears cropped off. I inquired the reason of an old white lady, who lived close by, and learned that it is a summary mode of proceeding with those errant damsels, who are convicted of being too philanthropic.

An Indian chief who had gone out with General Gaines, arrived to day, bringing news from the army, and on the day following Black Dirt also arrived. The latter chief, though now the firm friend, was at one time the inveterate enemy of the whites. I have been informed that he once fought hand to hand with General Jackson, and was left for dead by the hero of New Orleans. He wears a turban composed of five handkerchiefs, and declares that each handkerchief shall cost Powell one hundred dollars. I should have mentioned that Powell has set a price on his head, offering five hundred dollars to any one who shall carry it to him.

15th—Colonel Lindsay’s command, amounting to one thousand two hundred men, including Major Reed’s party, marched before breakfast. Early in the morning some of the volunteers cropped the tail and mane of the Colonel’s horse, and burned the Colonel himself in effigy. His whole army was enraged with him, for forbidding the Sutler to sell them a glass of liquor of any kind. His horse{9} (which he had previously selected, from a large number,) he was forced to exchange with one of his officers amid the hooting and groaning of the troops. A party of marines from the frigate Constellation, eighty in number, accompanied him as a life guard.

16th—Buried two volunteers, one from Tuscaloosa, the other from Louisiana, and on the following day another from Alabama. We have a great number of sick in the Fort. Among them is one of the men who escaped the massacre of Major Dade’s command. His account of the affair is this:

Major Dade set out from Fort Brooke on the 23d December, 1835, for Camp King, distant one hundred and ten miles, at the head of a party consisting of one hundred and ten non-commissioned officers and privates, and six commissioned officers, besides myself; among them was one medical gentleman. They took with them one waggon, drawn by horses, one six pounder, and an ox team; the latter obliged them to travel slowly. They encamped the first night, on the Little Hillsborough, seven miles from the Fort. Next day they crossed the Big Hillsborough, afterwards the Little, and by Ouithlacouchy rivers, and on the night of the 27th, camped near a pond called the Clayhole. Each night they raised a small breastwork round their little camp. The ill fated party breakfasted on the morning of the 28th before sunrise, and pursued their journey; the road lying along the margin of the pond. They reached the extreme end without any interruption. On one side was a large forest of pine trees, on the other was the pond. Some of the party had passed round its head when they were alarmed by the report of a rifle, and immediately after a musket was discharged by one of the soldiers. The party halted, and Mr. Clarke (my informant) looked earnestly at the Major, expecting some command. A volley was here poured on them by their unseen foe; the Major was in the act of turning when he and his horse fell completely perforated with balls. Captain Frazer, Lieutenant Mudge, and the advanced guard fell at the same time. The soldiers were completely taken by surprise; some were so much flustered that they fired in the air, but after a few shots they became cool enough. The six pounder was now brought up and discharged two or three times, when the army fled in all directions. Several hundreds of them were seen collected on a mound, a mile and a half from the scene of action. This gave the troops some breathing time; they commenced throwing up a{10} breastwork, but were not allowed to complete it. In about three quarters of an hour the Indians moved from the knoll, and collected a half a mile off. They then advanced coolly and deliberately to a second attack. Captain Gardiner took the command within the breastwork; the men lay down to load and kept up a constant fire until three o’clock, P. M.; but their ranks were sadly thinned. Captain Gardiner had fallen covered with wounds; Lieutenant Keys had both arms broken; Lieutenant Henderson had his left arm broken, but loaded and fired forty rounds afterwards, and Lieutenant Bassinger was also severely wounded. Mr. Clarke observed Dr. Gatlin, as the Indians advanced to the second attack, posted behind a log, with two double barrelled guns beside him. He heard the doctor say he had four barrels for them. Mr. C. saw no more of him till he was creeping out at night, when he passed by the corpse of the doctor, stripped quite naked. Towards the close of the fight, Mr. C. received a severe wound in the shoulder; he had been previously shot in the thigh, arm and back, and one buckshot had grazed his temple. The last bullet from a musket entered his shoulder and passed out through his back, rendering him completely hors de combat. The fire soon after ceased; all inside the breastwork were either killed or severely wounded. The Indians broke in, and, strange to say, neither scalped the dead nor abused the wounded. They contented themselves with pillaging all of their arms, ammunition and provisions. When they had quit the field, a body of negroes fifty or sixty in number, came up on horseback, entered the enclosure, and commenced hacking and cutting the wounded, in a most savage manner. They approached Lieutenant Bassinger, he sprang on his feet and begged them to spare his life, but they knew not the voice of mercy; they struck him down with a tomahawk, cut open his breast and tore out his heart and lungs. They proceeded in the same brutal manner with the rest of the wounded, stripping them all of their clothes. At length they approached Mr. C. and stripped off his jacket, in the pocket of which he had one hundred and twenty dollars; they also took off his hat and boots and felt for his watch. One of the ruffians remarked that he was alive and proposed to drive a bayonet through him but was overruled by one of his comrades, who observed that the wound in his head would certainly kill him, and that they should let him suffer as much pain as possible before death. This saved him. The{11} negroes soon departed laden with plunder. The poor fellow lay on his face for some time; at length he felt a hand on his shoulder, and one of his comrades having ascertained that he was still alive, proposed to him to set out immediately; he refused, stating that it was too soon. The other left him and had not crept many yards when an Indian stepped from behind a log and shot him. A dark cloud and a rain storm came on; this was a moment too favorable to be lost. Mr. C. crept cautiously into the wood and met another comrade attempting his escape; they travelled together. Next morning they perceived an Indian in pursuit, gaining very fast on them. They immediately separated, entering the woods, the one on the right, the other on the left hand. The Indian pursued and killed one, and returned in search of the other, who had concealed himself in some thick palmettoes. He approached so near that he made the bushes rustle over his intended victim; but he soon abandoned the search and returned to the Black Swamp, the home of his people. Mr. Clarke travelled slowly to Fort Brooke, which he reached in three days. The distance from the battle field is sixty five miles. He was forced to creep on his hands and knees nearly two thirds of the way. One of his comrades, named Thomas, had arrived the day before, wounded in the thigh. Another named Sprague, came in the day after, wounded in the arm, and these three were the only survivors of one hundred and seventeen men. A small dog of Captain Gardiner’s also arrived wounded in the neck. Black Dirt had predicted the state of the party previous to its march from Fort Brooke, and advised them not to go; but Major Dade treated the matter lightly; he had no apprehensions, and the event unfortunately proved that the prediction of the Indian was but too correct.

21st.—Colonel Lindsay returned with a part of his command to obtain provisions. He had only been twenty-one miles distant from us on the Big Hillsboro’ River, where he had built a Fort, called Fort Alabama, somewhat similar to Fort Brooke. A few days before, he had dispatched a man named Evans, to Fort King, with letters for the main army, and had promised him a handsome reward, if he should succeed in escaping the vigilence of the enemy. Evans was well mounted, he passed by their main body asleep at night, and soon after fell in with a drove of their ponies; his horse neighed, the Indians’ dogs barked, and they themselves were soon on the qui vive—Evans perceived that he was surrounded, and determined to{12} return by the way he came; he accordingly charged back, and was fired on from all sides without injury to himself or horse, though the Indians killed several of their own ponies which were close by.

Colonel Lindsay returned, the day following, to Fort Alabama, whence his intention was to march towards Gen. Gaines’ army.

26th.—A Cutter arrived from St. Marks, with several officers from Gen. Gaines’ army, confirming the accounts we had previously received by the seven days skirmish with the enemy, and the distress of the army for provisions. Gen. Gaines had proceeded to New Orleans.

27th.—Two non-commissioned officers of the Fort, assistant Commissary Sergeants, Turner and Sunderland, with two citizens, Messrs. Simmonds and Stewart rode out, after dinner on horseback. They had been but a short time gone, when we heard the reports of several rifles and two or three distinct yells. In a few minutes after we saw one of them, Mr. Turner, come in at full gallop, and a horse without his rider close behind. Mr. Turner informed he had been fired on by the Indians one mile from the Fort, and that the other three had been killed. He himself had received a bullet through his cap. A party was immediately formed, and marched towards the place of ambuscade; on the road they met Mr. Sunderland with his right arm broken and Mr. Simmonds shot through the back. Both their horses had been shot, but luckily carried their riders two hundred yards or more, Mr. Simmonds’ horse fell on him, but in the death plunge left him at liberty. Mr. Sunderland’s horse had fallen, thrown his rider and made for his stable, but dropped dead before he reached it. Mr. Stewart, the fourth of the party was found dead and scalped; some of his clothes had been stripped off, and his body and face were covered with wounds from bullets and knives. The savages had dragged him fifty yards from the road and left him beside a tree, but a faithful dog had remained close to him, and when the poor creature saw the troops, it ran out and conducted them to its unfortunate master. The body was carried into the Fort, a shocking spectacle. The bullet was extracted from Mr. Simmonds’ shoulder without doing any injury, but Mr. Sunderland lost his right arm. The operation was performed next day, at his own request; he bore it with the resolution of a man and a Soldier. Next day a scouting party marched out and scoured the adjacent hammocks, but we saw nothing except the tracks and fires of the Indians.{13}

April 4th.—Colonel Lindsay and Major Reed, returned with their respective commands, much distressed for want of provisions. On their march from Fort Brooke, they had lost one private of Capt. H. S. Marks’ company, raised partly in New Orleans, partly in Mobile. He was killed and scalped six miles from the Fort. Capt. H. S. Marks who, by the by, has used his company scandalously, had been left to garrison Fort Alabama, and the Colonel proceeded in search of the enemy. At one day’s march from the Fort, he met them and skirmished for three or four days; he also burnt several villages and had a few men killed and wounded; some of his friendly Indians killed and scalped an old Chief named Kifixo:—He had on a coat pierced with fourteen bullet holes and nearly covered with old clotted blood. It was taken from one of Major Dade’s soldiers. The Colonel’s tardy motions by no means suited the bold disposition of Major Reed. The men too, accused the Colonel of avoiding the larger hammocks, where the enemy would naturally conceal themselves; whereas, the Major was for charging through them. Major Reed appears perfectly qualified for this species of warfare. He was constantly at the head of his men; and the first to face any danger. He was present at the battle of Ouithlacouchy, under Gen. Clinch where he was wounded in the hip and had his horse shot under him. Had all the officers been like him, the manes of Major Dades’ murdered Soldiers might have been long since satisfied. The report of Gen Scott’s cannon on the Ouithlacouchy were heard by Colonel Lindsay’s army, and Major Reed advised an immediate advance to his assistance, but the Colonel’s timidity or imbecility would not allow it, in consequence of which the gallant Major declared he would neither camp with him, march with him, nor follow him, and he kept his word.

Fort Alabama had been meanwhile attacked and gallantly defended by Capt. H. S. Marks’ Company. Capt. M. Costa second man here. The Indians kept up a fire with little intermission for more than two hours, some of them climbing the trees and thence pouring in their volleys, one of them in particular had sheltered himself behind a thick bough and was fired at repeatedly, at each unsuccessful shot he shook his leg at the Fort, and was heard to crow like a rooster. He was, however, brought down by a rifle; and fell about thirty feet. Another contrived to conceal himself behind a tree, within one hundred yards of the Fort, and fired a few shots, but he soon{14} attracted the notice of all eyes, and whenever his arm or any part of his clothing appeared, more bullets whistled by him, than would have let out the lives of half his tribe. At length he made a tremendous bound and escaped. It was supposed that he was wounded, as he fell three times, but he appeared like the giant of old, to gain new vigour from each contact with the earth. The tree behind which he stood and the logs of which the fort was built, were completely covered with ball holes; after two hours firing, the Indians retired, carrying with them their dead and wounded.

April 4th.—Colonel Lindsay and Major Reed, returned to Fort Brook and camped, giving each other a wide berth. On the following day Gen. Eustace arrived with a large body of horse from Georgia and South Carolina. Gen. Scott also arrived with the army which had marched out under Gen. Gaines. He encamped on the other side the river, for the sake of water, and our friends soon gratified our curiosity, by giving us an account of their campaign. They had marched on the 13th Feb. from Tampa under command of Gen. Gaines. There were about seven hundred Volunteers from Louisiana, and four hundred Regulars, each man was supplied with ten days provisions; one half was carried in the knapsacks, the other on the pack-horses. There were no field pieces, no baggage waggons, and there were no means provided for carrying the sick or wounded. At some miles distance, they passed by the ruined plantations of Mr. Simmonds and others, who had either been murdered or had barely escaped with their lives to Fort Brooke. They encamped one night near the Alafaiah (yellow fire) river, where they received a boatload of provisions from Fort Brooke, sent back several of the sick. On the 17th, they forded the Hillsboro’ river, the bridge having been burnt down by the enemy, to prevent any communication with Fort King; this was the case with all the other bridges. The greatest credit is due to Colonel Twiggs and Major Montfort, for the very efficient personal assistance they rendered in the passage of the rivers. 18th.—They burned an Indian Village, having first obtained from it a large quantity of Corn, Rice and Cooking Utensils. They crossed the Ouithlacouchy, on the 19th, and spent the night round Major Dade’s last camp; on the morning of the 20th, they marched on, and soon reached the scene of his unfortunate massacre. Here a spectacle never to be forgotten, was presented to their eyes; the bodies of{15} more than one hundred men lay within and around the breastwork, shot, most of them, through the head, many gashed and brutally mangled; they appeared not to have been disturbed since the battle, or rather the massacre; the oxen lay within the breastwork, still yoked together as they had been shot down, one soldier lay dead in the cart, the gun-carriage and horse waggon had been burned, and the piece itself carried off and concealed. The army halted and buried the whole command with the honours of war. On the persons of the dead were found several hundred dollars, which was handed over to the Commanding Officer to be conveyed to their widows and orphan children. The arms and ammunition had been carried off by the enemy. The field piece was afterwards discovered sunk in a pond a few hundred yards distant. It was raised and placed at the head of the Officer’s grave. After this melancholy duty, they crossed the Ouithlacouchy, and on the 23d, reached Camp King, much fatigued and in great want of provisions. Fort King was garrisoned by sixty Regulars, who had only heard of Major Dade’s massacre a few days before. Gen. Gaines encamped on a hill close to the Fort, and on the following morning despatched the pack horses and three companies of Regulars for provisions, to Fort Drane, twenty-four miles distant. They returned with scarce eight days provisions; these were issued, and orders given to prepare for a march.

27th—The army again moved on with one baggage waggon, one six pounder, and two carts. They marched ten miles and halted for the night. Next morning the bugles sounded forward, and at one o’clock, P. M., they again sounded for a halt. The army was now within three miles of the Ouithlacouchy, and close to General Clinch’s battle ground. The previous night had been very wet, and the halt was ordered for an inspection of arms. On their advance they burned a large village called Powelltown, formerly the head quarters of the nation, and a little farther on, halted at Clinch’s battle ground. While burying some of his dead who had been disinterred and abused by the savages, the left wing was attacked, the enemy firing from the other side of the river. Their fire was warmly answered for three quarters of an hour, when the bugles sounded a retreat from the banks of the river. One man was killed on our side and six wounded; the loss of the enemy is not known. A breastwork was thrown up, during the night, round that of General Clinch.{16} Next morning the troops marched down the river, in search of a fording place, in order to cross over and come at close quarters, with the enemy. The advanced guard reached the bank and received an unexpected volley while attempting to sound the stream. Here fell Major Izard, the commander of the advance, an officer universally respected and esteemed; he was on horseback, a fair mark for the Indians, and received a bullet through his head. There was one man besides the Major killed, and there were several wounded; among the latter were Captain Saunders, chief of the friendly Indians, the main guide, and Captain Armstrong, of the United States schooner Motto. As it was impossible to ford the stream in the face of the enemy’s fire, independent of its depth, the General took measures for building a bridge. Some of the men were employed felling pine trees, others hollowing them canoe fashion, while a third party kept the Indians in play. Towards night all hands commenced a breastwork a few yards from the river, and lay, I shall not say, slept within them.

March 1st—A party of one hundred and fifty men was sent out to skirmish, while the main body was employed preparing the bridge. They crept silently down the river, keeping a sharp lookout, each man posted behind a tree or log. About eleven o’clock, A. M., an attack was commenced by the Indians from the other side of the river, and in a few minutes from all sides. They had crossed in two large bodies above and below the camping ground, and poured in a volley from all quarters. The fire was answered by the army, and the six pounder was used on the side the enemy appeared to me strongest. At one time they set the woods on fire to windward, expecting to burn down the breastwork, and conceal themselves behind the smoke, but they were disappointed, when the fire caught the breastwork, it was quickly extinguished by throwing water and sand on it, and the grape and canister from the field piece soon routed them from their lurking places; the wind too shifted suddenly and the smoke was driven back on themselves. After an engagement of two hours and three quarters they were forced to retreat. The loss in killed and wounded was considerable. General Gaines himself was wounded in the mouth.

On the previous night he had despatched ten men on horseback to Fort Drane, with an express to General Clinch, stating that the provisions were nearly exhausted, and requesting a reinforcement, as he found the Indians too numerous.{17}

On the night of the 1st March, another express was forwarded to the same purpose, with a report of the killed and wounded; the breastworks were raised one log higher.

On the morning of the 2d March the enemy commenced a dropping fire from small parties, which obliged our men to keep within the breastwork, as the ammunition was nearly exhausted, and they could not afford to throw away a single shot. At night the Indians lit large fires around the camp and kept a strict look out. This game continued eight days. The troops were totally destitute of provisions, during the last four days, and were forced to subsist on horses, dogs and roots; the rations even of these, were so small, that some of the men cleaned the very guts and devoured them; the hind quarter of a dog sold for five dollars, and a single biscuit was purchased at the same price. A third express was dispatched to Fort Drane for provisions and reinforcements; all three arrived safe.

On the night of the 8th, a stentorian voice was heard outside the breastwork, stating that the Indians were tired of fighting, and were desirous of a treaty. The herald asked if a flag of truce would be respected, and on being answered in the affirmative, promised to return in the morning, with provisions and other necessaries for a “dog feast.” He returned in a half an hour saying that the chiefs would come in on the following morning, at nine o’clock, and requested the General to allow no work on that day.

9th—The chiefs, according to promise, came at the appointed time; Powell, Alligator, Jumper and the interpreter, who was also the herald of the preceding night, a very tall negro, rejoicing in the name of Dr. Johnston. The Indians, about five hundred in number, were paraded a short distance in rear of the camp; the chiefs approached within one hundred and fifty yards, and requested an equal number of our people to meet them for a talk. Adjutant Barron with the Interpreter and other officers went out and parleyed with them for an hour and a half. One of the chiefs asked the Adjutant if he was not hungry, and received an answer far from the truth, with this addition, that there was plenty of provisions within the breastwork. The chiefs rose and promised to return in the evening with a decisive answer, at the same time requesting General Gaines to give them some brandy and tobacco. He told them that the last of the brandy had been served out that morning, and, to save appearances, supplied them with some tobacco by levying a{18} contribution on the army. At four o’clock, P. M., they again made their appearance and asked a longer time to deliberate, but General Gaines would not consent. They were still talking and about to come to terms, when General Clinch made his appearance with five hundred men. Jumper saw him arrive, and noticed it to our officers. He then ordered his men to retreat across the river immediately, and promised to return next morning. General Clinch, seeing the Indians retreat, and not knowing their object, fired on them with little effect, but our officers soon explained to him the state of affairs.

He brought with him two hundred horsemen, three hundred foot, one sixpounder, five or six carts, and better still, two days provisions, besides live stock. At night, the sable ambassador, Doctor Johnston again made his appearance, requesting a truce of three days, as Powell had gone away to see his wife and collect his warriors. General Gaines replied that if the enemy would not come in and surrender their arms on the following morning, he himself would cross the river and attack them. [Exit, Dr. Johnston.]

10th—Ten o’clock came but no Indians. The troops remained a few days longer in this encampment, which was called Camp Izard, from the death of the Major, and subsequently Camp Misery, from the sufferings of the people. At the expiration of a few days they marched with Clinch’s command to Fort Drane where they halted several days, recruiting after their fatigues. The post occupied by the regulars was called Camp Twiggs, that held by the volunteers Camp Smith. The men complain heavily of the commissary who had the conscience to sell them their own biscuit at the exhorbitant price of ten dollars per barrel. Previous to this, while Corporal Dyre of the Louisiana Greys, he had sold the provisions of the company, to Mr. Simmonds of Tampa Bay, to pay for his own board and that of a few friends; and the coffee and sugar belonging to the company, he had appropriated to himself and the commissioned officers, who neither drew nor bought provisions. He was afterwards obliged to refund the bread and pork. This is but a small specimen of the man: I need mention no more.

General Gaines left the army at Fort Drane, on account of some misunderstanding between him and Scott. Scott had been lying for some time at Picolata, and it was believed, might have materially assisted in preventing the sufferings of the troops; but, obeying the dictates of envy and jealousy, he said that as Gen. Gaines had{19} got himself into his present difficulties, he might extricate himself from them. Such language, if true, cannot be too severely censured.

24th—The army marched from Fort Drane, under command of Gen. Scott, increased by the junction of his troops and those of General Clinch, to two thousand five hundred men.

On the night of the 26th, one of the carts which had dropped a few miles behind was attacked and robbed by the Indians, who killed one negro, and cut his throat from ear to ear. Another colored man brought in the news, barely escaping with his life. His horse was wounded, and a bullet had passed through the skirt of his coat.

28th.—They reached Camp Izard and fired the field piece, as a signal for Gen. Eustace and Colonel Lindsay: it was not answered by either, but was soon responded to by the Indians’ rifles from the opposite bank of the river, giving notice that their “voice was still for war.” An encampment was formed, and preparations made for constructing a bridge; the work was continued through the night. In the morning orders were issued for a march. The Ouithlacouchy, here thirty-five yards wide, was crossed, the troops and waggons passing over in two flat boats, built by Gen. Clinch for the purpose, at Fort Drane, and drawn to the river on wheels. The Louisiana Volunteers with a small party of Regulars, were the first to cross the river. A breastwork was constructed without any molestation from the Indians. In the evening they fired on the rear while crossing the river; but the two field pieces, which were placed on the banks to cover the passage, were quickly brought to bear on them, and soon sent them to the right about. They continued, however, to fire a few dropping shots from a considerable distance, which did no mischief. On the 30th, the army reached the Black Swamp, the great hiding place of the Savages, and no place could be better chosen for such a purpose. It is nearly twelve miles square, and is full of ponds, rivers and hammocks. A halt was ordered, and a detail of three hundred men, was left to guard the baggage. The main body advanced into the Swamp, in pursuit of the enemy, who had been already seen. They had not marched far, when they gave chase to two Indians, and pressed them so hard, that they were forced to throw away their packs, and escape with their rifles only. The troops marched six miles into the Swamp, carrying with them nothing except one day’s rations. They surrounded and{20} scoured the hammocks on the way, and encamped towards evening. Soon after, several Indians were observed at a short distance from the camp, making signs for some of our people to go out and talk with them. The Interpreter and a few friendly Indians were sent for the purpose. The enemy begged a peace, requesting General Scott to remain quiet for a few days, until the return of Powell from the Gulf of Mexico. The General would not listen to the proposal, but marched the next morning (31st,) and attacked them in their hammock, whilst preparing breakfast. They fled precipitately, abandoning their provisions, which were speedily devoured by the almost starving troops. The pursuit was continued, firing occasionally as the Indians appeared crossing from one hammock to another, until at length after wading a pond three feet deep, the army came to a hammock thicker than the rest, where the enemy had halted, thinking themselves more secure, and from which they poured a well directed volley on our men. The fire was answered from the whole battalion. The regulars were ordered to charge into the hammock, hut evinced very little willingness to obey. The order was then given to the Louisiana Volunteers; they rushed in like so many wolves, disregarding every obstacle, and pursued the enemy to the banks of the river, following them by the blood which had flowed in streams. No Indians were seen on the banks, and the Volunteers returned to the main body, at the recall of the bugle. This skirmish cost them four men killed and many wounded. The enemy’s loss was not known, as they are very careful in carrying off their dead and wounded. The usual signal gun was fired by the baggage guard, and was answered by General Eustace and Colonel Lindsay, at a great distance. The main body returned to the baggage, carrying with them their dead and wounded. The dead were buried on the same day with the honours of war.

April 1st.—Provisions being nearly out, General Scott ordered a march towards Fort Brooke, along the borders of the Swamp, burning and destroying all the Villages on the way. On the morning of the 2d, they made an early start, and at 10 o’clock, left three hundred and fifty men, composed of the Georgia Volunteers, to build and garrison a Fort, called Fort Cooper. They were supplied with one six pounder, and nineteen days’ provisions. This post was afterwards attacked fifteen days successively, and sustained but little loss. The General made a forced march, and at night occupied the vacant breastwork built by Colonel Lindsay a few days before.{21}

3d.—The advanced Guard, the Georgia Volunteer Cavalry, discovered some Indians in a prairie, and instead of attacking them, returned and applied for the assistance of the Louisiana Volunteers, which gave them (the Louisiana Volunteers) the trouble of charging through a large hammock, without the satisfaction of seeing a single Indian.

Next day, after a fatiguing march, they arrived at Tampa Bay, and camped a few miles from Fort Brooke, on the other side of the river. The men looked very different from the gay, gallant set of fellows who had marched away three months before, their clothes were torn, their shoes worn out, and they themselves were thin and dirty. General Scott gave them the highest praise, and promised to send them home direct from Tampa. 8th.—An order was issued, that my company which had remained in garrison, should return to the Louisiana Volunteers. We immediately crossed the river, and were once more with our regiment. On the morning of the 9th, an Indian prisoner was brought to Fort Brooke by one of the Revenue Cutters. He had been taken in the following manner: some days before a party of seamen, commanded by Lieutenant Powell, had been dispatched from the Sloop of War Vandalia, to Charlotte’s harbour, in consequence of some outrages committed by the Indians in that quarter. The seamen had built a Fort large enough to accommodate themselves and the families of several Spanish fishermen. The Collector of Customs had been murdered a short time before by the Indians, and the Spaniards were much alarmed. The prisoner was the particular object of their terror and aversion. He was known to be a determined fellow, was a suspected accomplice in the Custom house Officer’s murder, and had sworn vengeance against several of the Spaniards. His sister, (a reputed prophetess,) was married to one of them. Lieutenant Powell went with his party to a house at night, and demanded admittance; some one within, shouted Hallo! and immediately after the door was opened, and out rushed three Indians. Two of them were shot down, and three sailors seized the third, but he made a desperate struggle, and succeeded in escaping: the men might have killed him, but the orders were to take him alive. His retreat, a well chosen one, was discovered a few days after:—A tree grew on the outer end of a sand bar, which was covered with water at flood tide; the tree was then a mile from the shore, and the water was scarce a foot deep.{22} The Indian had rigged a very convenient sleeping place for himself, among the boughs, whence he would observe every thing passing around, with very little danger of discovery. He was, however, watched by the Spaniards, who dreaded him, his retreat was reported to Lieutenant Powell, and he himself was seized, whilst asleep, and conducted to Tampa Bay. He reported that there were a considerable number of Indians, besides Negroes, and a large quantity of ammunition, in the neighbourhood of Charlotte’s harbour, and declared his readiness to conduct a party to the spot, stipulating, that he should afterwards recover his freedom. General Smith, immediately volunteered the services of himself and Regiment; his offer was accepted, and on Sunday the 10th, we embarked in the brigantine Calvin and the Schooner Cumberland, for Charlotte’s harbour, distant seventy or eighty miles. We had light winds, and were not landed till the Sunday following. Five days’ rations of provisions were then issued, and orders given for a march on the following day. The men were much dissatisfied: their clothes and shoes were worn out, their feet blistered, and General Scott, having first expressed his perfect satisfaction at their conduct, had promised to them, home direct from Tampa Bay. A statement to this effect was sent in to General Smith, on the evening previous to our march; but was not noticed. Next morning (18th,) we started with five days’ provisions, and marched seven or eight miles. The day was very hot, and the men dropped behind in considerable numbers. We halted at 12 o’clock, and the General gave orders, that all who chose to go forward, should step on in front, and that the others should return to our camping ground, at the embouchure of the Maijaka river. About one hundred and twenty volunteers stepped out, making with the seamen from the Sloop of War Vandalia and the Revenue Cutter, one hundred and sixty men; too small a party to face the enemy; but General Smith was willing to expose his life on this, and indeed all other occasions, and it was our duty to follow. Those who remained behind had every reason to do so: some were unwell, some had no shoes or canteens: they had all undergone much fatigue, and the General told them, it was no disgrace to return. They shared their provisions with us, and wished us success. The bugle sounded forward, and we soon struck the river, where we found a fleet of canoes, waiting to receive our baggage. One half of the party ascended the stream in boats to a convenient{23} camping ground, and the rest marched through the woods towards the same point, with the Indian for a guide; he was strictly watched, although he showed no desire to attempt an escape. The march was longer than we expected, and some of the officers were very impatient with and suspicious of the guide, his language was a mixture of Spanish and Indian, and no one of the party could understand him correctly: the road, too, winded circuitously through the hammocks and along the bayous, with which the banks of the river are indented, and we were forced to march several miles, to gain one in the right direction. About 10 o’clock at night, we came to a hammock which seemed scarce penetrable: the guide said that General Smith with the boats, lay half an hour’s march on the other side; but the officers suspected treachery, and determined to halt. We placed a strict guard over the prisoner, built our fires, and spent the night round them. We started early next morning, and in half an hour’s walk, came on the General’s camping ground, as the Indian had told us the previous night. The whole party here embarked in the canoes, the right under command of Lieutenant Lawson, the left under Captain Ross of the mariners. Our object was supposed to be the burning of an Indian village in the interior. The river was very beautiful, and for the most part deep; there is some excellent land on the banks, and plenty of timber. The Live Oak, Pine, Pickon and Cabbage Trees, are most numerous. It is no wonder that the red men are so unwilling to depart from the land of their fathers. It is a perfect Eden. The woods abound with game, the rivers with fish, and the soil produces almost spontaneously the few articles of food needed by the Indian.

We sailed and rowed many miles up the river, and halted at a pretty spot, called afterwards Live Oak Camp. Here we found evident signs of Indians; the ashes of fire recently extinguished, green hides, two live fowls, which were quickly smoking in the General’s quarters, and several razors and other articles supposed to have been the property of the murdered collector of customs.

20th—Again embarked and rowed a few miles up the stream, but were forced to return on account of the obstructions. We left the boats at Live Oak Camp, with a few men to guard them, shouldered our knapsacks and tramped through the woods. We expected to fall in with some live stock but were disappointed. We marched up the river through the best land we had yet seen, and observed the{24} recent tracks of cattle, horses and dogs. Towards night we fell in with an old Indian encampment close to a brook of excellent water. We built ourselves huts of palmettoes and boughs and slept comfortably in spite of the rain. We called this spot Camp Cowpens, from a large cattle pen close by.

21st—Passed through several large prairies; near one of them we observed the figure of an Indian rudely carved in the bark of a tree. We soon after waded the river nearly four feet deep; the guide followed by the General, leading the way. A halt was called on the other side and the people amused themselves swimming.

A Dutchman who could not swim, contrived to get out of his depth and was seen struggling very hard. He sank several times and at length raised his head and shouted alligator. The river abounds with them. Captain Green of the revenue cutter, Lieutenant Powell and General Smith, who were ashore, jumped in and brought him out alive but nearly exhausted. We saw no Indians or village on that or the following day, and the provisions being out, returned to Live Oak Camp on the morning of the 23d. At a short distance from it the advance guard fired on a deer, while the rear were threading their way through a hammock. We all thought the Philistines were surely upon us, and rushed forward as fast as possible. The deer bounded along the whole line and offered a mark to almost every man, but escaped uninjured.

We had suffered not a little from hunger; our expectation was to return in a day at farthest, to Live Oak Camp; we therefore left most of our provisions with the boats, and felt the want of them severely as we were absent three days.

After breakfast we again embarked and descended the river to the camping ground of the regiment. We had every reason to congratulate ourselves on our return in safety. The expedition might have proved as disastrous as that of Major Dade: a small body of the enemy might have cut us off on the river, which is in some places not twenty yards wide. They might have fired on us with perfect security to themselves.

The summer, indeed, is scarcely the fit time for attacking them; the leaves are then so numerous that it is impossible to see them, and the weather is so hot that it is as impossible to carry the knapsack, provisions and accoutrements. The expedition has answered one good purpose; it has given some knowledge of a very interesting{25} and before unknown section of the territory. The land is excellent and the river may be made navigable for steamboats at a very trifling expense; it is besides adjacent to the Orleans market.

We embarked on the 24th, and reached Tampa Bay on the 27th. On the following morning Colonel Chisme returned to the Fort with a party composed of the fourth Regular Infantry, commanded by Colonel Foster, and the Alabama volunteers. Colonel Chisme had been despatched to bring in the garrison and military stores from Fort Alabama, which was considered untenable.

The Colonel carried off or destroyed the stores and placed a spring gun in the magazine, disposed in such a manner that on opening the door, the magazine itself should explode. The army had not marched more than a mile, when a tremendous explosion was heard, and there is little doubt that many of the red-skins were despatched to the hunting grounds of their great Manitto. On the same day (27th) fourteen miles from Fort Brooke, the army seven or eight hundred in number, was attacked by the Indians from a hammock. The regulars complain that the Alabama troops were not as willing to charge the hammocks as their old friends from Louisiana. Some of them acted like brave men, but the greater part hung back and lost the most favorable opportunity yet presented, of paying the Indians for old scores. The regulars charged the hammock and beat them off. The loss on our side was five killed and fourteen or fifteen wounded. Major Sandes had his horse shot under him. The horse of one of the Alabama volunteers was shot and fell on his rider: an Indian rushed from the hammock, intending to scalp him, but the gallant fellow though entangled beneath his horse, contrived to shoot the Indian, and reload his piece for a second enemy, but he was soon discovered, and relieved from his painful situation. If all his regiment had acted with the like resolution, the Indians would have had but little to boast of.

May 1st—General Scott had proceeded to the Ouithlacouchy, on his return to Fort Drane, and had left the following order:

Head Quarters of the Army of Florida, }
Tampa Bay, April 16th, 1836. }

ORDER—No. 37.

The Louisiana Regiment of Volunteers, under the gallant Colonel Persifor F. Smith, will on its return to this place, immediately proceed to New Orleans, in the best transports the Quarter Master{26}’s department can supply. It will first turn into store the arms and other property of the United States, in its possession, and which may not be necessary to the comfort of the regiment on its passage home.

At New Orleans, Major Clarke or other United States officer, shall muster the regiment out of the service of the United States, and it will at the same time be paid by the paymaster of the army, stationed in that city.

What may be the result of the expedition to Charlotte’s harbor and Pees creek, in which the Regiment is at present engaged, cannot be known to the Commanding General in some weeks. Judging from the past, the result cannot fail to be highly honorable to the Colonel, the officers and men of that efficient corps, which is already entitled to the thanks of the country. Doctor Lawson, the senior Surgeon of the United States army, who under a commission from the state of Louisiana, has served as Lieutenant Colonel of the regiment, and who has superadded the distinction of arms to his high medical reputation, will temporarily take charge of the general Hospital at this place. As soon as the great body of the sick shall have been restored and sent off to their respective States, Surgeon Lawson will return to his proper station.


By command of Major General Scott,


Aid de Camp and Act’g Ass’t Adj’t General.

The following order was issued by General Smith:

Camp Georgia, April 28th, 1836. }
Head Quarters, Louisiana Volunteers. }

ORDER—No. 18

The Regiment having completed the duties assigned to it by the Commanding General, he has ordered it to be transported to New Orleans, and there honorably discharged: the arms and accoutrements being deposited here.

The transports furnished are the schooners Emeline and Cumberland, the brigs Calvin, Martha and Caroline, and a steamboat. The troops are assigned to these transports as follows:{27}

To the schr. Emeline, Capts. Mark’s and Edwards’ Company.
Cumberland, Kerr and Williams’
brig Calvin, Abodi and Burt’s
Martha, Lee and Barr’s
Steamboat Magee, Rogers, Smith and Thistle’s

Major Marks and Dr. Cushman will embark in the schooner Cumberland; Adjutant Barron, and Serg’t Major Hand, in the Emeline; Surgeon Harrall and the Quarter Master Sergeant in the brig Calvin, and Lieut. Colonel Lawson with Lieuts. Balls and Dyer in the steamboat.

Fifteen days provisions will embark with each detachment.

As each transport arrives in New Orleans, the senior officer on board will require of the Quarter Master and Assistant Commissary the necessary quarters and provisions, until the troops are mustered out of the service.

By order of

Colonel Smith left Tampa Bay on 30th April in the cutter Dallas to meet General Scott at St. Marks, by order of the General.

May 1st—My company and that of Captain Lee received fifteen days rations and embarked in the schooner Martha, Captain Baker: the brig Calvin and schooners Emeline and Cumberland had sailed before us. We put to sea on the second, and soon bid adieu to the shores of fair Florida, with every prospect of soon exchanging the soldier’s bed of sand for the citizen’s couch of down, without the laborious precaution of erecting a breastwork, and of enjoying the luxury of lounging through the streets without an ass load of provisions on our backs.

The following are among the orders issued after our arrival at Fort Brooke:

Head Quarters, Western Department, }
Fort Brooke, 10th Feb., 1836. }

ORDER—No. 4.

I.—Captain E. A. Hitchcock, of the first Regiment United States Infantry, is hereby appointed to act as Assistant Inspector General of the Department.

II.—The troops of this post, consisting of A. B. G. and H. companies of the second Regiment of Artillery, and A. B. E. G. H. I. and K. companies of the fourth Infantry, with the Louisiana volunteers under Adj’t General Smith, will constitute a brigade, to be designated the Light Brigade, and shall be commanded by Lieut. Colonel D. E. Twiggs of the fourth Infantry.


III.—Lieut. I. Izard of the Dragoons, will perform the duties of Brigade Major and will report to Colonel Twiggs accordingly.

By order of Major General Gaines,
GEORGE A. M’CALL, Aid de Camp,
Acting Assistant Adjutant.

Head Quarters, Western Department, }
Fort Brooke, Feb. 11th, 1836. }


The Quarter Master, Captain Shannon, will furnish Howersacks or materials for making them, together with such camp equipage as may be necessary for the troops under command of Lieutenant Colonel Twiggs, proper requisitions being made for the same.

By order of Major General Gaines,
G. A. M’CALL, A. D. C.,
Acting Assistant Adjutant.

Head Quarters, Light Brigade, }
Fort Brooke, Florida, Feb. 10th, 1836. }

ORDER—No. 1.

1. In obedience to Western Department Order—No. 4, the undersigned assumes the command of the Light Brigade.

2. Orders will be received through Lieutenant Izard and Buchanan, and Battalion Adjutants will report for Orders, at the Head Quarters of the Brigade, at the sound of the Adjutant’s Call.

3. The troops will be in readiness to march on the morning of the 12th inst. They will take with them ten days’ rations, of which five shall be carried in the knapsacks. Each man shall also take with him twenty extra cartridges in his knapsack.

4. Where the strength of the Company is fifty or under, each shall take with it eight axes and slings and eight spades, and where over fifty, a proportioned number at that rate.

5. The officers and men shall not be permitted to leave their companies, without special permission from the Commanders of their respective companies.

Lieutenant Colonel Commanding.


Head Quarters, Light Brigade, }
Fort Brooke, Florida, Feb. 12th, 1836. }

1. The troops of this Fort will march to-morrow morning, and Commandants of Corps are directed to inspect their respective commands, and report the condition of their companies by 4 o’clock this afternoon.

2. Brevet Major R. M. Sandes’ fourth Infantry will remain in command of Fort Brooke. All the Regulars not able to march, together with one hundred and fifty men and a suitable number of Officers, to be detailed by Colonel Smith from his Regiment, will also remain. Assistant Surgeon Heistell will determine what men of the sick are unable to march.

3. First Lieutenants S. M’Kenzie, second Artillery, and G. Morris, fourth Infantry will remain at Fort Brooke, in discharge of their Staff duties. Lieutenant M’Kenzie, will retain Sergeant Armstrong of H. Company second Artillery, as the Ordnance Sergeant of the Post. Corporal Sunderland of B. Company third Artillery, will remain and report himself to Lieutenant J. C. Casey, second Artillery, acting Assistant Quarter Master, upon his arrival at this post.

(Signed,) D. E. TWIGGS,
Lieutenant Colonel Commanding.

Head Quarters, &c., }
Feb. 12th, 1836. }

ORDER—No. 15.

The Regiment will be inspected at 12 o’clock to day, when every company will be prepared to march in the morning. Each man is to have forty rounds of ammunition, and ten days’ rations, five of which are to be carried in the knapsacks.

By order of
A. G. BARROW, Adjutant.

ORDER—No. 20.

The Regiment is organized in two Battalions, the first is composed of the companies of Captains Burt, Lee, Williams, Rogers and Thistle, the second of the companies of Captains Marks, Ker, Magee, Smith, Abodi and Barr. Lieutenant Colonel Lawson is chief of the first Battalion, and Major Marks of the second. The companies will form in the order here named.

By order of
A. G. BARRON, Adjutant.


Head Quarters, Western Department, }
Fort Izard, on the Outhlacouchy, Florida, March 9, 1836. }

ORDER—No. 7.

1. Called to East Florida, by the savage massacre and conflagrations of the 28th December, and the following month, the Commanding General hastily collected together in Louisiana, the forces which accompany him from that patriotic State. These forces have, in the short space of thirty-six days, marched by land and sea, nearly eight hundred miles, one hundred and forty of which was through the country occupied by the enemy, whose principal force they have met, beaten, and forced to sue for a peace.

2. These important objects of the campaign have been accomplished, with the hearty and cordial co-operation of Brigadier General Clinch, to whose sound judgment the defence of this frontier had been confided, and by whose gallantry the enemy had been chastised on the 31st of December, and since held in check, as far as his limited means would allow: the troops from Louisiana are placed under his command, to guard against the known faithlessness of the enemy, until the arrival of the forces with the Officer charged with the diplomatic arrangements of the War Department. Whenever, and so soon as that Officer shall mature his plan of operations, and accomplish the duties assigned him, the forces from Louisiana, will return to New Orleans.

3. The Commanding General cannot, consistently with his views of propriety, take leave of the troops by whom he has been so manfully sustained, without tendering to them his grateful acknowledgements, for the constancy and courage with which they have performed every duty, and borne privations, the recital of which could not fail to command the admiration of the virtuous and the wise, in every section of the Republic. The officers and soldiers, comprehending the whole force, (including the Artillery from Tampa Bay,) acting as the Light Brigade, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Twiggs, of the fourth Infantry, have performed their duty so much to the satisfaction of the General, that he cannot discriminate between the relative claim of officers or individuals of corps, without the risk of invidious distinctions. All did their duty cheerfully and gallantly, and when it became necessary to meet the question, whether to eat the meat of their own horses, or to abandon an important position, all cheerfully resolved to prefer this unpleasant{31} species of subsistence, to any movement which might endanger the frontier. The horse meat was accordingly eaten by officers and men, until the enemy was beaten, and sued for peace, when a timely supply of subsistence arrived, escorted by the brave Georgians, Floridians and Regulars, under General Clinch, at the moment the pacific proposals of the enemy were being answered; and the Indians were fired on by the General’s light troops, before he could be notified of the object of their being so near the camp. They have since disappeared.

4. The General deeply regrets the fall of first Lieutenant I. F. Izard, of the Dragoons, acting Brigade Major, and in command of the advanced guard. He fell at the head of his corps, and, though mortally wounded, had the heroic presence of mind to cry, “keep your position men, and lie close.” Second Lieutenant Duncan, of the second Artillery, was slightly wounded. Captain Sanders, commanding the friendly Indians, was severely wounded, and Captain Armstrong, of the U. S. Schooner Motto, slightly. The two last mentioned were in the advance, where their services had been very useful. Lieutenant E. P. Smith, of Captain Williams’ company of Louisiana Volunteers, received three wounds; this officer, and two non-commissioned officers and soldiers of other companies of this Regiment, evinced their gallantry by their good conduct, as well as by their honourable wounds. The General is convinced, that he has never commanded a finer corps; its chiefs would do honour to any service. The officers of the medical department, meet the approbation of the General, for the attention and skilful manner in which their duties were discharged.

Killed—Sergeant    F. Dunn, second Artillery,1
 L. Bohe, Louisiana Volunteers,    1
 V. Beck, do1
 H. Butler, do1
Wounded, of non-commissioned and privates of Louisiana Volunteers,    29

By order of General Gaines,
A. D. C. Acting Assistant Adjutant General.


General Scott also had a few men killed and several wounded. The names of the killed as far as I can ascertain, are, Roame, Bilson, Robinson, of Captain Edwards’ company Louisiana Volunteers, and one Regular; there were several wounded, some of them have since died. The country is now in the hands of the savages, with the exception of Fort Brooke, Fort King and Fort Drane. Forts Cooper and Alabama, have been evacuated, and the Georgian and Alabamian Volunteers have returned home. The Indian may exult in his exploits, and dance round the scalps of his victims, until the approach of winter; then let the other States follow the example so nobly set by Louisiana; let them raise such men as she sent out, and like her place active and skilful Commanders over them: or if a cautious Fabius be appointed, let him have a Major Reed for his Marcellus; they may then cope with our Western Hannibal; but if the war must be prolonged, for the benefit of Army Contractors and others, then let the Fabian family come alone; “this the Seminoles wish, this Powell would purchase at a great price.”

Head Quarters of the centre of the Florida Army, }
Fort Brooke, April 7th, 1836. }

ORDER—No. 22.

In pursuance of Order No. 19, dated this day, at the Head Quarters of the Florida Army, the senior officer of the Louisiana Volunteers with the troops of that command who were left at this post, on the 13th of February last, and are now for duty, will join his Regiment.

The non-commissioned officers and privates, belonging to the Army are included in said Order, with the exception of those on extra duty in the Ordnance, Quarter Master’s and Subsistence Departments, and will join their respective companies.

Lieutenant M’Kenzie, second Artillery, will relieve Captain Barr, in the immediate command of the post.

The Quarter Master’s department will furnish the necessary transportation.

By order of Colonel W. Lindsay,
Commanding the centre of the Florida Army.
Acting Assistant Adjutant General.


Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:
Gen. Porsifor F. Smith volunteered his services=> Gen. Persifor F. Smith volunteered his services {pg 4 (Persifor Frazer Smith, 1798-1858)}
received tidings from Florida of a very alaming=> received tidings from Florida of a very alarming {pg 3}
Colonel: the latter gentlemen, the head physician=> Colonel: the latter gentleman, the head physician {pg 4}
The enlistment was commencad on the 24th January=> The enlistment was commenced on the 24th January {pg 4}
he received no answer to he third challenge=> he received no answer to the third challenge {pg 5}
hors du combat=> hors de combat {pg 10}
but the alarm was groudless=> but the alarm was groundless {pg 5}
had promissed him=> had promised him {pg 11}
his clothes had been striped off=> his clothes had been stripped off {pg 12}
but the Colonels timidity=> but the Colonel’s timidity {pg 13}
from each cantact with the earth=> from each contact with the earth {pg 14}
around the breatswork=> around the breastwork {pg}
and a single buiscuit=> and a single biscuit {pg 17}
28th.—They reached Camp Izzard=> 28th.—They reached Camp Izard {pg 19 [Camp Izard (1836-1842)]}
Fort Izzard=> Fort Izzard {pg 30 [Camp Izard (1836-1842)]}
III.—Lieut. I. Izzard of the Dragoons=> III.—Lieut. I. Izard of the Dragoons {pg 28 [James Farley Izard: Born 1811. Mortally Wounded Feb. 28, 1836.]}
2. Orders will be received through Lieutenant Izzard=> 2. Orders will be received through Lieutenant Izard {pg 28 [James Farley Izard: Born 1811. Mortally Wounded Feb. 28, 1836.]}
4. The General deeply regrets the fall of first Lieutenant I. F. Izzard,=> 4. The General deeply regrets the fall of first Lieutenant I. F. Izard, {pg 31 [James Farley Izard: Born 1811. Mortally Wounded Feb. 28, 1836.]}
cannot, consitently with his views=> cannot, consistently with his views {pg 30}
species of subsitence=> species of subsistence {pg 31}