Early Second Seminole War Tour
This tour roughly follows the line of Major Dade's march from Fort Brooke to Fort King and includes some other early Second Seminole War highlights.
Fort Brooke was built at the mouth of the Hillsborough River, by Colonel George M. Brooke, in 1824. According to the American understanding of the terms of the Treaty of Moultrie Creek (1823), the Seminoles lost the right to stay in this area. The US Army established the fort to enforce this provision. Fort Brooke played a significant role in the Second Seminole War. It was not only the December 1835 departure point for Major Dade’s command, whose ambush marked the beginning of the war, but it was also the principal port where Seminoles started their relocation process to Oklahoma. Fort Brooke played a role in the Third Seminole War but saw little action during the Civil War. The U.S. Army decommissioned the fort in 1883, and it was opened for homestead applications. Today, there is nothing left of the fort. In the 1980s, during the building of a parking garage in Tampa, the site was excavated leading to the discovery of artifacts and remains of US soldiers and Seminoles.
Fort Foster was constructed during the Second Seminole War as a means of defense against enemy Seminoles. The Second Seminole War lasted from 1925 to 1832, and the fort was open for much of that time. The fort was eventually abandoned and decayed over time. The land, however, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and a replica was built on the site in 1980. Tours and special, historically themed events are held at the fort throughout the year.
The Dade Battlefield Historic Memorial is the location of a massacre and skirmishes between the Seminoles and American troops after the Native American's resistance to leave the area and head to reservations. Tensions between the United States and the Seminoles began when the US acquired Florida from Spain in 1821. Three years later in 1824, under the Treaty of Moultrie Creek, the United States government decided to place Seminoles on a reservation. White settlers broke several elements of this treaty, including trespassing on public land in violation of the treaty as well as slave hunters trespassing on reservations looking for black Seminoles without proof of ownership. Such actions led to the bloody Dade Massacre, when on December 28th, 1835, Seminoles attacked 107 US troops traveling the Fort King Road. All but three men were killed, including Major Francis L. Dade. The Massacre and the following Battle of Wahoo initiated the Second Seminole War. The site of the Dade Massacre would eventually be preserved as the Dade Battlefield Historic State Park. In 1973, Dade Battlefield was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1994, the National Park Service listed the park as a National Historic Landmark. Nowadays, the 80-acre Dade Battlefield Historic State Park offers hiking, playgrounds, and other amenities, including a Visitor Center
The Battle of Wahoo Swamp occurred on November 21, 1836, during the Second Seminole War. This seven-year war was waged between the Seminole and Floridian settlers over control of central Florida. This particular battle was between General R.K. Call's army and several hundred Seminole Indians. The army was able to push the Seminole Indians south owing to superior firepower, but they were unable to pursue the Seminole Indians due to terrain and lack of supplies, thus forcing General Call to retreat. American forces suffered few casualties during the battle while it is unknown how many casualties the Seminole endured in the battle.
This is a memorial to David Moniac (December 1802 – November 21, 1836), the first Native American graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, who was killed in the Second Seminole War. A Creek with some Scots ancestry who was related to major Creek leaders on both sides of his family, Moniac was the first cadet to enter West Point from the new state of Alabama. Moniac resigned his commission in 1822 to manage his family property in Alabama, where he developed a cotton plantation. In 1836, during the Second Seminole War, Moniac was commissioned as a captain and selected to command a Creek volunteer cavalry unit, the only Native American among the officers. He was killed at the Battle of Wahoo Swamp. Moniac is believed to be buried at St. Augustine National Cemetery.
Fort King was originally built in 1827 during the first of three wars between American settlers and area Seminole tribes. The fort was named in honor of Colonel William King, the commander of the Fourth Infantry who fought in the First Seminole war. The original fort was disassembled and used for supplies following the establishment of Marion County. Given the historical value of the location, a replica was built in its place. Residents and visitors can learn about the history of Florida in the early 19th century as they tour the site, which offers a variety of interpretive signs that offer context about the wars between settlers and area Seminole tribes. Visitors to the fort should be sure to note the importance of geography as the fort is positioned on high ground between the river and nearby wetlands.