The Second Seminole War ended much quieter than it began in December 1835. It was the longest and most costly war the United States ever fought against the native American Indians. Finally in 1842, Colonel Worth, Commander of Forces in Florida, received word from President Tyler to stand-down the forces and the bring an end to the war. Below are the copies of the orders to end the war, and to make a monument to the dead soldiers and officers with a ceremony. This monument can be visited at the military cemetery behind St. Francis Barracks in St. Augustine, Florida.
Copied from "Ponce de Leon Land and Florida War Record" by Ord. Sergt. George M. Brown, U. S. A.; and "The Florida War" by John T. Sprague:
"The Florida War commenced with the murder of the Indian agent and Indian trader at Fort King and the surprise and massacre of Major Dade's command on the 28th of December, 1835, while on the march from Fort Brooke (Tampa Bay). The command was composed as follows; Bvt. Major Dade, 4th Infantry, Commander; Captain Gardner; Lieutenants Bassinger and Henderson. Second Artillery, Captain Fraser and Lieutenants Mudge and Keais. Third Artillery, Asst. Surgn. Gatlin, Medical Dept. of detachments of "B" and "C" Comps., 2d Artillery: "H" and "B" Comps. Third Artillery, and "B" Company 4th Infantry: consisting of one hundred and six officers and soldiers of whom but two wounded privates escaped. The war, thus commenced, continued until the 14th of August, 1842, and was terminated by the expulsion of the hostile bands, amounting, originally, to about 7,000 Indians, except 300 (including 95 warriors) who were allowed temporarily to reside within certain prescribed limits south of the Caloosahatchee River."
On or before the conclusion of the Florida service, it is proposed to gather the remains, first, of the officers and soldiers who fell with Major Dade; second, of other officers who may have been killed in battle, or died on this service. Preparatory thereto, the Colonel commanding has caused the remains first mentioned and those of several officers within reach to be transferred to St. Augustine with a view to interment with proper ceremonies on the grounds attached to the public buildings. Others which it has not yet been convenient to reach will be added to the number. It is further proposed over these remains to place plain but durable slabs, on which will be simply recorded the names, rank and corps of the individuals and the occasion, if in battle, on which they perished; not doubting that this mark of respect will be acceptable to the service. It is also believed it will be equally agreeable that there should be a general participation in the slight expense incident thereto. If correct in this view, it is suggested as the most convenient form that each officer and soldier serving with corps now in Florida consent to set apart one day's pay proper, which will probably be fully equal to the sufficient but unostentatious memorial proposed to be erected. Commanders of corps are invited to take the sense of their officers and men upon the subject and measures, that any funds resulting therefrom may be retained by the paymaster and by him transmitted to the quartermaster at St. Augustine, subject to disbursement by such persons as shall be designated in orders.
At the proper time orders will issue for the ceremony in which every corps will be represented, and, as far as practicable, every grade of those to whose memory is designed this mark of respect.
(Signed) S. COOPER,
Asst. Adjutant General.
Cedar Keys, June 13th, 1842.
Headquarters, Military Department No. 9.
Cedar Keys, July 25th, 1842.
Order No. 25.
It is hereby announced that hostilities with the Indians within this Territory have ceased.
Measures are taken to pass the few remaining within certain limits -those in the far South immediately, those west of the Suwanee in a few days, who, meantime there is every reasonable assurance, will conduct inoffensively if unmolested in their haunts.
The lands thus temporarily assigned as their planting and hunting grounds are within the following boundaries, viz.: From the mouth of Talokchopke, or Peace Creek, up the left bank of that stream to the fork of the southern branch and following that branch to the head or northern edge of Lake Istokpoga; thence down the eastern margin or that lake to the stream which empties from it into the Kissimmee River following the left bank of said stream and river to where the latter empties into Lake Okee-cho-bee; thence due south through said lake and the Everglades to Shark River, following the right bank or that river to the Gulf; thence along the Gulf shore (excluding all islands between Punta Rasa and the head of Charlotte Harbor) to the place of beginning.
The foregoing arrangements are in accordance with the instructions of the President of the United States.
By order of Colonel Worth.
(Signed) S. COOPER,
Assistant Adjutant General.
Capt. T. P. Gwynn, 8th Infantry, commanding the escort.
Lieut. A. T. Lee, Acting Adjutant.
ESCORT, COMPOSED OF
Company "K," 8th Infantry-Lieut. I. S. Gelden.
Company "A," 8th Infantry-Lieut. L. Smith.
Company "B," 3d Artillery-Lieut. W. H. Shover.
Company "E," 3d Artillery-Lieut. B. Bragg.
Colors and Band of the 8th Infantry.
Field Music of the Artillery.
Platoon of the Guard of Honor
Remains contained in seven wagons; each covered by the American flag as a pall, and drawn by five elegant mules. 1st and 2nd wagons: Soldiers and Officers of Dade's Command. 3rd and 4th wagons: Soldiers and Officers Killed In Battle. 5th, 6th, and 7th wagons: Officers who have died In Florida.
Details from the different Regiments now serving In Florida: consisting each of one Sergeant, one Corporal and one private.
Lieut. Benham, U. S. Engineers.
Dr. Martin, U. S. Army.
Maj. Van Ness, Paymaster, U. S. A.
Lieut. Col. Hunt, D. Q. M. Gen'l.
Lieut. Gordon, 3d Infantry.
Capt. Hanham, Actg. Ord. Off.
Capt. Seawell, 7th Infantry.
Bvt. Maj. Graham, 4th Infantry.
Platoon of the Guard of Honor-Lieut. Wallen.
Colors and Band of the 3d Infantry.
Field Music of the 8th Infantry.
Company "F," 4th Infantry-Capt. Page.
Company "C," 8th Infantry-Capt. Kelle.
Mayor and Aldermen of St. Augustine.
Members of the Bar, and officers of the Court.
St. Augustine City Guards-Capt. P. R. Lopez.
Citizens generally of St. Augustine.
The remains being removed from the wagons, amid the firing of minute guns, the Reverend M. Waters, of the Catholic Church, addressed the assembled multitude with great eloquence and beauty. The services of the Episcopal Church were read by John Beard, Esq., and a concluding prayer offered by the Reverend Henry Axtell.
The remains were then placed in vaults prepared for their reception, and after a salute of musketry the troops retired, and were marched into quarters.
The Masonic Fraternity proceeded from the tombs to the Presbyterian Church, where a monody on the dead pronounced by D. W. Whitehurst, Esq. Half-hour guns were fired until sunset, closing the solemnities of the day.
INSCRIPTION UPON THE MONUMENT
SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF THE OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS KILLED IN BATTLE AND DIED ON SERVICE DURING THE FLORIDA WAR.
A MINUTE RECORD OF THE OFFICERS WHO PERISHED AND ARE HERE OR ELSEWHERE DEPOSITED, AS ALSO A PORTION OF THE SOLDIERS, HAS BEEN PREPARED AND PLACED IN THE OFFICE OF THE ADJUTANT OF THE POST, WHERE IT IS HOPED IT WILL BE CAREFULLY AND PERPETUALLY PRESERVED.
THIS MONUMENT HAS BEEN ERECTED IN TOKEN OF RESPECTFUL AND AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE BY THEIR COMRADES OF ALL GRADES, AND IS COMMITTED TO THE CARE AND PRESERVATION OF THE GARRISON OF ST. AUGUSTINE.
THIS CONFLICT IN WHICH SO MANY GALLANT MEN PERISHED IN BATTLE AND BY DISEASE, COMMENCED ON THE 25TH OF DECEMBER, 1835, AND TERMINATED ON THE 14TH OF AUGUST, 1842.
Return to Chapter 3.
© 1997, 2002 Chris Kimball