|Date(s):||May 1, 1856|
|Tag(s):||Native-Americans, Race-Relations, War|
|Course:||“Rise and Fall of the Slave South,” University of Virginia|
|Rating:||3 (4 votes)|
The ongoing Seminole Wars between the Seminole Indians and the U.S. army began in November 1817. According to an issue of the New York Herald, the U.S. army and the Seminoles renewed this guerilla-style conflict in May of 1856, marking the Third Seminole War. Billy Bowlegs led the Seminoles in this Third War, but did not enjoy much success against the U.S. troops.
In the article, reports depict that an increase in U.S. troops near Tampa Bay led the Seminoles to attack U.S. forces near Billy's Town. The article highlighted prominent officers such Captain Dawson, Second Lieutenants Langden and Garner, and Assistant Moore. These figures, along with 108 enlisted men, arrived about a half of mile from Billy's Town before being ambushed by Seminoles. An estimated 80-100 Seminoles attacked the U.S. troops after waiting for their arrival from a nearby swamp. After both sides exchanged a few hundred shots, Lieutenant Garner issued a command to counter the Seminole attack. The Seminoles then retreated to Billy's Town, where the U.S. troops triumphed in their final confrontation with the Florida Indians.
The victory by Lieutenant Garner and his troops near Billy's Town would force the Seminoles to withdraw into the Everglades region of Florida. The removal of Billy Bowlegs and his family to a reservation in Texas would further secure U.S. control of Florida. The Seminole Wars reflected an increase in Indian resistance and prompted the United States adopt a policy of deporting Seminoles, and all Indians, to "Indian Territory" in Oklahoma.