Date in History:
Major General Francis L. Dade’s column of 110 U.S. troops was ambushed by a group of Seminole Indian warriors resulting in the loss of all but a few U.S. soldiers. The federal troops were traveling from Fort Brooke in present day Tampa to Fort King near present day Ocala on a reinforce and resupply mission. For months prior tensions were high between the Seminoles and the federal government as forced Indian removal initiatives ramped up. The troops were caught completely by surprise in the open prairie which resulted in an overwhelming victory for the Seminoles. The incident garnered wide national attention and served as the primary impetus for escalation of forced removal efforts in Florida. The Second Seminole War would last until 1842, becoming one of the costliest and longest U.S. Indian wars. The soldiers were initially buried at the site of the battle, but were reinterred in 1842 in the St. Augustine National Cemetery under three coquina pyramids.