The life of a soldier who fought in Florida during the Second Seminole War is chronicled in detail in the new book “The Army is My Calling: The Life and Writings of Major John Rogers Vinton, 1801-1847,” by John and Mary Lou Missall.
The year is 1817, and Florida is on the brink of war. A young woman stands on the deck of a flatboat, anxiously watching the banks of the Apalachicola River. Not far away stands a Seminole warrior, eyeing the vessel from behind his concealment, choosing his targets carefully. Neither the woman nor the warrior can imagine how much their worlds are about to change.
John and Mary Lou Missall are writers whose primary work focuses on the Seminole Indian Wars. These were the longest, costliest, and deadliest of all the nation's Indian wars and spanned a period of forty years.
John has been a life-long student of history, studies Shakespeare, and has taught astronomy courses. Mary Lou has a B.A. from Indiana University and an M.A. from California State University.
Christmas 1837 was not particularly festive for a group of U.S. Army soldiers marching through what is now east Orange County. Instead of celebrating with their families, the soldiers built a fort on the St. Johns River.
A replica of Fort Christmas is located in the rural community of Christmas, about ten miles west of Titusville.
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