Lake Okeechobee Battle

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. His passion is travel, and he seizes any opportunity to share his experiences in the most immersive way possible, whether at sea or on the land.

Part of our in-depth series exploring Southern Early American Forts

On December 25th, 1837, U.S. Army Colonel Zachary Taylor and 800 troops including a volunteer Missouri Regiment led by Colonel Richard Gentry left Fort Bassinger in search of the Seminole and Miccosukki Indian leaders Apeika, Alligator and Coacoochee who had gathered nearly half (2,000) of the Florida Indian Nation on the north shore of Lake Okeechobee. The Indians, at this time, would have to make their stand at Okeechobee or resort to guerrilla warfare from the swamp lands of southern Florida...

The Indian position was well prepared and carefully chosen.  An estimated 380 warriors (the rest of the Indians being women,  children, old men and other non-combatants) were concealed in a hammock on a sand ridge that forced the troops to cross a waist deep saw grass swamp, open land, then a deep slough to get to them.....

By three o'clock, the fiercest battle of the Second Seminole War was over, with Taylor's troops sustaining major casualties, few on the Indian side, and the Indians escaped to the Everglades. After the battle, the shores of Lake Okeechobee returned to frontier obscurity and the Second Seminole War went on for 5 more years.

Communities and Related Links

Okeechobee Battlefield
Okeechobee County History
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