On November 21, 1836, almost a year after the Dade Massacre, the American Army had the Seminoles on the run. The Florida force was commanded by General Richard Keith Call, who was also the territory governor. Call had lobbied for the position and this was his first significant action as the commanding general. In early November, he launched his campaign with around 2,500 soldiers, largely Tennessee Volunteers and Creek Indians.
Badly outnumbered and hampered by their proximity to Seminole civilians, the Seminole leaders Yaholoochee (called Cloud) and Osuchee (called Cooper), retreated to a densely wooded section of the Wahoo Swamp.
Between the woods and the American forces were an open field and a stream large enough to be of unknown depth. For the Americans, crossing the stream quickly was critical to success. Major David Moniac, a Creek Indian and the first Native American to graduate from West Point, led the unit ordered to cross the stream. He was shot and killed while trying to determine how deep the water was, and no other American officer stepped forward to continue the mission.
Between the creek and the deep mud of the swamp, the American forces stalled and became disorganized. Further, Call?s logistics plan was faulty and the troops began to run short of supplies, especially ammunition. Call was forced to withdraw and the Americans lost the chance to capture between 500 and 700 Seminole warriors. Within a week, Call was relieved of command and replaced by General Thomas Sidney Jesup.
The Battle of Wahoo Swamp was the largest defeat of US forces in the Second Seminole War. The battle is commemorated by a registered historical marker at the site, which is only six miles away from the Dade Battlefield Historic State Park and the Ft. Armstrong registered historical marker. Picnic facilities are available.
Facility Features: The Voting Center and Historical Site sits on .72 acres, 2 buildings / meeting rooms, 2 grills, 6 picnic tables, and Restrooms