Susan Marie Molloy

Life in the Oasis


6 Comments

Morning Meditation: A Trio of Florida Pine Cones

While our visit to Dade Battlefield State Park in Bushnell, Florida, I found a trio of strategically-fallen pine cones. I think they are pretty, even without a bank of fluffy white snow:

Articles in the Dade Battlefield State Park Series by Susan Marie Molloy
Dade Battlefield State Park: Morning Meditation: Fan Palm
Dade Battlefield State Park: Nature
Dade Battlefield State Park: Dade’s Battle!
Dade Battlefield State Park: Up Close with the Seminoles, Soldiers, and Trappers
Dade Battlefield State Park: Outtakes and Updates
Dade Battlefield State Park: Going Home
Dade Battlefield State Park: Morning Meditation: A Trio of Florida Pine Cones

Advertisements


1 Comment

Dade Battlefield State Park: Going Home

The afternoon was ending and getting chilly again. We spent the day at the Dade Battlefield State Park to watch the annual Dade Battle reenactment. We took a leisurely walk in the forest, ate lunch in a gazebo, and met some of the Seminole and soldier reenactors.

It was time to leave and return home.

We found the area where the actual battle occurred and walked down King’s Road (which is the road the soldiers used when the battle began).

King’s Road

King’s Road

The state park is keeping this area as it looked in 1835 as best as possible.

I spotted a bridge:

An encampment of soldiers along the way:

Monuments denoting where the officers fell:

We took the back roads to see new country. People raise cattle in this part of Florida:

When we got home, I was thirsty, so I dug into my purse for the ginger ale I saved from lunch. It was a little cold and the carbonation tasted good.

Not a product endorsement.

This is last in the series of my articles, “Dade Battlefield State Park.” I hope you enjoyed this.  To read more about this important battle that led to the Second Seminole Wars in Florida, visit the Dade Battlefield Society website.

Morning Meditation: Fan Palm
Dade Battlefield State Park: Nature
Dade Battlefield State Park: Dade’s Battle!
Dade Battlefield State Park: Up Close with the Seminoles, Soldiers, and Trappers
Dade Battlefield State Park: Outtakes and Updates
Dade Battlefield State Park: Going Home
Morning Meditation: A Trio of Florida Pines

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


2 Comments

Dade Battlefield State Park: Up Close with the Seminoles, Soldiers, and Trappers

The battle in Bushnell, Florida between the Seminoles and United States soldiers on December 28, 1835 ended, and although the Seminoles lost a handful of men, all but a couple of the 107 U.S soldiers were dead. Private Ransom Clarke and Private Edward Decourcey were able to start walking towards Fort Brooke, but a Seminole discovered Decourcey shot him dead. Clarke, who was hiding in the palmetto fronds, wasn’t discovered and survived. Another soldier, Private Joseph Sprague, survived but died shortly after; he provided no account of the battle, as Clarke did.

The reenactment we watched was very well organized, and lasted almost an hour. The actual battle’s length is uncertain; accounts differ between Private Ransom Clark and the Seminoles.  According to Seminole leader Halpatter Tustenuggee (the soldiers called him “Alligator”), it began at 10 o’clock in the morning, yet Clark asserted it began at 8 o’clock and ended at 4 o’clock in the afternoon.  The weapons – including the cannon – were loud. Many times I saw the bright white-orange flashes after they were fired. As the reenactment began, several soldiers pulled the canon along; horses weren’t always used.

The soldiers’ uniforms were true to the era, and the doctor wore the appropriate costume and carried a field bag true to the era, too.

After the reenactment ended, park visitors were invited to mingle with the soldiers and Seminoles. It is important to note that some of the Seminoles were black (known as Black Seminoles), including this gentlemen who is a black Seminole in real life:

More Seminoles:

Taking a walk:

Soldiers talking and laughing:

A couple of trappers chewing the fat:

Camp:

Officer on horseback:

Tomorrow:  Outtakes and Updates

Previous articles in the Dade Battlefield State Park series by Susan Marie Molloy
Dade Battlefield State Park: Morning Meditation: Fan Palm
Dade Battlefield State Park: Nature
Dade Battlefield State Park:  Dade’s Battle
Dade Battlefield State Park: Up Close with the Seminoles, Soldiers, and Trappers
Dade Battlefield State Park: Outtakes and Updates
Dade Battlefield State Park: Going Home

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.

 


4 Comments

Dade Battlefield State Park: Dade’s Battle!

We were almost at the end of our walk in the forest at Dade Battlefield State Park. The air temperature was growing warmer, so the chill was practically gone. As we walked back to civilization, my beau spied a horse’s hoof prints in the dirt path. We remembered that the main reason we were spending our day here was to see a battle reenactment, so we made our way out of the forest and to the field.  We found a good spot to sit, just behind the yellow cord.

Dade’s Battle (also known as The Dade Massacre)

On December 28, 1835, a column of 107 United States soldiers led by Major Francis Langhorne Dade were ambushed by Seminole warriors at the present site of the Dade Battlefield State Park in Bushnell, Florida. The men departed from Fort Brooke (present-day Tampa), and headed up the King Highway military road on a resupply and reinforce mission to Fort King (present-day Ocala).

As my beau and I sat on the grass, the reenactment began. A reenactor who represented the sole survivor of the battle, Ransom Clark, began outlining the government side of the story. On the other end of the field, a reenactor representing the Indians’ leader, Chief Jumper, gave the Indians’ side of the story.

The start of the battle.


The wounded fell. In the following photograph, the man on the left in black with the tall hat and white sash represents the field doctor.


More fighting, more cannon fire, and before long, all soldiers were dead, but a couple. The Seminoles lost a handful of men.

Seminole Indians, after the battle:

Afterwards, Private Ransom Clarke and Private Edward Decourcey were able to start walking towards Fort Brooke, but a Seminole found Decourcey and shot him dead. Clarke, hiding in the palmetto fronds, wasn’t found and survived. Another soldier, Private Joseph Sprague, survived but died shortly after; he provided no account of the battle, as Clarke did.

In sum, the Federal government was trying to remove the Seminoles to Indian Territory. The Seminoles were peaceful and wanted to live in harmony with settlers, but the Federal government had other ideas.  This battle in Bushnell began the Second Seminole War which lasted almost seven years(1835-42). To read more about this, here’s the link to Dade Battlefield.

Thursday: Up Close with the Seminoles, Soldiers, and Trappers

Previous articles in the Dade Battlefield State Park series by Susan Marie Molloy
Dade Battlefield State Park: Morning Meditation: Fan Palm
Dade Battlefield State Park: Nature
Dade Battlefield State Park: Dade’s Battle!
Dade Battlefield State Park: Up Close with the Seminoles, Soldiers, and Trappers
Dade Battlefield State Park: Outtakes and Updates
Dade Battlefield State Park: Going Home

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.


2 Comments

Dade Battlefield State Park: Nature

My beau and I look for unique and different activities, and sometimes we come across some pretty out-of-the ordinary sites.

This past weekend, we took a trip to Bushnell, Florida, located in the central part of the state. It was founded in 1885 and incorporated in 1911. It was named after the man who brought the railroad to the town, John W. Bushnell. It has a population of about 2,300 and it has a rural setting.

The Dade Battlefield Historic State Park is here, and the park was our main destination. We found many interesting demonstrations, historic attire, natural features, and an historic reenactment, all of which we learned a lot about and piqued our growing interest in Florida history.

We arrived at the park in the late morning. The sun was out and the sky partly cloudy. It was a cool 45 degrees Fahrenheit. As long as we walked and stayed as much in the sun as possible, it was not too unbearable.

We parked the car in a large mowed field and walked to the gate.


Our first stop was the concession stand, where we had hot hamburgers and French fries. We both got a can of cold ginger ale, but I slipped mine in my purse; it was much too frosty for me on a cool day!

As we sat at a picnic table in a gazebo and ate, we couldn’t help but hear a very loud talking man two tables over.  He was regaling and bragging about his encounters and experiences with kilts and old women poking their umbrellas at his kilts to sneak peeks underneath.  The woman to whom he was giving his monologue, kept giggling.  Incessantly giggling.

It was time to walk off our lunch, since the main event was still over an hour away.

My beau and I found a dirt path that led to a forest of pines, oaks, and palms.

There was evidence of a fire, since many of the trees were blackened and some felled. In the following photograph, you can see the blacked edges of a fan palm.

We continued along the path, remarking about the various vegetation and enjoying the absence of any 21st century noise, only the breeze rippling through some oak leaves and birds chirping above.  This stand of palms caught my eye, and I was surprised at how green the fronds were in contrast to the brown tree trunks.

The air temperature was growing warmer, so the chill was practically gone. As we walked back to civilization and back to the activity in the park, my beau spied these horse hoof prints. By my reckoning, it seemed the horse was cantering.

Tomorrow:  Dade’s Battle!

Articles in the Dade Battlefield State Park series by Susan Marie Molloy
Dade Battlefield State Park: Morning Meditation: Fan Palm
Dade Battlefield State Park: Nature
Dade Battlefield State Park: Dade’s Battle!
Dade Battlefield State Park: Up Close with the Seminoles, Soldiers, and Trappers
Dade Battlefield State Park: Outtakes and Updates
Dade Battlefield State Park: Going Home

© Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.