J. G. (John Gideon) Millingen.

The Taylor text-book, or Rough and ready reckoner online

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mediation of the Cherokee delegation, were at an
end, Sam Jones, with the Mickasukies, having de-
termined to fight it out to the last ; and directing me
to proceed with the least possibJe delay against any
portion of the enemy I might hear of within strik-
ing distance, and to destroy or capture them.

After leaving two officers and an adequate force
for the protection of my depot, I marched the next
morning with twelve days' rations (my means of
transportation not enabling me to carry more), with
the balance of my command, consisting of Captain
Munroe's company of the 4th artillery, total thirty-
five men ; the 1st infantry, under the command of
Lieutenant Colonel Davenport, one hundred and
ninety-seven strong; the 4th infantry under the com-
mand of Lieutenant Colonel Foster, two hundred and
seventy-four ; the 6th infantry, under Lieutenant
Colonel Thompson, two hundred and twenty-one ;
the Missouri volunteers, one hundred and eighty ;
Morgan's spies, forty-seven ; pioneers, thirty ; pon-
toneers, thirteen ; and seventy Delaware Indians;
making a force, exclusive of officers, of 1032 men ;
the greater part of the Shawnees having been de-
tached, and the balance refusing to accompany me,
under the pretext that a number of them were sick,
and the remainder were without moccasins.

J moved down the west side of the Kissimmee, in
a south-easterly course, towards Lake Istopoga, for.
the following reasons : First, because I knew that a
portion of the hostiles were to be found in that di-
rection ; second, if General Jessup should fall in
with the Mickasukies and drive them, they might at-
tempt to elude him by crossing the Kissimmee from
the east to the west side of the peninsula, between
this and its entrance into Okee Chobec, in which
case I might be near athand to intercept them} third,
to overawe and induce such of the enemy who had
been making propositions to give themselves up, and
who appeared very slow, if not to hesitate, in com-



MILITARY.



17



plying wilh their promises on that head, to surren-
der at once; and lastly, I deemed it advi.sul)le to erect
blonk-Iiouses, and a small picket woric on the Kis-
simmee, lor a tiiird dcpol, soukj forty or fifty miles
below tills, and obtain a knovviedi^e of the inlerveii-
ing country, as I had no guide who could be relied
on, and by tbis means open a communication with
Col. Smith, who was operating up the Calooseliat-
chee, orSanybel lliver, under my orders.

Lalo in the evenitig of the lirst day's march, I met
the Indian chief, Juuifier, wilh his family, and a (larl



ing, and where I encamped. About 11 p. m. the
old Indian returned, bririging a very equivocal mes-
sage from Alligator, whom, iie stated hchadmeiac-
cjdentally. Also, that the Miclfasukics were still
encamped where they had been lor some days, and
where they were determined to tight us.

I determined at once on indulging Ihem as soon as
soon as practicable. Accordingly, the next morri-
ing, after laying out a small stockade work for the
protection of a future depot, in order to enable n»e
to move with the greatest celerity, 1 deposited the



of his band, consisting of tifleen men, a [lait of Ihein whole of my heavy baggage, including artillery, &c.,



wilh families, and a few negroes — in all, sixty-three
souls — on his way to give himself up, in conformity
to a previous arrangement I had cnlered into with
him. They were conducted by Captain Parks, and
a few Shawnee.?. He (Parks) is an active and in-
telligent half-breed, who is at the head of the friend-
ly Indians, both Shawnees and Uelawares, and
whom 1 had employed lo arrange and bring in .lump-
er, and as many of his people as he could prevail on
to come in. We encauiped that night near the same
spot; and the next, morning, having ordered Capt.
Parks to join me, and take command of the Dela-
wares, and having despatched Jumper in charge of
some Shavk'nees to thi-i place, and so on lo Fori Fra-
zier, 1 continued my march, after having sent for-
ward three friendly Seminoles to gain intelligence as
to the position of the enemy.

About noon on the same day, I sent forward one
battalion of Gentry's regiment under command of
Lieut. Col. Price, to pick up any stragglers that
might fall in his way ; to encamp two or three miles
in advance of the main force ; to act with great cir-
cumspection, and to communicate promptly any oc-
currence that might take place in this vicinity im-
portant for me to know. About 10 o'clock, p. m., I
received a note from the colonel, stating that the
three Seminoles sent forward in the morning had re-
turned; that they had been at or \vhere Alligator
liad encamped, twelve or fifteen miles in his ad-
vance ; tliat he (Alligator) had left tlierc wilh a part
of his family four days before, under tiie pretext of
separating his relations, &c., from llie Mickasukies,
preparatory to his surrendering wilh them; that
there were several families remaining at the camp
referred to, who wished to give themselves up, and
would remain there until we took possession of them



md having provisioned the command, to include the
2Gth, and leaving Capl. Munroe wilh his company,
the pioneer, pontoneers, with eighty-five sick and
disabled infantry, and a portion of the friendly Indi-
ans, who alleged that they were unable lo march
further, crossed the Kissimmee, taking the old Indi-
an as a guide who had been captured the day before,
and who accompanied us wilh great apparent reluc-
tance in pursuilof the enemy, and early the next day
reached Alligator's encampment, siiluated on the ed2,e
of Cabbage-tree hammock, in the midst of a large
prairie; from the appearance of which, and other
encampments in the vicinity, and the many evidences
of slaughtered cattle, there musf have been several
liundred individuals.

At another small hammock at no great distance
from Alligator's encampment, and surrounded by a
swamp, impassible for mounled men, the spies sur-
prised an encampment containing one old man, four
young men, and some women and children. One of
the party immediately raised a white Hag, when the
men were taken possession of and brought across
the swamp to the main bocfy. 1 proceeded wilh an
interpreter to meet them. They proved to be Semi-
noles, and professed to be friendly. They slated
that they were preparing to come in ; they had just
slaughleied a number of cattle, and were employed
in drying and jerking the same. They also inform-
ed me that the Mickasukies, headed by A-vi-a-ka
(Sam Jones), was some ten or twelve mi'es distani,
encamped in a swamp, and were prepared to fighl.

Although I placed but little ronfidence in their
professions of friendship, or their intentions of com-
ing in, yet I had no lime to look up their women and
children, who had fied and concealed themselves in
the swamp, or to have encumbered myself with



unless ilicy were forcibly carried off that night by them in the situation in which I then was.



the Mickasukies, who were encamped at no great
distance from them.

In consequence of this intelligence, after directing
Lieut. Col. Davenport to follow me early in the
morning with the infantry, a little after midnight I
put myself at the head of the residue of the mounted
men, joined Lieut. Col. Price, proceeded on, crossing
Islopoga outlet, and soon after diiylight took posses-
sion of the encampment referred to, where 1 foimd
the inmates, who had not been disturbed. They
consisted of an old man and two young ones, and
8eyera.l women and children, amounting in all to
twenty-two individuals. The old man informed me
that Alligator was very anxious lo separate his peo-
ple from the Mickasukies, who were encamped on
the opposite side of the Kissimee, distant about
twenty miles, where they would fighl us. 1 sent him
to Alligator, to say to him, if he was sincere in his
professions, to meet me the next day at the Kissem-
mee, where the trail 1 was marching on crossed, and
where I should halt.

As soon as the infantry came up, I moved on to
the place designated, which I reached late that even-



Accordingly, I released the old man, who promis-
ed that he would collect all Ihe women and children,
and lake them in lo Captain Munroe, at the Kissim-
mee, the next day. I also dismissed ihe old man
who had acted as guide thus fur, supplying his place
wilh the four able warriors who had been captured
that morning,

'I'hese arrangements being made, I moved untler
their guidance for ihe camp oJ the Mickasukies. Be-
tween two and three p. in. we reached a very dense
cypress swamp, through which we were compelled
to pass, and in which our guides informed «s we
might be attacked. After making the necessary dis-
positions for battle, it was ascertained that there was
no enemy to oppose us. The army passed over and
encamped for Ihe night, it being late. During the
passage of the rear. Captain Parks, who was in ad-
vance with a few friendly Indians, fell in with two
of the enemy's spies, between two or three m iles ok
our camp — one on horseback, the other on foe I — and
succeeded in capturing the latter. He was v i active
young warrior, armed with an excellent rj de, fil'.y
bails in his pouch, and an adequate propi jrtion o!



18



MILITARr,



powder. Tliis Indian codfirnied the information I not only stood firm, but continued to advance until
which had previously been received from the other j their galJant commander, Lieut. Col. Thompson,
Indians, and m addition, slated that a lar^e body of | and his adjutant, Lieut. Center, were killed ; and
the Semmoles, headed by John Cohua, Co-a-coo- , every officer, with one exception, as well as most of
chee, and, no doubt, Alligator, with other chiefs, j the non-commissioned officers, including; the ser-



were encamped five or six miles from us, near the
Mickasukies, with a cypress swamp and den.se ham-
mock between them and ilie latter.

The army moved forward at daylight the nest
morning, and, after marchuig five or six miles,
reached the camp of the Seininoles on the borders
of another cypress swamp, which must have contain-
ed several hundred, and bore evident traces of hav-
ing been abandoned in a great hurry, as the fires
were still burning, and quantities of beef lying on
the ground unconsumed.

Here the troops were again disposed of in order of
battle, but we found no enemy to oppose us, and tlie
command was crossed over about 11 a. in., when
we entered a large prairie in our front, on which
two or three hundred head of cattle were grazing,
and a number of Indian ponies. Here another
young Indian warrior was captured, armed and
equipped as the former. He pointed out a dense



geant-major and four of the orderly sergeants, killed
and u'ouniled of those companies ; when that portion
of Ihe legiment retired to a short distance and were
again formed, one of these companies having but
four members left untouched.

Lieut. Col. Foster, with six companies, amount-
ing in all to one hundred and sixty men, gained the
hammock in good order, where he was joined bv
Caplain Noel, with the two remaining companies of
the Gth infantry, and Capt. Gillam, of Gentry's vol-
unteers, with a few additional men, and continued to
drive the enemy for a considerable time, and by a
change of front separated his line, and continued to
drive him until he reached the great lake Okee
Chobee, which was in the rear of the enemy's posi-
tion, and on which their encampment extended for
more than a mile. As soon as I was informed that
Caplain Allen was advancing, I ordered the first in-
fantry to move to tiie left, gain the enemy's right



hammockonourright, about a mile distant, in which j flank and turn it, which order was executed in the

to f roniptest manner possible ; and as soon as that regi-
ment got in position, the enemy gave one fire and
retreated ; being pursued by the Ist, 4th, and 6th,
and some of the volunteers who had joined them,
until near night, and until these troops were nearly
exhausted, and the enemy driven in all directions.

The action was a severe one, and continued from
half past twelve until three p. m., a part of the time
very close and severe. V\ e suffered much, having
twenty-six killed and one hundred and twelve
»vounded, among whom are some of our most valua-
ble officers. The hostiles probably suffered, all
things considered, equally with ourselves, they hav-
ing left ten dead on the ground, besides, doubtless,
carrjing off many more, as is cuslomery with thera
when practicable.

As soon as the enemy were completely broken, I
turned my attention to taking care of the wounded,
to facilitate their removal to my baggage, where I
ordered an encampment to be formed; I directed
Captain Taylor to cross over to the spot, and employ
every individual whom he might find there in con-
strucling a small footway across the swamp; this
with great exertions, was completed in a short time
after dark, when all the dead and wounded were
carried over in litters made for that purpose, with
one exception, a private of the 4th infantry, who
was killed and could not be found.

And here, I trust I may be permited to say that i
experienced one of the most trj ing scenes of my life,
and he who could have looked on it with inditlerence,
his nerves must have been very diH'ereiitly organized
from my own ; besides the killed, there lay one hun-
dred and twelve wounded olTicers anti soldiers, who
had accompanied me one hundred and forty-five
miles, most of the 'way through an unexplored wil-
derness, without guides, who had so gallantly beaten
the enemy, under my orders, in his strongest position,
and who had to be conveyed through swamps and
hammocks, from whence we set out, without any ap-
parent means of doing so. This service, however,
was encountered and overcome, and they have been
conveyed thus far, and proceeded on to Tampa Bay,
on rude litters, constructed with the axe and knife
alone, with poles and dry hides — the latter being
found in great abundance at the encampment of the
hostiles. The litters were conveyed on the backs of



he said the hostiles were situated and waiting
give us battle.

At this place the final disposition was made to at-
tack them, which was in two lines; the volunteers
under Gentry, and Morgan's spies, to form the first
line in extended order, who were instructed to enter
the hammock, and, in the event of being attacked
and hard pressed, were to fall back ir. the rear of the
regular troops, out of reach of the enemy's fire ; the
second line was composed of the 4lh and f.th infan-
try, who were instructed to sustain the volunteers,
the 1st infantry being held in reserve.

Moving on in the direction of the hammock, after
proceeding about a quarter of a mile, we reached
the swamp which separated us from the enemv,
three-quarters of a mile in breadth, being totally im-
passable for horse, and nearly so for foot, covered
with a thick growth of saw-grass five feet high,
about knee deep in mud and water, which extended
to the left as fur as the eye could reach, and to the
right to a part of the swamp and hammock we had
just crossed, through which ran a deep creek. At
the edge of the swamp all the men were dismounted,
and the horses and baggage lelt under a suitable
guard. Cajilain Allen was detached with the two
companies uf mounted infantry to examine the
swamp and hammock to the right; and, in case he
should not find the enemy in that direction, was to
return to the baggage, and, in the event of his hear-
inga heavy firing, was immediately to join in'e.

After making these arrangements, I crossed the
swamp in the order slated. On reaching the bor-
ders of the hammock, the volunteers and spies receiv-
ed a heavy fire IVoih the enemy, which was returned
by them for a short time, when their gallant com-
mander. Colonel Gentry, fell, niortalJy wounded. —
They mostly broke, and instead of forming in ttie
rear of the regulars, as had been directed, they re-
tired across the swa<iip to their baggage ajid horses,
nor could they be agam brought, into action as a
body, although elfurls were made repeatedly by my
staft'to indu(;e them to do 6o.

The enemy, however, were promptly checked and
driven back by the 4th and (ith infantry, which in
truth might be said to be a moving battery. The
weight of the enemy's fire was principally conccn-
tfaled on iiTc companies of the Gth infantry, which



MILITARY.



19



onr weak ami tottering horses, aided by the residue
of t lie comiiuiiid, with more ease and conilort lo the
sufferers Ihuii 1 could iiave su[)posed, and with as
much as ihey could have beeu ii) anibuiances of the
most improved and modern construction.

The day after the battle we remained at our en-
campment, occupied in takiiif:; care of the wounded,
and in the sad oiliee of interring the dead ; also, in
preparing litters for the removal of the vvuunded, and
coliectiiig with a portion of tiie mounted men the
horses and cattle in the vicinity belonging to the ene-
my, of which we found about one tiundred of the
former, many of them saddled, and nearly three hun-
dred of the latter.

We left our encampment on the morning of the
27th lor the Kissimmee, where I had lelt my heavy
baggage, which place we reached about noon on the
28th, after leaving two companies and a few Indians
to garrison the stockade, which I found nearly com-
pleted on my return, by that active and vigilant offi-
cer, Captrin Munroe, 4lh artillery. 1 left there the
next morning for this place, where I arrived on the
31st, and sent forward the wounded next day to Tam-
pa Bay, with the 4th and 6th infantry, the former to
halt at Fort Frazer, remaining here myself with the
1st, m order to make preparations to take the field
again as soon as my horses can be recruited, most of
wtiich have been sent to Tampa, and my supplies in
a slate of forwardness to justify the measure.

In speaking of the command, I can only say, that
so far as the regular troops are concerned, no one
could have been more efficiently sustained than I
have been from the commencement of the campaign;
and I am certain that Ihey will always be willing and
ready to discharge any duty that may be assigned
them.

To Lieutenant-Colonel Davenport, and the officers
and soldiers of the 1st infantry, I feel under many
obligations for the manner in which they have, on
all occasions, discharged their duty; and although
held in reserve and not brought into battle until near
its close, it evinced, by its eagerness to engage, and
the promptness and good order with which they en-
tered the hammock when the order was given for
them to do so, is the best evidence that they would
have sustained their own characters, as well as that
of the regiment, had it been their fortune to liave
been placed in the hottest of the battle.

The 4th infantry, under their gallant leader, Lieu-
tenant-Colonel Foster, was among the first to gain
the hammock, and maintained this position, as well
as driving a portion of the enemy before him, until
he arrived on the borders of Lake Okee Chobee,
which was in the rear, and continued the pursuit un-
til near night. Lieutenant-Colonel Foster, who was
favorably noticed for his gallantry and good conduct
in nearly all the engagements of the Niagara fron-
tier during the late war with Great Britain, by his
several commanders, as well as in the dilferent en-
gagements with the Indians in this territory, never
acted a more conspicuous part than in the action of
the 2.3th ult.; he speaks in the highest terms of the
conduct of Brevet-Major Graham, his second in
command, as also the officers and soldiers of the 4th
infantry, who were engaged in the action. Captain
Allen, with his two mounted companies of the 4th
infantry, sustained his usual character for prompt-
ness and efficiency. Lieutenant Hooper, of the 4th
regiment, was wounded through the arm, but con-
tinued on the field at the head of his company, until
the termination of the battle.

I am not sufficiently master of words to express



my admiration of the gallantry and steadiness of the.

officers and soldiers of the Glh regiment of infantry,
it was their fortune lo bear the brunt of the bultifc.
The report of the killed and wounded, which accoiu-
paiiies this, is more conclusive evidence of their
merits than anything I can say. Alter five com-
panies of this regiment, against which the enemy di-
rected the ii.ost deadly fire, was nearly cut up. then;
being only four men left uninjured in one of them,
and every officer and orderly sergeatit of those com-
panies, with one exception, were either killed or
wounded. Captain ISoel, with the remaining two
companies, his own company, ''K," and Crossman's,
"B," commanded by Second Lieutenant Woods,
which was the left of the regiment, formed on thi -
right of the 4lh infantry, entered the hammock witli
that regiment, and continued the fight and the pur-
suit until its termination. It is due to Captain An-
drews and Lieutenant Walker, to say, they coin-
manded two of the live companies mentioned above,
and they continued lo direct them until they weri -
both severely wounded and carried from the field ;
the latter received three separate balls.

The Ivlissouri volunteers, under the command Oi.'
Colonel Gentry, and Morgan's spies, who formed the
first line, and, of course, were the first engaged, act-
ed as well, or even better, than troops of that des-
cription generally do ; they received and returned
the enemy's fire, with spirit, for some time, when
they broke and retired, with the exception of Capl.
Gillam and a few of his company, and Lieutenatit
Blakey, also with a few men, who joined the regu-
lars, and acted with them, until after the close of the
battle, but not until they had suffered severely ; Iht:
commanding officer of the volunteers. Col. Gentry,
being mortally wounded while leading on his men,
and encouraging them to enter the hammock, and
come to close quarters with th3 enemy ; his son, an
interesting youth, eighteen or nineteen years of age,
sergeanl-m jjor of the regiment, was severely wound-
ed at the sauie moment.

Captain Childs, Lieutenants Rogers and Flanagan,
of Gentry's regiment, Acting Major Sconce, ami
Lieutenants Base and Gordon, ol the spies, were.
wounded while encouraging their men to u discharge
of their duty.

The volunteers and spies having, as before stated,
fallen back to the baggage, could not again be form-
ed and brought up to tlie hammock in anything like,
order ; but a number of them crossed over individual-
ly, and aided in conveying the wounded across the
swamp to the hammock, among whom were Captain
Curd, and several other officers, whose names I do
not now recollect.

To my personal staff, consisting of First Lieut. J.
M. Hill, of the 2d, and First Lieutenant Geo. H.
Griffin, of the 6th infantry, the latter aid-de-camp
to Major-General Games, and a volunteer in Flori-
da from his staff, 1 feel under the greatest obligations
for the promptness and efficiency with which they
have sustained me throughout the campaign, and
more particularly for their good conduct, and ihr.
alacrity with which they aided me and conveyed
my orders during the action of the 25lh ult.

Captain Taylor, commissary of subsistence, who
was ordered to join General Jessup at Tampa Bay,
as chief oi' the subsistence department, and who wa.s
ordered by him to remain with his column until he.
General Jessup, joined it, although no command was
assigned Captain Taylor, he greatly exerted himself
in trying to rally and bring back the volunteers into
action, as well as discharging other important duties
which were assigned to him during the action.



20



MILITARY.



Myself, as well as all who witnessed the attention
anil ability displayed by Surgeon Satterlee, medical
director on this side the peninsula, assisted by Assist-
ant Surgeon McLaren and Simpson, of the medical
staff of the army, and Drs. Hannah and Cooke, of
the Missouri volunteers, in ministering to the wound-
ed, as well as their uniform kindness to them on all
occasions, can never cease to be referred to by me
but with the most pleasing and grateful recollections.

The quartermaster's departmeni, under the direc-
lion of that efficient olllcer, Major Brant, and his as-
■^istant, Lieutenant Babbitt, have done everything
that could be accomplished to throw forward from
Tampa Bay, and keep up supplies of provisions, for-
age, &c., with the limited means at their disposal. —
Assistant Commissaries Lieutenants Harrison, sta-
tioned at Fort Gardner, and McClure, at Fort Fraser,


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Online LibraryJ. G. (John Gideon) MillingenThe Taylor text-book, or Rough and ready reckoner → online text (page 5 of 16)