Florida in the Civil War (1861-1865)

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Seminoles of Florida in the Civil War

Seminoles of Florida (1861-1865)

In the first 60 years of the nineteenth century, the Seminole Indians fought three wars against American expansion into their territory. A few Seminoles led by Tiger Tail and the aged Sam Jones, remained in south Florida at the outbreak of the Civil War. A concern at the time was that the remaining Indians might create unrest along the southern frontier. In the latter part of 1862, false rumors circulated that the Seminoles had murdered several settlers in the Peace River Valley. A state agent met with Sam Jones in 1863 and became convinced that the Seminoles planned to take no part in the fighting. At another meeting in early 1864, the Indians again proclaimed a desire for neutrality, but at about the same time another group visited Union occupied Fort Myers. Likely they hoped to maintain good relations with both sides. A dubious claim made during this period was that more than 60 Seminoles had enlisted to serve in a Confederate company. Nothing more was heard of this unit and it most likely never actually existed. The end of the war came in the spring of 1865, and true to their word the Seminoles had not become involved in the conflict.

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