Seminole fight to be reenacted on battle site





The Seminoles were expecting a battle.

They cut down grass so they'd have a better view of the enemy and made notches in trees, to keep their guns steady.

"They lured them into a crossfire," Seminole historian Willie Johns said of the Indians' target, some 1,000 U.S. soldiers who arrived Christmas Day 1837, at the north end of Lake Okeechobee.

The ensuing battle - involving about 400 Seminoles - was the largest and bloodiest fight of the Second Seminole War, one of America's most controversial wars, and one that's largely forgotten.

"Very few people, even in Okeechobee, know about the battle," City Councilman Dowling Watford said.

"They're learning, though. We're getting the word out."

This weekend, reenactors will re-create the battle at the original site, much of which is being transformed from cattle lands into a state historic park.


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