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Dade Ambush and the Second Seminole War

(1835)

The "Dade Massacre" was an Indian ambush of United States Army that started the Second Seminole War, which lasted until 1842. On December 23, 1835, 107 U.S. troops under Major Francis L. Dade departed from Tampa, Florida and headed for Ocala on a resupply and reinforce mission. The column This was ambushed of American Army the by the Seminole Indians near the modern city of Bushnell Florida. Only two U.S. soldiers purportedly survived the attack. One was Ransome Clarke, although badly wounded made it back to Fort Brooke, where he provided the only narrative from the Army's side of what had occurred. A second soldier also returned to Fort Brooke,but died a few months later without leaving a report of the battle. The 106 killed by this so called "Indian Massacre" were exceeded only by the " Custer's Massacre" with its 211 killed. Even though this was US Army's second biggest "Indian Massacre". This event is seldom mentioned in the history book, except in the Florida's history book.

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Bushnell, Florida

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Pictures & Records (11)

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Site of Dade Massacre
Site of Dade Massacre
The site of Dade Massacre in Bushnell, Florida
The stockade
The stockade
The temperary stockage build by Dade's men.
Trail of Tears
Trail of Tears
A Trail of Tears where many Cherokee die while on a force march for North Carolina to Oklahoma.
Trail of Tears
Trail of Tears
A painting showing the forced march of Cherokee from North Carolina to Oklahoma
Dade Ambush Site
Dade Ambush Site
The site of Indian Ambush of Dade's men on the miltary road.
Dade Massacre Plaque
Dade Massacre Plaque
A plaque at USA Soldier's Cemetary in St. Augustine Florida telling the story of Dade Ambush.
Plaque at base of Pyramide
Plaque at base of Pyramide
The soldiers that were killed during the Seminole wars are buried at USA Soldier's Cemetary in Saint Augustine, Florida
Pyramides for the Seminole War deads
Pyramides for the Seminole War deads
The soldiers that were killed during the Seminole wars are buried in three pyramides at USA Soldier's Cemetary in Saint Augustine, Florida. About 1800 deads are interred in these pyramides.
Saint Augustine National Cemetery
Saint Augustine National Cemetery
Soldier's Cemetery in Saint Augustine Florida. Note the three pyramides that are the final resting place for soldiers killed in Indian Wars
POW museum
POW museum
There is a POW museum at the former site of Andersonville POW camp.
Fort Christmas
Fort Christmas
Fort Christmas in the town of Christmas, Florida. It was completed on Christmas Day 1837. It was build during the Second Seminole War to protect the nearby settlement, which late became Orlando, Florida

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Dade Ambush

Bushnell, Florida

Site of Dade Massacre
3 images

In late December, 1835, Major Dade left Tampa Florida for Ocala, a distance of 98 miles. With him are 106 men, a six-pounder field piece and a wagon with rations for ten days. On the morning of December 28, the company was 35 miles from Ocala and they were marching along a road near the present day Busnell, where the country was covered with palmettoes. On the western side of the road the Seminoles were concealed in the palmettoes, waiting for the approach of the soldiers. A sudden volley from their rifles killed half the command. Major Dade was one of the first that fell. The survivors rallied quickly and temperarly drove the Seminole back. Then they hastily made a small triangular breastwork of pine trees (see photo). In less than an hour the Seminoles attack again, and killed most of the survivals. Only two men escaped back to Tampa and tell the story of the ambush. Some accounts listed a third survivor from the ambush, but failed to make back to Tampa.

The Seminole, while winning a temperary victory, it got rest of the America mad, and soon large American Army arrived in Florida and  the Second Seminole War has begun.  It lasted until 1842. Today, the city of Dade City and Dade County ( Miami ) were named in honor of Major Dade. 

End of Second Seminole War

Ocala, Florida

Trail of Tears
5 images

The Second Seminole War lasted over seven years and ended sometime in 1842. Until Vietnam War, it was the longest war since the birth of America. It was the most expensive Indian War and cost the lives of 1500 U. S. Soldiers. The cost to Seminoles were much higher. President Andrew Jackson order the Seminole to be rounded up and sent to the "American Concentration Camps" in Oklahoma. Like the "Trail of Tears" suffered by the Cherokee ( see related page on Trail of Tears by Clio ), many Seminoles perished on the way to Oklahoma, being from Florida, their body couldn't withstand the cold and snow. President Andrew Jackson was considered a great president, but he treated the native American about as well as  Hitler treated the Jews. The history books has finally begin to acknowledge the "dark side" of Jackson's presidency.

Unlike the other Indian wars, which were fought over land issue as the settler wanted the Indian Iand. The issues with Seminole Indians were they were providing safe heaven for run away slaves from the Southern plantations. The Seminole would drive the owners away when they tried to reclaim their "property", while allowing the escape slave to live in peace.

Some of the famous future Generals that participated in the Seminole War were Winfield Scott,  Zachary Taylor, William Tecumseh Sherman, Joe Johnston, John Pemberton and Braxton Bragg. 

An eye witness account

Bushnell, Florida

An eyewitness account by Seminole leader Halpatter Tustenuggee (Alligator, as the white man called him) read as follows:


We had been preparing for this more than a year... Just as the day was breaking, we moved out of the swamp into the pine-barren. I counted, by direction of Jumper, one hundred and eighty warriors. Upon approaching the road, each man chose his position on the west side... About nine o'clock in the morning the command approached... So soon as all the soldiers were opposite... Jumper gave the whoop, Micanopy fired the first rifle, the signal agreed upon, when every Indian arose and fired, which laid upon the ground, dead, more than half the white men. The cannon was discharged several times, but the men who loaded it were shot down as soon as the smoke cleared away... As we were returning to the swamp supposing all were dead, an Indian came up and said the white men were building a fort of logs. Jumper and myself, with ten warriors, returned. As we approached, we saw six men behind two logs placed one above another, with the cannon a short distance off... We soon came near, as the balls went over us. They had guns, but no powder, we looked in the boxes afterwards and found they were empty".

source - Wikipedia

Saint Augustine National Cemetery

Saint Augustine, Florida

Dade Massacre Plaque
4 images

The Saint Augustine National Cemetery in Saint Augustine Florida is the  final resting place for soldier killed in Indian wars. Many of the US soldiers killed in the three Seminoles wars were interred in three pyramides including Major Francis Dade. 

The first body was interred in 1828 and it became the official National Cemetery in 1844. It is one of few Soldier's Cemetery that honor the soldiers killed in action in the war with Indians.

Event Details

Edit
Included Event:
Event Date: 28 Dec 1835 1
Event Name: Dade Ambush 1
Event Type: An Indian ambush 1
Number of survival:
2 men survive the massacre 1
number of killed:
106 US soldiers were killed 1
Place:
Location: Near present day Bushnell, Florida 1

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