THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (Sept. 23-Sept. 29)
War in the Swamps
After a number of battles and massacres in the Old Northwest (what is now Michigan, Indiana and Illinois) things are quiet in the woods and on the prairies for now.
But far from Canada, in the Deep South, an ugly conflict is brewing between Native Americans, Spain and state and U.S. forces, according to the War of 1812 page at the Navy’s Naval History and Heritage Command website.
Months before the United States declared war on Great Britain, Americans who wanted to take control of Florida from Spain – a British ally against Napoleon – start a series of incursions across the Georgia-Florida border, called the “Patriot’s War,” by Americans at the time.
One aim is to provoke the British into sending military assistance to Florida’s beleaguered Spanish garrisons, thus creating a legitimate reason to invade Florida. But Washington sends confusing messages about whether it supports the activities of the so-called “Patriot” leaders.
A volunteer assault force is driven out of Florida in April, 1812 by the Spanish and what was then called Free Negroes – blacks who fled to Florida from slaveholding English colonies and later southern U.S. slave states. Part of the panhandle region of modern-day Florida was ceded to the United States in 1795 and more and more Americans were moving further into Spanish Florida.
On Sept. 12 Seminole Indians and Free Negroes attack a detachment U.S. Marines escorting a supply train between an American camp laying siege to St. Augustine and Fort Stallings in East (Spanish) Florida. Capt. John Williams of the Marine Corps is mortally wounded.
There will be no THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 next week. The next posting will be on Monday, Oct. 8.
Entry filed under: National Security and Defense, SHAKO, Special Operations, THIS WEEK in the War of 1812, Traditions. Tags: Florida, Georgia militia in 1812, Marine Corps, Patriot's War, Seminole Indians, War of 1812 Bicentennial.