Monday, August 31, 2015

Fort King, Florida-- Part 1: To Control the Seminoles

The subject of Saturday's post was Gen. Wiley Thompson who was killed by Seminole leader Osceola at Fort King, Florida.

From Wikipedia.

Fort King, also called Camp king or Cantonment King, is located in north central Florida near the present-day city of Ocala.  It was named for Colonel William King, commander of Florida's 4th Infantry, the first governor of Provisional West Florida.

The fort was built in 1827 as tensions between settlers and the Seminoles in Florida intensified and it became an important base for the Army's removal of the Seminoles in the 1830s.  In 1844, it served as the courthouse for the newly formed Marion County.

When the Army left, it was taken apart by locals for use as building materials.

The site is now a National Historic Landmark and is located by the corner of East Fort King Street and 39th Avenue inOcala.  No visible signs of the fort remain.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

General Wiley Thompson: Seminole Indian Agent Killed By Osceola

From Wikipedia.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that Francis Dade and his men were ambushed and massacred by Seminoles while on his way to help Gen. Wiley Thompson at Fort King near present-day Ocala.

September 1781 to December 28, 1835.  He died the same day as Dade and his men, all killed by the Seminoles.  Thompson was a U.S. Representative from Elberton, Georgia who served as a major general in the Georgia militia from 1817 to 1824.  I could not find out any reference to his War of 1812 service, but imagine he did have some sort of involvement in it.

He served in the U.S. Congress from 1821-1832.

Appointed Indian agent to the Seminoles and in 1834, directed their removal from Florida.  This angered Seminole warrior Osceola who killed him at Fort King, Florida on December 28, 1835.  Thompson is buried at his estate in Elberton, Georgia.


Friday, August 28, 2015

St. Augustine National Cemetery-- Part 2

It was designated a national cemetery in 1881.  When Spain owned Florida, it was part of a Franciscan monastery and occupied by the military during British occupation.  When the United States took over, part of the old fort barracks was set aside as the post cemetery with the first internment coming in 1828.  Many of the early burials were of men killed fighting the Seminole Indians in Florida.

On December 23, 1835, Major Francis L. Dade and his company were ordered from Tampa to reinforce General Wiley Thompson's troops at Fort King in Ocala, Florida.  They got lost and were ambushed by the Seminoles with only one survivor.

The bodies of Dade and his men were buried a few months later by U.S. troops.  In 1842, after fighting with the Seminoles ended, the bodies were reinterred in St, Augustine.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

St. Augustine National Cemetery-- Part 1

Located in St. Augustine, Florida.

The Dade Monument consists of three coquina pyramids and was erected in 1842 to mark the end of the Second Seminole War.  Beneath the pyramids are the remains of 1,468 soldiers who died during the Seminole Wars, including the men of hapless Major Francis L. Dade who were massacred.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

3rd U.S. Infantry

I was unable to find out much about Duncan Clinch's service during the War of 1812, but he commanded a company in the 3rd U.S. Infantry so what they did, he probably did.

Wikipedia says that during the War of 1812 they served in Canada, Chippewa and Lundy's Lane.  They are the regiment known as the "Old Guard" famous for their guarding the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery..

They were in the Seventh Military District as well which was headquartered in New Orleans.  They participated in fighting against the Creek Indians and in Jackson's capture of Pensacola.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Francis Langhorne Dade: A Miami Connection

From Wikipedia.

While writing about Duncan Clinch, i saw that he served with Francis Dade.  Could this be the Dade for whom Dade County (Miami) was named after?  After all, both served in Florida?

Born 1793?.  Died December 28, 1835.

Killed during the Second Seminole War during what is known as "The Dade Massacre."

Joined the Army in 1813 and breveted to major in February 1828 in the 4th U.S. Infantry.

After the Second Seminole War, the Army moved his body and those of his men to what is now the St. Augustine (Fla.) National Cemetery.

Miami-Dade County in Florida and Dade counties in Georgia and Missouri are named after him as is Dadeville, Alabama,and Dade City, Florida.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Duncan Lamont Clinch-- Part 5: Refuge Plantation

Some Other Information.

Clinch commanded a company in the 3rd U.S. Infantry.

When he was appointed 1st lieutenant in 1808, it was with this regiment.

Clinch County, Georgia, on the Florida border, was named after him.  Homerville is its county seat.

Refuge  Plantation was one of the largest plantations in the South.  There is a marker for it on USD-15, 5/10 mile north of the Satilla River.  It was one of the largest rice plantations in the South and originally a crown grant of 500 acres given to George McIntosh and then passed on to his son John.  Duncal Clinch acquired it when he married John's daughter.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Duncan Lamont Clinch-- Part 4: In Politics and a Very Rich Man

From the Guide to Duncan Lamont Clinch Family Papers at the University of Florida Library.

After return from the Army, Duncan Clinch owned the Refuge Plantation on the Satilla River, Georgia, which he had inherited from his first wife's father, John Houstoun McIntosh.

In 1843, he was elected to replace Congressman John Millen who had died in office.  He was out of politics after one term until 1847 when he was nominated for Georgia governor and made an unsuccessful run.

He died November 27, 1849 in Macon, Georgia.  At his death, his estate was valued at two million dollars and included the Refuge Plantation with its 5,000 acres, a summer mansion in Clarksville, Georgia, 210 slaves and 21,000 acres in Florida.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Duncan Lamont Clinch-- Part 3: Successful Military Career

From John

Duncan Clinch entered the Army in 1808 and rose quickly through the ranks and became famous in Florida, becoming one of the region's most prosperous planters and biggest slaveholders.

He had been orphaned as a youth and had inherited $1200, quite a fortune back then.

In 1808, Congressman Thomas Blount selected him as one of two young men to receive a commission as first lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

After the Battle of Negro Fort, he was breveted to brigadier general and led over 700 men against the Seminole Indians at the Battle of Withlacooche during the Second Seminole War.

On April 26, 1836, he tendered his resignation to President Andrew Jackson who tried to get him to reconsider, but to no avail.  Clinch resigned on September 21, 1836.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Duncan Lamont Clinch-- Part 2: Clinch County, Ga. and Fort Clinch

During the War of 1812, he commanded a company in the 3rd U.S. Infantry and served in Louisiana and Plattsburg, New York.

He died in Milledgeville, Georgia and is buried at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia.

Clinch County, Georgia, is named after him as is Fort Clinch on Amelia Island, Florida.

He had several sons who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Col. Duncan Lamont Clinch, Jr. commanded the 4th Georgia Cavalry and fought at the Battle of Olustee in Florida and in the Atlanta Campaign.  His father-in-law was Robert Anderson, the U.S. commander at Fort Sumter when it fell.

Another son was Captain Nicholas Baynard Clinch (1832-1888) who commanded Clinch's Light Battery, also called Clinch's Artillery Company, part of his older brother's 4th Georgia Cavalry.  he was also an inventor.


Duncan Lamont Clinch-- Part 1

Troops attacking Negro Fort, which I wrote about the last two weeks, were led by Duncan Clinch.

From Good Old Wikipedia.

Born April 6, 1787, Died October 28, 1849.  American Army officer.

Also fought in the First and Second Seminole wars and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Born in North Carolina.

While in command of American forces in southern Georgia, he was ordered to attack the Seminoles and blacks who were at what was known as Negro Fort.  A shot from one of the gunboats assisting him, entered the magazine, causing a huge explosion and killing hundreds inside the fort.  This action led to the First Seminole War.

During the Second Seminole War, Clinch served with Major Francis L. Dade.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A History of American Privateers-- Part 3: Wilmington, N.C.

Wilmington N.C. sent out three privateers.

The 5-gun schooner Hawk, under Captain W.H. Trippe, went to sea March 1814 with 68 men.  Its only prize was the schooner Phoebe with a cargo of rum and molasses.  It was sent to Wilmington.

On April 26, 1814, the Hawk was captured by the frigate HMS Pique while off Silver Keys.

The Lovely lass privateer was a 5-gun schooner under Captain J. Smith, USN.  It went to sea in 1813 with a complement of 60 men.

In March it sent a captured schooner to New Orleans valued at $10,000.  On May 4th, the HMS Circee chased it 19 hours causing the Lovely Lass to throw four guns overboard before it was captured.  It had been out 40 days when captured

The most famous and successful was the 6-gun Snap Dragon commanded by Captain E. Pasteur and later by the famous Captain O. Burns.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A History of American Privateers-- Part 2: More Captures

The Roger's 4th prize was a brig with rum and sugar from Jamaica bound for England.

The 5th capture took place  in August was the Contract, a schooner with salt which was sent to North Carolina.

The 6th was in December, the ship L'Aimable, from Havana to England under a Spanish flag but with British property aboard.

Its 7th and last prize was the Windsor Castle, a packet from Falmouth to Halifax with two long 9-pounders and eight short guns, 9 passengers and a crew of 32.  It was sent to Norfolk.

At one point, the Roger also engaged the HMS Highflyer.


Monday, August 17, 2015

Of Privateers and Secession

I have always wondered why the United States was so much against Confederate privateers, classifying then as pirates and threatening death to their crews when privateers were so highly regarded and wonderful by the country during the War of 1812.

And, for that matter, why did New England think secession in the 1850s and 1860s was so bad when they themselves were considering it during the War of 1812.

Just Makes You Wonder.  --Brock-Perry

A History of American Privateers-- Part 1: The Roger

From "A History of American Privateers" by Edward Stanton Maclay.

The privateer Roger was one of six of these ships operating out of Norfolk, but it was also the most successful.  It was a ten-gun schooner under Captain R. Quarles and sailed from Norfolk in late 1813 or early 1814 with 120 men.  Privateers carried large crews as they had to man ships they captured.

Its first prize was in January, the schooner Henry with a cargo of fish.  Ship sent to Charleston.

2nd prize was the schooner Maria, of little value and burned.

The third was in May, the Fortuna sailing under the Russian flag with English property on board.  It was sailing from Havana to Riga with an assorted cargo and was sent to Beaufort.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

What Archaeology Can Tell Us About the War of 1812-- Part 2

At Fort McHenry in Baltimore they found a defensive trench that was dug quickly and filled in afterwards.  History had forgotten of its existence.

Julie Schablitsky talked about the Battle of Caulk's Field near Chestertown, Md., fought August 31, 1814 and said it was the best-preserved site as it had been used as a farm the last 200 years.  There has been a monument by it since 1902.

Metal detectors had lead shot hits  This helped locate troop positions and determined the battlefield boundaries.

A slave led the British to the American positions.  British commander Peter Parker, liberated the slave who knew where the American militia was camped.  The next morning the British turned him over to the Americans.  he was supposed to be killed, but escaped.


What Archaeology Can Tell Us About the War of 1812-- Part 1

From the August 1, 2014, WYPR 88.1 FM by Sheilah Kast.

A new bok tells what we can learn from the physical remains of the war.  "Archaeology of the War of 1812" with co-editors Julie Schablitsky, Chief Anthropologist of the Maryland State Highway Administration, and Michael Lucas, former member of the Maryland National Park and Planning Commission and now curator of the Historic Archaeology of New York State Museum.

They use remote sensing, ground penetrating radar., Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and modern maps overlaying historic ones o help locate sites and items.


Friday, August 14, 2015

The Naval War of 1812 by Theodore Roosevelt

From Wikipedia.

I came across this book earlier today and looked it up.

This was the future President Theodore Roosevelt's first book and covers the battles and naval technology of the war.  It is considered a seminal work and had a massive impact on the formation of te modern U.S. Navy.

Roosevelt graduated from Harvard University in 1880.  he had begun the book while an undergrad and he then began the completion which he did in 1881.

He discussed the political and social climate and generally praised the U.S. navy but made scathing comments on the American unpreparedness for the war.

Amazon has a new paperback of it for $32.99 or Kincle for $2.99.

Canada Commemorates U.S. Sailors in the Scourge and Hamilton

From the August 1, Hamilton paper "Hamilton, Scourge Commemoration Sunday at Confederation Park" by Gord Bowes.

The City of Hamilton, Ontario will commemorate the sinking of two U.S. Navy schooners in Lake Ontario at the Hamilton & Scourge Naval Memorial Garden in Confederation Park.

Fifty-three Americans died early on the morning of August 8, 1813, when a sudden storm sank their ships.  It was the largest loss of life in a single event for the U.S. Navy during the War of 1812.

The ships are still there, 300 feet down and their site has been designated a Canadian National Historic Site and is a designated underwater archaeological site requiring special protection under the Ontario Heritage Act.

The City of Hamilton owns the vessels and is responsible for their stewardship and long-term management.

Thanks, Canada.  --Brock-Perry

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Edward P. Gaines-- Part 3: Battle of Fort Erie and Indian Affairs

At the Siege of Fort Erie, he was in command on 15 August 1814 when the British assault was repulsed at the First Battle of Fort Erie.  For this he was awarded the Thanks of Congress, the Congressional Gold Medal and brevet-promoted to the rank of major general.

However, he was wounded by an artillery shell at the battle and replaced by General Isaac Brown.

Upon recovery, he was given command of Military District No. 6.  At the war's end, he was sent to deal with the Creek Indians in Georgia and Florida which is where he got involved with Negro Fort.

Gainesville, Florida, home of the University of Florida and Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island in Mobile Bay, were named after him.


Edward P. Gaines-- Part 2: War of 1812 Service

In 1812, he was appointed to the rank of major in the 8th U.S. Infantry and by July of that year, was lieutenant-colonel in the 24th U.S. Infantry and in 1813 was colonel and commander of the 25th U.S. Infantry.

He served with distinction at the Battle of Crysler's Farm and then became adjutant general for General William Henry harrison and was at the Battle of the Thames.

On march 9, 1814, he was promoted to brigadier general of U.S. regulars.

He commanded at Fort Erie after the captured it.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Edmund P. Gaines-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

I mentioned that Gen. Edmund P. Gaines ordered Duncan Clinch to attack Negro Fort which resulted in the July 27, 1816, battle.

Edmund P. Gaines (March 20, 1777 to June 6, 1849) was an American Army officer who fought in the War of 1812, the Seminole Wars and the Black Hawk War.

Born in Virginia, he enlisted in the Army in 1799 and was a first lieutenant by 1807.  He surveyed the Mississippi Territory and helped lay out the Natchez Trace.  While commander of Fort Stoddert, he arrested Aaron Burr in Wakefield, Alabama.  After that he took leave from the Army and practiced law.


Fort Gadsden-- Part 12: Service in Other Wars

Fort Gadsden was used as a forward base during the First Seminole War and held by the United States until 1821 when Spain gave up its claim to Florida.    From 1818-1821, more than 100 U.S. soldiers died at the fort and are buried somewhere on its grounds.

It was again reoccupied on a temporary basis during the Second Seminole War from 1835-1842.

During the Civil War, the Confederates posted a batter of field artillery and a small detachment at the site.  In 1865, a U.S. Navy boat party captured a few sentries there and cannons.  It eventually was a campsite for the 8th Florida Cavalry, CSA.

The next time we go to panama City, Florida, I will have to check this place out.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fort Gadsden-- Part 11: Fort Gadsden Built in 1818

In 1818, General Andrew Jackson arrived with his army at the fort's ruins.  The First Seminole War was raging at the time and he was under orders to invade Florida and punish the Red Stick Creeks and Seminoles responsible for the Scott Massacre of 1817.

he ordered Lt. James Gadsden, an Army engineer, to build a new fort there.  He used the old earthen British water battery, which had survived the 1816 blast, as the river face of his new fort.  The rear was enclosed by a bastion of earth and logs.  Jackson was so impressed by Gadsden's work that he had the fort named after him.


Fort Gadsden-- Part 10: The Single Deadliest Cannon Shot in American History

The attack on Negro Fort had begun.  The two gunboats opened fire and got the fort's range in four shots.  The fifth shot was a "Hot Shot" one that had been heated and was fired from Gunboat #154 and scored a direct hit on the entrance to the gunpowder magazine and Negro Fort was blown to pieces.  It is regarded as perhaps the single deadliest cannon shot in American history.

An estimated 270-320 men, women and children were instantly killed.  Bodies and parts of bodies were found in the tall pine trees surrounding the fort..

The fort was abandoned for two years after that.


Monday, August 10, 2015

Fort Gadsden-- Part 9: The Attack Begins

Slavery was legal in the United States and the existence of a fort manned by blacks so close to the U.S. border was viewed with alarm.

The United States demanded Spain to do something about it, but it was not done fast enough and Major General Edmund P. Gaines was authorized to take care of the fort.  He placed Lt. Col. Duncan L. Church in command of the operation who moved down from Fort Gaines in Georgia to a site near the Florida border where he built a new stockade called Camp Crawford, whose name was later changed to Fort Scott.

He left there in July 1816 with a force of 112 soldiers from the 4th U.S. Infantry which was reinforced by several hundred Creek Indians led by Major William McIntosh, a Coueta chief who had fought alongside Andrew Jackson in the Creek War.

Upon arrival at Negro Fort, surrender was demanded and promptly refused.  The attack began July 27, 1816.  Clinch was assisted by U.S. navy Gunboats #149 and #154.


Fort Gadsden-- Part 8: Blacks Left in Charge of the Fort

From Explore Southern History blog "Fort Gadsen state Historic Site which has photos and much more information.

Along with the British at the fort, there were some 2,000 Red Stick and Seminole warriors and 100 black soldiers (Colonial Marines), who were mostly made up of free black citizens but who had once been slaves.

These men were equipped, supplied and trained by British officers.

Some of the Colonial Marines based here took part in the failed attack on Fort Bowyer at Mobile Bar (near where Fort Morgan stands today).  Some were even at the Battle of New Orleans.

When the British left in May 1815, , the fort and its massive supply of small arms and ammunition was turned over to the Indians and blacks.  Under the command of Garcon.  Most of the Indians eventually returned to their villages, but Garcon, who had been a sergeant major in the Colonial Marines remained along with 80 yo 100 blacks.

It was during this period that it became known as "Negro Fort."


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Fort Gadsden-- Part 7 The British Post on the Apalachicola

From Explore Southern "Fort Gadsden Historic Site" by Dale Cox.

The Battle of Negro Fort took place on July 27, 1816.  It was a brief battle, but resulted in the deaths of 270 men, women and children.

The current Fort Gadsden was originally built by British Major Edward Nicholls (often misspelled Nichols).  It was a very strong fortification built at Prospect Bluff which had been used as an outpost by the British firm of Forbes & Co.

The fort was originally usually referred to as the British Post on the Apalachicola and consisted of an earthwork battery on the river, a strongly-built octagon magazine and arsenal, all surrounded by a palisade and entrenchments.


Fort Gadsden-- Part 6: Negro Fort Becomes Fort Gadsden

The fort remained unoccupied for two years.

In 1818, Andrew Jackson instructed Lt. James Gadsden to reoccupy and rebuild Negro Fort.  He dis and the fort became known as Fort Gadsden.

During the Civil War, the fort was occupied by Confederate troops until July 1863, when they evacuated because of a really bad outbreak of malaria.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Fort Gadsden-- Part 5: The Battle at Negro Fort

The freedmen in Negro Fort refused to surrender and be returned to slavery and cries of "Give Me liberty or Give Me Death" were heard several times during the ensuing battle.  Cannon fire was exchanged, but the shots of the inexperienced blacks did not find their marks.

A "hot shot" from an American cannon found its way into the fort's powder magazine and resulted in a huge explosion, reportedly heard as far away as 100 miles.  It killed all but 30 of the fort's 300 occupants.

Garson and the Choctow chief were handed over to the Creek Indians who shot him and scalped the chief.  The other blacks were returned to slavery.  The Creeks managed to salvage 2,500 muskets, 50 carbines, 400 pistols and 500 swords from the ruins.  (These numbers seem to be considerably high in my opinion.)
The battle made relations between the Creeks and Seminoles much worse (the Seminoles supported the blacks).  It also tilted superiority to the Creeks with all their new weapons.  The Seminoles also were mad at the United States which was part of the reason for the First Seminole War a year later.

Spain protested this blatant violation of its territory but lacked the power to do anything about it.


Fort Gadsden-- Part 5: A Threat to Slavery

Negro Fort was seen as a threat to Southern slavery being that close to the Georgia border.  The U.S. considered it "a center of hostility and above all a threat to the security of their slaves."

The Savannah Journal lamented the existence of the fort and mentioned that several area slaves had run away to it.

The U.S. built Fort Scott in southern Georgia to guard against this threat.  Andrew Jackson decided it would be easier to supply the fort by going up the Apalachicola River, despite the fact that it was in Spanish territory.  On July 17, 1816, a U.S. naval force attempted tp go up the Apalachicola, but was turned back by cannon fire from Negro Fort.  Four U.S. soldiers were killed.

Ten days later an enraged Andrew Jackson ordered Brig. General Edmund P. Gaines at Fort Scott to destroy Negro Fort.  American troops along with Creek Indians, who were promised to receive whatever they wanted from the fort arrived at the fort and after a series of skirmishes began an all out attack under the command of Lt. Col. Duncan Clinch with naval support from Sailing Master James Loomis.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Fort Gadsden, Fla.-- Part 4: Andrew Jackson Targets the Fort

In September 1815, U.S. Indian Agent Benjamin hawkins sent about 200 soldiers against Negro Fort, but they failed.

Negro Fort was commanded by a black man named Garson and a Choctow chief.  They began launching a series of raids across the Georgia border and the fort became a threat in the eyes of the United States.

In early 1816, the U.S. built Fort Scott on the west bank of the Flint River in southern georgia as a defense against Negro Fort.  Major General Andrew Jackson, commander of the Southern district, decided that he would rather supply Fort Scott by bringing supplies up the Apalachicola River instead of overland.  This would become a good reason and a great excuse to attack Negro Fort.


Fort Gadsden, Fla.-- Part 3: British Post, Negro Fort

Before he left Florida, Edward Nicholls built a fort at Prospect Bluff, 15 miles above the mouth of the Apalachicola River and 60 miles below U.S. territory.

 It was originally known as British Post and served as base for British troops (though in Spanish Florida) and actively recruited former slaves into the new Corps of Colonial Marines.  It also was the local rallying point for Seminole Indians for attacks on U.S. territory.

When the British evacuated the fort in the spring of 1815, they left a well-constructed and fully armed fort on the east bank of the Apalachicola River and about 400 Colonial Marines assumed command.  News of the "Negro Fort" attracted 800 black fugitives (runaway slaves) ro the fort who settled around it.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Fort Gadsden-- Part 2: Built By Edward Nicholls

The original fort was built by the British, though in Spanish territory, as an attempt to recruit local Indians to fight against the Americans.  A force of 100 Royal Marines led by Lt. Col. Edward Nicholls arrived on the Apalachicola River in August 1814 to aid and train local Indians.  They built the fort, but there is little evidence of much success with the Indians and the war ended shortly thereafter.

So, the Nicholls connection for Nicholls' Outpost.  He evidently built both.

In late November 1814, Major Uriah Blue, commanding a force of 1.000 Mississippi militia, Chickasaw and Choctow warriors, left Fort Montgomery (east of Mobile and west of Pensacola) to seek out and destroy the Red Stick Creek Indians.  Among them was Creek War veteran Davy Crockett.

However, the Americans were unfamiliar with the area and running out of supplies and never found their objective or the British fort and were forced to return to Fort Montgomery on 9 January 1815.

It is kind of strange that this expedition would be going on while New Orleans was in danger of being captured.


Fort Gadsden-- Part 1: Fort of Many Names

It would appear that I am beginning to write a whole lot about the War of 1812 in western Florida now.  Much of the history so far has involved Nicholls' Post and the Corps of Colonial Marines.

From Wikipedia.

Fort Gadsden is located at Franklin County, Florida, on the Apalachicola River.  The site contains the ruins of two forts and it has been called many names over the years:  Prospect Bluff Fort, Nicholls Fort, Blount's Fort, British Post, Negro Fort, African Fort and Fort Apalachicola.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is located in the Apalachicola National Forest which is managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

It became a National Historic Landmark in 1972.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The British Corps of Colonial Marines-- Part 2

The 1814-1816 reincarnation of the Colonial Marines saw action from Canada to Georgia.  they proved of great assistance because they had extensive knowledge of the lands where they were formerly enslaved.  They helped the British capture Washington, D.C..

The Colonial Marines also assisted in the British Southern Coastal Campaign and guarded their right flank in attack on and subsequent Battle of New Orleans.

At the end of the war they were transferred to Bermuda.

In 1816, they were ordered to Prospect Bluff, Florida where they defended a Spanish fort overlooking the Apalachicola River (Fort Gadsden).  American troops were threatening the fort which had a lot of escaped slaves who had gone there for protection, so many in fact that it was referred to as Negro Fort.

Major General Andrew Jackson attempted to capture it in July 1816 when he led a flotilla of American gunboats and troops.  They overran the stockade and forced the British force to surrender.  Many of the Colonial Marines were then enslaved again.


The British Corps of Colonial Marines-- Part 1

From the site.

The British Corps of Colonial Marines (1808-1810 and 1814-1816)

This group was involved in the Fort Gadsden and Nicholls' Post operations.

This unit was made up mostly of escaped American slaves.  The first years of its existence, 1808-1810)  it was used primarily to garrison Caribbean bases during the Napoleonic Wars.  It was disbanded in 1810.

However, this unit set new standards for the men of African descent and formerly enslaved members.  They received the same training, uniforms, pay and pensions as their Royal marine counterparts.


Monday, August 3, 2015

Nicholls' Outpost-- Part 2

The British arrived at the mouth of the Apalachicola River in May 1814.  Thomas and William Perryman, two Lower Creek chiefs had appealed in the Bahamas to England for aid fighting U.S. troops.

By the time the British arrived, however, the Red Sticks had been smashed by General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in Alabama.

The British troops were led by Brevet Major George Woodbine, who met the Indians who were fleeing into Spanish Florida.

The British apparently evacuated Nicholls' Outpost in April 1814.

No visible traces of the fort remain.


Nicholls' Outpost-- Part 1

From the Explore Southern History Blog by Dale Cox.

The other British fort built on the Apalachicola River was at Prospect Bluff and Nicholls' Outpost was located upriver at present day Chattahoochee, Florida.  The Post and fort were built as part of a British plan to recruit Red Stick and Seminole Indians to their cause during the War of 1812.

The other fort was 30 miles north of the mouth of the Apalachicola River at the site of present day Fort Gadsden Historic Site. Both forts were built by Edward Nichols of the Royal Marines.   This fort later was referred to as the "Negro Fort."

Nicholls' Post was the smaller fortification of the two and was built on top of a large Indian mound at Chattahoochee Landing in Gadsden County, Florida.


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Marker Placed at Nicholls' Outpost in Florida

From the Oct. 15, 2014, Explore Southern History Blog " Market to be placed at British War of 1812 fort site in Florida" by Dale Cox.  If you ever want to know anything about Florida history, check it out.

The new marker was unveiled November 9th.  It marks the northernmost incursion of the British forces along the Gulf coast during the war.

It was placed at River Landing Park in Chattahoochee, Florida, at the site of Nicholls' Outpost.  (I've also seen it spelled Nichols' Outpost.)  It was built near the head of the Apalachicola River during the British Gulf Coast Campaign which included the Battle of New Orleans.

It was built by Royal Colonial Marines along with Creek and Seminole warriors as part of a planned invasion of Georgia, but the war ended before it took place.

It was one of two forts built on the Apalachicola River.  The other is the Fort Gadsden Historic Site in the Apalachicola National Forest.