Amos Beebe Eaton:

A Soldier's Journal of the Second Seminole Indian War

Head Qrs of the Army
Adjt Genls Office
Washn July 31, 1837
General Orders

No. 50.

I .... The 1st Regt of Infty & that portion of the 2nd Regt of Dragoons at Jefferson Barracks will be prepared for service in Florida, and the respective Cols will take up the line of March in time to arrive at Tampa Bay between the 10th & 15th of October.

II....The Garrison of Fort Howard, consisting of four Companies of the 2nd Infty will take port for the present at Fort Hamilton, New York, whither it will proceed without delay. Surgeon Satterlee will accompany the Battalion.

X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X    X

By Order of Alexr Macomb
Major Genl Commander-in-Chief
(Signed R. Jones
Adjt Genl

In obedience to the above order the Garrison of Fort Howard in command of Bvt Maj Hoffman, left Green Bay in the Steam Boat Robt Fulton on the 24th of Augt- Officers, Maj Hoffman, Surgn Satterlee, Lieutenants Eaton, Hill, Patton, Bowford, Wessells, Anderson & Patrick.

The Battalion arrived at Fort Hamilton N.Y. on the evening of the 6th of Sept '37

Adjt Genls Office
Washington Sept 13, '37

General Order

No. 60.    The Battalion of the 2nd Regt of Infty- consisting of four companies, now at Fort Hamilton, will immediately proceed to Tampa Bay, Florida.

By order of Maj Gl Macomb
(Signed) R Jones
Adjt Genl

25th Sept '37 The Battalion went on Board the Ship Toskina in command of Lt Col. A Cummings 2nd Infty

21st October. Arrived at Fort Brooke Florida, where we found Lieut Col. A. R. Thompson 6th Infty in Command

H'Qrs Fort Brooke
23 Oct '37


Nov. 1   I.. Lt. Col. Cummings of the 2nd Infty assumes command of this Post

II.. 1st Lt. J. M. Hill of the 2nd Infty will perform the duties of a. adjt. Genl, to whom all Returns, Reports intended for the Comdg offr will be handed.

III. Surgeon Satterlee will act as Medical Director, and all officers of the Medical Dept at this Post will receive through him all orders necessary for their government.

IV. The regulations established by Lt Col Thompson for the government of the Camp, so far as relates to Guards, reports & c will be continued in force until further orders.

By order of Lt Col Cummings
J. M. Hill
a. a. adjt genl

23 October. Col Cummings issued orders directing the marines in command of Capt Delaney to proceed to Punta Rosa, Charlotte Harbor & there establish a military Post. They left in about 3 days after the order was issued.

25 October Lieut Patrick in command of "A" Company 2nd Infty with his Company relieved Lt Bainbridge 4th Arty as guard on the northwest side of the Hilsboro River.

1st November This day Troops were out in motion from Fort Brooke to regarrison Forts Dade and Foster, (two forts which had been evacuated in consequences of the sickness prevalent there). The former to be commanded by 1st Lieut. T. B. Adams, 2nd Arty consisting of "H" & "G" Companies of that Regt, 20 of the number to be mounted. and the latter in Command of Capt Belton of 2nd Arty with his Company, together with a small detachment of mounted dragoons in Command of Lt Carr 2nd dragoons.

These detachments were accompanied by a waggon train of about 80 waggons--escorted by the 1st Regt of Infty in command of Bvt Maj. Loomis & Capt Allen's (4th Infty) mounted company

The escort returned on the 6th of the same month.

7 November. A train of 39 waggons & 50 packet mules sailed this day in charge of A. Qm. Babbit for Fort Foster with Subsistence Stores & Forage, escorted by 100 friendly Indians (Delaware & Shawnees) & "D" & "G" Companies 2nd Infty in command of 1st Lt Eaton

The escort returned on the 9th. Saw no Indians (Seminoles) & no indication of hostilities. The Indian allys discovered a trail a short distance north of the Hilsboro at Fort Foster, about two days old as they supposed, leading from the north west to the south east, indicating the passage of about twelve Indians, they were desirous of following the trail, but of course could not be permitted without authority from Genrl Jesup, or the Commandant of the Southwestern military District.

These friendly Indians were accompanied from their own country (on the Kanza River in Missouri) by Capt Parks a man of great influence among them & who is somewhat mixed with them in blood.

7th & 8th November. Arrived at Fort Brooke. Col Smith with about 300 Louisianna Volunteers, Col S. (a General at home) enjoys the reputation of being a most excellent officer & much respect seems to be entertained for his views & opinions by those officers of the Regular Army who are acquainted with him--also Col (also a Gen at home) Gentry of Missouri, with about 450 Volunteers (mounted) from that state.

When the 1st Infty conducted the detachment & waggon train to Fort Dade, on their return there was discovered in the road a few miles south of the Fort, some marks and hieroglyphical representations in the sand, which attracted the attention of the returning Escort. There was a smooth place made in the sand on which was stamped an heart with two arrowheads, or acute angles thus crossing each other, & some of the observers thought there was discoverable the representation of blood trickling from the heart--various interpretations were given to this by different officers, some quite playful. These marks were described to Old Abram, a celebrated negro of great shrewdness formerly a slave of Micanopy, now in pay as guide and interpreter to this Army, who was born and raised among the Seminoles--who said the cross marks was the private sign of Micanopy, the head chief in rank of the nation, & the heart the sign of some other Indian, & gave it as his interpretation that it indicated the desire for peace but that fear prevented their showing themselves --- accordingly Colonel Taylor, the Commanding officer of the 3d Military District sent two negroes out to Micanopy to assure him that if he was disposed to come in, he need have no fear, his life and the lives of his people his property &c should be secured to him. They started to-day. (10th)

11th November An order was recd from Gen Jesup a few days since assigning Bvt Brigr Genl Eustis to the Command of the Troops in the District--bounded by the Withlacoochee on the South and the St Johns on the East; to Genl Hernandez the District bounded by the St Johns on the West & Indian River on the south; and to Col Taylor that bounded by the Withlacoochie on the North the Kissimmee East & Charlotte Harbour South.

11th Nov. 37 Two of the Missouri Volunteers were accidentally shot this morning in camp-one through the leg, the other through the breast, the latter it is expected will prove mortal.

11th Nov 37 Col Smith with his Louisiana Volunteers has recd orders to move to Punta Rosa immediately, with one company of Artillery, where Col S. is to assume command of the Marines now there, then proceed up to Sanybal river & establish depots of Provisions & Forage, then with his force to prevent the Indians, supposed to be about Pease Creek, from retreating to the everglades until the Army from this post can come up on this side. This plan it is supposed will shut them up in a large Cypress Swamp lying south east of Pease Creek, from which retreat they are to be ferreted out -- time will show the event.

11th Nov 37 The Army on this post is evidently too small to operate with the freedom & ease which would attend a sufficiently large & well equipped force. Even the different Departments of the Regular Army, from the limited Number of the Troops, do not draw together with harmony. The Quarter Masters Depart, the Hospital Dept, the Medical Dept, & the Ordnance Dept, all require a good many men to carry on the necessary operations But these men come from the line already very much thinned -- this diminishes the number of effective Troops, & by daily fatigues so worries the soldier that his efficiency in the field must necessarily be much diminished.

11th Nov '37 All the preparations are making at this post, which can be made with the no. of men & the supplies & materials, for an active Campaign, & no deficiency of any importance is observed excepting that of the limited no. of men -- It may prove that enough are here to perform all required of this post of the Army, but it is questionable.

11th Nov '37 The 178 friendly Indians (Shawnees & Delawares) now here, it seems have been very much deceived as to their compensation. Before leaving home or consenting to come they were informed by the proper authorities at Washington that they should receive 45 dollars per month & now they are here, they are told that they are to have only eight dollars, that it was a mistake of the clerk in writing forty five instead of eight. This kind of trick & truckling on the part of the government at Washington is in perfect keeping with most of our dealings with the Aborigines -- these Indians will return home more than ever convinced of the faithlessness of the white man. Col Taylor has told them of the mistake (as it is called) of the scapegoat Clerk, but endeavored to induce them to remain, assuring them that he will do his best to have them receive the wages they expected -- but Capt Parks their leader this morning said they would not stay.

Head Quarters, Army of the South
St Augustine, Oct 27, 1837

Colonel -- By the order of to-day you will observe that you are placed in command of all the Troops and posts south of the Withlacoochee, north of Charlotte Harbour, and west of Kissimmee.

When you shall have occupied Forts Foster & Dade, and have placed in deposits the forage & subsistence already ordered to those posts, I desire that you proceed with all your disposable force on the Kissimmee trail to Pease Creek, opening a road as you proceed, and erect a bridge over that creek, and build a good Stockade and blockhouses to protect it, and to serve as a depot of Subsistence and forage, at least 25,000 rations of subsistence should be secured in this depot, and two thousand bushels of Corn. Should you consider a post necessary between Tampa and Pease Creek, you are authorized to establish it -- Many of the Seminole Indians are represented to be now at Istokpoga, southeast of the point where the trail crosses Pease Creek -- It is desirable that you attack and if possible destroy or capture them -- If, however, you should from prisoners, or from other sources, obtain satisfactory information of the Indians being in force in any other part of the country, you will consider yourself as vested with discretionary authority to attack them; and as it will be difficult to communicate with me after you shall have marched from Tampa, you will consider yourself vested with all the powers that I would exercise if I were present.

If you should not have mounted Volunteers, nor a sufficient number of Dragoons for mounted service you are authorized to mount as many of your men as you may consider necsssary.

Leave a Competent officer in command at Tampa Bay with a suitable garrison, and cause all the mechanics & labourers to be armed, also required Waggon drivers to be armed.

Abraham, Murray & William can be taken as guides and interpreters -- They are acquainted with the trail, and with the country -- The Indians have threatened to kill Abraham, & I have ascertained from prisoners secretly taken that they have actually appointed twenty warriors to kill him. I desire that he be informed of their intention. it will insure his fidelity, and convince him that nothing short of the entire submission of the Indians can secure him from the danger which menaces him. Require the QuarterMaster, Commissary & other officers of the Staff to keep on hand constantly supplies for all the wants of the service.

The Acting QMaster Genl has sent out a number of Ponton Waggons or boats -- you will find them extremely convenient for passing rivers & other streams when there are no other materials for bridges or where there is not time to construct them -- the Indian rubber pontons may also be found useful; They are at Tampa, & Mr. Bates is well acquainted with the manner of using them -- I have accurate information of the position of large bodies of the Indians on the St Johns, and south east of it & I shall push into the heart of the Country, the moment the recruits be distributed among the Companies.

Inclosed you will receive a copy of a map I have caused to be purchased -- The country, the Indian & Indian negroes inform me, is pretty accurately described. The trail to Kissimmee is not so straight as is represented, but the general direction is correct -- If General Smith of Louisiana should raise a volunteer force, he will commence his operations at Charlotte Harbour, or south of it. In that event the marines under Cap Dalaney will be attached to his command - should the General come with his force to Tampa, I desire that you cause every facility to be given him.

I have only to add, Colonel, that knowing you, I expect everything from you, separated as you will be from the Head Qrs of the Army, you will be called upon to exercise discretion and to assume responsibilities of no ordinary kind, act on such occasions, according to your best judgement, and with your accustomed energy, I will sustain you in whatever you may find it necessary to do -- If you find the enemy, you will have force enough to beat him, & by a proper course with your guides, they will no doubt be able to lead you to the retreat of the women & children.

Assure Abram that his family shall be free, and Murray that he & his wife Katy shall be free if they be true to us.

Abraham is very much attached to Micanopy-- I have heard from that Chief, and he only only waits a favorable opportunity to join us. You will perhaps find him at Istokpoga, so communicate with him, it would be well to take the Indian negro Bob with you. It would not do to send Abrahm or Murray with a message to the Indians, as they would certainly be killed, but Bob could go safely.

You are authorized to order from New Orleans, or elsewhere, whatever you may find necessary to the services.

With my best wishes for your success

I am, Colonel
Most cordially & respectfully
Yr ob sevt
(Signed Th S Jesup

Col Z Taylor
Com &
Tampa Bay, Florida

13 Nov '37 The Delaware and Shawnee Indians have determined to succeed & trust the uprightness of the Genl Govt as to the pay they shall receive; & Genl Jesup has ordered half of them to cross to the other side of the Peninsula.

13 Nov '37. Yesterday Capt Morris 2nd Infty arrived from Blk Creek (?) with 3 Comps of mounted men, 2 of Florida Volunteers & 1 of the 4th U. S. Infty

Last evening the Hyperion S. B. arrived from St Johns & much to the disappointment of the whole camp, brot no mail. Yesterday the Lt of Missouri Volunteers who was accidentally shot on the 11th, (Lt Childs a young lawyer of good reputation & standing in society died & was buried with the honors of war. Lt Eaton commanded the Escort, composed of men from the 2nd Infty. This young officer came out in indifferent health in the company of which his brother was captain, in the hope that a tour of service in the climate of Florida would enable him to return to his family (a wife & one child) in the Spring with renewed health -- but instead of meeting her husband in health, saddened widowhood is the portion of the disappointed wife.

13 Almost every day the slow & solemn funeral march is heard, in playing the last sad memento to the dead soldier.

How vastly wide has the earth of Florida opened her gall grasping jaws, to swallow up human life during this Seminole War! Ye Sons of the Hammock and Everglade, ye who in midnight's stealthy hours, slow creep and crouch along the brakey plain, what nerves your arm? Whence have you that successful & unassailable spirit that so bears ye up & makes ye strike so sure a blow -- Are ye appointed the last to contend with the blood of avarice, & are the Indian Councils far & wide oer all the borders north & west - look your success and anxiously await to know how [spared] you are--

The Lord who rules all the wide World, guide to a result working out his own eternal designs.

14 November '37 Last evening I received three letters from my wife.

This morning the 4th and 6th Infty (8 companies of the former, two of the mounted. & seven Companies of the latter.) {about 800 men in all besides the drivers and muleteers} One compy of Artillery, under Capt Munroe, a company of Quarter Mastersmen in charge of a Mt. Garrison, as Pioneers, with a train of 98 waggons & some packed mules, started for Pease Creek in command of Lt Col Foster 4th Infty. Abram & another negro went as guides. Col Thompson commanded the 6th Infty -- Capt. Allen one of the mounted comps & Lt Grandin the other--

Amos Beebe Eaton Journal

14 Nov '37 This morning at about 7 o'clk, at the moment the Brigade under Lt Col Foster had been put in motion for Pease Creek, there came up quite suddenly in the West a smart shower -- and as it was approaching, the mist & rain rolling on in dense clouds and the sun shining brightly in the east; there was a display of a double system of rainbows the most brilliant & splendidly perfect of any thing of the kind I have ever seen or heard of. There sprang from the same points in the horizon two principal bows of different centers, the one rising to the height of about 45 degrees & the other about 5 degrees higher, each having an outer or secondary bow also springing from the same points in the horizon. The secondary of the inner & most brilliant bow, rising to & blending with the outer primary one at its points of greatest elevation, thus

sketch.jpg (20158 bytes)

The curves in black ink representing the inner primary & its secondary, & those in red ink the outer ones -- all the curves excepting the outer one of all being continuous, that are not discernable at the summit -- The display lasted several minutes -- the inner primary showing the different colors much more distinctly then I have ever before seen them --

15th Nov '37 We have in our camp all sorts of personages -- indeed I have never known a better place for studying man. Here he is bootless, idle & looked upon -- Here is the fat man, the lean man, the unwhiskered & he of the moustache. The laugher & the sad -- the man of prayer and the infamously profane -- here is the scholar and the consumate ass -- the man of rank, in state & majesty ordering the obedient hither & thither, and the infant in arms with timidity drawing his new bought blade. Here is the abstemious & the drunkard, the eaters of pills and of oysters -- the busiest of the busy & the lounger in perfection -- the man of the horse & he of the foot. Here are carved upon the face of man all shapes -- the thin small face peering behind high cravat & huge projecting whiskers -- the rowdy dragoon with nasty obscene moustache -- the boy of new-sprung beard coaxing a reluctant growth upon his meagre lip -- the little whiskers, the big whiskers, the narrow & the short the red & the black -- the straight & the curved -- all goats alike -- Here is the musician, they of the flute; & he of the violin, at evening hour striking a note in unison with the charms of this bright region-- Here are the clans, clubs, gangs and messes Here is hunting, riding, singing & sighing -- Here is sickness & dying -- Here is a world within the reach of the eye

Today a man who had been sick was rather lightly spoken to on the subject of dying. he said he had been too sick & was yet too unwell to render it proper to be addressed in that manner -- the disection of the subject was then turned towards a large fat Captain, who perhaps had omitted to read some books the Philadelphia Libraries might produce. It was then observed that he need not feel that even he could die without feeling some pain. That fat men sometimes met death rather hard -- Yes, said another, Falstaff, you know, who was fat, died in pain -- Ah! said the fat Captain, very much concerned, is he dead, I didn't know that!

16 November '37. This morning at about 1/2 past 7 o'clock Major Hoffman 2nd Infty with "A" & "H" Companies of that Regiment, and Major McCrae's two comps of mounted Florida Volunteers started for Pease Creek to escort back to this fort the waggon train taken to that place by Lt. Col. Foster. Murray the Indian negro interpreter went with the Detachment Officers of the Regular Army Maj. Hoffman, Capt. Morris, Lts. Wessells & Patrick.

Nov. '37 Yesterday about 80 of the N.W. Indians went out in a south eastern direction towards Pease Creek, on a scouting expedition; and 20, divided into two parties, went out north for the same purpose; the former under Capt. Parks. on the 7th. Inst. a delegation of Cherokee Indians were at St. Augustine, on their way to visit the Seminoles, with a view to dissuade them from further resistance to the whites. It is earnestly to be hoped that they will be successful in their humane endeavors.

16th Nov. Today I drew 40 new muskets for "D" Company 2nd Infty.

17 Nov. '37. The strength of the Army in this part of Florida is considerably less than was anticipated.

Anticipated Strength Real Strength
1st Regt. Infty. 500 285
2nd   "       " 200 215
4th    "       " 500 400
6th    "       " 350 288
2nd   "   Dragons 600 67
2150 1255
Anticipated Strength Real Strength
1st Regt. Arty.
2nd   "      "
4th    "      "
450 248
Louisiana Vols. 600 250
Missouri   " 500 450
Florida   " 100 100
Northwestern Indians 1000 178
U. S. Marines 200 150
5000 2631
Deduct Artillery ordered to the Suwanne (out of Col. Taylor's district) 160
& sick and unable to bear Arms 142
leaving for duty in the 3rd military District under Col. Taylor -2329
instead of the Anticipated Strength 5000
Difference 2671

17 Nov. '37 One mistake committed in the preparations and arrangements for the present campaign is leaving the incipient contracts, hiring of Steam Boats, transports & to young and comparatively inexperienced officers, and the not sending those of more experience into the country to conduct the affairs of the War Dept. until just at the opening of the campaign, when it is too late to doct. the evils consequent upon this course. The very best QM's in the whole Army should have been on the ground to lay the ground work of all the arrangements of that all important Department. As an instance of showing the evils of the short-sightedness of the plans. Look at the hiring of transports (S. Boats in the Gulf of Mexico) & the most enormous cost of stores obtained and brought to Tampa Bay by this mode of transporting. This Steam Boat Charmain has been employed by the Dept. about 2 month at $150 per diem. about the only service she has rendered during that time, is, she has made one trip to the Sawannee R. and brought to Tampa Bay 35 [B ] making the cost of [B ] per pound about $6.00! Alas for the Treasury! Too much, altogether too much, has been left for one officer (& he very young & inexperienced) to perform at Tampa Bay. Thus it is, that millions on millions of money has been expended to gain this most barren, sandy, swampy & good for nothing peninsula. The Seminole can never be put in a country so much secluded from the white man as here. He can never be put in a country so utterly unproffitable to the agriculturalist & were it not for the name of succumbing to the Seminole, far better were it, even now to whithold further appropriations & leave the deceived Indian where God placed him, & where true policy would wish him to remain.

18th November. This morning an Express from the north brot the following note from Capt. Galt at Fort King.

Fort King Nov. 16, 1837

Col Twiggs in 14 Steam Boats 400 men went somedays since to Volusia. Col. Mills (Florida Vol.) with 340 exceedingly efficient & well appointed mounted men left this yesterday morning for the same place the distance about 5 miles. All will be off from Black Creek about today. Volusia & Fort Walton were occupied two weeks ago by Major Gardner & Lt. Col. Harney, navigation for Steamers has been found 70 miles farther than known or expected. Gen. Jesup has sent a runner for the families of the principal prisoners who it is supposed will come in & many others, perhaps Warriors. Two Indians were taken about 30 miles from Garey's ferry a few days ago, they say that they were just from the hostile camps, & that Micanopy with a large number of warriors &c &c were about coming in. If so Tuesday's mail will bring the news.

Parties of Indians were around this post on the nights of the 11, 12, 13, on the last night a party sat down in the road 240 yas from the pickets.

Gen. Armistead is to be in the field 3600 will be the number of regulars in the field. "P.H.G."

18 Nov. '37. The operations from this fort do not progress as rapidly, & with the energy that ought to characterize every motion at this moment, tho' perhaps more attributable to the precious want of preparations, than to the lack of present plans & efficiency. Though Col.       did not arrive by some days, as soon as he was expected, & as soon as things & troops were ready for him.

Amos Beebe Eaton Journal18 Nov. Gen. Jesups plans for the present campaign, seem to be exceedingly well laid, & he energetically carrying them out & should he not be successful in doing the war with this present season's campaign, it will be justly attributable to other causes than his presents plans. At present, everything seems to tend to a very sturdy termination of the war. The Indians certainly refrain from doing much mischief, & giving much annoyance within their power to commit & no present signs of hostility are discoverable.

21 Nov. '37. Yesterday towards evening Maj. Hoffman returned with his escort & the waggon train from Pease Creek & reports no Indians seen, from some few indications it is supposed Indians are watching Col. Foster's camp. A man of the 6th Infty was accidentally killed on the evening of Col. F.'s arrival at Pease Creek.

21 Nov. This evening, negro Bob (who started on the 10th Inst.), who with an Indian was sent out by Col. Taylor to visit Micanopy & invite him to come in if he was disposed, returned, having seen the Chief Alligator with about 100 Indians at Kissimmee but did not see Micanopy. The Indian, however, remained to go & see him. Alligator says he is tired of fighting & will do as does Micanopy, that he could have killed all the whites had he been disposed.

21 Nov. '37. Today Col. Taylor ordered the 4 Companies of the 2nd Infty under Maj. Hoffman to Charlotte Harbor, to move as soon as the Q.M. should furnish the required transportation.

22 Nov. Busy in making the "necessary" preparations for the move.

23 Nov. After much delay & some disappointments in regard to a Steam boat, got on board the schooners. Maj. Hoffman, Sargt. Stinneeke, Lieuts. Eaton, Bowford, Wessells & Andrews, & "D" "G" & "H" Companies on board the Schr. Sarah & Capt. Morris, Lieut. Patrick & "A" Company on board the Schr. Pilot - were just getting under sail, when the Pilot getting aground & evening in stop both schrs. for the night. At day break finding the Pilot off, both set sail & proceeded (beating, the wind ahead) down the bay (Tampa). During the previous evening, rec'd a message from a boat passing up to the Fort, that some officers on board a schr. near by would be glad to see us. After tea some of us went on board & to our great pleasure found our old friend Maj. Larned - 9 days from N. Orleans. He gave us much political & other news.

By the last Express mail from the north, under date of Fort King Nov. 19th. The Indians seem to be assuming a more hostile attitude than for some time previous. Gen. Jesup, with the troops, on the east side, were rapidly taking their positions, Gen. Hernandez "assembling" his forces at New Symrna, where a new fort has been established & where most of the 1st Art. 3 Company 2nd Drgs. & 5 of Vols. were assembling to march towards the head of the St. Johns. Sam Jones is reported them determined to make battle & Gen. J. says "if he will make good his threat of battle, I think we may terminate the war by X-mas." Another Lake south of Lake Marion is reported to have been discovered in a good, rich, open country, only 10 or 15 miles from the Atlantic.

24 Nov. '37. Today made Gadsen's Point, & having trouble with some Mackinae boats in tow & the sea being very rough outside the Bay, we came to anchor.

25 Nov. '37. Weigh anchor at 4 A.M. & made off Charlotte Harbor at night.

26 Sunday, at day light made towards land. Instead of being trotted, pulled & hauled up & down the land coast & sea in this "disgraceful Florida War" as it has got to be called, I would rather be well rid of the whole country & quietly seated in a more peaceful life. I am not patient with the "tardiness" of the progress of the operations on this side of the Peninsula. If a man is to be in this country, which he is here, let him do his do, & be off again, & not exhaust his energies, cramp his powers of action, chill his armor & sicken his body by lying in camp, until eviscerated & listless he becomes useless, when tardy plans have made a place for his useless trunk. A little more than a month ago the 4 comps of the 2nd Infty came to Tampa Bay, 200 strong officers & men healthy, in good spirits & ready to do anything required of them, they have lain in Camp got sick, in some measure unspirited & now out at sea again for a new destination. Plans could be replaned until grandmothers stay at home & mind their knitting - leaving young men to do the business of war!

27 Nov. '37. Came over the bar & up to the camp this morning, find Gen. Smith about.

28 Nov. '37. Today unloaded the Schr. Sarah & Pilot, wrote to my wife & to Major Brant.

I have to be especially thankful to my Lord for the great blessing of good health, & the more so, since so many in this country loose their health & many their lives. I ask at the hands of my God the continuation of this inestimable blessing. I ask it for myself, but I ask it with more anxiety & more "earnestness" on account of my wife & children, who do so cling to me in their good heart & so build all their earthly hopes of happiness in connection with my presence, & society, & protection, & support, that I do beg of my good Lord to spare me & speed my return to them, the associates & comforts of my being. My once bereaved & widowed wife, I trust will not again be left love & husbandless; & my "blessed" children - O let them be spared their father to guide their feet in virtue's, in religious paths - Amen.

29 Nov. '37. Today went with Capt. Momi & Lieut Anderson to Sanibal Island to collect shells, found about 30 species got a thorough wetting. There are wild hogs on this island, gophers, a large species of cactus bearing large & edible fruit, mangrove trees and many other varieties of southern wood.

30 Rec'd orders to remain at this place as A.C.S. & Q.M. for the present, relieving Lieut. Caldwell in those duties as to the Genl. depot. The Schooner Echo & the Sloop Veto came in today, bringing Q.M. & Sub Stores, but no additional means of transportation. Lieut Patrick who left on the 28th went with despatches for Gen. Smith, returned this afternoon, having found him at the bar, at the proper mouth of the river. The Steam boat Columbus which had been agound nine days got of, & this morning started up. Lt. P. went up 10 or 12 miles & then dropt off & came down, saw no Indians & no fresh traces of them.

Learned by the Veto, of the arrival at Tampa of the Philada Vols. & of the departure of Col. Taylor for Pease Creek.

1st Dec. '37. Gave up the command of "D" Company today to Lt. Bowford.

2nd Dec. Steam Boat Florence came in yesterday & was loaded today for the Sanibal River & is to start tomorrow morning with Capt. Brothes Company La. Vols.

Dec. 11th '37. The Marines about 110 strong, under the command of Capt. Delany, left for the upper post on the Sanibal this morning in the S.B. Florence.

The Schr. Sarah is to leave this morning.

Dec. 13th. Those Companies D H & G 2nd Infty. left this morning in the S.B. Florence with the intention of taking the Columbus at the Bar of the Sanibal, to join Gen. Smith at Camp Smith.

15th. Sloop Van Basen came. Capt. Buner, bringing the news (unofficial) of the rapid conclusion of Hostilities - which the Lord grant may prove true.

16th. Took a long tramp today on an Island with Capt. Parker of the Schr. Madawasca. Got nothing but a few snails, tried to find a lime tree cane. Saw a great many plants of southern & curious aspect in blossom, but not having either time or means to preserve them was compelled, tho' reluctantly to pass them by - picked a specimen of sea island cotton in blossom.

Dec. 23 '37. S.B. Phoenix started up the river today. Night before last there was an alarm in camp, a sentinel fired at a mule.

Dec. 28 '37. Skipped off for Tampa Bay this day at 2 o'ck 40 Indians & 2 negros in the Schr. Madawasca is being a part of Oulatorches Band taken by Gen. Smith up the Sanibel River.

Steam Boat Columbus left yesterday at 12 o'ck for Fort Smith.

Dec. 31. 5 Companies of Philada, & New York Volunteers arrived from Tampa Bay in three Schooners, viz. the Pilot, Johannes & Gov. Henry. -- 2 of the Comps German.

Jany. 3rd '38. Revenue Cuttar Jackson (Capt. Gaitwood) came in today, having on board, Surg. Gen. Lawson, Maj. Larned & others.

Jany. 2nd 38. This day the two German Companies under Capt. Kosirets in the S.B. Florence went up the river.

Jany. 4th. Genl. Lawson with 2 companies, & Maj. Larned & others went in the Columbus.

Jany. 5. Express from Columbus at the Bar came down by the mate stating that the Phoenix took only the troops from the C. & hastened on Col. Taylor's engagement of the 25th of Dec. 1838 -

Head Quarters 1st Brigade Army South of
Withlacoochie, 10 P.M. 27th of Dec. 1837.
Camp about 10 miles East of Kissimmee.


In my communication of the 19th last, I informed you I should take up the time of search in pursuit of the enemy, and after a rapid movement I reached the Kissimmee late in the evening of the 3rd day about 50 miles below Lt. Gardner, where I learned from an Indian captured near that point that Alligator and all the war Spirits of the Seminoles and nearly two hundred Mickasukis were encamped about 25 miles east of that river, the next day I crossed over in pursuit of them and came up with them on the 25th last, encamped in a thick hammock on the banks of the Okee-cho-bee, with a swamp in their front; which I had to pass to get to them, nearly a mile wide, unpassable for Horse & nearly so for foot the river being knee deep & covered with high saw grass. I did not hesitate a moment to bring them to battle, which commenced about 1/2 past 12 P.M. & succeeded after a close & severe conflict of an hour & more & a scattering fire for more time after, in beating them completely, notwithstanding the advantage of their frontier, once the difficulty we had in approaching them was done with a heavy loss on our part, there being 26 killed on the spot & 111 wounded, among the former Lt. Col. Thompson, Capt. Van Swearingen, Lt. Brooke & Adjt. Curtis, among the wounded Col. Gentry, was dead. Capt. Andrew, & Lt. Walker of the 11th & a number of Vol. offrs. I remained on the ground the next day employed in the sad office of burying the dead & taking care of the wounded, also in preparing litters to remove the wounded back to the Kissimmee which place I expect to reach tomorrow.

I [  ] &c Z Taylor

Brig. Genl Armistead
Tampa Bay

Jany. 8. Steam Boats Phoenix & Florence came down today Schooner Hancock touches in from Key West.

Gov't. Transport Columbia came to the Bar today.

I start in the Phoenix for the upper port in the morning, Gen. Smith having sent for me. Company E, Philada Vols. goes up.

Jany. 13th. I went up to Fort Deynaud in the S.B. Phoenix on the 9th, came down to the Bar on the 11th & to Punta Rassa the 12th.

Gen. S. marches on the 11th for Fort Bassinger with the marines 1 company Arty. & 7 comps Vols.

Same date Capt. Parker of the Schooner Madawasca came in at 10 at night announcing the wreak of his Schr. & the loss of the loading. Sub QM Stone for this district from Tampa Bay. Lt. Wooster came in the same schr. & boat.

The Revenue Cuttar Jackson/Capt. Gaitwood/is now tying here. officers Col S. Lts. Clark, Peters & Turner.

Feby. 15. Alas, my neglected Journal! The current of small events has so swiftly glided past, amidst the busy scenes into which I have been thrown. That I have quite failed to keep up the thread of my diary of Florida doings. But this [big gape], I have no time or inclination now to fill - and should I perchance fill it, others would inevitably make their appearance to break the thread.

Feby 15. Just now there is a lady here! What? a lady! Yes, in very truth a lady, a woman, a man's wife - bonnet, shawl, and all (I suppose) of the proper paraphenalia appertaining thereto. Miserable die! A lady worried & in search of her husband, thrown upon the contracted hospitalities of Punta Rassa.

It's quite refreshing for a man of my taste to converse with a lady to see a lady in this ungraceful spot of earth. This sterile, unfinished land; this alligator, this crab, this lizzard, this buzzard, this grasse sowed coast. A lady here, oh, throw a newly plucked rose in the mirey mud, but let not the foot of woman tread this barbarous shore.

But I've talked with a woman here today.

15th. Col. Lawson (Surgeon Genl) has gone to Cape Table to establish a post.

Genl. Smith starts towards the same point by land in a few days.

March 15th. One month since I took the pen in favor of posterity.

15th March. Returned yesterday from Fort Deynaud, went up the day before. Am now & have been while in Florida in very good health. Am now messing with Dr. Brown.

Have planted about 1/2 an acre of Potatoes. Today sowed oats within the picket inclosure to try have a little of a green tint to prevent this severe reflection of light from the white sand.

The fleas are very annoying here now, no flies or mosquitoes of any consequence.

Have more old horses sent here to take the sea air, & they seem to improve upon it.

Haven't had a letter from my wife dated since the 28th of Jany '38 - 46 days! Have learned that $300 which was to have been paid in to the Michigan Bank for me, for the sale of some land was not paid - so that the "Swamp" is still ours.

17th March '38. A very windy & horridly disagreable day. Sand flying in all directions. The news boat in the lee of Sanybal & can't get the mail!

24th March. The Marines serving in the Sanybal District under Capt. Delany came down to-day. The 2nd Infty has has come in to Fort Deynaud.

March 29th. A few days since, by orders form Genl Jesup Capt. Berncis Rancho was broken up. The propriety policy & justice of the reason may be questioned - about 140 individuals were carried off, indeed who had Indian blood, mostly women & the children, families of Spanish & Indian fisherman, who have probably not [   ] at all to carry on the war by the Seminoles & Mikasukeys.

April 4th. Today arrived at Fort Deynaud, where I remained until the morning of the 10th. On the night of the 6th Capt. Hope La. Vols with a hunting party of 4 men was attacked 6 miles from Fort Keair, one killed, 2 wounded.

While at Fort. D. Col. Taylor & Smith met & had a conference both seeming to entertain hopes that many Indians will come in according to from in.

On the morning of the 9th an expressman from Fish creek, discovered a dead man by the road side about 10 miles from Fort D. A party was sent to bring in the body which proved to be one of the express riders between Forts Bassinger & Deynaud & must have been killed the same morning (9th) or the evening before. The party of Indians that killed him may have waylayed for Col. Taylor, but who escaped by returning to Fort. B. more promptly than might reasonably have been expected. Those acts may prove the insincerity of all the Indians negotiations. Col. T. is taking measures for breaking up operations, the Old Store & Clothing is off for Tampa.

April 11th. Today ship off the first troops & store from this district towards closing up the concern of this campaign. Lieuts Anderson & Wooster left in the chamors S.B. Capt. Evans for Ft. Deynaud & Lt. Pew for Cape Sable.

April 15th. 4 of these transports for carrying off the La. Penn & Me. Vols. are in. The Indians have begun to cut off the express between Garry's ferry & Tampa, also between Forts Bassinger & Deynaud.

April 20th. Weighed today 157 pounds. The two days past have been windy & very disagreeable. Genl Jesup has by this established his Hd Qtrs at Tampa. The 2nd Infty & Marine corps are yet ignorant of their destination.

June 12th. On the 9th met Genl Taylor with 6 groups of the 1st Infty. one of the 2nd Dragoons & 4 of the 6th Infty. marched for Micanopy a few days before about 350 Indians & negroes sailed for N.V. & yesterday Capt Morris 2nd Infty with A & G comps in S.B. Marion started for Fort White on the Suwanne.

June 17th. To my wife.

Seven years and more have rolled their tide of time along since first we met. Where loud waters end their [throws] of praise to God we met. Two in an ancient Castle-hall of solid stone work bold; where tales of strange & diverse import take their [pass]. Was clashing steel here those lit up the hour of night. There too in early days has Brave met brave and Tribe & Tribe lost sons of promises. Their has the wiley Priest lent a greedy ear at [ ] confessional. There in that stall was my heart called out for you - I wooed, you lent an ear and gave an heart. Then my Ellen was born, consecrated at Nature's great Baptismal Faunt. Her brilliant babyhood held its gleeful gainbillings where she [was] taught to lisp "this Blessed Saviour". She trips in sodden shoe amid the [Houstonia] that trims the green [glades]. She dropd a tear & swelled her infant brow to accord with the dark shade where wild waters dash their strength below. Then the baby hand, of knowledged made havoc in the garden, and the little foot trod careless o'er the beds.

July 8th. I am reading the life of Miss Fletcher. I hope to improve my fallen lost graces. I think I never had so high an opinion of any Christian as of her, I am thankful that there are any who so praise the Lord & truly exemplify Christ here below. Her providential dispensations are like those which have been vouchsafed to my own dear wife's. It is most true that if we do in deed & in faith trust in the Lord & "first seek the kingdom of Heaven" then things, are necessary things, all prayed for things both be added.

O let me now truly trust the Lord, and live a holy life. I desire to be rid of this craving fear of the world; and to take the full benefit of Christ & be all his, all for Him forever.

July 15 (Sunday). To the view of those who reason altogether from temporal and worldly principles, the Christian should seem a fool, and for Christ's sake he should be willing to be so considered - the object of his life: his riches; his affection should be concealed from the world, so that those who are unacquainted with high nature of his calling may justly wonder what his object can be, so to discard all ordinary principles of action. But when Christ who is his life, shall appear, then it shall all plainly be evident to the assembled world what the Christian has sought for in this life. His life, his riches, his all shall fully & splendidly shine before the assembled universe. O Lord so guide me that I may set my affection on things above, not on things on the earth, & that I may be dead to the world & alive unto God, through Jesus Christ.

July 16th. Christ is, & was on earth, the image of the invisible God, the express image of his person. He imaged forth, or exemplified the moral character of God in human nature. He &imaged& God to man's comprehension - by presenting God to men in a form & nature comprehensable to us, and capable of being imitated in all moral parts through his grace.

O Lord, give me, they most filthy creature, grace to graze upon thine Image in Christ with a full love - give me to imitate his beautiful graces & to walk worthy of him who is above all & before all.

Bless also my beautiful wife & fill her heart with thy love. Take my children into thy bosom & bless them as their own Amen.

July 17th. I must be much more watchful over my tongue, and over the source of the tongue's words, the heart, and not suffer myself to speak evil of any one - or to discant upon others faults, it [serves] no good purpose; injury those who I ought rather to try to benefit & tends rapidly to destroy all my own [ ] grace. Help me Lord to be ever mindful of thy words on this subject. Amen.

July 22nd Sunday. We are all now by the mail of the 25 expecting the promotions consequent upon the passage of the Army bill. I am an applicant for a Staff appt. - but for success I leave all with my Heavenly Father; who has always cared for me and made plain my way I shall take the result as his doing & he be contented.

July 24th. Have today read a part of Barne's notes on the 1st Chap. of John & a tract. I feel that Christians ought to summon him that the way is straight, not straight direct, but straight, narrow & difficult.

July 25th. Mail came in, my Captaincy is in doubt.

26th. Lt. & Miss McConnell & Miss Randolph left for the north.

July 27th. Some Indians went out to hold talks with those still out, of the Tallahassee & Mickasukie.

July 30th. "Unrestrained intimacy and familiarity; such as idles and busy bodies, who go from house to house, and other ill-bred persons, practice, is as undesirable and unchristian as it is vulgor and uncivil." Tract No. 265 - "Duties of Church members".

Augt. 4th. Was this morning informed by Genl Taylor that application has been made for me for the [R ] [L ] & that he had informed the Adjt. Gen. that as soon as an officer was sent to relieve me here I could go.

Augt. 14th. Genl T. left for Tallahassee.

Augt. 24th 1838. Today 12 noon I left Green Bay Wis. with my [ ] & after one year of chance & change I am by the kind mercy of my Heavenly Father, still and alive & well - tho absent from my dear family.

Nothing induces me to think less of Jesus Christ, but I am daily more & more determined to cleave to Him & his salvation forever.

The Lord keep me in all times of crucial trial.

AB Eaton