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Seminole War muster rolls of Florida militia, 1836-1841, 1856-1858.
Arranged by military unit, then alphabetical by commander's name.
Terms Governing Use:
During the first half of the nineteenth century the United States fought three wars against the Seminole Indians. The First Seminole War took place from 1817-1818. It was highlighted by an invasion of Spanish Florida by United States troops under the command of General Andrew Jackson. The expedition was precipitated by clashes between American settlers in Georgia and the Seminoles living across the border in Florida. The concerns of American slaveholders that the Seminoles were providing haven for runaways also exacerbated tensions and led to war. Although most American troops evacuated the territory at the conclusion of the war, Florida officially became an American possession in 1821. In December 1835 hostilities began again with the virtual annihilation of an American force commanded by Major Francis L. Dade by a large group of Seminoles as the soldiers marched from Fort Brooke (Tampa) to Fort King (Ocala). The Second Seminole War that followed would last until 1842, making it the longest and costliest Indian War in Amercian history. Large numbers of regular U.S. troops served during the conflict, supported by many state volunteer units, most from Florida but a number from other states such as Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Alabama. The war ended without a formal treaty, but with many Seminoles deported to Arkansas and the remainder pushed farther to the south. Probably less than 300 Indians remained in Florida at the conclusion of the Second Seminole War.
The final struggle with the Seminoles, known as the Third Seminole War, occurred from 1855 to 1858. For several years negotiations had been underway to remove the surviving Seminoles from Florida. In December 1855 an army detachment was attacked by Seminoles led by Holatta Micco (Billy Bowlegs), the most prominent chief remaining in Florida. The Third Seminole War was fought on a smaller scale than the Second War. Fewer regular army units participated in the struggle, and by the latter stages Florida volunteers carried the burden of the war. Billy Bowlegs and a large group of his followers agreed to emigration in 1858, although a small group of Seminoles, probably less than 100, never surrendered and remained in Florida. The native Americans that live in Florida today are their descendants.
The volumes contain photostatic copies of muster rolls for Florida militia volunteer units for the Second and Third Seminole Wars from 1836 to 1841 and 1856 to 1858. The rolls list the name, age, and rank of the soldier, the date and place of enlistment, information regarding pay, and general remarks. The majority of these units are independent companies that may have served in more than one period of any or all of the three wars. The date listed in the index is the date of the latest muster roll for the unit concerned. Most volunteer and militia companies were known by the commander's name, e.g. Smith's Company of Mounted Volunteers. The alphabetical arrangement of the names is not kept in strict order throughout the volumes.
Folder listing available.
Additional Physical Form:
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
National Archives, Washington, D.C.
The Dept. of Military Affairs photocopied for their own use the original records held by the National Archives.
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields:
Florida. State Militia.
Seminole War, 2nd, 1835-1842. Seminole War, 3rd, 1855-1858. Seminole Indians Wars
Military records. aat Territorial records. aat Muster rolls. aat