“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Pierce in Saint Lucie County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Old Fort Park - Fort Pierce

Military Fort Pierce at Old Fort Park, Fort Pierce Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jay Kravetz, August 17, 2017
1. Military Fort Pierce at Old Fort Park, Fort Pierce Marker
Inscription. Fort Pierce (1838-1842) was a significant Second Seminole War U.S. military post built during General Thomas S. Jesupís winter campaign of 1837-38. Strategically located on a high bluff along the Indian Riverís western shore, the Fort stood four miles south of the old Indian River Inlet. Artillerymen constructed the blockade from readily available palmetto logs and named Fort Pierce for their "worthy commander" Brevet Lt. Col. Benjamin K. Pierce, a career military man whose brother Franklin later became the United States 14th President.

Fort Pierce briefly served as the Army of the South headquarters when General Jesup arrived here with his staff and troops on January 14, 1838. Jesup's large mounted force included more than 1,000 troops. Four hundred troopers of the 2nd United States Dragoons, 600 Alabama and Tennessee Mounted Volunteers, and a mixed force of 200 sailors, regulars, and Washington City Volunteers served here. A nearby fresh water spring supplied water; and the bounty of the river helped feed the Fort's occupants.

Fort Pierce bustled with activity as troops engaged in the campaign to force Florida's Seminole Indians to emigrate west of the Mississippi River. During the first battle with the Seminoles on the Loxahatchee {January 15, 1838) Lt. Levin Powell and his Navy force suffered four casualties,
Military Fort Pierce at Old Fort Park, Fort Pierce Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jay Kravetz, August 17, 2017
2. Military Fort Pierce at Old Fort Park, Fort Pierce Marker
including their doctor; and they retreated north to Fort Pierce, where the wounded were treated by the Fort's doctor. During the Battle of the Loxahatchee (January 24, 1838) about 200 Seminoles, including Blacks, faced Jesup and his force of nearly 1,400. Nine Tenessee volunteers, two soldiers and an unknown number of Seminoles were killed.

Following its frenetic early days, Fort Pierce soldierş settled into a routine of training and maneuvers, patrolling the region, cutting trails, surveying and mapping lands, and transporting provisions to other nearby forts. No battles occurred here, and the Seminoles, so skilled in survival, resisted removal. The Fort was deactivated in February, 1842, at the end of the Second Seminole War. The Fort was destroyed by fire in December, 1843.

Military Fort Pierce at Old Fort Park, Fort Pierce

One of the Seminoles' most dangerous warrior chiefs, Coacoochee (Wild Cat), arranged to surrender at Fort Pierce. Mounted soldiers led by Lt. William Tecumseh Sherman (of later Civil War fame, pictured above) escorted Wild Cat and his warriors into the Fort. Wild Cat and his followers were forcibly removed to Indian Territory, and they later immigrated, by choice, to Mexico, where he died. Although a peace treaty was never signed, The U.S. government declared the Second Seminole War at an end in 1842.

"Worthy Commander" Lt. Col. Benjamin K. Pierce 1st U.S. Artillery

Artifacts recovered from the site of Fort Pierce include uniform buttons, musket balls, flint, black powder, parts of guns, and eating utensils.
Erected 2016 by Fort Pierce Lions Club, Saint Lucie Regional History Museum, Saint Lucie Historical Society, City of Fort Pierce.
Location. 27° 26.236′ N, 80° 19.221′ W. Marker is in Fort Pierce, Florida, in Saint Lucie County. Marker can be reached from South Indian River Drive (County Road 707) 0.3 miles south of Florida Avenue, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in Old Fort Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 901 South Indian River Drive, Fort Pierce FL 34950, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Old Fort Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Pierce (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Lucie County (approx. 0.6 miles away); US-1 Tee-Beam Bridge in Indian River County (approx. 8.7 miles away); McKee Jungle Garden Gates (approx. 12.4 miles away); McKee Jungle Gardens (approx. 12.4 miles away); Vero Beach City Hall (approx. 14.7 miles away); Osceola Park Historic Residential District (approx. 14.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Pierce.
Categories. Forts, CastlesNative AmericansWars, US Indian
Credits. This page was last revised on August 18, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 17, 2017, by Jay Kravetz of West Palm Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 102 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 17, 2017, by Jay Kravetz of West Palm Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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