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Bushnell in Sumter County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

On This Spot

December 28, 1835

 

—Dade Battlefield —

 
Dade Battlefield Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, June 6, 2009
1. Dade Battlefield Marker
Inscription. Major Francis L. Dade and his command consisting of detachments of the Fourth Infantry, Second and Third Artillery United States Army, while marching from Tampa Bay to Fort King was attacked by a superior force of Seminole Indians commanded by Mico Nopah head chief of the Indians. The entire command save three were killed after a spirited resistance by the troops.

Here was fought the first battle of the Seven Years War with the Florida Indians.

This ground dedicated by the state of Florida as a memorial to those who died here as American soldiers.

By Authority of Chapter 8503
Laws of Florida 1921
Fred Cubberly - - - - - - J.C.B. Koonce
Mrs. A.M. Roland
Commissioners Dade Memorial Park

 
Erected 1921.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
 
Location. 28° 39.072′ N, 82° 7.551′ W. Marker is in Bushnell, Florida, in Sumter County. Marker can be reached from Battlefield Parkway (County Road 603) 0.2 miles south of County Road 605. Touch for map. To view this historical marker exit Interstate 75 at the Bushnell exit (County Road 48) and proceed east approximately 1.1 miles until
Dade Battlefield Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, June 5, 2009
2. Dade Battlefield Marker
View of historical markers in front of Dade Battlefield Museum.
you come to County Road 603 (Battlefield Parkway), and then you turn right (south). Head south on County Road 603 for about 1.0 miles and right after the intersection of CR 603 with CR 605, the roadway becomes the entrance to Dade Battlefield Memorial Park. Enter the park and proceed about 0.2 miles to the parking lot and you will find this historical marker located in front of the park museum which is immediately adjacent to the parking lot. Marker is in this post office area: Bushnell FL 33513, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ft. Armstrong (approx. half a mile away); Parson Brown Orange Tree (approx. 5.3 miles away); The Battle of Wahoo Swamp (approx. 6.3 miles away); Sumterville (approx. 7½ miles away); The Great Train Wreck of 1956 (approx. 9.2 miles away); Fort King Road (approx. 10.3 miles away); Historic Floral City (approx. 12 miles away); Adamsville (approx. 12 miles away).
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. the relationship, see marker shown.
 
Also see . . .
1. Sumter County: Dade Battlefield Historical Site:. ... In December 1835, two artillery and infantry companies were ordered from Fort Brooke
Dade Battlefield Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, June 6, 2009
3. Dade Battlefield Marker
View of historic marker that designates this historic site as being a National Landmark.
National Register of Historic Places: Dade Battlefield Historic Memorial *** (added 1972 - Site - #72000353) • Also known as Dade's Massacre;Dade Battlefield • 1 mi. W of Bushnell off U.S. 301, Bushnell Historic Significance: Event Area of Significance: Native American, Military, Politics/Government • Period of Significance: 1825-1849 • Owner: State • Historic Function: Defense • Historic Sub-function: Battle Site •
(Tampa) to garrison Fort King (Ocala). It was believed that Fort King was in danger of increased Indian attacks, and that a stronger show of force would help persuade the Seminoles to turn themselves in and immigrate to Oklahoma. Major Francis L. Dade took command and left on the 100-mile march on December 23, 1835. ... (Submitted on March 26, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 

2. The "Dade Massacre" , Wikipedia entry. ... was an 1835 defeat for the United States Army that started the Second Seminole War, which lasted until 1842. ... Decisive Seminole victory (Submitted on March 26, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 

3. A Battle of the Seminole Wars. On December 28, 1835, Seminole warriors attacked a column of 107 U.S. soldiers led by Major Francis Dade, sparking a battle that would bring the United States fully into the costliest Indian war in its history. (Submitted on March 26, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 

4. (Major) Francis Langhorne Dade, Wikipedia entry. a Major in the U.S. 4th Infantry Regiment, United States Army, during the Second Seminole War. Dade was killed in a battle with Seminole Indians that came to be known as the "Dade Massacre". Dade was born in Virginia, ...
Dade County, Missouri, Miami-Dade County, Florida,
Dade Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 20, 2011
4. Dade Battlefield
Dade County, Georgia, and Dade City, Florida are all named after Major Dade. The now decommissioned fort on Egmont Key was also named for him. The battle is re-enacted at the Dade Battlefield Historic State Park each year. (Submitted on March 26, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Annual Commemoration
There is an annual and very realistic reenactment of the Dade's Battle each year during the week between Christmas and New Year's Day. It is very much worth the small fee to observe one of the most historically accurate battle scenarios, not a simple open field event but actually done in palmetto and scrub forest as was present during the real thing. An amphitheatre has been created and the scrub cleared so that the battle appears to be IN the scrub.
    — Submitted November 2, 2009, by Warren W Johns of Groveland, Florida.

 
Categories. Native AmericansWars, US Indian
 
On This Spot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, June 6, 2009
5. On This Spot Marker
View of the area that made up the initial site of the Indian attack (tall white pillars are situated on spots where individual officers were killed).
Dade Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, June 6, 2009
6. Dade Battlefield
The triangular formation of logs in front of the museum building represents the spot where the US troops threw up a log defensive formation and made their last stand.
On This Spot Marker image. Click for full size.
By James R. Murray, September 25, 2014
7. On This Spot Marker
On this spot marker is still missing as of today's visit, Sept 25th,2014. The Park Ranger was also missing, so I was not able to determine what became of it.
On This Spot Marker, missing in 2011 image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 20, 2011
8. On This Spot Marker, missing in 2011
Dade Battlefield... image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 20, 2011
9. Dade Battlefield...
"Up this peaceful road from Fort Brooke toward Fort King came Dade's men to their Deaths." Fort Brooke of 1835 is the Tampa of today, Fort King, 106 miles north by the military road, is now Ocala.
Dade Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 20, 2011
10. Dade Battlefield
Up this peaceful road from Fort Brooke ...
Dade Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 20, 2011
11. Dade Battlefield
For five days the Seminoles had stealthly observed the march of Dade's column, on its way to reinforce the small garrison at Fort King. Unknown to Major Dade's command, Oceola, Micanopy, and Alligator had planned to attack Dade's men and kill General Thompson, the Indian Agent at Fort King.

At 8:00 on December 28, 1835, two- thirds of the march had been covered, and the open country here seemed to require less vigilance. Flanking scouts were withdrawn, the day was chilly, and the men trudged along in coats buttoned over their ammunition boxes.
Dade Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 20, 2011
12. Dade Battlefield
Suddenly, men reeled and fell to a deadly fire poured upon them from behind trees and Palmettos. Half of Major Dade's command lay dead or wounded. Major Dade and Captain Fraser were killed nearby, and three of the six surviving officers were wounded. Those men remaining after the first onslaught sought cover from which they might return the fire. After several rounds from their cannon, the Indians withdrew a short distance. The soldiers hastily threw together a low redoubt of logs, cared for their wounded, and collected ammunition from the fallen.
Dade Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 20, 2011
13. Dade Battlefield
The soldiers hastily threw together a low redoubt of logs, cared for their wounded, and collected ammunition from the fallen.
Later, bodies of the enlisted men were buried in two graves within the redoubt. Later relocated to St. Augustine
Dade Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 20, 2011
14. Dade Battlefield
Here Lieut Mudge fell
Dade Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 20, 2011
15. Dade Battlefield
The second phase of the battle lasted until about 2:00 P.M. Most of the force of 108 men had been killed. The wounded were dispatched by the enemy after the battle ended, with the exception of three members of Major Dade's force who survived the attack and returned to Fort Brooke. Chief Alligator, the Seminole leader, claimed that only three of his warriors were killed, and only five were wounded.
Dade Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 20, 2011
16. Dade Battlefield
Fallen Officiers Monuments
Dade Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 20, 2011
17. Dade Battlefield
Here Capt. Fraser Fell
Dade Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 20, 2011
18. Dade Battlefield
The scene of the ambush remained deserted for seven weeks. Finally, on February 20, 1836, an expedition under General Gains arrived here, identified the bodies, and gave them proper burial with military rites, placing officers' bodies on the east side of the trail, and the enlisted men in two graves within the redoubt. The small cannon was retrieved from a nearby pond in which the Seminoles had thrown it.. They mounted it muzzle down, as a monument to the dead. Almost six years later, on August 15, 1842, the officers and men of the army contributed funds to pay for a second interment; and Dade's silent command now rests in the National Cemetery at St. Augustine.
Dade Battlefield image. Click for more information.
By Mike Stroud, March 20, 2011
19. Dade Battlefield
Here Major Dade fell.
When the smoke finally cleared, virtually the entire army force had been wiped out. Dade, his officers and at least 103 men were dead.
A beautiful monument was erected at West Point to his memory and that of his command.
Click for more information.
Dade Battlefield image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 20, 2011
20. Dade Battlefield
Dade Monument in foreground, Capt. Fraser Monument in background
Dade Battlefield painting at Visitor Center image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 20, 2011
21. Dade Battlefield painting at Visitor Center
Dade Battlefield Diarama at Visitor Center, shows Seminoles in attack position image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 20, 2011
22. Dade Battlefield Diarama at Visitor Center, shows Seminoles in attack position
Dade Battlefield, Visitor Center painting image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, March 20, 2011
23. Dade Battlefield, Visitor Center painting
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on June 17, 2009, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,824 times since then and 88 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 17, 2009, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.   4. submitted on March 26, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   5, 6. submitted on June 17, 2009, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.   7. submitted on September 25, 2014, by James R. Murray of Elkton, Florida.   8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23. submitted on March 26, 2011, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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