Rocky Boy Tribe of Chippewa Indians of Montana






The Battle of Lake Okeechobee December 25, 1837


This battle was fought near the north shores of Lake Okeechobee, which is in southern Florida, about 100 miles northwest of Miami. A force of over 800 white soldiers under the command of Colonel Zachary Taylor, had reached the Lake Okeechobee region on December 25, 1837, looking for the citizens of the Southern Anishinabe Confederation who lived in that region, to wage war on them. From their scouts, the Southern Anishinabe Confederationís military commanders, learned about the large force of white soldiers near them, then assembled several hundred of their brave soldiers to prepare to defend themselves from the hostile threat coming their way. Colonel Taylorís 800 soldiers were not the only contingent of white soldiers in southern Florida at that time. There were several others also.



Taylor led his soldiers into a swamp situated close to Lake Okeechobee, where the soldiers from the Southern Anishinabe Confederation commenced to battle them. The battle did not go the way Taylor had obviously hoped it would. The terrain was especially difficult on both the Indian soldiers and white soldiers. After fiercely attacking the invading white military force for a long spell, the commanders of the Southern Anishinabe Confederation ordered their soldiers to halt the battle, then they entered their boats and sailed off onto Lake Okeechobee. The whites claimed that they had won the battle. The Indians only withdrew further south, and west and east. In the battle, white casualties were 26 killed and 112 wounded. They claimed that 11 Indians were killed and 14 wounded in the battle. I have no idea how they got that Indian casualty estimate. After the battle ended and they found their safe haven, the ogimak from the Southern Anishinabe Confederation knew that the United States was now in southern Florida and they could do little to change their predicament. They likely started to organize for more evacuations to the Caribbean Islands soon afterwards. A couple of more minor battles followed after the Battle of Lake Okeechobee but the war was nearly over.



Up in northern Florida, white soldiers eventually forced the few remaining Indians in that region of Florida who had not evacuated to southern Florida and the Caribbean Islands, to relocate to the Oklahoma region. In 1842, at the request of Colonel William Jenkins Worth, the United States negotiated with the ogimak from the Southern Anishinabe Confederation about reserving an informal Reservation in southwestern Florida. It is absolutely degrading to read what the whites did to their Native American brethren. The so called second Seminole War arose directly as a result of GREED, and the great want to remove the Florida Indians to Oklahoma. The main purpose of the second Seminole War was to invade Anishinabe southern Florida. The great majority of the Indians living in Florida likely evacuated to the Caribbean Islands and to South America. In the Third Seminole War (1855-1858) the whites initiated that conflict specifically to remove the remaining Florida Indians to Oklahoma. It didnít work out.



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