BUSHNELL — During the first weekend of January, hundreds gather from around the country to re-create an event that forever changed the face of Florida.
It was late December 1835, and the U.S. government planned to begin its Indian removal in just a few days. One hundred and eight soldiers, under the command of Major Francis Dade, had been dispatched from Fort Brooke (near Tampa) to reinforce the troops at Fort King, who were being threatened by Chief Osceola.
After six days of arduous hiking, the soldiers were looking forward to a late Christmas. But on the chilly morning of December 28, just 40 miles short of their goal, they relaxed their guard. In the scrub forest ahead, 200 Seminole warriors under the command of Chief Jumper crouched beneath the palmettos.