At the time of his death in 1838, Seminole warrior Osceola was the most famous and respected Native American in the world. Born a Creek, young Osceola was driven from his home by General Andrew Jackson to Spanish Florida, where he joined the Seminole tribe.Read more...
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At the time of his death in 1838, Seminole warrior Osceola was the most famous and respected Native American in the world. Born a Creek, young Osceola was driven from his home by General Andrew Jackson to Spanish Florida, where he joined the Seminole tribe. Years later, President Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which was not only intended to relocate the Seminoles to hostile lands in the West but would force the return of runaway slaves who had joined that tribe. Osceola outraged at the potential loss of his people and homeland did not hesitate to declare war on the United States.
"Osceola and the Great Seminole War" vividly recounts how one warrior with courage and cunning unequaled by any Native American leader before or after would mastermind battle strategies that would embarrass the best officers in the United States Army. Employing daring guerilla tactics, Osceola initiated and orchestrated the longest, most expensive, and deadliest war ever fought by the United States against Native Americans. With each victory by his outnumbered and undersupplied warriors, Osceola's reputation grew among his people and captured the imagination of the citizens of the United States. At the time, many cheered his quixotic quest for justice and freedom, and since then many more have considered his betrayal on the battlefield to be one the darkest hours in U.S. Army history.
Insightful, meticulously researched, and thrillingly told, award-winning author Thom Hatch's account of the Second Seminole War is an extraordinarily accomplished work of American history that finally does justice to one of the greatest Native American warriors."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-04-16
- Reviewer: Staff
In this engaging, well-researched study, historian Hatch (Black Kettle: The Cheyenne Chief Who Sought Peace but Found War) narrates the protracted, if ultimately futile, efforts of the Seminoles to resist resettlement from their native Florida to the West—“the longest, most expensive and deadliest war ever fought by Americans against Native Americans.” By husbanding his resources and fighting a guerrilla war, Osceola, the remarkable military leader of the vastly outnumbered Seminoles, outlasted and outfought seven U.S. army generals, including War of 1812 hero Winfield Scott, who had predicted victory within three months, and future president Zachary Taylor. In what Hatch calls “one of the most disgraceful acts in American military history,” Osceola was captured by Gen. Thomas Jesup during what were supposed to be peace talks. By that time, repeated American violations of treaties, the length of the war, and Osceola’s bravery had made him popular, with a Northern magazine referring to him as “bold and decisive in action, deadly but consistent in hatred, dark in revenge, cool, subtle, sagacious.” This important book adds to our understanding of the shameful mistreatment of Native Americans and their resistance. Agent: Joseph Vallely, Flaming Star Literary Enterprises. (July)