Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Battle of Ocheesee, Florida


This week marks the 192nd anniversary of the Battle of Ocheesee, an important Seminole War engagement fought on the Apalachicola River at the southeast corner of Jackson County.

The battle began on December 15, 1817, when hundreds (if not thousands) of Seminole and Creek warriors attacked a small flotilla of U.S. Army supply boats as it rounded the bend in the river between Ocheesee Bluff and Rock Bluff. These former location is in Calhoun County and the latter is now part of Torreya State Park in Liberty County.

Over the next four or five days, the warriors pinned down the soldiers on their boats in midstream, killing at least two and wounding another thirteen. The fire from both banks of the river was so bad that the soldiers aboard the boats could not even raise their heads above the bulwarks to fire back without being shot themselves.

The stalemate continued until December 19th, when General Edmund Gaines commanding at Fort Scott, Georgia (on today's Lake Seminole), sent a covered boat down with materials to be used in better fortifying the supply boats. The relief boat was also equipped with a special anchor that could be rowed ahead of the other boats and dropped. The soliders could then pull on the anchor rope to slowly move the boats forward. Eventually they managed to get moving again and the attack ended as the boats slowly gained headway.

I've launched a new webpage on the Battle of Ocheesee that you might enjoy checking out. Just follow this link to take a look: www.exploresouthernhistory.com/ocheese1.

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