Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Okeechobee, Florida (high 73, low 40)
This week-end they are doing re-enactments of the battle between the US forces and the Seminole Indians. Al is a history buff and wanted to go, so we headed down to Okeechobee on Saturday.
It was an all day event with canon firings, displays by the US Army, alligator wrestling, and booths with stuff for sale and historical displays. It cost $10 per car to get in, all to a good cause.
The battle occurred on Christmas day, in 1837. The Seminoles battled the US Infantry and the Missouri National Guard for control of the land.
This was the largest battle in the deadly Second Seminole War. The forces of the United States had been battling the Indians for two years, unsuccessfully. They wanted the Indians moved out of their home in Florida and sent to Oklahoma.
The Infantry left Tampa with 1,000 men in late November, led by Colonel Zachary Taylor, who would later become the 12th President of the United States. The Indians had been fleeing south until they reached Okeechobee, where they finally took their stand.
Over 300 warriors took their positions in a densely wooded hammock along the north shore of Lake Okeechobee. In front of the hammock was a large sawgrass swamp in which the soldiers would have to cross. The Indians placed canoes by the lake for their eventual escape. They knew they could not defeat such a large army. Their goal was to give the fleeing women, children, and elders time to reach their hideouts in the Everglades.
The first group sent into battle was the Missouri National Guard.
Next was the Infantry.
Colonel Taylor declared victory since he was in control of the land at the end of the day, but the Indians had also accomplished their goal of allowing their families a chance to escape.
There are still a lot of Seminole Indians still living in the Everglades. It was sure a sad time in Americas history.
After coming back home to our prairie, we decided to sit outside and try to read by the campfire. The campground is completely full this week-end, so it was a tad noisy, between playing kids, barking dogs and squawking crows.
Before we went to sit outside, I happened to be by the window and saw a woman walking her very large dog (Laberdoodle?). Our patio side faces the campground road. This very inconsiderate woman walked her dog into our campsite, and let her dog do his business about a foot from our patio rug! I was in such shock I didn’t get a chance to say anything, but you can be sure she heard me slam the window! I watched as she so politely picked it up….but still!!!! A foot from our rug….on OUR campsite? Can you believe she did that? Oh the joys of being in a state park on the week-ends!
After we sat outside by the campfire for a while, it was time for our nightly sunset run along the campground road.
The night before, we happened to see a large owl sitting on a metal fence post between the office and the family campground. Natalie, who works in the office told us where we should look for one, and sure enough he was right where she said! Thanks Natalie! Natalie works here, but her husband is the caretaker for the piece of land the Battle of Okeechobee sits on. Her husband was one of the "Missouri National Guard” and is in one of the pictures above, wearing a pink shirt.
Sunset was beautiful as usual, but we didn’t see as much wildlife as we sometimes do. We definitely saw a lot more wildlife when we were here last June. I guess we’ll have to come back. :)
Al spotted this vulture posing nicely in the top of a tree.
We slept in this morning and almost missed sunrise. We didn’t crawl out of bed until 6:40 am.
Sunrise was gorgeous, as usual, but I won’t bore you with any more photos…..at least not today.
We are enjoying our stay here so much, that we extended it two more days! The weather is supposed to be in 70’s to low 80’s during the day and 40’s and 50’s at night. Now that’s my kind of perfect weather!