The hard service in Florida quickly disabused the romantics of their illusions. Instead of fighting glorious battles, they found themselves tramping through mosquito-infested swamps, clearing a trackless wilderness, and hiking through saw grass that shredded their clothes, gear, and boots. Disease claimed more fatalities than enemy gunfire. Alien wildlife added to the atmosphere of doom, as howling wolves, gators, and panthers haunted the camps at night.
Surgeon Motte found the whole experience distasteful, calling
"The poorest country two people ever quarreled over .... It is a most hideous region to live in, a perfect paradise for Indians, alligators, serpents, frogs, and every other kind of loathsome reptile."
Walton 140, Motte 199. ©
Part 2, War: l