Rebellion December 25, 1837     
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Battle of  Lake Okeechobee, illustration
19th-century illustration of the Battle of Lake Okeechobee. The illustration echoes the official version of events, which depicted the battle as the greatest American victory during the war. The historical record speaks otherwise. Architecture and Historic Conservancy.
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Liberty or Death

Taylor's first rush through the swamp was nearly suicidal. The American force outnumbered the Seminoles three-to-one, but the Seminoles held their ground. Their fire bored into the front ranks of the Americans, dropping dozens of soldiers at the first volley. Colonel Gentry fell dead almost immediately. His Missouri volunteers quickly broke ranks. 

The fight lasted until 3 p.m., when the Seminoles finally retreated and fled to safety. Taylor could not give chase, because his own forces had been devastated. The U.S. suffered 26 dead and an agonizing 112 wounded, to 11 dead and 14 wounded for the Seminoles.

The Seminoles had suffered their own grave loss, yet for them, if the battle was numerically a draw, it was effectively a victory. They had held off the largest force of the war, inflicting heavy losses in return. General Jesup had thrown a thousand men at them and they had endured. What more could the Americans do?

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Sources: Mahon 228-29, Sprague Origin 208.
Part 2, War: Outline  l  Images
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 Trail Narrative
 + Prologue
 + Background: 1693-1812
 + Early Years: 1812-1832
 - War: 1832-1838
+ Prelude to War
+ Revenge
+ Deceit
+ Liberty or Death
spacer spacer Captivity
Noble Savages
Liberty or Death
Osceola's Death
Star of the Nation
Jesup's Proclamation
The Decision
 + Exile: 1838-1850
 + Freedom: 1850-1882
 + Legacy & Conclusion