History of The Dade Battlefield

The Seminole resistance to removal to a reservation brought about the Second Seminole War. It started on December 28,1835, when a column of 107 soldiers led by Major Dade were ambushed by the Seminole warriors at the Dade Battle in Sumter County, Florida.

"Have a good heart; our difficulties and dangers are over now, and as soon as we arrive at Fort King you'll have three days to rest and keep Christmas gaily." Major Francis L. Dade spoke these words of encouragement to 107 cold, tired soldiers in a pine forest on the morning of December 28, 1835. Within eight hours, only three soldiers would survive the battle that marked the beginning of the Second Seminole War.

Halpatter Tustenuggee (Alligator, as the white man called him): "We had been preparing for this more than a year... Just as the day was breaking, we moved out of the swamp into the pine-barren. I counted, by direction of Jumper, one hundred and eighty warriors. Upon approaching the road, each man chose his position on the west side... About nine o'clock in the morning the command approached... So soon as all the soldiers were opposite... Jumper gave the whoop, Micanopy fired the first rifle, the signal agreed upon, when every indian arose and fired, which laid upon the ground, dead, more than half the white men. The cannon was discharged several times, but the men who loaded it were shot down as soon as the smoke cleared away... As we were returning to the swamp supposing all were dead, an indian came up and said the white men were building a fort of logs. Jumper and myself, with ten warriors, returned. As we approached, we saw six men behind two logs placed one above another, with the cannon a short distance off... We soon came near, as the balls went over us. They had guns, but no powder, we looked in the boxes afterwards and found they were empty"


The Dade Battlefield Historic State Park is located at 7200 Battlefield Parkway, Bushnell, FL 33513.


Interested in becoming a volunteer at Dade Battlefield Historic State Park? Fill out the Volunteer Application and Volunteer Agreement and return to the park by mail or inperson.

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Next Reenactment:

For updated information or weather cancellations about events check our Facebook page facebook.com/dade.battlefield or call the park at 352-793-4781

Dade's Battle the first full weekend in January; - January 2nd & 3rd, 2021.

If you didn't get to see this year's event check out this link to YouTube showing the 2015 reenactment, compliments of Dustin Seltzer, for a brief glimpse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YajeLT63n8s

Reenactors please go to the reenactors' page and read the FPS Historic Weapons Event Information

This event has been funded in part by a Tourist Development Tax Grant from the Sumter County Board of Commissioners in conjunction with the Sumter County Tourist Development Council. www.sumtercountyfl.gov


WWII Commenorative Weekend the first full weekend in March; - March 6th & 7th, 2021

For further information call the park at 352-793-4781 or send an email to: worldwar2@dadebattlefield.com, reenactment@dadebattlefield.com

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Other Events:-

Events at Dade Battlefield- Please check https://www.floridastateparks.org/