Fort Armstrong Gazette

March 09


President’s Message - Jean McNary

The Dade Battlefield Society Board of Directors took a well deserved rest this January.  We resumed our meetings in February.  Let me take this opportunity to thank the board members and Dade Battlefield Historic State Park personnel for their dedication and hard work in planning and implementing the 28th annual Dade’s Battle Reenactment.  Ranger George Webb received the Park District’s ‘Employee of the month’ award largely because of his hard work on the event. Of course, I want to, again, thank our reenactors, sutlers, period participants and volunteers.  Without them, there would be no event.  It takes an entire year of planning and teamwork for the reenactment to be successful.  The 28th was the most successful so far. We were, again, blessed with incredible weather.  Next year’s reenactment is January 2nd and 3rd, 2010.  We hope everyone who came this year had a great time. If you have suggestions for the Board, please do not hesitate to email me or attend one of our monthly meetings.

Dade Battlefield Society is a “CSO” (citizen support organization). We were set up and are governed pursuant to State statutes. Although the reenactment is the major event that we support, all members need to understand that our stated purpose, according to the guidelines, is to “operate for the direct or indirect benefit of the State park system, or individual units of the State park system”.  Sections 258.015 and 20.251, Florida Statutes.

We recently purchased a new cash register for the park office, two new storage sheds and a canvas fly for the society booth.  The extra storage will help free up more room in Dade’s Lodge.

The Society Board is also investigating the possibility of sponsoring a “Blue Grass Festival” as a fundraiser in the future.  It is also assisting park personnel with the Annual WWII Day on the first Saturday in August, as well as the reenactor Swap Meet on August 15.

Contest Winners – John DeLancett

As many of you know, several years back it was decided to implement several contests in an effort to add some interest to the event and encourage reenactors to improve their portrayals of Seminoles and soldiers of the period as well as their camps. This year’s winners are as follows:

Best Soldier Impression – Mark Foster
Best Soldier Camp – Joseph Erdmann
Best Seminole Impression – Big Mountain
Best Seminole Camp – David Mott
First Place Tomahawk Throw- Steve Abney
First Place Musket Loading and Firing Contest – Greg Grafwegg

2009 Board Meetings- 6:30 p.m. Dade’s Lodge
April 14                       August 11                   December 8
May 12                        September 8
June 9                          October 13
July 14                         November 10

Optional Clothing for Seminoles – John DeLancett

One inexpensive alternative, at least for combat, for Seminole warriors, is to go “shirtless”. Several historians and witnesses have reported on warriors wearing nothing above the waist except paint. You might want to consider an outfit consisting of moccasins, breech cloth, optional leggings and a lot of paint, preferably red or black. 
            (James Adair, HISTORY, page 386, on 18th century Southeastern Indians :) “...they...strip themselves naked and paint their faces and breast red as blood, intermingled with black streaks.”
            (Louis Milfort, MEMOIRS, pp. 25-26, on late 18th century Creeks:) “I can assert that the different colors, with which they paint their completely naked bodies all over, make them more frightful than the devils which appear in the opera ballets.”
            (John Bemrose, REMINISCENCES, p. 67, quoting Ransom Clarke on the Dade massacre:) “...I looked through the logs and saw the savages approaching in great numbers. A heavy-made Indian of middle stature, painted down to the waist seemed to be the chief.”
            (John T. Sprague, ORIGINS, p. 457, talking of Halleck-Tustenuggee:) “He as well as his followers were in a state of nudity, their bodies painted scarlet, and the scalps, and other trophies from whites, decorated the foremost in the fight.”
            (Sprague, p. 506, speaking of the Seminole Octiarche:) “He was usually distinguished by one side of his face being painted black, the other scarlet, and his bare breast variegated with colors.”
[This article is drawn from one written by Rick Obermayer for the publication, The Renegader, previously published by F.I.R.E.S. and excerpts herein are reprinted with his permission.] 

Dade Swap Meet -2009 - John DeLancett, Event Coordinator

Mark your calendar for Saturday, August 15, 2009, for the 4th Annual Dade Swap Meet.
This is your opportunity to upgrade your outfit at garage sale prices!

Writers Need Your Vote - by Jerry Morris

We need your help. Jeff Hough and I are writing a book about the Fort King Road. This was a military road built by soldiers through the wilderness from Ft. Brooke (Tampa) to Ft. King (Ocala) in 1825.  I have transferred the old 1840 surveys to modern Topo maps to show where it was located.  These maps are about 2 feet by 3 feet and are hard to show.  We decided to turn the road into a book that shows the road one section (a square mile) of land per page.  We have the old surveys and are overlaying them with modern streets and GPS readings so its location will be preserved forever. We have also located some old 1938 aerial photos that show what remained of the road at that time. Very surprisingly, the road did not change that much in the first one hundred years.  The Seminole Wars Foundation has agreed to publish the book.
We are using some very expensive software from Mapinfo to create the overlays.  Every year they have a contest of projects people have done using their programs.  Jeff won the contest last year with a video he put together of the worst hurricane to ever hit Tampa. This happened in 1846. Using maps, he showed how the water came in and covered all of, what is today, downtown Tampa, with about 20 feet of water.

We would like to win this year. Some of the voting comes from the public. I am asking you to vote for us and to ask your friends to also vote for us. Below is the web address that takes you to the site.  Look on the left side for Jeff Hough’s name and click to see a portion of the road as it will look in the book. After reading his comments, there is a place, at the bottom, for you to vote. You have to click and enter the number. Thank you.




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