Fort Armstrong Gazette

September 2006

President’s Message
           The DBS hopes that everyone has had a great summer.  We have been very busy.
At the annual membership meeting in June, officers and directors were elected.  We have applied for another Sumter County TDC grant for our advertising budget, but have not heard from them yet.  We feel the reenactment is a “tourist” event that is fun, as well as educational, and that we draw people from all over the county.

            Frank Laumer is working hard to assist us in bringing back our bugler.  Certainly, in this day and time, he has added a nice touch to our program.  I spoke to Henry Sheldon of Gainesville about doing a talk, both days, entitled, “Dade Battlefield, the Rest of the Story”.  For many years Henry did the slide presentation in the Lodge, but had to stop so the group serving lunch to reenactors could set up.  I have seen Henry’s talk on the history of the park since the battle and find it very informative.  We, tentatively, have him set to meet people at the breastworks.

            If you have any suggestions, or you wish to help, please contact the Park or me.  One member suggested having people dressed in period attire to travel with the buses and talk about the battle, or to meet groups at the gate and take them back into time.  This requires more volunteers. We always need volunteers and, as an example, at the DBS booth last year, Linda Morris did a great job, but needed help when it got busy.  We certainly don’t want to work her too hard.  Linda and others have helped us for years and we need to start training more people to assist.  Thanks Linda.

            Again, I thank each of you for your assistance and hope to see all of you in December.

                                                                                    Jean McNary

Remaining Scheduled DBS Board Meetings for the Year – 6:30 pm Dade’s Lodge, open to all members.

            September 12
            October 10
            November 14
            December 12

Last Notice/Membership Dues 2006-2007

            The Society Board urges everyone to pay their dues NOW.  Memberships expired in June.  This could be your LAST NEWSLETTER.  We want everyone to keep receiving the newsletter.  This $10.00 membership fee helps pay to keep you updated through the newsletter.  So, please detach the membership form, included in this newsletter, and mail to the address listed.  Don’t be left out!

Election Results June 13, 2006

Officers:     President, Jean McNary                      Board:   Lyle Wolding
                   Vice-President, Jeff Renihan                               Dale Beremand
                   Secretary, Ross Lamoreaux                                Steve Creamer
                   Treasurer, James Velten                                      Karl Baier
                                                                                                John Griffin
                                                                                                John Wolding
Two New Board Members

            The majority of the Dade Battlefield Society Board are Reenactors.  We continue that tradition with the election of two of our battle participants, Ross Lamoreaux and John Griffin.  Ross is an Indiana native, but grew up in Brandon, FL., where he currently resides.  He is a graduate of Georgia Military College and the University of Georgia.  Ross has participated in the Dade Battle for the last 4 years.  He has commanded the honor guard for the Saturday evening service the last 3 years.  He also served as the orderly sergeant for Major Abolt at last year’s reenactment.  Ross speaks to school groups and is a reenactor/living history historian for several time periods, Ross currently works in construction and, when he has time, researches and makes historical reproductions or clothing and equipment for himself, other reenactors, and the Ft. Foster Garrison at Hillsborough River State Park.

            John Griffin was born and raised in Groveland, Florida.  He is a graduate of Lake Sumter College and has as A.S. degree in commercial art.  John is the owner of TAMJO signs in Groveland and currently serves as a Groveland city council member, seat 5.  He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the South Lake County Historical Society, the City of Groveland Historical Designation Committee and the Florida Cattlemen Association.  John served in the U.S. Army, Chemical Corp from 1965-1967.  He spends his spare time raising cattle, playing drums for his church, Celebration of Praise Church of God in Clermont, FL, and doing research on the Black Seminoles.  John has been a Black Seminole reenactor for the past three years and last year had a display about the Black Seminoles at the reenactment.

            We welcome both Ross and John to the board.

Take a Walk Back into History
By Jerry Morris

I have been working on a map of the Ft. King Road.  I traced Frank Laumer’s old maps and plotted new maps from Bushnell to Ocala.  At almost every turn in the road, I assigned a number and marked down the longitude and latitude, along with the UTM readings for each spot.

With these numbers, the route of the road can be remembered long after it is all developed and paved over.  Also, with a GPS device, anyone should be able to take these readings and follow the road very closely from Fort Brooke to Fort King.  Being, for physical reasons, unable to do so myself, I invite everyone to do so.  I will gladly loan them my maps and a copy of these readings, even my GPS device, and would hope they make a log and check these readings and suggest any changes that need to be made.  Having made the walk to the Battlefield, in December 1988, I can say it is a long but wonderful journey.  It could be done in short trips, one day at a time.  Just pick a section and walk it.

I believe you will look, many times in wonder, at the beautiful scenery through which you pass.  You can look for the spot where the cannon was left beside the road as you walk through the sandy soil, north of Tampa, and imagine the wheels sinking into the sand.  You will marvel at the four dark and almost mysterious rivers you will cross. As you skirt Lake Thonotosassa, watch the ground for a piece of flint; the Seminoles did.  After you pass through the settlement of McIntosh, you’ll see the lovely flat lands and cow pastures.  Remember Private Kinsley Dalton, the mail carrier, was killed by the Seminoles and buried along this road somewhere before the swamps around Ft. Foster.  The hills, south of Dade City, have beautiful views of the clearings on the south bank of the river where Fort Dade stood.  Take the time to wade across or at least have a swim.  Listen for the sound of the birds in the scrub oak woods on both sides of the last river.  Watch for a peaceful spot at Dade’s Breakfast Pond.  You might stop and take off your shoes and soak your feet in the cool water there. At some places along the road, the hair on the back of your neck will stand up as you feel the presence of the soldiers that walked this road many, many years ago.  As you reach the battlefield, take a moment and sit by the barricade.  You’ll have a new respect for what happened there, 28 December, 1835.

I will have the maps on display at our next reenactment.



            The Society held its first Swap Meet on June 17, 2006. 

            The event went very smoothly. Two of the registrants did quite well.  Jeff Renihan and Marilyn Brooks sold the vast majority of the items that they brought to the event.  The other individuals expressed satisfaction as well.  John McCoy also sold meals to participants and the public. The atmosphere was cordial and enjoyable and the event was a success.

            The event was very well received by all who participated.  There were individuals who asked “how many times a year are you going to do this?” and made statements that “this was a great idea”.  As many people said, word of mouth will help build the event.

            Next year’s event will be held on June 17, 2007. Mark your calendars and plan on participating as a registrant or visitor.

                                                                    John DeLancett
                                                                        Event Coordinator and Chairman


September 30                           Battlefield Tours

December 30 and 31                Dade Battlefield Reenactment


                                                5th Saturday Park Programs & Special Events

March 31                                 Battlefield Tours – Soldier Talk

June 17                                    Dade Battlefield Society Swap Meet (SE)

June 30                                    Battlefield Tours – Black Seminoles Talk

August 4                                   World War II Day (SE)

September 29                           Battlefield Tours – Volunteer Orientation

December 29 and 30                Dade Battlefield Reenactment (SE)


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