Fort Armstrong Gazette

November 2006

President’s Message

Park Manager Tracey Standridge and I will be attending the annual CSO meeting in Cocoa Beach November 17-19.  This is a yearly conference where representatives from  all park support organizations in the state meet and attend sessions that relate to the operation of the CSO.

Frank Laumer contacted me and confirmed that we will have a bugler this year, a
serviceman from the United States Marine Corps.  We are grateful to Frank and Col. Moores from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa for helping us complete this part of our program.

We always need help with the reenactment and if you have a family member who is not in the battle but would like to help us, please contact me at mcnary1213@earthlink.net. For example, Linda Morris could use some help at the society booth.  We are also trying to get some reenactors interested in talking to people on the shuttle buses.

Please have a good Christmas, travel safely and we hope to see all of you on the 30th and 31st of December for the 26th annual Dade Battle Reenactment.

Jean McNary

Mailing List

It has come to our attention that we need to verify addresses on the mailing list and that +4 ZIP Codes are also needed. Check your latest copy of the newsletter and let us know if any changes are needed.

Battlefield Society Awarded TDC Grant

On September 20, the Dade Battlefield Society was awarded $8,500 from the local Tourist Development Council in Sumter County.  This was the result of a grant application made  last July.  The grant is only for advertising the event, which can be very costly, especially newspaper ads.  We are very pleased to receive this money and thank the Sumter County TDC committee for awarding it to us.

Reminder:  Dinner is Served

Once again John McCoy is offering his barbeque dinners Friday night to
reenactors/families and guests.  The cost is only $5.00 and you have a choice of chicken or sliced pork.  He will be serving from 5 pm until 9 pm.  So, don’t worry about traveling and having to find a place to eat dinner.  Come and enjoy some great barbeque Friday night.

A Fallen Warrior   submitted by: Steven Creamer

David “Chobee” Elijah Exum passed away on September 24, 2006.  Chobee was born on August 13, 1953.  He was especially known for his sense of humor and his love of teaching. Chobee will always be with us in our hearts and will be sorely missed but not forgotten.  Chobee came to Dade in the very early days of the event and participated annually until recently, when his illness prevented him from doing so.  The warriors and friends of Chobee plan to have a stomp dance at Dade in his memory.  Indeed, his heart was Big.

Registrations Coming Soon

If you have not already received your reenactors registration form, then look for it in the mail in the not too distant future.  Please fill these out and return them as soon as possible as knowing the number of probable participants greatly aids in planning and logistics.  We welcome all returning reenactors and thank them for their dedication.  We welcome new reenactors and promise you a truly moving experience in the reenactment of this important battle of the second Seminole War.

Peace Medals for Seminole Outfits –by Michael R. Brown
 Reprinted from the Renegator with permission of Rick Obermayer

The presentation of Peace Medals to Indians was a tradition that existed long before the United States was founded.  They served as tokens of friendship and symbols of allegiance to the various governments.  In most cases they were given out at treaty signings, but the Indian Agents always wanted to have medals on hand to give out for any occasion.  Nor was it unusual for large numbers to be given out.  In 1849 and 1850, while negotiating with the Seminoles, 170 of the Zachory Taylor medals were given out.  A list is given of some possible medals that the Seminoles might have received.  They would have received them at meetings with the government and during peace times.  There is documentation for only a few certain medals being received.

All medals were made of silver.  When a new president was elected, any left-over medals were melted down to be used for new medals.  They were available in three sizes, and they developed informal ‘rules’ for their distribution. The largest (3”) was reserved for principal village chiefs.  The medium size (2.5”) was given to principal war chiefs.  The smallest (2”) was given to lesser distinguished chiefs and warriors.  Peace medals were worn on a silk ribbon.  A hole was drilled at the top and a ring was added.  It would not be impossible for a chief to have more than one, as Billy Bowlegs had two.

The U. S. Mint is the best source of metal reproductions, but there are some problems.  They only make three inch and a modern ‘miniature’ version, both in bronze.  Bronze peace medals did exist, but as restricted for collectors beginning in 1842.  Some of these did get into Indian hands, but it is unlikely the Seminoles got any.  One way to make the medal look more authentic is to take your medal to a jeweler and have them silverplate it.  This is a simple way to produce a nice looking medal.

Possible Medals (*these are documented)

1823                 (Treaty of Moultrie Creek)                  James Monroe

1826-27                                                                       John Quincy Adams*

1837-41                                                                       Martin Van Buren*

1842                 (Agreement ending 2nd War)            John Taylor

1849-50            (Indian “scares”)                                Zachary Taylor*

1852                 (Bowlegs trip)                                    Millard Fillmore* (no smalls)


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