Fort Armstrong Gazette

November 2010


President’s Message – Steve Rinck


Recently, there has been a dramatic increase in the efforts to promote programs at Dade Battlefield Historic State Park.  Both Park personnel and Society members have met with the public at a variety of venues and events, including the Bushnell Fall Festival, school day and evening history programs at the Park, the Pioneer Florida Museum, the Sumter County Historical Society, Weeki Wachee State Park, the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce, and various local businesses.  An information tent was set up outside of

Wal-Mart on two consecutive Fridays. These types of contacts are increasingly important, not only to attract more local volunteers, but also to replace some publicity that has been diminished due to new financial constraints.


WE ARE SEEKING SPONSORS FOR THE REENACTMENT!  Please send ideas and suggestions for sponsorships to us at reenactment@dadebattlefield.com, or call me at 352-534-0002. 


5th Annual Dade Swap Meet- John DeLancett


Come and kick off the 2010 reenactment season by attending the Dade Swap Meet on November 13, 2010. This is your best opportunity to embellish or upgrade your outfits,

accoutrements and camping gear at reasonable prices, or to sell, swap, and trade those items that you no longer can wear or use. It is also an excellent opportunity to do some early shopping for the upcoming holiday season for the aspiring or veteran reenactor.  There are still a few tables available. If you wish to rent one please contact me at (407) 644-8253 or frentrapr@embarqmail.com as soon as possible.  Hope to see you there!


New Reenactment Features


As reported in the May newsletter, we are adding a number of new features and interactive opportunities at the next reenactment of Dade’s Battle in January, 2011:


a) Primitive archery exhibitions will complement our traditional tomahawk contest.

b) Visitors will be able to play an 1835 version of American cricket.

c) Plans call for guests being able to receive a commemorative photo folder of them in the company of reenactors.

d) An 1836 map, Seat of War in Florida, will be reproduced on parchment and on sale for $5.00.


From the Park Manager- Bruce Whiting


I have been very busy as the new Park Manager. My wife, Anna, and my daughter, Mia, are really enjoying the property.  I have worked two events during my short time here. The WWII day was a great event and had a wonderful turnout.  The “Road Back in Time” event went very well with 50 people the first evening and over 60 the second evening.  The Friday visits from schools had over 400 attend. The staff is working on more events in the near future. We are looking at monthly events. A few changes have occurred in the past few months. The Society has purchased 4 golf carts for property use and for the Annual Reenactment.  Power has been added at the gazebo for future events.  Park staff has been removing all of the rotten railroad ties throughout the park. The park now has a gate house to collect entry fees for visitors and special events. New front entry lighting has been installed and the security lights have been turned on for events. I am very excited about being here and working with the Dade Battlefield Society. Volunteers are needed for all the events that occur at Dade Battlefield. We need your help to make these events successes!


Pioneer Florida Festival


This past Labor Day, Society members traveled to the Pioneer Florida Festival to exhibit life in Florida during the Second and Third Seminole Wars. Located in Dade City (named in honor of Major Dade), the Pioneer Florida Museum was conducting its 27th annual festival and invited the Dade Battlefield Society to participate for the first time. Visitors intereacted with us in both military and Indian encampments, and were able to view two Seminole raids of settler’s homes that were inspired by the 1855 Bradley Raid, in what is now eastern Pasco County. The actual event was the last attack of its kind east of the Mississippi River.  Sixteen reenactors took part in the day’s activities and received excellent reviews from both festival guest and museum officials.  We look forward to increasing our participant numbers in the future as we continue to reinforce understanding of the importance of the Seminole Wars to the history of our nation.


November Member Profile: Dale Beremand

Dale Beremand.jpg



During one of his family vacations as a child, Dale visited Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  He was thrilled at the sight of all the cannons and monuments on the battlefield. Later, his interests matured from playing army in neighborhood backyards to a lifelong fascination with American military history and the ways in which servicemen’s equipment, clothing and weaponry were adapted to changing times and advancing technologies.


After moving to Florida and obtaining a degree in anthropology, Dale put his new knowledge to use in his hobby by performing field work at historic locations such as Fort Foster and St. Augustine.  By 1985, he had established himself as a Civil War reenactor at many sites, including Shiloh, Gettysburg, and the Gamble Mansion in Ellenton, where his unit was known as “Confederals” since its members wore the blue as much as the gray. That same year Dale first observed the reenactment of Dade’s Battle.  By 1989, he had acquired his full Second Seminole War kit.  He continues portraying an 1835 soldier to this day.


Moving to Brooksville in 2003, Dale became a member of the Dade Battlefield Society.  For the past four years he has served as Vice-President as well as using his extensive knowledge of uniforms and equipment to become our quartermaster. “I take pride in the role I have in organizing the inventory and providing authenticating services as needs arise,” he said. And we also take pride in the fact that Dale Beremand continues to be one of our most valued members.



Society Goals


As noted in previous issues, each issue of The Fort Armstrong Gazette will describe some of the 14 goals that were submitted to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.


Goal 12: Update and replace the interpretive markers on the self-guided trail through the battlefield.


Goal 13: Assist with placing county historical markers at significant Second Seminole War sites.


Goal 14:  Explore, with the Florida Department of Parks and Recreation, the possibility of moving the Park Visitor Center to another location away from the battlefield.


Visitor Accommodations

As a reminder to our reenactment weekend participants, most of the area hoteliers offer discounted accommodations, the listing includes:


Rodeway Inn  

2224 W. Hwy 48

Box 847

Bushnell, FL 33513

(352) 793-5010


Microtel Inn/Suites Bushnell

2612 W. Hwy 48

Bushnell, FL 33513

(352) 568-2111


Microtel Inn/Suites Brooksville

6298 Nature Coast Blvd   

Brooksville, FL 34602

(352) 796-9025                                   





Road Back in Time  - George Webb


Friday October 22, over 400 students from Sumter County visited Dade Battlefield for a day of “Living Florida History”. They were escorted by Society members, Jerry & Bonny Robertson, Jim Velten, & Paul Remis.





Their tour started with a visit to Trooper Ray Jozwick’s encampment where they learned about the 2nd Florida Dragoons. 





settler 3.jpg



Their next stop was at a frontier settler’s home and listened to Mrs. Jessica Hoag. They appeared to be transfixed as she spoke on the hardships of living on the Florida frontier.





From there they visited the Seminole camp of Ken “Hawkwood” Wood where they learned about the white man’s encroachment into their land as well as about arrows and pelts.







soldier 1.jpg The students then traveled down the road and visited Soldiers Steve Rinck and Dale Beremand. The soldiers explained about the hardships of service from being recruited on the docks to serving in a mosquito infested, hot swampland full of hostile savages.



100_1316.JPGTheir tour ended up at the Breastwork where Ranger Chuck Wicks explained what took place at Dade Battlefield on December 28, 1835.

It was a great day for the students, thanks to everyone who participated.  





UPDATE:  Dade Battlefield Festival - A Bluegrass Celebration – March 19, 2011


Although more than four months away, plans for Dade Battlefield’s first large-scale music show are starting to come together.  New electrical lines have been installed to provide power hookups sufficient for modern amplification needs.  A good number of arts & crafts vendors have already committed, and we have signed two professional bands with a popular following throughout Central Florida: Blackwater Creek Bluegrass, and Glen Snow and The Snowmen.  We continue to scout for additional bands and support acts, and are exited about this new event!


Upcoming Board Meetings      6:30 p.m., Dade’s Lodge


                               ANY INTERESTED PERSON IS WELCOME!


            November 9, 2010                              January 11, 2011


            December 14, 2010                             February 8, 2011



Upcoming Events


            5th Annual SWAP MEET – SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 13, 2010







MARCH 19, 2011



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