"Attack of the Seminoles on the block house," the sixth image of the series (and the last in this reconstructed chronology), finally dares to depict a
Seminole success -- the most prevalent form of engagement over the first year of the war. On April 4, 1836, fifty Americans were garrisoned at a block house twelve miles south of the Withlacoochee. The Seminoles attacked the block house on April 12, and in an action
uncharacteristic in American Indian warfare, they kept the structure
surrounded for forty-five days.
Depicting four dead and several wounded among the Seminole allies, the piece probably
exaggerated their casualties, but nonetheless depicted an Indian success
in progress. More notable is the complete absence of blacks from the Seminole
ranks. Contrary to the image, it is highly unlikely that blacks were absent from the siege,
which took place only months after the plantation uprisings at the outset of the war.
Military reports placed Black Seminoles in the vanguard of many battles
and a former field slave in command of at least one. A truthful depiction of the enemy ranks may have been too controversial for Gray & James and their Charleston audience.
(1 of 6 images in this series)