Rebellion June 10, 1816     
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Painting by Pat Elliott of Negro Fort being shelled by the American army in 1816. Courtesy Apalachicola National Forest.
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At the end of a tense standoff lasting several days, Garcon and his men hoisted the Union Jack. On July 27, they fired upon the U.S. gunboats in defiance. The gunboats fired back. The ninth U.S. round was heated red hot. The cannon ball penetrated the magazine of the fort, causing a massive explosion. Clinch described the scene in an account written for the Army & Navy Chronicle:

"The explosion was awful .... In an instant lifeless bodies were stretched upon the plain ... or suspended from the tops of the surrounding pines. Here lay an innocent babe, there a helpless mother .... The brave soldier was disarmed of his resentment and checked his victorious career, to drop a tear on the distressing scene." [More]

More than 250 Black Seminoles, free blacks, and Indians died in the ensuing carnage. Creek mercenaries captured as many of the survivors as possible. Within weeks the Creeks had divvied up the survivors among various southern slaveholders. The Creeks also salvaged a treasure trove of weapons from the ruins: 2,500 muskets, 50 carbines, 400 pistols, and 500 swords. Jackson’s plan had been a complete success. In one blow, his armies had destroyed the heart of black resistance in western Florida.

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Sources: Army Navy Chronicle 2: 114-16, ASPFR 4: 559-60, ASPMA 1: 700, 703. ©
Part 1, Early Years: Outline  l  Images
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 Trail Narrative
 + Prologue
 + Background: 1693-1812
 - Early Years: 1832-1838
+ World at Birth
+ Encroaching America
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Andrew Jackson
Negro Fort
First War
+ A New Country
 + War: 1832-1838
 + Exile: 1838-1850
 + Freedom: 1850-1882
 + Legacy & Conclusion


Clinch's first-hand account of the attack

The U.S. "Spin" on the attack

The buried history of the attack