Liberty or Death
As the Americans advanced, the Seminoles retreated. They were searching for the best possible battleground. They found it on December 23rd, on the
fringes of Lake Okeechobee. The warriors prepared the site carefully. They concealed themselves behind a swamp. They notched gun rests in the trees. They cleared saw grass to expose the enemy to their fire.
The Americans reached the clearing at noon on a pleasant Christmas day. They
spotted the Seminoles in a hammock almost a mile away. Hundreds of Indian cattle and ponies wandered over an adjacent prairie.
Surprised by the eerie calm, Colonel Gentry of the Missouri volunteers suggested a diversionary tactic. Rejecting Gentry's advice --
and questioning his courage -- Taylor ordered a frontal assault.
Buchanan 145-46, Sprague Origin 206-7, Gentry 18-26, Mahon 227-28.
Part 2, War: l