Liberty or Death
Taylor's first rush through the swamp was nearly suicidal. The American force outnumbered the Seminoles three-to-one, but the Seminoles held their ground. Their
fire bored into the front ranks of the Americans, dropping dozens of soldiers at the first volley. Colonel Gentry fell dead almost
immediately. His Missouri volunteers quickly broke ranks.
The fight lasted until 3 p.m., when the Seminoles finally retreated and fled to
safety. Taylor could not give chase, because his own forces had been devastated. The U.S. suffered 26 dead and
an agonizing 112 wounded, to 11 dead and 14 wounded for the Seminoles.
The Seminoles had suffered their own grave loss, yet for them, if the battle was numerically a draw, it was effectively a victory. They had held off the largest force of the war, inflicting heavy losses in return. General Jesup had thrown a thousand men at them and they had endured. What more could the Americans do?
Mahon 228-29, Sprague Origin 208.
Part 2, War: l