Monday, November 17, 2008

Scott's Massacre of 1817 - Part One

In my last post, I discussed the unusual life of Elizabeth Stewart Dill, the only female survivor of the 1817 "Scott's Massacre" in Gadsen County, Florida.
The old print at right is an artist's conception of Scott's Massacre prepared for use as an illustration in an early history of the United States. It is now housed in the collections of the New York Public Library.
A native of Virginia, Richard W. Scott had entered the military service during the War of 1812 when he was commissioned as an Ensign in the 35th U.S. Infantry Regiment.
Scott received his appointment on March 31, 1813, and was promoted to third lieutenant by the end of the year. He was promoted to second lieutenant the following October.
When the size of the army was dramatically reduced following the end of the war, Lieutenant Scott was reassigned to the 7th U.S. Infantry.
Sent to Fort Scott on the Flint River arm of today's Lake Seminole with the First Brigade (4th and 7th Infantry Regiments) in response to growing tensions between U.S. Army officers and Neamathla, chief of the nearby village of Fowltown, Scott was dispatched with 40 men in a flatboat to assist a supply flotilla slowly making its way up the Apalachicola River to the fort.
The series of events that followed rank among the most tragic in the history of Florida. Over coming days, I will post excerpts from the chapter on "Scott's Massacre" in my new book, The Early History of Gadsden County. Please check back later today for more of the story.

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