Catalogue


Dade's last command /
Frank Laumer ; foreword by John K. Mahon.
imprint
Gainesville : University Press of Florida, c1995.
description
xxvi, 285 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0813013240 (acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Gainesville : University Press of Florida, c1995.
isbn
0813013240 (acid-free paper)
catalogue key
1120540
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 271-279) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1995-07:
Among the gripping tales of Indian warfare in the frontier South, few are more compelling than the December 1835 combat between Major Francis L. Dade's command of 108 soldiers and a larger force of Seminole warriors and runaway black slaves near Tampa Bay, Florida. Major Dade and his men marched into a deadly ambush just north of the Withlacoochie River and were annihilated in a desperate fight. Laumer, an independent military historian, has undertaken a detailed study of the massacre that opened the Second Seminole War (1835-42), a bitter seven-year guerrilla conflict that took the lives of some 1,500 soldiers and proved to be the costliest Indian conflict in US history. The army never conducted an official inquiry into Dade's battle, nor does Laumer assign responsibility for the disaster. He has written a good, realistic account of this ill-fated expedition, and his narrative style is vivid. He used sources that range from military records, maps, and firsthand accounts of the combatants to weather records and his knowledge of the terrain. All levels. E. M. Thomas; Gordon College
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, January 1995
Choice, July 1995
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Summaries
Description for Bookstore
From the Foreword: "The definitive account of the march and annihilation of Major Francis Dade's column of 108 men in December 1835. . . . Extensive knowledge of the soldiers, the Seminoles, and the terrain is woven into the text. There does not exist a more vivid, but at the same time historically accurate account of a single action in U.S. military literature." "...a gripping account of the infamous Dade Massacre and probably the best book ever written about the Second Seminole War."--Matt Pearcy, The Journal of America's Military Past Dade's Battle in December 1835 precipitated the Second Seminole War. It was the first American war fought over the issue of slavery, Frank Laumer writes, and it occurred principally because of white determination to protect the institution. In their search for runaway slaves, white citizens of Georgia and Florida invaded Seminole land and met with resistance; the violent encounters that followed led to Dade's Battle. As a result, Laumer says, the escape hatch was closed, Native Americans were removed from the land, and Florida was made "safe" for white expansion. Coupling thirty years of research with a passion to understand the fate of Major Dade's command and the motivations of the attacking Seminoles, Laumer has written a vivid account of a battle that changed Florida's history. After walking Dade's route on the Fort King Road from Tampa to the battlefield north of the Withlacoochee River--wearing the complete woolen uniform of an enlisted man, carrying musket, canteen, pack, bayonet, and haversack--Laumer can describe not only the clothing and weapons of the soldiers but also the tension and fear they felt as they marched through Seminole territory. He has also assessed the position of the Seminoles, sympathizing with the choices forced by their leaders. Laumer also describes the backgrounds of the soldiers who marched under Dade and the role of much-maligned black interpreter, Louis Pacheco, and he offers new insights on the mistakes made by the commanders who ordered the march. More than the account of a single military action, Dade's Last Command is the story of good and decent men "who died violent and terrible deaths to perpetuate a political and social evil."
Unpaid Annotation
Dade's Battle in December 1835 precipitated the Second Seminole War. It was the first American war fought over the issue of slavery, Frank Laumer writes, and it occurred principally because of white determination to protect the institution. In their search for runaway slaves, white citizens of Georgia and Florida invaded Seminole land and were met with resistance; violent encounters followed that led to Dade's Battle. As a result, Laumer says, the escape hatch was closed, Native Americans were removed from the land, and Florida was made "safe" for white expansion. Coupling thirty years of research with a passion to understand the fate of Dade's command and the motivations of the Seminoles, Laumer has written a vivid account of the battle that changed Florida's history. After walking the Fort King Road (the route followed by Dade) from Tampa to the battlefield north of the Withlacoochee River - in the complete woolen uniform of an enlisted man, carrying musket, canteen, pack, bayonet, and haversack - he can describe not only the clothing and weapons of the soldiers but also the tension and fear they surely felt as they marched through Seminole territory. He also assesses the position of the Seminoles, sympathizing with the choices faced by their leaders. Laumer also describes the backgrounds of the soldiers who marched under Dade and discusses the role of the much-maligned black interpreter Louis Pacheco, and he offers new insights on the mistakes made by the commanders who ordered the march. More than the account of a single military action, Dade's Last Command is the story of good and decent men "who died violent and terrible deaths to perpetuate a political and social evil".

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