This was our first reenactment and certainly made for a great time. The two-day event from 9am-5pm had the reenactment along with vendors that were selling memorabilia from that time period along with food vendors. The event was held in Bushnell Florida at Dade’s Battlefield Historic State Park. The parking was $3 in addition to the $5 per person to enter the event. The event was fairly organized by the state park staff and volunteers.
We did have a mishap during the beginning of the reenactment when a horse bucked off the rider and ran into the crowd, luckily no one was hurt.
To give you a little history lesson of the actual battle that happened. The battle was involved the Seminole Indians fighting against the U.S. Army. The U.S. Army was forcefully trying to remove the Seminole Tribe around Ocala Florida. Due to this the Seminole’s became more fierce and knew they needed to fight. Major Dade commanded 2 companies of men consisting of 110 soldiers from Fort Brooke which is in present-day Tampa to Fort King present-day Ocala.
Major Dade’s assumed the Seminole’s would attack in certain areas and when they did not he rallied his troops and gave them hopeful words. He recalled his flanks to move quicker through the brush and heavily covered wooded area.
What Dade did not foresee is the 180 Seminoles waiting in the covering for his men to slaughter them all.
The 110 men with a 6 lb cannon were no match for the fierce fighting Seminole’s who knew they had the advantage and upper hand from the beginning.
Most of the men died within the first shots fired including Major Dade himself. Once the number dwindled down, the soldiers built a temporary bunker and medical center to gather the wounded and make the last stand.
The battle was intense and lasted from approximately 8 am until 4 pm according to eyewitnesses that were in the battle. All but three men survived on the U.S. Army side after the fighting was done. One was chased down the next day and killed by the Seminoles.
If you are a history buff or just looking for something cheap and different from the big touristy things in Florida you should check out https://www.dadebattlefield.com to see when the next reenactment will be going on. It’s a family friendly environment for all to enjoy and keep our history alive. Florida has so much to offer so take advantage of these great opportunities whenever you can.