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The soldiers lacked both comfort and convenience. Day after day, they
waded through muck, water, sawgrass, thorny thickets; wet to the skin,
burned by the sun. Night after night, many were compelled to sleep in
canoes, while others slept in bogs or on beds of sawgrass, cut and placed
upon the growing water grass. They cooked over a fire built on a pile of
sand in the prow of a boat, or around a cypress stump. They suffered
fever, dysentery, starvation, mosquitoes and many were bitten by the
dread water moccasins.
In the face of larger forces than they would afford to meet in the
open, the Indians led the troops to places that were most advantageous
for their smaller numbers, as in the Battle of Lake Okeechobee. Small
bands of the Seminole, who know the country like the backs of their
hands, frequently stood off a solid army of trained men. The very
numbers of the pursuers, together with their ignorance of the wilderness,
prevented swift movement in attack and withdrawal, and in trailing the
enemy to hiding places that have remained unknown to the white men to
this day. Marching over wet, spongy ground, so soft that a stick could
be pushed down four feet with ease, was a major difficulty for the white
man; second nature for the Indians.
Under the command of Colonel Harney, 100 troops went into the
Everglades and attacked several camps of the Seminole. Chakika and
five of his warriors were not only captured and hanged,