Letter from Adjutant General Samuel Cooper to Colonel James Munroe, 1856

Letter from Adjutant General Samuel Cooper to Colonel James Munroe, 1856

Transcript

Adjutant General's Office
Washington, Jany 7th 1856

Sir.
I have received and laid before the Sec- retary of War, your communications of the 23d and 26th ult. on the subject of the recent attack on Lieut. Hartsuff's exploring party, and the probable renewal of hostilities by the several Indian bands remaining in Florida.

To meet this contingency, it being impracticable to send re-inforcements of regular troops, the Department has authorized the Calling out of three independent Companies, to be disposed of in the manner sugested in your letter, or in any other way that in your judg ment will best insure the objects contemplated, and two other Companies to serve as hunters and trailers and to be associated with the regular troops in their operations. In respect to the com- position of these last two Companies, it is enjoined on you not to allow any man to be received who is not a good woodsman and familiar with the habits of Indians, and who could


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Adjutant General's Office
Washington, Jany 7th 1856

Sir.
I have received and laid before the Sec- retary of War, your communications of the 23d and 26th ult. on the subject of the recent attack on Lieut. Hartsuff's exploring party, and the probable renewal of hostilities by the several Indian bands remaining in Florida.

To meet this contingency, it being impracticable to send re-inforcements of regular troops, the Department has authorized the Calling out of three independent Companies, to be disposed of in the manner sugested in your letter, or in any other way that in your judg ment will best insure the objects contemplated, and two other Companies to serve as hunters and trailers and to be associated with the regular troops in their operations. In respect to the com- position of these last two Companies, it is enjoined on you not to allow any man to be received who is not a good woodsman and familiar with the habits of Indians, and who could

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be thus usefully employed in discovering and following their trails. The several Companies will have the same organization as regular troops and will be mustered for the period of six mo nths unless sooner discharged as each company will act seperately, no field or staff officers will be received with them.

The great differnce of expense between maintaining horse and foot troops renders it desire able to retrict the number of the former to the lowest limit. The Department is not indeed aware of any special necessity for employing mounted volunteers at all, nevertheless should you be of opinion that their services are essential to the success of your operations, it is left to your dis cretion to decide what portion of the three in dependent Companies for which you are au- thorized to call shall be mounted.

Blank rolls for mustering these volunteers will be forwarded by to-day's mail. You will Confer with the Governor - who has been apprised of the authority given you - on the subject of receiving them, and send an officer of the Army to muster them in at such points as may be indicated. Instruct this officer to be very careful to embrace on the rolls all the information that may be necessary to secure at the same time the rights of the volunteer and to protect the interests of the Government.

I am Sir. very repectfully.
/signed/ S. Cooper
Adjutant General

Brvt Colonel JMunroe U.S.
Army Commanding in Florida
Tampa Florida

Head Quarters Troops in Florida
Jany 20 1856

Official
F.M. Vincent
1st Lieut. 2d Artillery
A.A. Agt Genl

Official
John Munroe
Major 2d Regt Arty Bt Col
Commdg Troops in Dist [?] of Florida

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Source

State Archives of Florida: Series S777, Box 02, Folder 3

Description

Letter from Adjutant General Samuel Cooper to Colonel John Munroe, commander of U.S. troops in South Florida, outlining the terms by which volunteer companies should be mustered into Federal service.

Date

January 7, 1856

Creator

Cooper, Samuel, 1798-1876

Format

Letters (correspondence)

General Note

Between the early to mid 1800s, the United States Government would fight three wars with the Seminole population of Florida. While the Second Seminole War of 1835-1842 proved to be the largest and costliest, the Third Seminole War of 1855-1858 was the last Indian war to be fought east of the Mississippi River. It began in late 1855 when a party of soldiers led by Lieutenant George Hartsuff was attacked by Seminoles led by Billy Bowlegs (Holata Micco). The encounter was precipitated by continued white encroachment onto Seminole lands in south Florida. The subsequent war consisted of a series of minor engagements, punctuated by continued efforts to entice the few Seminoles remaining in Florida to accept removal to a reservation west of the Mississippi River. While some regular U.S. Army troops served in the conflict, it was fought largely by Florida volunteer companies. In 1858, Billy Bowlegs accepted generous financial terms to move with 163 others to the trans-Mississippi. Chief Sam Jones and perhaps 200 other Seminoles still remained in Florida, where their descendants live today.