Dade Battle by Halpatter Tustenuggee (Alligator)

An Account of the Dade Battle by Halpatter Tustenuggee (Alligator)

Just as the day was breaking we moved out of the swamp into the pine barren. I counted, by direction of Jumper, one hundred and eighty warriors. Upon approaching the road, each man chose his position on the west side; opposite, on the east side, there was a pond. Everywhere warrior was protected by a tree, or secreted in the high palmettoes. About nine o’clock in the morning the command approached. … So soon all the soldiers were opposite between us and the pond, perhaps twenty yards off. Jumper gave the whoop, Micanopy fired the first rifle, the signal agreed upon, when every Indian rose and fired, which laid upon the ground, dead, more than half the white men. The cannon was discharged several times, but the men who loaded it were shot down as soon as the smoke cleared away; the balls passed over our heads….

As we were returning to the swamp supposing all were dead, an Indian came up and said the white men were building a fort of logs. Jumper and myself, with ten warriors, returned. As we approached, we saw six men behind two logs placed one above another, with the cannon a short distance off. This they discharged at us several times, but we avoided it by dodging behind the trees just as they applied the fire. We soon came near, as the balls went over us. They had guns, but no powder; we looked in the boxes afterwards and found they were empty.

When I got inside the log pen, there was three white men alive, whom the negros put to death, after a conversation in English. There was a brave man in the pen; he would not give up; he seized an Indian; Jumper’s cousin, took away his rifle, and with one blow with it beat his brains, then ran some distance up the road; but two Indians on horseback overtook him, who, afraid to approach, stood at a distance and shot him down. The firing had ceased, and all was quiet when we returned to the swamp about noon. We left many negros upon the ground looking at the dead men. Three warriors were killed and five wounded.


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