Assignments for Ft. Heileman and the Seminole Wars Part I: Measuring and expanding the knowledge base

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Problems at the Fort

The issuing officers showed “indifference” and “contempt” to the suffering.

Many were so weak they had “not the physical strength to go to Black Creek for a soldier’s ration.”
Supplicants had to prove they are unable to provide for themselves.
The peculiar state of things in Florida, there may be such a scarcity of provisions as to render it difficult to procure them.”
General George Gibson, in charge of the Commissary of General

Subsistence wrote that “the roll of Citizens . . . shows . . . 37 that came within the resolution of Congress, but . . . the roll is now upwards of 500 individuals, and the roll itself is lengthened from one sheet of paper to five yards.”

Several thousand refugees eventually huddled at the Fort. Captain Thomas Childs of the 3rd Artillery described the encampment: “. . . They have shelters which keep out neither wind nor rain – at this season of the year it rains violently, every afternoon – and their subsistence is the ration of the soldier. The measles have broken out among them and their insufficient shelters have given them colds.

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