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Spanning a period of over forty years (1817-1858), the three Seminole Wars were America’s longest, costliest, and deadliest Indian wars, surpassing the more famous ones fought in the West. After an uneasy peace following the conclusion of the second Seminole War in 1842, a series of hostile events followed by a string of murders in 1849 and 1850 made confrontation inevitable. The war was also known as Billy Bowlegs' War because Billy Bowlegs (Holata Micco) was the main Seminole leader in this the last Indian war to be fought east of the Mississippi River. Pushed by increasing encroachment into their territory he led a raid near Fort Myers. A series of violent skirmishes ensued. The vastness of the Floridian wilderness and the difficulties of the terrain and climate caused problems for the army, but they had learnt lessons from the second war and amongst other new tactics employed greater use of boats, eventually securing victory through cutting off food supplies.
Although there are several books covering the entire Seminole Wars period and excellent works on the First and Second Seminole Wars, the Third Seminole War has long been neglected. This book seeks to fill that void at a time when interest in the Seminole Wars is growing. History of the Third Seminole War is a detailed narrative of the war and its causes, containing numerous first-hand accounts from participants in the war, derived from virtually all the available primary sources, collected over many years. Written in a clear, easy-to-follow style, the work is intended for both a general and scholarly audience and will be of value to those interested in Florida history, American history in general, military history, Native American studies, and nineteenth century subjects. The book will also appeal to Civil War enthusiasts, as many of the officers who served in Florida became leaders in that later conflict.