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At the time of his death in 1838, Seminole warrior Osceola was the most famous and respected Native American in the world. Born a Creek, young Osceola was driven from his home by General Andrew Jackson to Spanish Florida, where he joined the Seminole tribe. Years later, President Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which was not only intended to relocate the Seminoles to hostile lands in the West but would force the return of runaway slaves who had joined that tribe. Osceola—outraged at the potential loss of his people and homeland—did not hesitate to declare war on the United States.
Osceola and the Great Seminole War vividly recounts how one warrior with courage and cunning unequaled by any Native American leader before or after would mastermind battle strategies that would embarrass the best officers in the United States Army. Employing daring guerrilla tactics, Osceola initiated and orchestrated the longest, most expensive, and deadliest war ever fought by the United States against Native Americans. With each victory by his outnumbered and undersupplied warriors, Osceola’s reputation grew among his people and captured the imagination of the citizens of the United States. At the time, many cheered his quixotic quest for justice and freedom, and since then many more have considered his betrayal on the battlefield to be one the darkest hours in U.S. Army history.
Insightful, meticulously researched, and thrillingly told, award-winning author Thom Hatch’s account of the Second Seminole War is an extraordinarily accomplished work of American history that finally does justice to one of the greatest Native American warriors.