Less than twenty-four hours passed before another force of white
men approached the Withlacoochee River. General Duncan L. Clinch
was lending 600 men on a hunt for Indians and the runaway slaves with
them. The Indians, led by Osceola and Halpatter Tustenuggee, made a
fierce attack. Osceola was wounded, and after a short battle the Indians
withdrew. (8: p. 116) General Clinch soon received this determined
message from Osceola: "You have guns and so have we; you have
powder and lead and so have we; you have men and so have we; your
men will fight; and so will ours until the last drop of the Seminoles'
blood has moistened the dust of his hunting-grounds."
These two battles marked the opening of fierce warfare. The
United States Army sent thousands of soldiers into Florida during 1836,
but many of the Indians evaded capture. On June 9 Osceola led a band
of 300 Indians and Negroes against a fortified stockade at Micanopy.
During July and August he took General Clinch's plantation at Fort
Drane. Major Pearce was defeated when he tried to drive Osceola from
the plantation. (8: p. 129)
In September 1836, General Thomas S. Jesup took command of the
United States Army in Florida. He pursued the Indians from one hiding
place to another, capturing hundreds of Indians and Negroes. (6: p. 302)
The chiefs grew tired of fighting. The next year Micanopy and several
others met General Jesup at Fort Dade and agreed to surrender. Micanopy
promised to remain in the Indian camp, ten miles from Tampa Bay, until his
people came in and surrendered. (6: p. 302)