Fort Brooke Fla: Sick soldiers; how to terminate war
Sept. 14, 1837
George Andrews was 34 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Alexander L. Thomas, was 29 when it was received.
George Andrews died 36 years, 1 month, 30 days after writing this.
It was written 182 years, 5 days ago.
It was a Thursday.
September 14th 1837
I wrote to you a short time after my arrival here—since then nothing of any consequence has transpired. The Indians are quiet, awaiting the course that may be pursued by government towards them. I have little hopes of a successful termination of the coming campaign—Should the northern Indians come here I think then their arrival may produce a crisis. About a ¼ mile from here across a river the Qr. Master has a number of horses & mules in charge of a Sergeant Guard to which the Seminoles have occasionally paid a visit and carried off a few for him, since then Maj. Thompson (now in command of this post) has placed an officer & I expect any night to hear of a skirmish with the Indians & the guard—
Lieut. Hoffman left here sick for Old Point Comfort with a 100 sick soldiers—Dorr is sick at present. Maj. Thompson is the only “Field officer in this part of the country & I believe in Florida”. What has become of Col. Bliss? Will he join here or on the Johns? Will Noel return this winter?
Our Regt. As I before stated is broken down irrevocably. The companies will not average (sick & well) more than 12 each—not a man will enlist here.
Yesterday some 5 or 6 Indians Coacoochee Band came in, ostensibly to see Genl Jessup (who left here a few days ago) but in reality to dispose of some skins they had, and to examine the post—Maj. Thompson very properly would not permit them to buy or sell anything here. He listened to their talk and sent them off again.
We are greatly in need of a sutler and had we one here now with a full supply of goods he would do well.
Vegetables are not to be had here for love or money, the consequence is that all our men are more or less affected with the scurvy. I have lost 3 men from my company since it came here from Fort Dade. When all the sickness has been contracted—Our Regt. was for some unaccountable reason kept there until they could not mount a Lieut’s guard” & it then was escorted here in [?] by the 4th Regt. Infy. which has also suffered terribly from being detained at Fort Foster—
It has been said we will have some 4 or 5000 militia here (which god [?]) this next campaign.
If the government will give us a competent “Head” and free up the Regts. of Artillery & Infantry & Dragoons (and give us a 1000 Northern Indians merely to trail and track), I will pledge my head we can [?] the Seminoles from the face of the earth. I am afraid he will neither have a “Head” run regular enough & if so nothing but a “fortunate plunder” can terminate the war.
This Post might be made a most delightful station for a Regt. in time of plenty fish, oysters and game are abundant. Oranges are now growing on the trees which shade my tent.
You of course heard of Bateman’s death long since. He was a noble fellow, a great loss as an officer & a gentlemen to our Regt.—We could have better spared a better man” than him—this war has exalted the character and talents of Genl Atkinson immeasurably in the estimation of all the Army here. It is openly said that he and he alone can terminate it. I sincerely believe that if he could have come this last spring and the assumed the conduct of the war that in 30 days after the opening of the [? ] Campaign he would have gloriously terminated it.
Lt. T. L. Alexander