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The Macon Volunteers
In 1821, when Florida became part of the U.S., it was home to about 5,000 Seminole Indians. In 1823 the Seminoles were persuaded to move to a reservation, but by 1830 the U.S. government had made plans to remove the entire tribe to Arkansas. The "non-removers," led by a chief the Whites called Osceola, vowed to resist. In November 1835 the senior Army commander in Florida accepted 500 Florida mounted militia into Federal service, and Regular troops they immediately began patrolling isolated plantations. This mission took on a new urgency after December 28, when the Seminoles under Osceola ambushed and massacred a column of U.S. troops. Only three soldiers survived out of 108. When officials called for more troops, South Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, and Georgia responded immediately. Part of Georgia's quota of 3,500 for Federal service were the Macon Volunteers. In February of 1836, as part of the 1st Battalion, Georgia Volunteers, the Macon company departed for Picolata, west of St. Augustine, where they were sworn into active Federal service for 90 days. Major General Winfield Scott, just arrived to assume command, sent the 321 Georgians, along with 720 regulars and almost 1,000 Louisiana militia, to the edge of the Withlacoochee Swamp. After several skirmishes and a river crossing under fire, the number of wounded and sick began to multiply. General Scott ordered them left behind under the care of the Georgia Battalion assisted by a few artillerymen with a six-pound gun. Under constant attack from the Seminoles (one party of 50 Georgians held off more than 200 Indians), the men began building a log fort named after their commander, Major Mark Anthony Cooper. As they alternated between work parties, patrolling, and guarding the hastily-constructed log stockade, rations and ammunition began to run low. On April 17, the Georgia Battalion was relieved by General Scott's men. They marched back to Picolata, were mustered out of Federal service, and by mid-May had sailed back to Georgia. The Seminole War continued for another six years. The Macon Volunteers continue today in the Georgia Army National Guard as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 48th Infantry Brigade.
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Images of these paintings may also be used for educational purposes with an appropriate permission statement, such as: "[name of painting], a National Guard Heritage Painting by [name of artist], courtesy the National Guard Bureau." The U.S. Government retains all copyrights to these paintings. No commercial use is authorized without prior approval.