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America's Hundred Years' WarU.S. Expansion to the Gulf Coast and the Fate of the Seminole,
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William S. Belko

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813035253

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813035253.001.0001

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Strategy, Operations, and Tactics in the Second Seminole War, 1835–1842

Strategy, Operations, and Tactics in the Second Seminole War, 1835–1842

(p.128) 5 Strategy, Operations, and Tactics in the Second Seminole War, 1835–1842
America's Hundred Years' War

Joe Knetsch

University Press of Florida

This chapter focuses on the Second Seminole War. It reviews the rather deplorable conduct of the war by the United States, and, in so doing, raises questions about the lessons learned, if any, from this bloody confrontation. The United States was undoubtedly and completely unprepared for the conflict in Florida erupting in late 1835. Numerous factors provided little chance for a quick victory over the Seminole—a retrenchment-minded Congress drastically reducing military funding, a strategy and tactics that followed European-style fighting, a pervasive distrust of a professional military dominating the mind-set of Jacksonian Americans, a defective supply system, outright ignorance of guerilla warfare, waning national interest in the conflict after 1836, and conspicuous and rampant disagreement between state authorities and the federal government, and between the army and those in Washington, over the direction of the war.

Keywords:   Second Seminole War, United States, Congress, military funding, war strategy, guerilla warfare

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