February 25, 2008

The deadliest Indian war

Reality show reenacts Seminole war

To raise awareness of American and Indian history, reenactors staged the Second Seminole WarRiding horseback, Moses Jumper Jr. had one hand on his saddle and the other on his gun. He and other Seminole Indians fought from galloping horses and fired on U.S. soldiers armed with muskets.

On Sunday, Jumper was among 60 "fighters"--made up of Seminole Indians and volunteers from outside the tribe--reenacting a scene at the Big Cypress Billie Swamp Safari that could have happened during the Second Seminole War. The performance also concluded a three-day event that featured live music, fried alligator nuggets and craft booths, and drew about 2,000 from around the state.

The war that began in 1835 and lasted seven years was fought over the United States' attempts to acquire the tribe's South Florida land. It's often described as the deadliest and costliest of the Indian wars: The United States spent $20 million battling the Seminoles, according to MyFlorida.com, a state website.

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