depths of the transparent water overshadowed by them,
brought home to the imagination all the enchanting visions of
,t took days of sloshing through transparent water to reach
the high-and-dry hammocks near the Loxahatchee River west
of Jupiter Bay, where Seminole warriors were lying in wait.
Half of the soldiers had lost their shoes in the muck. Sharptoothed
edges of saw palmetto stalks tore holes in their pants
and chewed painful scrapes into their skin. The men drank
swamp water and many were ill. (More died from disease
than fell to the enemy.) Hot sun and a million bugs relentlessly
triggered discomfort. Sleeping on the spongy ground
brought little relief in their soggy, foulsmelling attire. And at
the end of suͿering days and nights came a deadly battle.
SOUNDS OF WAR WHOOPS AND CANNON
2n -an. , 1, the advance guard was Àred upon. As
soon as Jesup heard the news, he gave orders to attack. The
quiet of midday gave way to a tremendous cracking sound of
men rushing forward through a sea of palmettos. The pace of
their charge was suddenly slowed by a half-mile wide slough
full of cypress knees. Hidden in the thick jungle looming on
the horizon, they knew their enemy must be lying in wait
with loaded rifles.
As the Àrst line of soldiers made their approach toward the
dense foliage, a terrifying war whoop from hundreds of warriors
suddenly Àlled the air to the accompaniment of clattering
rifle Àre. 6ome men fell, and the battle was on. Artillerists
Tuickly set up Àeld guns, and then grape shot blasted toward
the smoke of the 6eminoles· muskets. For added eͿect, the
army launched crude Congreve rockets, which made plenty
of terrifying noises, but rarely hit on target. Following the
deafening bombardment, the soldiers charged.
As commander of the entire war eͿort, -esup should have
remained outside the range of the 6eminoles· rifles. But on
one side of the Àeld of battle, he saw hundreds of militiamen
holding back from entering the woods and confronting the
,ndians headon. ,mpulsively, -esup Mumped oͿ his horse,
took out his pistol and led them in a charge. Forward he ran
ahead of them all, splashing through the swamp and into the
forested higher ground of his enemy.
Was -esup recalling days of his greatest triumph" At age ,
he became a hero at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, which took
place within the roar of 1iagara Falls. ,n one of the bloodiest
battles of the War of 1812, he was struck by bullets and shrapnel:
in the shoulder, in the neck, in the chest and in his right
hand ³ which was lastingly disÀgured. .nocked down by
the blast to his chest, he stood back up and rallied his men to
fend oͿ a relentless British onslaught. -esup·s gallantry that
day resulted in a glory that included a series of rapid promotions,
which made him a general by the age of 29.
HE CHARGED ALONE
1ow the 9yearold scorned commander was running,
running — charging once again — in reckless disregard of
his life, into the thickness of the hammock where he could
barely see a few feet ahead. He pressed forward to the edge
of a beautiful, rapidly moving river he had never seen before.
That’s when he looked over his shoulder and found he was
alone, his orders disobeyed. 0y *od 1o one had followed.
He made the charge alone. Jesup looked back across the river
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