Fort Green, Florida Of December 1856

Fort Green, Florida Of December 1856

Edited by Spessard Stone

This article by James D. Green was originally printed in The Florida Peninsular of January 24, 1857 and reprinted in The Herald-Advocate (Wauchula, Fla.) of January 14, 1993.

Ft. Green, Fla.

Dec. 27th, 1856

Mr. Editor:

I beg leave through your columns to congratulate my fellow sufferers on the quiet state of things now existing on the frontier though I have strong apprehensions that there is danger yet ahead.

Myself and seven others, with our families, are not, I suppose considered frontiersmen, from the fact we are living eighteen miles south of the military line of posts, established for the protection of the Whites, from the action of some of the gentlemen in charge of affairs.(1)

I have been informed that, not long since, a gentleman, with a lot of Negroes, was passing through Manatee, and that an efficient guard was sent for their protection. This kind of management proves to me that the officials must consider that there is danger.

The people have asked, begged, demanded--in fact, they have done everything that has suggested itself to their minds to get protection for their women and children, and all to no effect. They only desired ten men, after the first panic subsided, and were not allowed that number.

The State Agent would not incur the expenses of hauling forage and subsistence, to this point, for ten men and horses, to guard eight families - - only fifty-two human lives; a small matter, compared with the expense.

Being materially interested in this matter, I have examined a little into economy, and I find it stands about thus:

At the time of making the applications above referred to, there were wagons in abundance, employed by the State, for transporting all the necessary munitions, and plenty of time to have supplied this point with provisions, without increasing the expense one cent; besides, there were surplus men, at various points to have supplied this place with five times the number that was desired.

[Line missing] for the excuse of not furnishing the protection.

Here is a little more economy, in [line missing] the nature of the service right, every full Company of cavalry has five Lieutenants. One of these officers acts as Quartermaster, and it is his business to receive a receipt of all provisions, camp equipage, &c.

Now instead of this sort of an arrangement, the Special Agent employed a Deputy Agent to go out and receive and receipt for corn, at an unnecessary expense of ten dollars per day, more or less.

Mr. Editor, I will not trespass any further, with this subject, on your columns, or the reader's patience. We feel every confidence that, if Gen. Harney sees we are in actual danger, he will send us a detachment of troops for protection.

We are still at Fort Green, and hope to be able to hold our position.

Yours, with the highest respect,

Jas. D. Green


(1) The eight families were, probably, those of: Jesse Alderman, David Brannen, James D. Green, Richard Pelham, Daniel Sloan, Thomas Underhill, Maxfield Whidden, and Willoughby Whidden, all of whom voted in Manatee County elections on December 3, 1855 at Plunders Branch, a tributary of Paynes Creek.

February 28, 2001