Showing posts with label INVERNESS FLORIDA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label INVERNESS FLORIDA. Show all posts

Inverness Florida - Fort Cooper - A Seminole War Battle Site

The city of Inverness, Florida lies 20 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico and 80 miles to the north of the great city of Tampa. It is the seat of Citrus County, Florida. In April 2017, we moved to live a few miles to the south of Inverness. Our new home is located in a beautiful area of woods and lakes. As the sunlight comes slanting through the trees, there is an atmosphere of total tranquility. The deer, squirrel and sand crane wander around fearlessly, which is clever of them because they have nothing to fear. Yet a couple of centuries ago, it wasn't at all like that. There was fierce fighting in this idyllic setting.

Chief Osceola and Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson seized Florida for the United States of America in 1820 and was elected President in 1828. The Second Seminole War, which began in 1835, was triggered by Jackson's plan to move Native Americans from Central Florida to reservations west of the Mississippi River. However, they didn't want to leave. Close to our new home are the remains of Fort Cooper, built in April 1836 on the shores of Lake Holathlikaha. The crystal clear water of the lake covers 160 acres.

Reenactors portraying US Army soldiers in battle

The fort was built by Major Mark Anthony Cooper, commander of the 380 First Georgia Battalion Volunteers, whose task was to protect the sick and wounded left behind by General Scott who was moving on to Fort Brooke, which is now Tampa. Cooper built his fort close to the lake's edge in order that the sick and wounded could benefit from the fresh water. His orders were to hold his position until the arrival of relief troops which were expected to be there in nine days.

Reenactors portraying Native Americans at Fort Cooper battle

After three days, this seemingly vulnerable target was discovered by Seminole warriors led by Chief Osceola. The Seminoles launched daily attacks upon Cooper and his men, who were greatly outnumbered. At one time, there were over 500 Seminoles attacking the fort and relief from Tampa did not arrive as promised. Supplies in the fort were running out. Yet surely those under attack were merely undocumented or illegal immigrants to Florida? Should they not have received from the Seminoles the same gentle treatment accorded to such immigrants by the US Federal Government in the 21st century. Anyway, the attacks continued, but Cooper held out.

Gun salute 

The relief column arrived on the sixteenth day. Cooper and his Georgia Battalion were saved. Their casualties were 20 wounded and only one fatality. Fort Cooper continued to be used by the US Army during the rest of the war for reconnaissance purposes. The fort and the lake now form part of Fort Cooper State Park, so Major Cooper's efforts have been rewarded and his name is preserved for posterity. So has the name of Chief Osceola, who died in captivity not long after the events described above. Osceola County, Florida is now visited by millions of people from all over the world because it is the home of Walt Disney World. This internationally renowned resort is on the other side of the city of Orlando, about 80 miles to the south east of the crystal clear lake and the crumbling fort in Fort Cooper State Park. Chief Osceola may have failed to win 1836 but, in terms of 21st century fame, he can at least claim victory over Major Cooper in name recognition.

Fort Cooper Events On March 17 and 18, 2018, Fort Cooper was the site of a re-enactment of the battle between the US Army and the Seminoles fought at the fort in 1835. The people who portray the characters take their role very seriously and pay great attention to detail to get an accurate representation of the time period from the clothes to all the paraphernalia used to make up the two camps of the opposing parties.

Video below shows part of reenactment and comments by various actors regarding the history their characters portrayed.

This piece, written by Bob, was originally posted on our website on March 24, 2018.

Inverness Florida - When Irma Came To Visit

It is ironic that the most recent post on this site was about Cedar Key and the destruction left behind by hurricane Hermine in the early part of September 2016.

However, in early September of 2017, we were paid a visit by hurricane Irma which left us with a massive oak tree on our house and structural damage to our garage.

We have a lot to be thankful for. No one in our home was hurt or injured. In fact, we all went to bed and slept through the storm. We actually heard the big thud of the tree hitting the roof as we were just falling off to sleep. The full impact of the storm didn't arrive for several hours later. But we are so fortunate that the tree fell on the garage and not on the bedrooms next to it. We only had to wait 5 days to get the tree off the house, which is excellent, considering how many people were in the same situation as us.

However, the good news is the tree has now been removed and our power was turned back on. See video below of the guys removing the tree from the roof of our house.

We wanted to take the time to wish the best for Floridians and those in Texas reeling from the aftereffects of these two powerful hurricanes, Harvey and Irma and to commend the wonderful people who have pulled together to help us get through this disaster without much loss of life.

A special shout out to the Citrus County Sheriff's department, Citrus County officials and City of Inverness who all did a fantastic job of helping keep people safe and informed. A hotline was available which was very helpful to those people who needed to get quick answers to questions. This kept the 911 lines freed up to handle emergencies.

One of the most helpful things the Sheriff did was continually update the status on Facebook and other social media of roads, shelters and other facilities. They put up lists of open gas stations and other businesses and information about restoring power. It was hugely helpful to know what was open and available and when we might get power back.

Bob and I wanted to give a great big thank you to all the police, firefighters, medical personnel and others who helped out to keep everyone safe, not only here in Citrus County, but all over Florida. A big shout out to all the linemen working round the clock in such dangerous and terrible conditions to restore power. You really don't realize how dependent on power we are, especially when not having means no water in our case.

Also, a great big thanks to President Trump who pulled out all the stops and managed the government response to these natural disasters with all the speed and efficiency needed to help us all through this trying time. We are extremely grateful to the President and Mrs. Trump for all they have done to show their support for all the people who have been impacted by these two terrible natural disasters. God Bless you President Trump for your fortitude and expertise in handling the situation so very well and God Bless America.

God Bless America and Trump
This piece, written by Pat, was originally posted on our website on September 16, 2017.