Step back in time with the Seminole Tribe of Florida at the Big Cypress Shootout Jan. 31 to Feb. 2, 2014, at Billie Swamp Safari on the Big Cypress Reservation in the Florida Everglades, between Fort Lauderdale and Naples.
Hear gunfire and feel the ground shake as cannons fire and the horses gallop on the battlefield as Seminole warriors and U.S. soldiers reenact a battle from the Second Seminole War.
From 1835 to 1842, the Seminole Wars was the longest, costliest and bloodiest of the wars fought by the U.S. Army against the native peoples. There was a large imbalance of forces, with up to 55,000 Army troops fighting about 2,000 Seminoles. Yet, in one of the first incidents of the Second Seminole War, 100 Army troops under Major Francis Dade, sent to reinforce Fort King, were ambushed, with only two soldiers surviving.
The government forces were never able to defeat or round up the Native Americans, who simply melted away into the scrub and swamps of the back country, earning the tribe the nickname the "Unconquered People."
January’s re-enactments will feature colorful costumes and uniforms, mounted soldiers, musket fire and booms of cannon detonations.
Walk through historical time period encampments and Seminole native villages, and learn trading techniques typical to the 1800 era. See settlers hew wood, iron and silver crafts. Learn about authentic tools of war and look for artifacts at the archeological dig.
There will also be native food, alligator wrestling, music, a snake show and Seminole Stomp Dancing.
Admission is $9 for adults and $6 for kids.
Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation is at 30000 Gator Tail Trail in Clewiston.