Friday, February 20, 2009

Fort Cooper State Park - Inverness, Florida

Located just south of Inverness, Fort Cooper State Park preserves the site of a rough log stockade constructed during the early months of the Second Seminole War.

Named for Major Mark Anthony Cooper, the fort was built to protect a number of wounded and sick U.S. soldiers during General Winfield Scott's campaign against the Seminoles during the spring of 1836. The war at that point was not going well for the army. Dade's Battle, the previous December, had witnessed the death of more than 100 soldiers and attempts to advance by armies under Generals Edmund P. Gaines and Duncan L. Clinch had also been blunted.

Scott attempted to bring the Seminoles to bay by marching three columns into the wilderness of Central Florida, but the European style strategy was not successful. His already slow movements became even slower due to the necessity to move sick and wounded that he decided to leave them behind under a guard of five companies of Georgia Volunteers and a small company of artillerymen.

The men, commanded by Major Cooper, built Fort Cooper and fended off several attacks by Osceola and a large force of Seminole warriors.

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