Porter County in the Seminole WarVeterans of the Seminole War from Porter County . . . .
During the First Seminole War (1817-1818), Andrew Jackson was unsuccessful in subduing the Native Americans in Florida. To improve the situation, the United States government decided to remove all Indians in Florida to the Indian Territory now represented by present-day Oklahoma. It was thought this removal was the best solution for on-going conflict between the Seminole and encroaching white settlers.
The Treaty of Paynes Landing (1832) required that the Seminole Indians migrate west of the Mississippi River within 36 months. By 1834, 3,824 Seminoles had honored the treaty made the move to the Indian Territory. However, the largest faction of Seminole, which was led by their chief Osceola, refused to remove to the Indian Territory. Extreme tension between the United State government and the remaining Seminoles ensued when Osceola vowed to fight "till the last drop of Seminole blood has moistened the dust of his hunting ground."
On December 28, 1835, Osceola murdered Indian Agent Wiley Thompson. Major Francis Dade and his U.S. soldiers were ambushed by 300 Seminole warriors near Fort King (Ocala) on the same day. These incidents precipitated the Second Seminole War. The Seminoles retreated into the Everglades, and using guerilla tactics, fought for more than seven years. By 1842, the remaining Seminole Indians were nearly exterminated from Florida. Approximately 4,420 Seminoles surrendered and were sent to reservations in Oklahoma. The Second Seminole War resulted in the death of thousands of Seminole Indians, and was the costliest of the American government Indian Wars. Approximately 1,500 U.S. soldiers died in the war, which cost the government more than $30 million to fight.
Porter County Seminole War Veterans
Date of Birth: June 20, 1810, in Mead, Crawford County, Pennsylvania
Date of Death: December 5, 1897, in Porter County, Indiana
Burial: Luther Cemetery in Washington Township, Porter County, Indiana
It is believed that John Baum enlisted in Company G of the U.S. Fourth Infantry Regiment on July 14, 1834, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Military service records indicate that Baum had hazel-colored eyes, brown hair, dark complexion, and stood five feet and six and one-half inches in height. His residence was given as Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with his occupation being listed as "Soldier." Baum was discharged from service on July 14, 1837, due to the expiration of his three year service term. A remark in his service record indicates that he re-enlisted for service at Fort Brooke, Florida (present-day Tampa, Florida). A final muster out date for John Baum is provided as being December 7, 1842, at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri.
Information prepared by Steven R. Shook