Fort Meade is preparing for an invasion from the past. Known for its participation in the Second Seminole Wars and later in the American Civil War, Fort Meade will once again provide history in its own backyard at the Battle of Bowlegs Creek.
Beginning on Thurs., Nov. 17, from 5:30 – 8 p.m., the Historical Society of Fort Meade will host the History Trolley Ride Along. Cost is $5 per person over 6 years old. The trolley will leave every 45 minutes from the Museum, 1 Tecumseh Ave. Like a time machine, the trolley will remind visitors of turn-of-the-20th Century transportation from Old Town to New Town. Along the way, the tour captures glimpses of characters throughout the city’s rich history as well-known Historian Debra Howell narrates the highlights of the tour. Tour returns to the Museum for cookies and punch and a tour of the Museum is available. For more information, visit the Museum or go on-line to Fort Meade Historical Society & Museum Facebook page, as well as the Museum’s website:http://fortmeadeflmuseum.iconosites.com/.
Friday, Nov. 18 is designated as School Day, a free event for students to visit with re-enactors, as well as participate and observe displays and demonstrations of Civil War living history. Hours are 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Students must be attended by teachers and/or parents and may bring their lunches to enjoy at the Fort Meade Recreational Area, US 98 E on Peace River. To register for School Day, call Priscilla Perry at 285-8406. Registration cut-off is Nov. 4.
Now for the action! Sat. and Sun., Nov. 19-20, from 9 a.m – 5 p.m. Peace River comes alive! Music. Food. Living History.
Entertainment … Florida Music Writer and Performers Jerry Mincey and Larry Mangum, along with special guests Seven Pounds of Bacon will be performing at the small pavilion throughout the day between battles.
Civil War “suttlers” will be selling their wares, as well as modern food vendors throughout the event.
Park opens at 9 a.m[PP1] .
Parking is $10 per car – Admission is free.
Posting of Colors at 10 a.m.
River Naval Invasion on Peace River at 11 a.m.
Ladies’ Tea at noon.
Battle Re-enactment at 2 p.m.
Park closes at 5 p.m.
Beautiful Woman tribe’s village was located on Peace River (close to the US 98 E bridge in Fort Meade) and burned out when Lt. George Meade crossed the river in 1849. Meade ordered a fort be built on the river banks.
It is worth noting the last recorded Seminole Battle during the 3rd Seminole Wars and one of the last Indian Battles east of the Mississippi took place in Fort Meade in 1856, known as the Battle of Tillis Farm. Five men soldiers died and Willoughby Tillis was injured in that battle.
When Louisiana was captured by the Union during the Civil War, Central Florida became the Confederate’s main food source with an ample supply of cattle in the area. To halt the transactions, Union troops came up Peace River twice from Fort Myers – April and May 1864. During the latter skirmish, Fort Meade was burned. Two men were killed and again, Willoughby Tillis was injured in the “Cow Battle” known as the Battle of Bowlegs Creek.