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 Billy Bowlegs

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Billy Bowlegs

Seminole Chief. He was probably born in 1812 on the Alachua Savannah in Florida. He was the head chief of the Florida branch of the Seminole Tribe and led his people in two wars against the whites. During and after 1839 he became known as Holata Micco, or chief governor. In 1839 his group defeated Colonel William Selby Harney on the Caloosahatchee River. Haney retaliated in 1840 by attacking again and hanging six prisoners and exacerbating the situation. By 1842 the Billy Bowlegs people were scattered in remote areas of the Everglades and the US Army called an end to the Second Seminole War. By 1849 the white settlements had moved even closer to the Seminoles and renewed the call to move the Seminoles to the Indian Territory. After attempts to get Bowlegs to agree to move to the Indian Territory had failed, he agreed to an 1852 trip to Washington and New York. During this trip he finally agreed to the move. Some of his people did not agree and conflicts began anew and in December 1855 the Third Seminole War began. After much bloodshed, Billy, 39 warriors and 126 women and children left for the Indian Territory on May 28, 1858. The following year he was hired to return to Florida to convince more Seminoles to move and returned with 75 of them. He became one of the principal chiefs to support the Union in the Civil War. He was commissioned Captain of Company A, 1st Indian Regiment. He was prominent in the ragged fighting in Kansas and the Indian Territory, taking a creditable part in the actions. He died of small pox some time before March 10, 1864.

Bio by: Tom Todd


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1209
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Billy Bowlegs (c.1810–c.1864), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1209, citing Fort Gibson National Cemetery, Fort Gibson, Muskogee County, Oklahoma, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .