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Florida War (Napoleonic Age)

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Previous:

War of 1812

Next:

Greek Revolution

Florida War
Beginning:

3 April 1819

End:

11 January 1820

Place:

North America
—Florida
—United States
—Cuba
—Atlantic Ocean
—Caribbean Sea

Outcome:

American victory, Treaty of Pensacola

  • East Florida ceded to the United States
  • Spain paid $2.4 million indemnity to the United States
  • Seminole tribes relocated from Florida
Combatants

US flag 20 stars United States

Bandera de España 1808-1813.svg Kingdom of Spain
Seminole tribes
Flag of France.svg French Empire (materiel)

Commanders

US flag 20 stars President James Monroe
US flag 20 stars Major General Andrew Jackson
US flag 20 stars Major General Edmund P. Gaines
US flag 20 stars Brigadier General John Coffee
US flag 20 stars Commodore Stephen Decatur
US flag 20 stars Commodore William Bainbridge

Bandera de España 1808-1813.svg King José I
Bandera de España 1808-1813.svg Governor José María Coppinger
Bandera de España 1808-1813.svg Lieutenant General Miguel Ricardo de Álava y Esquivel
Bandera de España 1808-1813.svg Admiral Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros
Black Hawk†

Strength

Ground:

  • Up to 67,000
  • 132 guns

Navy:

  • 1 ship of the line
  • 9 frigates
  • At least 22 smaller vessels

Ground:

  • Up to 46,000
  • 2,200 Seminole warriors
  • 96 guns

Navy:

  • 4 ships of the line
  • 18 frigates
  • Up to 58 smaller vessels
Casualties and Losses
  • 7,193 men
  • 1 frigate, 3 schooners, 1 sloop, 1 brig
  • At least 11,000 men
  • Up to 1,000 Seminole warriors
  • 2 frigates, 3 sloops, 2 brigs

The Florida War, also known as the First Spanish-American War and the Invasion of Florida, was a major conflict fought between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Spain from 1819 to 1820. The war was fought primarily in the Spanish colonial dominion of East Florida, though combats also occurred in Spanish Cuba, the State of Georgia, and across the Atlantic Ocean. Excluding the American Revolutionary War, it was the United States' first military victory against a foreign power.

The war had its roots in conflicting American and Spanish claims over the control of Florida. In the wake of the status quo agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States in the wake of the War of 1812, American citizens were eager to avoid open hostilities against the Spanish. However, these wishes were directly challenged after a Spanish frigate attacked and later sank a United States Navy schooner, killing most of its crew and eventually selling all but two survivors into slavery in Morocco. President Monroe immediately asked Congress to declare war. Early American victories were counteracted by the arrival of a Spanish expeditionary force in the autumn of 1819; further pitched battles between the US Army and Royal Army in both Florida and, by the end of the war, Cuba, coupled with various naval engagements and merchant-hunting campaigns across the Atlantic, forced Spain to the negotiating table to end an increasingly protracted, expensive, and bloody conflict.

Origins

Course of the war

Eastern theater

Invasion of Florida

Spanish landing at St. Augustine

The four campaigns

Battle of Fort Lauderdale

Western theater

Three battles of Pensacola

Coastal raids and the Battle of White Springs

Cuban theater: a new front is opened

Havana Campaign

Treaty of Pensacola and aftermath


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