Dade Monument
National Cemetery
St. Augustine Florida
In 1821, the old fort barracks was set aside for a post cemetery. According to historical records, the first interment took place in
1828. Most early burials were soldiers who died during the “Indian War,” either in battle or due to sickness and disease—not
uncommon in Florida’s subtropical climate. The native Seminoles resisted the U.S. Government’s attempts to forcibly remove them
from their territory and seven years of fighting ensued.

On Dec. 23, 1835, Maj. Francis L. Dade and his company were ordered to reinforce Gen. Wiley Thompson’s troops stationed at
Fort King, Ocala. During the trek from Tampa to Fort King, Dade became lost and announced to his men that they had successfully
passed through Seminole-controlled territory. As a result, he failed to take appropriate precautions. The heavy winter garments of
the soldiers covered their weapons, so that when the Seminoles staged an attack, Dade's troops were virtually wiped out—only one
soldier purportedly survived. A few months later, when travel in the area was again possible, the massacred soldiers were buried at
the site.

In 1842 when hostilities ceased, the Army proposed to transfer the remains of all who died in the territory, including those who fell
with Dade, to a single burial ground. Reinterment took place at the St. Augustine Post Cemetery. In addition to Dade's command,
more than 1,400 soldiers were interred in three collective graves. Three distinctive pyramids constructed of native coquina stone
were erected in their memory, as well as several nearby plain white markers to designate the graves of Seminole Indian scouts.

The Dade Monument is composed of three distinct pyramids constructed of native coquina stone. The pyramids were erected in
1842 and were originally covered with white stucco. The memorials were dedicated at a ceremony on Aug. 14, 1842, that marked
the end of the Florida Indian Wars. The pyramids cover vaults that contain the remains of 1,468 soldiers who died during the
Florida Indian Wars, from 1835 to 1842.


Inscription on the Monument
from The Origin, Progress, Conclusion of the Florida War by John T. Sprague

North side.
Sacred to the Memory of the Officers and Soldiers Killed in Battle and died on Service during the Florida War.

South side.
A minute record of the officers who perished and are here or elsewhere deposited, as also a portion of the soldiers, has been
prepared and placed in the office of the adjutant of the post, where it is hoped it will be carefully and perpetually preserved.

East side.
This monument has been erected in token of respectful and affectionate remembrance by their comrades of all grades, and is
committed to the care and preservation of the garrison of St. Augustine.

West side.
This conflict in which so many gallant men perished in battle and by disease, commenced on the 25th of December, 1835, and
terminated on the 14th of August, 1842.

* * *

Circular, Orders, Etc. connected with the erection of a Monument in Florida, to the memory of those who have fallen in the contest.

Circular.

On or before the conclusion of the Florida service, it is proposed to gather the remains: 1st, of the officers and soldiers who fell
with Major Dade; 2d, of other officers who may have been killed in battle, or died on this service. Preparatory thereto, the colonel
commanding has caused the remains first mentioned, and those of several officers within reach, to be transferred to St. Augustine,
with a view to interment, with proper ceremonies, on the grounds attached to the public buildings. Others, which it has not yet been
convenient to reach, will be added to the number. It is further proposed, over these remains, to place plain but durable slabs, on
which will be simply recorded the names, rank and corps of the individuals, and the occasion, if in battle, on which they perished;
not doubting that this mark of respect will be acceptable to the service. It is also believed, that it will be equally agreeable that there
should be a general participation in the slight expense incident thereto. If correct in this view, it is suggested as the most
convenient form, that each officer and soldier serving with corps now in Florida, consent to set apart one day's pay proper, which
will probably be fully equal to the sufficient but unostentatious memorial proposed to be erected. Commanders of corps are invited
to take the sense of their officers and men upon the subject and measures, that any funds resulting therefrom may be retained by
the paymaster, and by him transmitted to the quartermaster at St. Augustine, subject to disbursement by such persons as shall be
designated in orders.

At the proper time orders will issue for the ceremony, in which every corps will be represented, and as far as practicable every
grade of those whose memory is designed this mark of respect.

S. Cooper,
Assistant Adjutant-General.

Cedar Key, June 13th, 1842.

Order No. 25
Head-Quarters, Military Department No. 9,
Cedar Key, July 25, 1842

I. The remains of officers who have been killed in battle, or who have died on service, including those of the non-commissioned
officers and soldiers (being the command, save two) who fell with Major Dade; as also those of several non-commissioner officers
and privates who fell under peculiar circumstances of gallantry and conduct, have been gathered and transferred to St. Augustine,
where suitable vaults are constructed for their final reception, over which unostentatious monuments will be erected to the
memories of our late comrades. For this purpose, the sufficient pecuniary means have been raised by the voluntary subscription of
the soldiers and officers of this command.

II. The ceremony of interment will take place at St. Augustine, on the 15th day of August next; on which occasion every corps now
serving in the territory, will be represented, as well as every grade (from lieutenant-colonel to private) of those to whose memory is
designed this mark of respect.

III. The senior officer of the line present, will act as field-officer of the day; and will conduct the ceremony according to the
established rules of the service.

IV. The funeral escort will consist of as many companies, not exceeding six, as can be assembled without inconvenience to the
service.

V. On the day of interment, the flags at the different stations will be displayed at half-staff; half-hour guns will be fired from meridian
to sundown; and minute-guns at the place of interment during the ceremony.

By order of
Colonel Worth.

S. Cooper, Assistant Adjutant-General.

Lieutenant-Colonel Belknap, being the senior officer present, assumed direction of the ceremony, and formed the escort as
follows, viz.:

P. Gwynn, 8th infantry, commanding the escort.

A. T. Lee, acting adjutant.

Escort, Composed of

Company K, 8th infantry - Lieutenant J. Selden

Company A, 8th infantry - Lieutenant L. Smith.

Company B 3d artillery - Lieutenant W. H. Shover

Company E, 3d artillery - Lieutenant B. Bragg

Colors and band of the 8th infantry.

Field-music of the artillery.

Clergy.

Platoon of the Guard of Honor.

Pall Bearers
Lieutenant Benham, U. S. Engineers.
Doctor Martin, U. S. Army.
Major Van Ness, Paymaster U. S. Army
Lieutenant Jordon, 3d Infantry
Captain Hanham, Acting Ord. Officer
Captain Seawell, 7th Infantry

Remains
Contained in seven wagons; each covered by the American flag as a pall, and drawn by five elegant mules. 1st and 2d wagons:
soldiers and officers of Dade's command. 3d and 4th wagons: soldiers and officers killed in battle. 5th, 6th, and 7th wagons:
officers who have died in Florida.

Platoon of the Guard of Honor - Lieutenant Wallen.

Colors and band of the 3d infantry.

Field-music of the 8th infantry.

Company F, 4th infantry - Captain Page.

Company C, 8th infantry - Captain Kello.

Medical faculty.

Mayor and Aldermen of St. Augustine.

Members of the Bar, and officers of the Court.

Masonic fraternity.

St. Augustine City Guards - Captain P. R. Lopez.

Citizens generally of St. Augustine.

The remains being removed from the wagons amid the firing of minute-guns, the Rev. Mr. Waters, of the Catholic Church
addressed the assembled multitude with great eloquence and beauty; the services of the Episcopal Church were read by John
Beard, Esq., and a concluding prayer offered by the Rev. Henry Axtell.

The remains were then placed in vaults, prepared for their reception; and after a salute of musketry, the troops retired and were
marched into quarters.

The Masonic fraternity proceeded from the tombs to the Presbyterian Church, where a monody on the dead was pronounced by D.
W. Whitehurst, Esq. Half-hour guns were fired until sunset, closing the solemnity of the day.
Florida - The Dade Monuments - St. Augustine
Photographer:
George Barker,  1844-1894
Date Created/Published: c1886.
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,
http://floridamemory.com/items/show/147704
Drawing of the Col. John Titcomb Sprague


State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,
http://floridamemory.com/items/show/128372
Return to St. Augustine Territorial


Return to Structure List
Custom Search
Like us on Facebook