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This struggle, also known as the Billy Bowlegs War, was the final clash of an intermittent guerilla conflict between the Seminole Indians of Florida and the United States. It had started in 1817 with fierce Seminole resistance to land-coveting white settlers encroaching from neighboring Georgia, then resumed in 1835. had adopted a policy of removing Indians to "Indian Territory" west of the Mississippi. By the mid-1850s, more than 3,000 Seminole had been deported.The main remaining Seminole leader at this point was "Billy Bowlegs" (O-lac-to-mi-co), a chief who was part of a ruling family. Under cover of darkness, Harney and his surveyors sneaked into Bowlegs' flourishing banana plantation and thrashed the crop. When faced by the stunned chief, the surveyors bluntly claimed responsibility because they wanted "to see old Billy cut up." Thus began the Third Seminole War. Once again, the Seminole put up guerilla-style resistance.Relentless U.S. The war ended with Bowlegs' surrender on May 7, 1858. government had abandoned efforts to remove all Seminoles.In exchange for small cash outlays, Bowlegs agreed to leave Florida with about 165 members of his tribe to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. The tiny remnant that hung on had never surrendered.
See Indian Wars Time Table.