27" X 30" Oil Painting
Major David Moniac leads the Creek Regiment into the battle at Wahoo Swamp during the Second Seminole War, 1836.
The bitter separation of the Creeks and those later known as Seminoles occurred at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The new tribe moved south into Florida, where they established their homeland. The emigration led to violence and unrest with the white settlers of the new U.S. Territory, leading to the outbreak of the Second Seminole War in 1835.
In 1816, a young Creek boy from Alabama, David Moniac, was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. David graduated in 1822. Shortly after receiving a commission to the U.S. Army, he resigned from the military to return home to assist the family business of planting and horse breeding. David remained there and began a family, unconcerned with the troubles brewing to the south.
By 1836, in spite of the harsh Indian removal policies initiated against his own people, Moniac was reappointed his commission in the Army in order to lead a regiment of Creek volunteers to go to Florida, where they fought their old enemies, the Seminoles.
In late summer of 1836, Moniac and his Creeks found themselves in a desperate battle in the abysmal Wahoo Swamp of west central Florida. At a critical point, the heroic Moniac initiated an assault that took his men across a dark stream into the face of the hidden Seminoles. He leapt into the waist deep water, sword and pistol in hand, but was struck fatally by a rifle shot and sank into the black water. His body was recovered after the battle and buried nearby.
Major David Moniac was both a gallant officer and a brave Creek warrior. He also had the distinction of being the first Native American graduate of West Point.