Chapter Nine: The Struggles Of A Farmer And A Fighter
December 15, 1817
Chadwick Kincade stood outside the house he had built, marveling over his farmland and the barn he had also constructed. After exploring the territories of Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri, he had ventured to Georgia, and purchased land on the Georgia-Florida border. While enjoying the busy, yet tranquil, life he had found, he also thought of the future. Someday he would meet someone and create a legacy. Chadwick smiled at the warm thoughts of watching his future family appreciate the hard work he put into this little piece of heaven he could call his own.
It was early morning, and before getting caught up in the excitement of the future he daydreamed about, Chadwick thought about the tasks at hand. His farmhands weren’t set to arrive for an hour, but he could start some of the work himself. Several of his animals were ahead of him in starting families, and he would need to care for their babies. He had a recent harvest of vegetables that needed to be checked for quality and freshness, and what passed the test could be packaged and sold to the market. He would also need to trash the bad crops that hadn’t fared as well. The cows would need milking, and the milk would also need to be prepared for the market. Before Chadwick could choose from among these tasks, or the countless others that came from being a farm owner, a whooshing sound interrupted his train of thought.
Chadwick looked behind him and saw an arrow lodged into one of the logs that made up his house. Ducking instinctively, he looked around and could not see his attacker. The cornstalks in front of him were likely the location of the arrow’s owner. He had no weapons on him for defense, but he had a rifle inside. Before Chadwick could retrieve his firearm, another arrow whizzed by and hit the door.
Chadwick felt powerless. Whoever was after him was a skilled archer, and was not giving him anything to work with. The arrows were precise shots, but didn’t seem to be aimed at him directly. Chadwick concluded that the intruder wasn’t trying to kill him yet, but was seeking his attention. Knowing he didn’t have much of a choice, he ventured off his porch and faced the cornstalks. He put his hands in the air, and hoped he wasn’t giving his foe an easy finish.
Out of the cornfields came the shooter. He was a tall, muscular Indian man without a shirt, but he wore a breechcloth and leggings. Chadwick called out to him, hoping the man would understand his language.
“What do you want?” Chadwick asked the man calmly. With a bow and arrow pointing at him, he wasn’t about to get aggressive—yet.
“Name?” the man asked, looking at Chadwick intently.
“Chadwick Kincade. And you?”
“Thlocco Tustennuggee. It mean Big Warrior.”
“Why are you here?” Chadwick asked.
“Taking back land,” Big Warrior answered.
“No,” Chadwick said. He sympathized with the Indians wanting their share of land, especially after reading his sister Rosie’s letters about her war experiences, and her marriage to Little Eagle. But he had purchased this land and built a successful farm business with it. He might die if he stood his ground, but he preferred that to surrendering over what he had worked so hard for.
“Then fight,” Big Warrior responded, a vicious smile crossing his face. He dropped his bow and arrow quiver and ran toward Chadwick.
Chadwick hadn’t fought since the time he assisted Jim Bowie in Logan County. He was in good shape from working on his farm, but he wasn’t sure if he could hold his own against an Indian warrior. Not having much of a choice, Chadwick entered a fighting pose and prepared to square off with Big Warrior.
Big Warrior reached Chadwick and swung an open hand at him. Chadwick ducked and answered with a left hook. Big Warrior was briefly dazed, then smiled before headbutting Chadwick. Chadwick managed to keep standing, and responded by kicking Big Warrior in the chest. Big Warrior retched momentarily, then smiled at Chadwick.
“You fight well, Kincade,” Big Warrior said, somewhat out of breath, but still inspired. “But warrior of the Seminole tribe will prevail!”
“Let’s find out, shall we?” Chadwick responded, enjoying the thrill of this adventure, despite the danger he was in.
The fighters rushed at each other and extended their arms forward, each gifting the other with a fist. Chadwick and Big Warrior both fell to the ground after the exchange, ending their fight in what appeared to be a draw.
Chadwick came to and remembered the events that knocked him out. He glanced over and saw the Seminole lying on his back. He quickly checked Big Warrior’s vitals, and confirmed that he was still alive. He gloated to himself about apparently winning the fight, and despite the adrenaline rush from the battle, he knew he had to do something about the man that had attacked him for possession of his land.
“Rope! That’s it, there’s some inside!” Chadwick exclaimed out loud.
He grabbed the bow and quiver of arrows that Big Warrior had previously tossed on the ground, then dislodged the two arrows from the side of his house before running inside to get rope. Chadwick found the coil of rope in his workshop, then ran back outside to bind Big Warrior in order to buy time to come up with his next course of action. When he returned to the spot where their skirmish occurred, however, Big Warrior was no longer there.
Chadwick rushed back inside, taking the opportunity to arm himself in case the Seminole was hiding nearby. He checked his house, his barn, the cornstalks, and the rest of his land. Big Warrior had apparently fled, and Chadwick had a feeling that he would encounter the warrior again someday.
December 29, 1817
Chadwick was sitting in his living room drinking coffee with Mitchell Damoan, a good friend who served as one of his close confidants in the management of his farm business. Chadwick trusted that Mitchell would be the right person for the request he was about to make.
“Your coffee is exquisite, as always,” Mitchell complimented. “Coffee made from beans grown on Kincadia Farm is truly the best.”
“I couldn’t have done it without you,” Chadwick said appreciatively.
“Which is why you are the perfect person to take on what I am about to ask.”
“What would that be, my dear friend?” Mitchell asked, curious as to what was being requested.
“I have been called back to service in the U.S. Army to help deal with the issue of the Seminole Indians attacking Americans in these areas,” Chadwick explained. “My recent struggle with the Seminole Indian, Big Warrior, was a minor incident, but more severe attacks are occurring elsewhere.”
“From what I heard about your encounter; you were magnificent!” Mitchell gushed. “After holding your own against one of the best fighters of the Seminoles, I can see why you would be desired by the Army!”
“They don’t get it, though; Big Warrior could have easily killed me, but he didn’t,” Chadwick protested. “Still, if other settlers here are being attacked, it must be stopped. Kincadia Farm would also likely fall if this conflict continued.”
“Indeed, it would,” Mitchell agreed. “And for what role have you summoned me?”
“I would like you to manage Kincadia Farm until I return,” Chadwick requested. “I don’t know how long my duties in the Army will last. Will you handle things here until I can return?”
“It would be an honor, Chadwick, and I thank you for entrusting this to me,” Mitchell said enthusiastically. “If you vow to return safely, I will also vow to keep Kincadia Farm going strong in your absence.”
August 10, 1818
The conflict with the U.S. Army and the Seminoles that I am involved with has been perilous. I thought that we would be protecting our citizens from Seminoles that were attacking them. But as this war progresses, I am not seeing how our actions differ from those we fight to stop. During this past spring, General Jackson led us through the villages of the Seminoles on Lake Miccosukee and along the Suwannee River, and we were ordered to leave a trail of destruction throughout. We invaded Pensacola, and while some of the Seminoles were driven away, many were killed by our hands. Two Seminole Chiefs and two British men who were assisting the Seminoles were captured. The military court suggested that one of the British citizens should receive fifty lashes for punishment, but General Jackson ignored this and forced the execution of the four men. Oh, sister, your disdain for the General is warranted. If only he had listened to you when you tried to talk sense into him during your encounter in the Creek War.
I have been praised for my abilities in combat, and the story of my showdown with Big Warrior has been the constant talk among my comrades. I have not encountered Big Warrior again per the writing of this letter, and I question if he is still alive. I fear for my own life as well, but I promise to somehow survive this nightmare and return to the place I belong, Kincadia Farm. I hope your days are better, sister, and I wish you and Little Eagle the best, always.
Your Loving Brother,
Written By: Roses311Sublime