By the early years of the nineteenth century the Seminole Indians were being pushed into southern Florida by the relentless press of American settlers. Florida became a territory of the United States in 1821, and within a few years friction between the two groups led to the outbreak of hostilities, known as the Seminole War's.
President Andrew Jackson, frustrated by a floundering army, began replacing inept generals who failed to understand Indian tactics. The process continued until Major General Thomas S. Jesup was finally selected and took command on December 9, 1836.
After the two battle's on the Loxahatchee,(January 15,1838 and January 24, 1838), the Seminoles, who met and defeated U.S. forces, but were badly outnumbered, fled their village(now Riverbend Park) and headed south in the direction of New River. The search for the Seminoles and their trails continued South of Ft. Jupiter.
When a freshly made trail was discovered, General Jesup ordered Major William Lauderdale and his Tennessee Volunteers to cut a trail south from Ft. Jupiter to New River. On March 2, 1838, Major Lauderdale led 233 Tennessee Volunteers and the “construction pioneers” who cleared roadways through the dense hammocks for the detachment and its wagons.
The construction pioneers were the men of Company D of the United States Third Artillery Regiment, commanded by First Lt. Robert Anderson (Commander at Ft. Sumpter during the Civil War).
To bypass the marshes and lagoons, the men marched along the three to five mile wide pine ridge which extended south from Indian River Inlet to Ft. Dallas (Miami).
It took four days for Major Lauderdale’s command to hew a trail to New River, covering 63 miles. Army topographer, Frederick Searles designated the trail “Lauderdale’s Route”, and later became the road for all future Indian military operations from Ft. Jupiter to New River and Ft. Dallas.
Continued use for military operations during the next twenty years of this conflict, the road became known as “Military Trail”.
In southeast Florida the military built a string of forts, including Fort Dallas (Miami), Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Jupiter. The modern thoroughfare, Military Trail, approximates the route the soldiers took as they marched along the coast in pursuit of Seminoles. Military Trail reminds us of the dramatic history of the Seminole Wars that took place in our own back yards.
The Seminole's never gave up their land, although thousands were removed a small band remained and hid in the Everglades and are the only American Indians to remain Unconquered.
A historic marker commemorates the origin of Military Trail.
After the second battle of the Loxahatchee (January 24, 1838) during
the Second Seminole War (1835-1842). Maj. Gen. Thomas S. Jesup
directed Maj. William Lauderdale, commander of the Tennessee
Battalion of Volunteers to cut a trail south from Ft. Jupiter to Ft.
Dallas (present day Miami), Lauderdale's mission was to capture
Seminoles who had escaped the Loxahatchee battle. On March 2,
the U.S. Third artillery regiment, marched south, following the Seminoles.
To avoid swamps and lagoons, they kept to the higher coastal pine
ridge that extended from Ft. Jupiter to the New River, where Lauderdale
built a fort (in present day Ft. Lauderdale), and moved on to Ft.
Dallas. Because Lauderdale's command had blazed a trail covering 63
miles through overgrown terrain in only 4 days the route was
designated "Lauderdale's Trail." It was used for military operations through the end of the Third Seminole War in 1858, and became
known as "Military Trail." Now a major commercial thoroughfare,
Military Trail is a remnant of a long and dramatic history of the
Seminole Wars in Florida.
To read more please see the following link.