Historic City News readers were invited by 450th Military Commemoration Committee spokesman, Ted Pappas, to attend a ceremony honoring fallen soldiers of the Second Seminole Indian War whose remains are interred under the pyramids at the National Cemetery.
The event will be held on Saturday, August 24, at St Francis Barracks parade field; located at 104 Marine Street in St. Augustine. Activities will begin at 9:00 with a living history assemblage of period re-enactors on the parade ground in front of the barracks.
“This is the sixth year that the West Point Society of North Florida has organized the ceremony,” Pappas told Historic City News this week. “The local 450th Military Commemoration Committee is honored to sponsor this commemoration, with support from the Seminole Wars Foundation.”
Returning this year will be a crew from Peace River Artillery, demonstrating and firing an exact replica of the “6 pounder” artillery piece that accompanied Major Francis L. Dade at the beginning of the war in December, 1835.
Jerry and Linda Morris will be back with their display of how soldiers lived in the field during the war, and Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Harry Metz will lead an honor guard of other re-enactors.
At 11:00, a bugler will sound assembly and spectators will gather to hear brief remarks putting the event into historical context. In 1842, a large parade passed through St Augustine; bearing the remains of those who perished on battlefields during the Second Seminole Indian War. At the conclusion, a procession will march to the pyramids, where the Society will lay its wreath and lead the cadet prayer. A cannon salute and taps will close the morning.
National Guard Command historian, Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Gregory A. Moore, will be available to discuss his new book, “Sacred Ground: The National Cemetery at St. Augustine”. A program in the Officers Club will follow the outdoor events. Seating is limited and advance reservations are required.