Fort Cooper State Park, Inverness, Florida

fortThe Google lady screwed up directions and it is not the best marked of parks, but it is well worth a stop if you are in the area. And I discovered the Withlacoochie Trail and learned a bit of history at Fort Cooper State Park.
The park is named in honor of Major Mark Anthony Cooper, commander of 380 First Georgia Battalion Volunteers along with army regulars. In April 1836, Major Cooper built a fort near the lake’s edge to protect the sick and wounded left behind by General Scott as he continued on his way to Fort Brooke (Tampa). Major Cooper was ordered to hold his position and await relief troops in nine days, but by the third day they were discovered by the Seminoles who kept them under constant daily attacks. On one occasion the Seminoles tried to storm the fort with a force in ‘excess of 500 warriors.’ After 16 days, with provisions running out, a relief column returned to support the troops….

Due to Major Cooper’s vigilant leadership during the two week siege, the Georgia Battalion sustained about 20 men wounded, and lost only one. Fort Cooper was utilized as a reconnaissance, observation and dispatch post until 1842 by various U.S. Army detachments.

 

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