In the city of Washington in the autumn of 1836, the United States War Department was in a state of high confusion. On the sixth of October Lewis Cass had resigned as Secretary of War and the vacancy was temporarily filled by an under secretary, C. A. Harris. Within a few days the office was bestowed upon Benjamin F. ButIer, an interim appointee. These changes came during one of the crises of the Seminole War in Florida, which added to the confusion in Washington, In midsummer the command of that war had been vested in Governor Richard K. Call who launched an end-the-war campaign in early October. This initial move was not successful and rumors of its failure kept official circles in Washington in a state of nervous tension.
Doherty, Herbert J. Jr.
"Richard K. Call vs. the Federal Government on the Seminole War,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 31
, Article 3.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol31/iss3/3