Frank Laumer


It was mid-winter 1835 in Florida and the United States Army was gathering its strength at Fort Drane. Until a month ago the place was called “Auld Lang Syne,” a plantation devoted to raising sugar-cane on some 3,000 acres in the center of the Territory. It had gained the status of “fort” by the expedient of erecting a twelve-foot pine-log wall in a rectangle 460 yards in circumference around the main building. For ten years the owner had tended his dual duties as planter and general, but now the hue and cry was raised again and Fort Drane was headquarters for the troops in Florida. It looked like Duncan Lamont Clinch, planter and general, might have a war to fight.