On January 15,1838,during the Second Seminole War.The Seminoles met and defeated U.S. forces in the first battle of the Loxahatchee River.Trying to end the war,Maj. Gen. Thomas Jesup brought several columns of troops to south Florida, including Waterborne Everglades Expeditionary Unit commanded by Navy Lt. Levin Powell. In search of the Seminoles, Powell's unit entered the southwest fork of the Loxahatchee river in small boats, led by a captured Seminole woman. Marching west, they saw smoke trails rise from a cypress swamp encampment and were suddenly met by hot musket fire from Seminole warriors. A running fire fight in the swamp led by Chiefs Tuskegee and Halleck Hadjo ended at dark with the Seminoles slowly gaining control. Powell's small force of 80 sailors and soldiers, overpowered by a much larger force of Seminole swamp fighters, barely escaped with severe casualities. Only the leadership of Joseph Johnston prevented what could have been the "Powell Massacre". With news of the Seminole victory, Gen. Jesup and his main column of more than 1500 men headed southeast to confront the Seminoles in the Second Battle of the Loxahatchee River on January 24, 1838.