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Journey into Wilderness: An Army Surgeon's Account of Life in Camp and Field during the Creek and Seminole Wars, 1836–1838

In June, 1836, 24-year-old Jacob Rhett Motte, a Harvard-educated Southern gentleman trained as a surgeon, departed his hometown of Charleston to serve as an Army surgeon in wars against the Creek and Seminole Indians. Motte, who had a genuine literary flair, began keeping a journal – “While witnessing the dreadful scenes of Indian warfare, I was also impressed with the conviction that descriptions of horrible massacres, imminent and hair-breadth escapes, bloody battles, and dreadful murders have always been subjects of interest to the human mind,” he later wrote.