Monday, March 24, 2008
John K. McLane - "Indian Fighter" and Confederate Soldier
This is the Gadsden County grave of John K. McLane, a member of the 10th Florida Infantry.
McLane was undoubtedly one of the most interesting soldiers of Florida who served in the Civil War.
In the spring of 1840, when he was 15 years old, McLane was working around the family farm near what is now Greensboro in Gadsden County (then called the Telogia settlement). He was at home with his mother and three sisters and his father had gone away for the day to take care of some business.
McLane later told how he heard the sounds of screams and war cries. The little log cabin and farm had come under attack by a small group of Creek warriors led by a chief named Pascofa. This chief had been engaged in a bloody personal war with local settlers and militia companies since 1837 when he led his followers down from Alabama following a militia attack in which a number of the women and children of his band were ruthlessly murdered.
The incident sparked a bloody feud between Pascofa and the whites that would continue for the next six years and would lead to many murders and outrages on both sides. When Pascofa's warriors attacked the McLane cabin, John K. McLane took up a rifle to try to defend the little farm while his mother and sisters (over his objections) attempted to escape in the direction of a little branch or creek. The woman and the girls were slaughtered (the two youngest ones were beaten to death with a pine knot), but McLane held out alone in an all day battle with the warriors. Firing from loopholes in the log cabin, he was able to drive back each of the attacks and managed to survive attempts to burn him out. The warriors finally drifted back into the swamps of Telogia Creek and disappeared.
McLane would later fight in the Army of Northern Virginia in some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, but the event he always remembered as the toughest fight and saddest day of his life was the "McLane Massacre" on Telogia Creek in Gadsden County.