I need to get out the article and read it again for details but this was about the time the War of 1812 was fixing to commence. The British were really more interested in the trade business than anything else and used the mess at Ft Mims to sort of 'cash' in since Andy Jackson was a coming after Weatherford. There's some story about a Catholic Priest going against his vows and spilled the plate of beans that someone had confessed to him on an upcoming planned raid or incident and the Priest told John Innerarity, who was at that time a partner in the Panton-Leslie Trading Company and Innerarity got a message to someone and they were able to avoid something or other. I think it would have hurt had it happened.
The Commander was Lt. Col. Edward Nicolls and Capt. Robert Henry after Nicolls. They also had another over in Appalachicola. Ft. Gadsden was the official name but it was called the "Negro Fort".
(1st side of Florida State Historical Marker)
Built in 1814 by Lt Col. Edward Nichols, His Majesty’s Marines as a rallying point to encourage the Seminole Indians to ally themselves with England against the United States and the war with England against the United States in the War of 1812. Abandoned after 1814, it was occupied by a band of free Negroes and was know by 1816 as “The Negro Fort”. It’s location in Spanish Florida did not deter Major General Andrew Jackson form ordering its elimination as a threat to American commerce on the Apalachicola River.
(other side of marker)
On July 27, 1816, Lieutenant Colonel Duncan L. Clinch , with the U.S. forces and Creek Indians fired on the fort and destroyed it with a “hot shot” cannon ball which exploded in the powder magazine killing all but 30 of the 300 occupants. In 1818 General Jackson directed Lieutenant James Gadsden to build “Ft Gadsden” here in spite of the Spanish protest. Confederate troops occupied the fort until July 1863 when malaria forced its abandonment.