Pete Caballo is a Black Seminole growing up in the Florida swamps, the son of a slave woman and her Spanish master, Charley Cavallo. Black Seminoles, also called Seminole Maroons or Seminole Freedmen, were a group of free blacks and runaway slaves who escape to Florida, established communities, and lived in harmony with the Seminoles. Because slavery had been abolished in Florida by Spain in 1693, that territory became a safe haven for runaway slaves. However, that all changed when the U.S. annexed Florida in 1821 and slavery was legalized.
As a young boy, Pete fights alongside his brother, John Horse, in the 2nd Seminole War. When John Horse surrenders his band to the U.S. Army in 1838, Pete, along with 20,000 more vanquished Seminole, Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw, is forced to endure the torturous 5,000 mile march across country to Oklahoma, the great exodus which became known as “The Trail of Tears.” The poorly clothed and fed Native Americans suffered greatly, and as many as half of them died on the trail.
After years of living in the West as a rancher, soldier, scout, and pioneer, Pete moves to Ohio to provide a better life for his daughter. After Francois Devol‘s horrific crimes destroy his family, Pete also sets out on a trail of vengeance. In April 1864, Pete, now a sergeant in the Sixth United States Colored Artillery, finds himself face to face with Devol at the infamous massacre during the Battle for Ft. Pillow.
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