|Birthplace:||Fort Mackinac, Mackinac Island, Mackinac, Michigan, United States|
|Death:||Died in St Augustine, St Johns, Florida, United States|
|Cause of death:||probable internal bleeding from gunshot wound suffered in Second Seminole War|
|Managed by:||Fay Baldwin|
About John Winfield Scott McNeil
John WInfield Scott McNeil, son of John McNeil and Eliabeth Pierce, was b. Feb. 17,1817 at Fort Mackinac, Michigan. He d. Sept. 11,1837 in St. Augustine, Florida and is buried at St. Augustine National Cemetery, St.Augustine, Florida.
When his father was assigned to Mackinaw, his mother accompanied him there and John Winfield Scott McNeil was born. (It is noted that Brig Gen Winfield Scott was well-known to the family, in fact, in 1839 Benjamin K Pierce served with him at Hancock Barracks in Houlton, Maine. At that time Scott negotiated a truce in the bountry dispute between new Brunswick and Maine)... Born on the Island of Mackinaw and educated at West Point. He started studying law in the office of his uncle Franklin Pierce at Hillsboro. At the outbreak of the Seminole War in Florida he was appointed 2nd Lt, 2nd Reg, US Dragoons on June 8,1836 and was stationed at Carbondale, Penn., on recruiting service through the summer. In the winter he joined his regiment in Florida.
He was in several skirmishes during the summer of 1837, in command of his company.
A synopsis of the letter received by his father, Gen John McNeil and mother at their home in Hillsborough
"My Dear Sir,
It has become my duty to communicate the painful intelligence of the death of your brave and gallant son Lieut.W.S. McNiel.
He expired on the evening of the 11th Instant, between the hours of nine and ten. Early on the morning of the previous day, while leading a charge at the head of his company against a body of hostile Indians, he received a mortal wound from the rifle of their chief the celebrated Euchee Billy.
...his force marched from the vicinity of St Augustine ...and on the 9th succeeded in capturing a body of Indians..near Dun Lawton Sixty miles from that city. From the captured party information was received of another body of Indians with Euchee Billy and the well-known Chief Philip at their head.....the attack was made in two columns, one of which was led by your son, with great success, save alone the unfortunate and fatal wound of your son...As he was advancing, he saw Euchee Billy leveling his rifle against him, and at the moment of raising his own pistol was struck by the ball of the savage, which, passing though his right hand ,lodged in his right breast.
The wound was not supposed to be dangerous and your son returned with the detachment to within 20 miles of this place, where we encamped for the night...on Monday morning at about half past nine he expired.
His remains were brought to this city, and at 5 o'clock he was interred with military honors in the Protestant Church yard.
All concur that he was brave and intrepid..faithful in the discharge of his military duties, and moral and correct in his conduct and deportment. He was beloved by his men, and esteemed by his fellow officers.
...I remain Dear Sir
Joseph L Smith
- Find a grave memorial: 'The cover sheet has his name as John W. McNeill; however, the close-up view shows clearly that his name he was Lt. .W.S. McNeil.' Note; He was interred at St Augustine with the full honors of the military. Plot number 4
- History of Hillsboro by George Waldo Browne,Vol 1, pg 258-261
- The History of Hillsboro 1735-1920 by George Waldo Browne, Vol 2, pg 394
- The Military Cemetery at St Augustine by John Missall at www.seminolewars.us