A tableau dramatizing the brutal tactics employed by Zachary Taylor as commander of U.S. forces against the Seminole Indians during the Second Seminole War (1835-42).
Taylor, on horseback at right, presides over a scene of devastation and carnage. Soldiers aided by bloodhounds relentlessly pursue retreating Seminoles, including a multitude of women and children who flee in panic to the left. A wounded dog lies on the ground in the lower right, while another lunges at the throat of a Seminole brave who shields a woman and child at left. A village burns in the distance.
In the center an officer standing with his back to the viewer points out the slaughter to Taylor, who exclaims, "Hurra! Captain, we've got them at last, the dogs are at them--now forward with the Rifle and Bayonet and "give them Hell Brave Boys", let not a red nigger escape-, show no mercy-, exterminate them, -this day we'll close the Florida War, and write its history in the blood of the Seminole--but remember Captn., as I have written to our Government to say that the dogs are intended to ferret out the Indians, (not to worry them) for the sake of consistency and the appearance of Humanity, you will appear not to notice the devastation they commit."