During the Spring and Summer of 1835, the Seminoles began preparing for War.
Osceola spread the word to all of the Seminole Chiefs "Do Not Sell Your Cattle!"
Wiley Thompson had made the evacuation order painfully clear: 'You must sell all of your cattle and assemble with your families in Tampa Bay by December 31, 1835 to board ships to the West.' 'If you are not in Tampa on that date, you will be considered armed combatants and will be shot if you resist capture.'
Most of the Seminoles were distrustful of the Government and were not going to disarm themselves and board U.S. Naval ships for transport to Indian Territory (Oklahoma) across the Gulf of Mexico. Most of them believed that the whole thing was a ruse anyway. They believed that the real intent of the Government was to drown them at Sea once on board the Naval ships and out of sight of land.
They reasoned - If they were going to die at the hands of the Government, they would die fighting like warriors, not like rats drowning in a well.
Osceola, Alligator, & Jumper had been purchasing all the black powder, lead shot, blankets and other provisions that Wiley Thompson would allow Erastus Rogers to sell them. But to wage an extended war against the U.S. Army, they needed more that lead shot and blankets. They needed beef.
Hunting wild game would be an unnecessary waste of lead shot that could be used to kill a settler or soldier. The Seminoles would sustain themselves on fresh beef cattle hidden in the hammocks and on islands inside the swamps.
On November 26th, Charlie Emathla one of the Seminole Chiefs, in defiance of Osceola's order, sold his cattle to Wiley Thompson. Emathla believed that the Seminoles would be better off accepting the Government's Removal Order than waging war. He was reconciled to making a new beginning with his family in Indian Territory.
Osceola was furious. He knew that unless he acted quickly and decisively against this 'traitorous' Chief, his whole war plan would have to be aborted. Osceola and a band of his warriors intercepted Emathla on his way back to this 'town' northwest of Fort King. After a short altercation, Osceola shot Emathla dead. He took Emathla's coins paid him by Thompson and through them into the palmettos, telling his warriors "This is what we do with the White man's money."
Word spread. The Frontier was now on high alert.