The combined pressure of growing white settlement in Florida and federal policy of relocating Indian tribes west of the Mississippi sparked the outbreak of the 2nd Seminole War in 1835. Controlling the coasts and campaigning in the heart of Seminole lands were the objectives of Major General Thomas Jesup in 1837. Captain B.L.E. Bonneville established Fort Denaud in 1838 as one of a series of posts linking American operations south of Tampa to the east coast. It was constructed on the south bank of the Caloosahatchee River 27 miles from Fort Myers on land owned by Pierre Danaud, a French Indian trader. The fort consisted of tents with a blockhouse in their midst. It served as a supply depot for troops in the Lake Okeechobee area and was utilized intermittently until the war ended in 1842. Fort Denaud was reopened in 1855, soon after the outbreak of the 3rd Seminole War. Additions included company quarters, hospital, guardhouse, sutler's store and stables. A few months after a fire ravaged the post in June 1856, another site on the north bank of the river one mile west was chosen. The fort, which was abandoned in May 1858, gave its name to the nearby community of Fort Denaud.