Dates in Florida History,1861-1865
January 2, 1861 The artillery duel between Confederate and Union forces at Pensacola continued until about 4 o’clock this morning. Casualties were minimal for both sides.
January 2, 1862 General Robert E. Lee has asked Brigadier General J. H. Trapier to increase the number of cannons and manpower on Cumberland and Amelia Islands to protect Fernandina from a Union attack.
January 2, 1863 Florida units with the Confederate Army of Tennessee were still engaged in the Battle of Murfreesboro (Stone’s River) in Tennessee. Captain Augustus O. MacDonnell of the 1st and 3rd Florida Consolidated narrowly escaped serious injury when his sword was shattered by a shell fragment.
January 2, 1864 The Confederate Congress has approved the following Floridians as adjutants in Florida regiments and battalions: James B. Johnson, 5th Infantry Regiment , R. J. Reid, 2nd Infantry Regiment, W. McR. Jordan, 3rd Infantry Battalion, B. F. Parker, 4th Infantry Battalion, James O. Owens, 6th Infantry Battalion, George Dawson, 7th Infantry Regiment, F. Philips, 1st Cavalry Regiment; C. B. Paslay, 7th Infantry Regiment
January 2, 1865 Senators Augustus E. Maxwell and James M. Baker, along with Representative Robert B. Hilton, join other Confederate legislators as the Confederate Congress re-convenes after a one-day New Year’s Day recess
January 3, 1861 Delegates to the Florida Secession Convention meet in Tallahassee to take up the question of secession. Edmund Ruffin of Virginia arrived to confer with Governor Madison Starke Perry and members of the convention.
January 3, 1863 John Branch, the sixth Territorial Governor of Florida, died today in Enfield, North Carolina. (For more information, see entry for August 11.)
January 3, 1863 The Battle of Murphreesboro (Stone’s River) came to an end today. General Braxton E. Bragg withdrew from the battle despite apparent victory during the first two days. Florida units in the Army of Tennessee suffered a large number of casualties. (See entry for December 31.)
January 3, 1865 The U.S.S. Kanawha today captured the Confederate schooner Mary Ellen today in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.
January 4, 1861 Governor Madison Perry and his advisors made the decision to seize Federal properties in Florida.
January 4, 1862 The Union blockader, U.S.S. Sagamore, was sighted near Santa Rosa Island.
January 4, 1863 William Dunn Moseley, Florida’s first governor under statehood (1845-1849), died today. Moseley was born at Moseley Hall, Lenoir County, North Carolina, on February 1, 1795. He attended the University of North Carolina with such notables as James K. Polk, later president of the United States. After college, he practiced law in Wilmington, North Carolina, and entered public service as a state senator. He was defeated in the North Carolina gubernatorial race of 1834. In 1835, Moseley purchased a plantation in Jefferson County, Florida, and resided there until 1851. A member of the Territorial Legislature, Moseley defeated Richard Keith Call, the third and fifth Territorial governor of Florida, in the contest to become the first governor of the new state of Florida. In 1851, Moseley moved to Palatka, where he was a planter and fruit grower.
January 5, 1861 The Quincy Guards, commanded by Colonel Duryea, seized the Chattahoochee Arsenal today. The troops confiscate 500,000 rounds of musket cartridges, 300,000 rounds of rifle cartridges, and 50,000 pounds of gunpowder.
January 5, 1861 The Florida Secession Convention reconvened today. John C. McGehee, a passionate state-rights planter from Madison County, was elected permanent chairman. McQueen Macintosh of Apalachicola introduced a resolution declaring Florida’s right to secede and urged the passage of a proclamation declaring that the state was no longer a part of the United States.
January 5, 1863 Crews from the U.S.S. Sagamore seized the British blockade runner Avenger in Jupiter Inlet. The Avenger was carrying a cargo of coffee, gin, salt, and other goods.
January 5, 1865 An expedition from the U.S.S. Winnebago seized two copper kettles used for distilling turpentine, 1,280 copper pipes, and four sloop-rigged boats in the Gulf of Mexico today.
January 6, 1861 U.S. Senator Stephen F. Mallory of Florida recommends that the state’s Secession Convention secede. This declaration followed a caucus of Southern senators called by Jefferson Davis and John Slidell of Mississippi.
January 6, 1863 The U.S.S. Pocahontas captured the blockade runner Antona today off Cape San Blas, Florida.
January 6, 1863 The U.S.S. Ariel today captured the sloop Good Luck, a blockade runner from New Smyrna near Key Biscayne Bay.
January 7, 1861 Federal soldiers guarding Fort Marion (Castillo de San Marcos) in St. Augustine surrender the post to a company of local volunteers. In Tallahassee, the Secession Convention, after hearing appeals from Edmund Ruffin of Virginia, E.C. Bullock of Alabama, and L.S. Spratt of South Carolina, approves the McIntosh resolution by a vote of 62-5 for immediate secession. A committee of 13 was appointed to prepare the official secession ordinance.
January 8, 1861 Governor Madison Starke Perry ordered the occupation of Fort Clinch (Amelia Island) by Florida troops. He also authorized Colonel William Chase to seize the Federal forts at Pensacola if he can.
January 8, 1861 In the Secession Convention, the Ordinance of Secession was introduced for debate. The efforts of George T. Ward of Leon County and Jackson Morton of Santa Rosa County to defer secession until Georgia and Alabama have seceded were defeated.
January 8, 1863 In a rather busy day of activity, the Union Navy ships of the Blockading Squadron engaged in efforts along the entire coast of Florida. In North Florida, the U.S.S. Uncas reported an attack by land-based Confederates as it moved along the Nassau River. Three Federals were wounded. In Tampa Bay, the U.S.S. Tahoma captured the blockade runner Silas Henry with a cargo of cotton. The Silas Henry had run aground in Tampa Bay. The U.S.S. Sagamore seized the British sloop Julia ten miles north of Jupiter Inlet with a cargo of salt. The Julia was the ship suspected for carrying away the light from the Cape Florida lighthouse.
January 8, 1864 Two armed boats from the U.S.S. Roebuck were dispatched to Jupiter Inlet to halt the influx of small blockade-runners from the Bahamas.
January 9, 1861 Federal troops in Pensacola make ready to defend Federal forts against confiscation by Florida troops.
January 9, 1861 Floridians were in a quandary about the news that South Carolina troops had fired on the Union vessel Star of the West, which was carrying reinforcements for Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.
January 9, 1861 In Tallahassee, the final debate on the Ordinance of Secession concludes in late afternoon. Delegates agree to postpone a final vote until tomorrow.
January 9, 1862 Elias Yulee, brother of David levy Yulee, was nominated by Confederate President Jefferson Davis for a commission as major in the Confederate Army.
January 9, 1863 According to federal dispatches, an empty and unmanned schooner, the Flying Cloud, has been boarded near the St. Lucie River.
January 9, 1863 The U.S.S. Ethan Allen today destroyed a large salt works south of St. Joseph’s Bay. The works were capable of producing 75 bushels of salt per day.
January 10, 1864 Boat crews from the U.S.S. Roebuck, under the command pf Acting Master John Sherrill, captured the blockade-running Confederate sloop, Maria Louise, with a cargo of cotton off Jupiter Inlet, Florida.
January 11, 1861 The Ordinance of Secession, approved by the Secession Convention yesterday, was signed today. Florida became an “independent nation” until it joined the Confederate States of America on January 28. Soon-to-be governor, John Milton, unfurls the new flag of Florida, a white silk banner with three stars. The stars represent the three southern states that have seceded—South Carolina, Mississippi, and Florida.
January 11, 1864 The U.S.S. Honeysuckle, under the command of Acting Ensign Cyrus Sears, captured the British blockade runner, Fly, near Jupiter Inlet. Boat crews from the U.S.S. Roebuck, under the command of Acting Master Sherrill, captured the British Blockade runner, Susan, and its cargo of salt at Jupiter Inlet.
January 12, 1861 Confederate forces seize the U.S. Navy Yard at Pensacola. Forts McRee and Barrancas were also taken. Federal forces garrisoned Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island.
January 12, 1861 - Fort Barrancas and the navy yard at Pensacola, were seized. The late commander of the navy yard, in a dispatch to Government says: 11 Armed bodies of Florida and Alabama, troops appeared before the gate of the navy yard, and demanded possession. Having no means of resistance, I surrendered and hauled down my flag. They are now in possession."
( From The Record of the Rebellion, Volume I, page 14 )
January 12, 1861 - A dispatch to the Florida senators announced the same as follows. "We repaired down here and captured Fort Barraneas and navy yard, and then paroled the officers, granting them permission to continue to occupy their quarters. We are now in possession. This move was in consequence of the Government garrisoning Fort Pickens, which has before remained unoccupied. You will propose to the Administration, resuming the status quo antebellum and we will immediately evacuate."The Pensacola navy yard contains a hundred and fifty-six thousand dollars' worth of ordnance stores. - Richmond Enquirer, January 14, 1861. ( from The Record of the Rebellion, Volume I, Page 14)
January 13, 1861 Shots from the Federal garrison in Fort Pickens forced a Confederate reconnaissance detachment to abandon their effort to reconnoiter the area around the fort.
January 13, 1863 Benjamin F. Allen assumed office as Florida’s Secretary of State. Allen was appointed by Governor John Milton to replace Fred L. Villepigue, who was ruled ineligible for the office by the Florida Attorney General because he held a commission in the Confederate Army. Allen, who was a private in the Florida Light Artillery Company, was seeking a discharge in order to assume his new office.
January 13, 1863 A Confederate officer from Lake City met with the commander of the U.S.S. Norwich, operating in the St. John’s River, in an effort to re-open postal routes between Florida and northern states. Confederate officials, by command of General Joseph J. Finegan, forward letters from northernJanuary 13, 1864 Boat crews from the U.S.S. Two Sisters, under the command of Acting Master Thomas Chatfield, captured the schooner William off the Suwannee River today. The William carried a cargo of salt, bagging, and rope.
January 14, 1861 The United States Senators from Florida, David Levy Yulee and Stephen F. Mallory, were officially informed today of Florida’s secession from the Union.
January 14, 1862 The bodies of three Union sailors were recovered on the beach at St. George’s Island and given a military burial.
January 14, 1864 Small boats from the U.S.S. Roebuck chased the blockade-running British sloop, Young Racer, and forced her aground north of Jupiter Inlet. The sloop, which was carrying a cargo of salt, was destroyed by her crew.
January 14, 1864 The U.S.S. Union, under the command of Acting Lieutenant Edward Conroy, captured the blockade-running steamer, Mayflower, and its cargo of cotton near Tampa Bay today.
January 15, 1864 The federal schooner, U.S.S. Beauregard, today captured the British schooner, Minnie, about twenty miles south of Mosquito Inlet. The captured ship was carrying a cargo of salt, liquors, and earthenware.
January 15, 1865 Florida units attached to the Army of Northern Virginia (Confederate) were engaged in heavy fighting today at Petersburg, Virginia.
January 15, 1864 Captain John Westcott of the 2nd Florida Infantry Battalion has been promoted to major by the Confederate War Department. His effective date of rank will be January 24, 1863.
January 16, 1862 Union sailors and soldiers took possession of Sea Horse Key and Cedar key today. Although there were no casualties, Union forces destroyed the railroad depot and wharf, several box cars loaded with supplies, several ships and boats, and a considerable supply of guns and ammunition. Capture of Cedar Key effectively ends the importance of the newly constructed railroad from Fernandina to this Gulf town.
January 16, 1864 The U.S.S. Roebuck captured the Confederate sloop Caroline today as it was attempting to run the blockade into Jupiter Inlet. The Confederate sloop Caroline was carrying a cargo of salt, gin, soda, and dry goods.
January 16, 1864 The U.S.S. Stars and Stripes captured the British blockade runner Laura off the Ocklockonee River with a cargo of whiskey, cigars, and assorted merchandise.
January 17, 1861 Jackson Morton of Santa Rosa County, Patton Anderson of Jefferson County, and James B. Owens of Marion County were appointed as Florida’s delegates to the Southern Convention scheduled to meet in Montgomery, Alabama, on February 4.
January 17, 1862 The U.S.S. Connecticut captured the British blockade-runner, Emma, off the Florida Keys.
January 17, 1863 A Federal naval officer reported that he had found 45 bags of salt on a conch bar near Jupiter Inlet. It was also reported that a small boat with two Confederates has been captured near the St. Lucie River.
January 17, 1866 John Beard assumed office today as Florida’s Comptroller.
January 18, 1861 Despite demands by Confederate forces in Pensacola, Union Lieutenant Adam Slemmer refuses to surrender Fort Pickens to them.
January 18, 1862 The Federal gunboat Sagamore, operating off the Gulf Coast near the Apalachicola River, sent several boats ashore to investigate conditions on St. Vincent’s Island. The Federal officer in charge reported that the fort on the island had been burned and abandoned.
January 18, 1864 The U.S.S. Stars and Stripes captured the British blockade-runner Laura today off the Ocklockonee River after a chase of nearly seven hours. The Laura was carrying a cargo of cigars, whiskey, and general merchandise.
January 19, 1861 A Federal force under the command of Brevet Major L. G. Arnold occupied Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas today. In St. Augustine, Colonel G. C. Gibbs announced that the city was preparing its defenses against a Federal attack.
January 19, 1862 The U.S.S. Itasca, under the command of lieutenant Charles H. B. Caldwell, today captured the Confederate ship, Lizzie Weston, off the coast of Florida enroute to Jamaica with a cargo of cotton.
January 19, 1863 The effectiveness of the Federal blockade of the Southern coast was revealed in this captured letter from Nassau: “There are men here who are making immense fortunes by shipping goods to Dixie…Salt, for example, was one of the most paying things to send in. Here in Nassau it is only worth 60 cents a bushel, but in Charleston brings at auction from $80 to $100 in Confederate money, but as Confederate money is no good out of the Confederacy they send back cotton or turpentine, which, if it reaches here, is worth proportionally as much here as the salt is there….It is a speculation by which one makes either 600 or 800 per cent or loses all.”
January 19, 1864 The U.S.S. Roebuck today captured the British blockade-runner Eliza about a mile inside Jupiter Inlet with a cargo of fourteen bales of cotton. Roebuck also captured the British sloop Mary inside Jupiter Inlet later in the day. The Mary had a cargo of 31 bales of cotton.
January 21, 1861 Florida’s United States senators David Levy Yulee and Stephen R. Mallory, along with U.S. Representative George S. Hawkins, formally withdraw from the United States Congress today. This following Florida’s secession from the Union.
January 21, 1861 Florida’s Secession Convention adjourns in Tallahassee.
January 21, 1862 The Confederate schooner Olive Branch bound from Cedar Key to Nassau with a cargo of turpentine was captured by the U.S.S. Ethan Allen.
January 21, 1863 The Federal steamer U.S.S. Uncas in the St. John’s River fired on Confederate pickets near Cedar Creek. A Parrott gun on board the Union vessel exploded, seriously wounding one man whose arm was shattered and amputated.January 21, 1865 The U.S.S. Honeysuckle arrived in Cedar key today with the British schooner Augusta in tow. The British vessel will be taken to key West and claimed as a war prize by Acting Ensign Charles N. Hall and his crew.
January 22, 1863 The Federal steamer U.S.S. Bibb left the St. John’s River for Port Royal, South Carolina, today. It carried a white refugee named Jackson, who reported to Federal officials that the Confederates had a man-of-war carrying eight guns on the Chattahoochee River. He also reported that the steamer Cuba was preparing to run the blockade via the Suwannee River.
January 22, 1863 It was reported that Federal Brigadier General Adam J. Slemmer was captured in the recent Battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Slemmer first came to the attention of Floridians when he was a Lieutenant in command of Fort Barrancas in January 1861. It was Slemmer who ordered Federal troops to concentrate in Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island in Pensacola Harbor.
January 23, 1861 Confederate garrisons at St. Augustine removes lenses from the St. Augustine and Jupiter Inlet lighthouses forcing them to shut down.
January 23, 1865 The British blockade runner Fannie McRae was captured today by the Federal tender Fox between St. Marks and Deadman’s Bay in the Warrior River.
January 24, 1862 Confederate President Jefferson Davis has recommended Joseph J. Finegan of Fernandina beach be given a commission as Lieutenant Colonel in the Confederate Army.
January 24, 1863 The U.S.S. Paul Jones was assigned to deliver ammunition and other stores to ships on patrol duty in the St. John’s River. The Paul Jones was also instructed to proceed up the river “as far as you may deem necessary” on a reconnaissance mission. After that mission was completed, the ship was to join the federal blockade off Florida’s east Coast.
January 26, 1861 The Marion Artillery of St. Augustine announced today that it had fortified Fort Marion (Castillo de San Marcos) with several 32-pounders and 8-inch howitzers.January 26, 1862 The U.S.S. Sagamore left its moorings at St. Vincent’s Island and moved further up the channel of Apalachicola Bay.
January 27, 1862 Brigadier General Samuel Jones has been assigned to command the Army of Pensacola relieving General Braxton E. Bragg.
January 27, 1864 Union General Alexander Asboth, in command of Federal forces at Pensacola, reported that 1,200 Confederates were encamped at nearby Pollard. He also reported that two companies of Confederate cavalry were camped at the head of Choctawhatchee Bay.
January 27, 1865 Lieutenant Charles A. French of the U.S.S. Ino captured an unknown ship with a cargo of cotton and sugar today on the Manatee River.
January 28, 1861 Former U. S. Senator David Levy Yulee informed Stephen Mallory that the Federal warship, U.S.S. Brooklyn, was bound for Fort Pickens with two companies of soldier aboard. Mallory immediately informed friends in the Union capital that Confederate forces would not attack as long as conditions did not change. When this information was passed along to outgoing President James Buchanan, he ordered the troops be kept aboard the ship and not landed.
January 28, 1863 The U.S.S. Sagamore captured and destroyed the British blockade runner, Elizabeth, today at the mouth of Jupiter Inlet.
January 28, 1864 The U. S. schooner, Beauregard, captured the British blockade-runner Racer about ten miles north of Cape Canaveral. The English vessel had left New Smyrna bound for Nassau with a cargo of cotton.
January 28, 1864 The British steamer Rosita was captured today by the U.S. Army transport steamer Western Metropolis about eighty miles out of Key West. The British steamer Rosita was carrying a cargo of liquor, cigars, and assorted merchandise.
January 29, 1862 The U.S. Storeship Supply captured the Confederate schooner Stephen Hart south of Sarasota with a cargo of arms and ammunition.
January 29, 1864 Governor John Milton informs General Pierre Beauregard, commanding the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, that Confederate army deserters were organizing themselves into bands in the state. The areas of the strongest groups were in LaFayette, Washington, Walton, Taylor and Levy counties in West Florida. They deserters were also operating in strong bands from Tampa to Fort Myers in Southwest Florida.January 29, 1865 The 34th U. S. Colored Troops have been transferred to Florida
January 30, 1862 The U.S.S. Kingfisher captured the blockade runner Teresita today in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.
January 30, 1862 General J. H. Trapier, in command of Confederate forces in Florida, reported that he had the following number of men under his command: Infantry: 133 officers, 1,994 enlisted men, Cavalry: 46 officers, 1,080 enlisted men, Artillery: 6 officer, 89 enlisted men
January 31, 1863 Confederate authorities reported that in the District of East Florida, there were 810 men and officers on duty, while the District of Middle Florida had a total of 751 men and officers.
FEBRUARY 1, 1861 Two companies of Confederate volunteers have been assigned to guard the Chattahoochee Arsenal, while some 1,500 Confederate troops from Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama were encamped at Pensacola Bay. Several batteries have been set up facing Forts Pickens, Barrancas and McRee.
FEBRUARY 1, 1862 A Union gunboat anchored near the St. marks Lighthouse today and began to shell the salt works near there. The Confederate gunboat Spray moved into the area and exchanged shots with the Federal boat. Elsewhere, the schooner Isabel was captured today in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast by the U.S.S. Montgomery.
FEBRUARY 1, 1863 The U.S.S. Tahoma captured the British schooner Margaret near St. Petersburg. A second Union ship, the U.S.S. Hendrick Hudson assisted in the capture. In other action, the U.S.S. Stars and Stripes bombarded a Confederate encampment at Long Bar near St. Marks today. A Confederate steamer was also fired on by the Union ship.
FEBRUARY 2, 1861 Governor Madison Starke Perry addressed a request to the Florida Legislature to reorganize and strengthen the Florida militia in order to protect the state against a possible Union attack.
FEBRUARY 2, 1862 The Confederate War Department in Richmond today requisitioned two-and-one-half war regiments from the State of Florida for service in the Confederate Army.
FEBRUARY 2, 1863 A Federal naval officer on a reconnaissance mission on the Indian River reported the discovery of several packages and 41 sacks of salt in a cache near Jupiter Inlet. He destroyed them all.
FEBRUARY 2, 1864 Federal Major General Quincy A. Gillmore, commander of the Department of the South, requests the support of two or three gunboats for a planned occupation on the west bank of the St. Johns River.
FEBRUARY 2, 1865 Confederate Major General Sam Jones assumed command of the District of Florida today. At sea, the U.S.S. Pinola captured the British blockade runner, Ben Willis, in the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast, The blockade runner, Ben Willis carried a cargo of cotton for British textile mills.
FEBRUARY 3, 1862 The Confederate steamer Florida had reportedly successfully eluded Federal ships blockading the coast of Florida and was safely at sea.
FEBRUARY 3, 1862 The annual meeting of the stockholders of the Union Bank of Florida was held today in the bank’s offices in Tallahassee.
FEBRUARY 3, 1864 Governor John Milton, planning to leave Tallahassee, received a telegram today warning him that about 100 deserters have organized to capture him and turn him over to the Federal ships blockading the Gulf Coast.
FEBRUARY 3, 1865 The British schooner John Hale , flying the English colors, was captured today near St. marks by the Union schooner Matthew Vassar. The John Hale’s cargo consisted of lead, rope, blankets, and shelter covers. Union officers suspect that the John Hale’s crew had thrown arms and ammunition overboard prior to capture.
FEBRUARY 4, 1861 Delegates from Florida join with delegates from Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana today in Montgomery, Alabama, to organize the provisional government of the Confederate States of America.
FEBRUARY 4, 1863 A crew for the U.S.S. Sagamore today captured the Confederate schooner Pride near the Indian River Narrows. The Confederate schooner Pride’s cargo of 188 bushels of salt and its crew were captured.
FEBRUARY 4, 1864 A boat from the Federal schooner, Beauregard, sent to Jupiter Inlet to look for blockade runners today captured the Confederate boat Lydia, which was on her way to the Inlet from Sand Point. The Confederate boat Lydia, was carrying two bales of cotton and five barrels of turpentine.
FEBRUARY 4, 1864 Union General Quincy A. Gillmore continued preparations for his attack on the west bank of the St. Johns River. Federal Brigadier General Truman Seymour was ordered to load his troops on ships in preparation for a rendezvous with other Union units at the mouth of the St. Johns.
FEBRUARY 5, 1861 The Florida Senate approves a bill to incorporate the town of Monticello in Jefferson County.
FEBRUARY 5, 1862 The U.S.S. Keystone State captured the British blockade runner, Mars, off the coast at Fernandina. The British blockade runner, Mars was carrying a cargo of salt.
FEBRUARY 5, 1864 The U.S.S. DeSoto today captured the Confederate blockade runner Cumberland in the Gulf of Mexico. The Confederate blockade runner Cumberland, a 700-ton steamer, was carrying a cargo of guns and ammunition, including 100 barrels of gunpowder.
FEBRUARY 7, 1863 Federal naval authorities report the destruction of two casks of sperm oil, 47 sacks of salt, and one boat sail near Jupiter Inlet. These materials were presumed to be Confederate stores.
FEBRUARY 7, 1864 Union troops under General Truman A. Seymour landed at Jacksonville. This was the fourth occupation of the city by a Union army. The troops were to be used in a major Federal push into the center of the Sunshine State, a push that would culminate with the Battle of Olustee on February 20. Many of the African-American troops in the Union force were former free blacks and runaway slaves from the north Florida area.
FEBRUARY 7, 1864 The Confederate steamer St. Mary’s, trapped in McGirt’s Creek above Jacksonville, was sunk by the U.S.S. Norwich. The steamer’s cargo of cotton was destroyed to prevent capture by Union forces.
FEBRUARY 8, 1861 LaVilla Institute and the College of St. Augustine were incorporated today.
FEBRUARY 8, 1861 Baker County, the state’s 38th county, was established today. The county was named in honor of James McNair Baker (1822-
FEBRUARY 8, 1861 Polk County, Florida’s 39th county, was established today. Named in honor of James Knox Polk, the 11th president of the United States (1845-1849). County Seat: Bartow
FEBRUARY 8, 1861 The Confederate Constitution has been approved by the delegates to the Convention in Montgomery, Alabama, and has been submitted to the Southern states for their approval.
FEBRUARY 9, 1861 The steamer Everglade today unloaded its cargo of 1,500 muskets at Fernandina. The muskets were from the Charleston Arsenal.
FEBRUARY 9, 1861 The U.S.S. Brooklyn arrived off Pensacola today with troops to support the Union occupation force at Fort Pickens. The troops were not off loaded as both Union and Florida forces maintain an uneasy peace in the area.
FEBRUARY 9, 1861 Jefferson Davis of Mississippi has been elected Provisional President of the Confederate States of America. Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia, an opponent of secession, has been elected Vice-President.
FEBRUARY 9, 1863 The Quincy extension of the Pensacola and Georgia Railroad began operations today. The train trip from Quincy to Tallahassee took only two hours. The train continued to its terminus at Lake City.
FEBRUARY 9, 1864 The Union gunboat Para sailed thirty miles up the Nassau River today, shelling the woods along both sides of the river and taking an inventory of several lumbering plants.
FEBRUARY 9, 1864 The 97th Pennsylvania, a Federal force encamped at Fernandina, today raided the surrounding area and captured a small force of Confederates in a nearby swamp.
FEBRUARY 9, 1864 Union forces today occupied Baldwin (about 19 miles west of Jacksonville) and captured cotton, artillery pieces, a train of cars, and enough forage for 1,000 men in the field for four days.
FEBRUARY 9, 1864 A small skirmish occurred between Confederate cavalry units and Federal forces at the south fork of the St. Marys River. The Union forces successfully forded the river and captured the village of Sanderson, some thirty miles west of Jacksonville. Retreating Confederate forces set fire to supplies of cotton, corn, and turpentine.
FEBRUARY 10, 1864 Union forces today encountered Confederate outposts a few miles east of Lake City. The Federal troops captured about 20 Confederates and destroyed almost $1 million in property. Federal forces lost 5 men killed and 10 wounded.
FEBRUARY 11, 1863 Colonel J. S. Morgan of the 90th Regiment of New York Volunteers, headquartered at Key West, today issued an order that “All white persons residing within the limits of this command having husbands, sons or brothers in Rebel employment, or who have at any time declined taking the oath of allegiance to the U.S. Government were hereby required to transport in person at these headquarters on or before Tuesday, the 17th instant, and register their names.”
FEBRUARY 12, 1861 The Reverend A. D. Pellicer, formerly a resident of Sr. Augustine, rendered the opening prayer for the opening of the Confederate Congress.
FEBRUARY 12, 1864 Federal forces commanded by Brigadier General Truman Seymour have concentrated at Baldwin in preparation for a major push westward into the heart of Florida.
FEBRUARY 13, 1864 Confederate forces under the command of General Joseph Finegan have concentrated at Camp Beauregard near Olustee on Ocean Pond. General Finegan selected the position because of the protection offered by two small lakes. It was also the location of the major road and railroad into the interior of the state. Confederate soldiers have started the task of building entrenchments and fortifications. It appears a major battle will be fought on or near this spot.
FEBRUARY 14, 1861 The Florida Legislature today incorporated the Alachua County railroad Company and authorized it to raised $200,000 in capital to construct a railroad from Waldo to Newnansville.
FEBRUARY 16, 1861 The British consul at Pensacola throws down the gauntlet to challenge the possible blockade of the Confederate States of America when he issues clearance papers for a ship carrying a cargo of cotton for British textile mills.
FEBRUARY 16, 1864 Federal forces withdraw from Gainesville following a skirmish with Confederate cavalry under the command of Captain J.J. Dickison.FEBRUARY 16, 1864 The U.S.S. Para escorted Federal troops up the St. Mary’s River to Woodstock Mills, Florida, to obtain lumber. The U.S.S. Para engaged Confederate troops along the river bank. Union transports successfully loaded a large amount of lumber and began to withdraw down the river.
FEBRUARY 17, 1862 Federal naval forces on duty in the Gulf of Mexico today attacked the home of Abel Miranda on the Pinellas Peninsula (Tampa Bay), destroying citrus trees and livestock. Sailors then confiscated supplies of bacon, corn, syrup and potatoes and carried them off to their base on Egmont Key.
FEBRUARY 17, 1864 A boat expedition from the U.S.S. Tahoma destroyed a large salt works near St. Marks. A large quantity of salt was also destroyed.
FEBRUARY 17, 1865 The U.S.S. Mahaska captured the schooner Delia off the coast of Bayport, Florida, and seized its cargo of pig lead and sabers.
FEBRUARY 18, 1861 Jefferson Davis of Mississippi took the oath of office as the provisional President of the Confederate States of America. Among the military companies firing cannon salutes for President Davis were troops bound for Pensacola.
FEBRUARY 18, 1862 The Federal gunboat, Ethan Allen, entered Clearwater harbor today and captured the schooner Spitfire and the sloops Atlanta and Caroline.
FEBRUARY 20, 1862 A company of volunteers from Leon County were mustered into Confederate service today with Richmond N. Gardner as captain.
FEBRUARY 20, 1864 The largest Civil War battle to take place in the State of Florida occurred today at Ocean Pond/Olustee. Union and Confederate forces were about evenly matched with 5,500 soldiers each. The Confederates, under the command of General Joseph J. Finegan, had prepared defenses in the area (see citation for February 13). The failure of the Union commander, General Truman Seymour, to commit his forces in concert and as a whole gave the Confederates a strategic advantage. At the end of the day, the Confederates controlled the battlefield and Federal forces were in a hasty retreat toward Jacksonville and the safety of the guns of the Union navy.
Union Casualties: 203 killed, 152 wounded, 506 missing. Confederate casualties: 93 killed, 847 wounded, 6 missing. Union losses of material: 400 accouterment sets, 130,000 rounds of small arms ammunition, 1,600 small arms, five cannons.
FEBRUARY 20, 1865 The Battle of Fort Myers, the southernmost land battle of the Civil War, took place today. With no clear winner, both Union and Confederate commanders claimed victory.
FEBRUARY 21, 1861 Stephen R. Mallory of Florida was appointed Secretary of the Confederate States Navy today by President Jefferson Davis.
FEBRUARY 21, 1864 The U.S.S. Para today captured the small Confederate steamer Hard Times on the St. Marys River.
FEBRUARY 21, 1865 Confederate forces launched an unsuccessful attack against Union forces at Fort Myers. Nine Federal prisoners were seized, one Union soldier killed, and some livestock was seized.
FEBRUARY 22, 1862 Jefferson Davis was inaugurated today as the first regular, non-provisional president of the Confederacy..
FEBRUARY 22, 1862 Command of the Federal Department of Florida was assumed by Brigadier General Lewis G. Arnold.
FEBRUARY 22, 1863 Boat crews from the U.S.S. Gem of the Sea moved up the Indian River narrows today, discovering several places where cotton had been stored and a shipyard.
FEBRUARY 23, 1863 The U.S.S. Gem of the Sea today captured the Confederate steamer Charm about five miles up the St. Sebastian River.
FEBRUARY 23, 1864 The 4th Florida Infantry regiment was consolidated today with the 1st Florida Cavalry, Dismounted, in winter quarters at Dalton, Georgia. The consolidation was needed after both units suffered tremendous losses in fighting at Missionary Ridge, Tennessee.
FEBRUARY 23, 1865 A Federal expedition under the command of General John Newton sailed from Key West today for the west coast of Florida. St. Marks was believed to be the destination of this amphibious force.
FEBRUARY 24, 1862 The U.S.S. Harriet Lane captured the Confederate schooner Joanna Ward off the coast of Florida today. The U.S.S. Harriet Lane was commanded by Lieutenant Jonathan M. Wainwright, the grandfather of General Jonathan M. Wainwright who was forced to surrender Bataan to the Japanese in World War II.
FEBRUARY 24, 1863 The U.S.S. Tahoma today captured the Confederate schooner Stonewall near Key West.
FEBRUARY 24, 1864 The U.S.S. Nita pursued a Confederate steamer, the Nan-Nan, in the Suwanee River today. When it appeared that capture was inevitable, the Confederate crew set fire to the vessel. The Confederate steamer, the Nan-Nan was carrying a cargo of about sixty bales of cotton and was armed with a six-pounder cannon and plenty of ammunition.
FEBRUARY 24, 1865 The Federal expedition under the command of General John Newton reached Punta Rassa today. It immediately departed for Cedar Key late in the afternoon.
FEBRUARY 25, 1862 The U.S.S. Mohican and the U.S.S. Bienville captured the British blockade runner Arrow off the coast of Fernandina today.
FEBRUARY 25, 1864 The U.S.S. Roebuck seized the blockade running British sloop Two Brothers in Indian River, Florida. The British ship was carrying a cargo of salt, liquor and nails.
FEBRUARY 26, 1862 The U.S.S. Bienville captured the schooner Alert off St. John’s, Florida, today.
FEBRUARY 26, 1864 A boat expedition from the U.S.S. Tahoma destroyed a large salt works on Goose Creek, near St. Marks.
FEBRUARY 26, 1865 The U.S.S. Marigold captured a British blockade runner with an assorted cargo in the Straights of Florida between Havana and Key West.
FEBRUARY 27, 1864 The U.S.S. Roebuck seized the British blockade-running schooner Nina with a cargo of liquors and coffee at Indian River Inlet. The U.S.S. Roebuck also captured the schooner Rebel with a cargo of salt, liquor and cotton at Indian River Inlet.
FEBRUARY 28, 1862 Confederate General Samuel Jones assumed command of the Department of Alabama and West Florida from General Braxton E. Bragg.
FEBRUARY 28, 1863 The U.S.S. Sagamore arrived at Mosquito Inlet today to investigate reported of a Confederate schooner being loaded with cotton for England. The commander of the U.S.S. Sagamore, fearing hidden Confederate gun emplacement, lobbed shells into the inlet in the hope that the Confederates would burn the ship to prevent its capture.
FEBRUARY 28, 1864 The U.S.S. Clyde arrived at Cedar Key to take on coal.
FEBRUARY 28, 1865 Armed boats for the U.S.S. Honeysuckle forced the blockade running British schooner Sort aground on a reef near the mouth of Crystal River, Florida, where she was abandoned. British schooner Sort was the same schooner captured in December 1864 by the U.S.S. O. H. Lee.
FEBRUARY 28, 1865 The Federal amphibious force under the command of General John Newton arrived off Ocklockonee Buoy (near St. Marks Bar) today. Confederate scouts reported that 13 Federal steam ships and three sailing vessels have rendezvoused there in preparation for a land invasion.
no leap year events recorded
MARCH 1, 1861 Construction of the first cross-peninsula railroad from Fernandina to Cedar Key was completed today. David Levy Yulee, United States Senator from Florida, was the driving force behind this railroad. Although used very little because of the outbreak of the War between the States in April, the railroad made Cedar Key a major urban site in the immediate postwar years. (See Charles Fishburne, History of Cedar Key)
MARCH 1, 1864 The U.S.S. Roebuck seized the blockade-running British steamer Lauretta off the Indian River Inlet today. The Lauretta was carrying a cargo of salt.
MARCH 2, 1861 John B. Galbraith assumed the office of Florida Attorney General today.
MARCH 2, 1863 Forces from the Federal gunboat Sagamore attempted to capture the Confederate blockade-runner Florence Nightingale as it was loading a cargo of cotton in Mosquito Inlet near New Smyrna. The Federal gunboat Sagamore shelled the area from its position at sea and then sent men on barges to capture the ship. The captain of the Florence Nightingale set fire to the ship to prevent its capture. Confederate forces on land repelled the Federal boarding crews. The fire on the blockade runner were then extinguished, and the Florence Nightingale successfully put to sea despite having lost its main mast and most of its provisions.
MARCH 2, 1864 Confederate General Pierre Beauregard arrived at Camp Milton on McGirt’s Creek. He was seeking to organize three infantry brigades under General J. J. Finegan and Alfred H. Colquitt, a cavalry brigade under Colonel Robert H. Anderson, and an artillery brigade under Lieutenant Colonel Charles Colquitt Jones.
MARCH 2, 1865 In an effort to avoid capture by the U.S.S. Fox, the crew of the blockade runner Rob Roy ran her ashore and set fire to her in Deadman’s Bay. The cargo removed from the blazing ship by the crew of the U.S.S. Fox consisted of cavalry sabers and farm implements.
MARCH 3, 1862 United States naval forces, under the command of Flag Officer Samuel DuPont, today reported that they had control of Cumberland Island and Sound, Fernandina and Amelia Island, and the river and town of St. Mary’s.” Fort Clinch on Amelia Island was occupied by forces from the U.S.S. Ottawa and became the first Confederate fort to be re-taken by Union forces. The Federal navy also captured the Confederate steamer Darlington with a cargo of military supplies. Confederate forces retreated inland, carrying their heavy guns.
MARCH 3, 1865 The U.S.S. Honeysuckle captured the blockade runner Phantom as she attempted to enter the Suwannee River. The blockade runner Phantom was carrying a cargo of liquors and bar iron.
MARCH 3, 1865 A Federal naval squadron of twelve steamers and four sloops, commanded by Commander R. W. Shufeldt, today joined Federal army troops commanded by Brigadier General John Newton in an assault on St. Marks Fort below Tallahassee. Although the attack on the fort was unsuccessful, Federal ship succeeded in blockading the mouth of the St. Mark’s River. Confederate officials anticipate that this was the opening gambit in a campaign to capture Tallahassee.
MARCH 4, 1861 Floridian Stephen R. Mallory was confirmed by the Confederate Congress as the Secretary of the Navy. Two of Florida’s Representatives, Jackson Morton and James B. Owens, vehemently oppose his confirmation.
MARCH 4, 1862 The Federal ship, U.S.S. Santiago de Cuba captured the sloop, O.K., of the coast near Cedar Keys today. While being taken to St. Mark’s, the O.K. floundered.
MARCH 4, 1863 The U.S.S. James S. Chambers seized the blockade-running Spanish sloop Relampago and schooner Ida today. The Ida, beached at Sanibel Island, could not escape and was destroyed by a crew from the U.S.S. James S. Chambers.
MARCH 4, 1865 The Federal flotilla recently assembled and which assaulted St. Mark’s yesterday landed 1,000 Union troops near St. Mark’s lighthouse. The troops prepared to move inland. In Tallahassee, Confederate authorities were hastily assembling whatever forces they can muster to stave off the anticipated attack on the capital city.
MARCH 5, 1862 The U.S.S. Water Witch today captured the schooner William Malley off St. Andrew’s Bay.
MARCH 5, 1864 Confederate cavalry hero Captain J. J. Dickinson was today ordered to proceed with his men to Palatka and to place himself under the command of the commanding officer of the 4th Florida Cavalry Regiment.
MARCH 5, 1865 Federal forces have occupied the left bank of the St. Mark’s River as far inland as Newport. Federal commander General John Newton was expected to move his forces toward Natural Bridge. Federal success here will mean that Tallahassee will fall. Confederate forces were moving to prevent the successful passage of the Union force.
MARCH 6, 1861 The Palatka Guards, a volunteer detachment of about 300 men, leaves for Fernandina as ordered by Governor Madison Starke Perry.
MARCH 6, 1861 Braxton E. Bragg, a Mississippi planter, West Point graduate, and Mexican War Veteran, was named to command the Confederate forces in Pensacola. He was a Brigadier general.
MARCH 6, 1862 The U.S.S. Pursuit today captured the schooner Anna Belle off Apalachicola.
MARCH 6, 1865 The Federal attempt to capture Tallahassee was thwarted today by a motley collection of Confederate troops, soldiers on leave or recuperating from medical problems, and cadets from the West Florida Seminary ( now Florida State University), at Natural Bridge, about twenty miles south of the city. Despite a considerable numerical advantage, the Federal troops could not overcome the Confederates’ use of natural defenses to reach the city. Following the failure of this Union attempt, Federal troops withdrew to St. Marks. Tallahassee remained the only Confederate capital east of the Mississippi to escape capture and occupation by Union forces during the Civil War.
Two Federal efforts to cross Natural Bridge were repelled this morning. When Confederate reinforcements arrived, the Union commanders ordered their troops to retreat to the safety of the naval vessels at anchor near St. Mark’s lighthouse. Federal losses in the Battle of Natural Bridge were put at 21 killed, 89 wounded, and 38 missing. Confederate authorities reported 3 killed, 22 wounded, and none missing.
(For more information on the Battle of Natural Bridge, see the Winter 1999 issue of The Florida Historical Quarterly.
MARCH 7, 1862 The mayor of Jacksonville today issued a proclamation urging citizens of that city to stay in their homes and to pursue their normal vocations in the face of an anticipated Federal assault on the city. Confederate authorities have informed the mayor that they will make no effort to defend Jacksonville.
MARCH 7, 1865 The Federal flotilla at anchor off St. Mark’s lighthouse today weighed anchor and sailed away. The Union attempt to seize Tallahassee was an abject failure. The expedition lost a total of 148 men killed, wounded or missing.
MARCH 8, 1861 The Charleston Mercury reported that Confederate Representatives in Congress James B. Owens and Jackson Morton continued their attack on Florida’s Stephen Mallory, the new Confederate Secretary of the Navy, for being a self-seeker and of having shown “bad faith toward Florida, his native state.” Mallory was still officially a member of the United States Senate, a position that he would continue to occupy until the Senate officially accepted his resignation, which it did on March 11.
MARCH 8, 1862 This afternoon a Federal force of several ships and a transport with the 4th New Hampshire Infantry aboard left Fernandina for the St. Johns River. They were joined by forces from Port Royal, South Carolina, under the command of Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
MARCH 8, 1862 The U.S.S. Sagamore today captured the sloop Enterprise, which had left the Mosquito Inlet for Nassau with a cargo of cotton.
MARCH 8, 1864 Union General Truman Seymour asks for artillery reinforcements for Jacksonville to ensure that the city will not be taken. He reported that Confederate forces have moved to King’s Road and were also in the Six-Mile/cedar Creek area.
MARCH 8, 1865 Union forces left Jacksonville yesterday for an expedition into Marion County. Their progress westward continued today and has largely been unimpeded by Florida Confederate troops.
MARCH 9, 1861 Governor Madison Starke Perry received the first Confederate requisition of Florida troops from Secretary of the Army L. Pope Walker.
MARCH 10, 1862 Federal naval forces under Lieutenant T. H. Stevens temporarily occupied Jacksonville today.
MARCH 10, 1862 St. Augustine has been evacuated by two companies of Confederate troops that had been stationed there. A Federal invasion was considered likely to happen within the next twenty-four hours.
MARCH 10, 1863 A Federal force, made up primarily of African-American troops, reoccupied Jacksonville today. It was opposed unsuccessfully by the Florida 2nd Cavalry and the Florida 2nd Infantry Battalion, which retreated in the face of a bombardment from Federal gunboats.
MARCH 10, 1863 The U.S.S. Gem of the Sea today captured the sloop Petee, which was attempting to run the blockade at Indian River Inlet with a cargo of salt.
MARCH 10, 1864 Union forces occupied Palatka this morning without opposition. Although they did not oppose the occupation of the city, Confederate forces were reported on the outskirts of the town. Federal forces were concerned about the location of small river steamers used to transport troops and supplies along the St. Johns River.
MARCH 11, 1861 General Braxton E. Bragg arrives in Pensacola and relieves Major General William H. Chase of his command of all Confederate troops in or near the city.
MARCH 11, 1862 The U.S.S. Wabash landed today in St. Augustine. The ship’s commander, C. R. P. Rodgers, negotiates with city leaders and occupies Fort Marion and the city. There was no opposition.
MARCH 11, 1862 Two Confederate gunboats under construction in Pensacola Bay have been burned to prevent their capture by Federal naval forces.
MARCH 11, 1863 Confederate forces attacked Union positions in Jacksonville today and forced the Federal soldiers to retreat to their gunboats. Confederate forces penetrated the city as far as the Judson House Square before retreating. Confederate losses were placed at one man, lost or killed.
MARCH 11, 1864 Federal naval forces report a great deal of activity today and the capture of several blockade runner. The U.S.S. San Jacinto reported the capture of a schooner with a cargo of turpentine and 132 bales of cotton in the Gulf of Mexico, while the U.S.S. Beauregard reported the capture of the British sloop Hannah off the coast of Mosquito Inlet. The commander of the Beauregard, acting in concert with the Federal schooner, Norfolk Packet, pursued the British schooner, Linda, up the Indian River Inlet. Although Union forces were forced to take to the shore when they boat was grounded, the Linda, lowered its sails and surrendered after shots were fired. The British vessel was destined for new Smyrna with a cargo of salt, liquors, coffee, and dry goods.
MARCH 11, 1865. Mudd set the broken leg of actor John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Lincoln. There were serious doubts about his participation in the conspiracy in 1865 and practically no one today believes that Mudd was in any way connected to the conspiracy. Dr. Mudd was a distant relative of noted television correspondent, Roger Mudd.
MARCH 11, 1869 Dr. Samuel Mudd, who was imprisoned in Fort Jefferson in Florida’s Dry Tortuguas, was released today after being pardoned by President Andrew Johnson. Mudd had been convicted of being part of the conspiracy to kill Federal President Abraham Lincoln
MARCH 12, 1863 According to Confederate pickets outside Jacksonville, Federal forces occupying the city were reinforced by the arrival of two Union gunboats today.
MARCH 13, 1863 The U.S.S. Huntsville today seized the British blockade runner Surprise off the mouth of Charlotte Harbor. The Surprise was bound for Havana with a cargo of cotton.
MARCH 13, 1864 The U.S.S. Columbine, operating in support of Union troops moving up the St. Johns River, today captured the Confederate steamer General Sumter on Lake George. The Confederate steamer General Sumter was carrying passengers to the Ocklawaha.
MARCH 13, 1864 Union forces reported a combined Confederate force of cavalry, infantry, and artillery was moving about six miles inland from the town of Palatka.
MARCH 15, 1863 Confederate intelligence reported indicated the presence of three Federal regiments in Jacksonville, two made up of white soldiers and one of Negroes. These reported also indicate the presence of four to five gunboats with 25-30 heavy guns. These guns were capable of providing artillery fire for the Federal land forces throughout the city.
MARCH 15, 1864 Confederate Major General Patton Anderson, the Confederate commander in Florida, today issued Special Order 8, which calls for the impressment of 700 slaves for the purpose of constructing defenses against the Federal forces now occupying Jacksonville.
MARCH 16, 1862 The U.S.S. Oswasco captured two Confederate schooners in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. The Eugenia and the President were carrying cargoes of cotton. In Richmond, the Confederate Congress passed a resolution urging that no cotton be planted in the Confederacy this year. The purpose of this resolution was to put pressure of British textile manufacturers to force the British government to officially recognize the Confederacy.
MARCH 16, 1863 The U.S.S. Octorara today reported the capture of two blockade runners, the Rosalie and the Five Brothers off the east coast of Florida.
MARCH 16, 1864 The 48th New York Volunteer Infantry, part of the Federal force occupying Palatka, was attacked today by a small force of Confederate cavalry. Two federal soldiers were captured.
MARCH 16, 1865 The U.S.S. Pursuit captured the British schooner Mary today as the British ship attempted to run the blockade at Indian River.
MARCH 17, 1864 Federal forces occupying Palatka continue to experience probes by Confederate cavalry units as they anxiously await the arrival of the Union gunboat, Ottawa, whose weapons will provide protection for the land forces.
MARCH 19, 1865 Florida troops were fighting under the command of General Joseph E. Johnston at Bentonville, North Carolina, in an effort to prevent Federal General William T. Sherman and Ulysses S. Grant from linking their armies together. Florida units include the 3rd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Regiment, 6th Infantry Regiment, and the 7th Infantry Regiment.
MARCH 20, 1863 Confederate and Federal forces clashed today in a minor skirmish at St. Andrew’s Bay.
MARCH 20, 1864 The U.S.S. Tioga captured the Confederate sloop Swallow off Florida’s east coast today. The sloop had a cargo of cotton, rosin, and tobacco and was bound for Nassau. Twelve Confederates were captured.
MARCH 21, 1862 Two Federal gunboats, the Penquin and the Henry Andrew, operating in the area around New Smyrna, today attacked Confederate salt works near Mosquito Inlet.
MARCH 21, 1865 Theodore W. Brevard, in command of the 11th Florida Infantry and Bonaud’s Battalion, was commissioned a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army. Brevard was a prominent Florida politician who had served as the Comptroller of the State from 1855-1860. He also served from April 3, 1854 until November 27, 1854 in the same position.
MARCH 22, 1862 The federal gunboats Penquin and Henry Andrews attempted to land forces at New Smyrna today. Units of the 3rd Florida Infantry refused to allow them to land. The commanders of the two ships were killed, along with three enlisted men. The Confederate forces suffered no losses.
MARCH 22, 1862 A landing party from the Federal ship, the U.S.S. Mercedita, went ashore at Apalachicola today. They discovered that the town had been abandoned.
MARCH 22, 1863 The Federal ship U.S.S. Arizona captured the Confederate sloop Aurelia off Mosquito Inlet today. The Confederate ship had a cargo of 60 bales of cotton and was bound for Nassau.
MARCH 24, 1863 William Sherman Jennings, the 18th governor of Florida (1901-1905), was born today near Walnut Hill, Illinois. [For more information, see entry for January 8.]
MARCH 25, 1861 The Federal ship, U.S.S. General Rusk, arrived in Key West today with a complement of 300 men for service at Fort Jefferson ( Dry Tortugas ) and in the city.
MARCH 25, 1862 A party of Confederate guerillas attacked a Federal picket station near Jacksonville this morning. One Union soldier was killed, one severely wounded, three captured, and the remaining two men in the seven man detail managed to escape.
MARCH 25, 1863 John M. Martin of Florida took his seat today in the Confederate House of Representatives.
MARCH 25, 1863 The U.S.S. Fort Henry captured the blockade runner Ranger off the coast of Cedar Key today.
MARCH 25, 1863 Federal soldiers from the Jacksonville garrison advanced to Three Mile Branch today. After destroying a few miles of railroad track and burning several houses, they were forced to retreat to the city when Confederate artillery positions opened fire.
MARCH 25, 1864 In the face of his disastrous defeat at Olustee, Federal General Truman Seymour received orders to turn his Florida command over to Union Brigadier General J. P. Hatch.
MARCH 25, 1864 The United States schooner, Stonewall, send a landing party ashore near Sarasota today. Finding nothing suspicious, the men returned to the ship, in the afternoon, the Stonewall anchored near fish houses on the shore by soon withdrew when nothing suspicious was sighted.
MARCH 26, 1863 Floridians, like most Southerners, reacted angrily today when the Confederate Congress approved the Impressment Act, which allowed Confederate tax collectors to impress food and other articles useful to the Confederacy.
MARCH 27, 1863 The U.S.S. Hendrick Hudson today seized the British schooner Pacifique at St. mark’s.
MARCH 29, 1862 Federal officers in Jacksonville sent five companies of soldiers to investigate a report that a large force of Confederates was in the vicinity of Three Mile Creek. The Union soldiers determined that a force of nearly 100 Confederates had been the area earlier today, but had since left.
MARCH 29, 1863 Federal army and naval forces evacuated Jacksonville today. As they evacuated, Union soldiers set fire to much of the town.
MARCH 30, 1862 Units of the 97th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment were dispatched to make contact with Confederate forces operating in the vicinity of Jacksonville.
MARCH 31, 1862 Federal officers in Jacksonville report the presence of about 2,700 Confederate troops in East Florida.
APRIL 1, 1861 Confederate General Braxton E. Bragg reported that he has 1,116 men under his command at Pensacola and that his forces were busy fortifying Forts McRea, Barrancas, and in the areas around the lighthouse and naval hospital.
APRIL 1, 1864 This morning, the Federal transport steamer, Maple Leaf, struck a Confederate torpedo on the St. Johns River and sank immediately in three fathoms of water. A detachment of Confederate artillery and a company of infantry troops were dispatched to the area to ensure that the wreckage was complete.
APRIL 1, 1865 Governor John Milton, the fifth governor of Florida (1861-1865), committed suicide today at his home near Marianna. Milton, an ardent Confederate, had informed the Florida Legislature in his last message that “death would preferable to reunion.”
APRIL 2, 1861 A large contingent of Confederate troops arrived in Pensacola today to augment the forces under the command of General Braxton E. Bragg.
APRIL 2, 1863 United States Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles today ordered all ironclads in the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron “in a fit condition” to be dispatched to the Gulf of Mexico where they were urgently needed.
APRIL 3,1861 Florida Governor Madison Starke Perry today issued a formal call for the Florida State Convention to meet in Tallahassee on April 18.
APRIL 3, 1862 Federal forces occupied Apalachicola today. These troops, form the U.S.S. Meredita and the U.S.S. Sagamore, captured two schooners, two pilot boats, and a sloop.
APRIL 3, 1862 Boats from the U.S.S. Isaac Smith today captured the British blockade runner British Empire in Matanzas Inlet near St. Augustine. The British ship was carrying a cargo of dry goods, provisions, and medicines. The Federal commander has order that these goods, valued at around $3,000, be placed in local shops for sale to the needy population of the city.
APRIL 3, 1863 Federal troops attacked Bay Port today. The engagement lasted two hours. The federal force was repulsed. Confederate forces suffered two seriously wounded men.
APRIL 4, 1861 Officers and crewmen of the U.S.S. Powhatan, who have been on shore leave in Pensacola, were ordered back to their ship as the Federal warship prepares to depart the port.
APRIL 4, 1862 The Confederate sloop LaFayette, carrying a cargo of cotton, was captured today by the U.S.S. Pursuit.
APRIL 5, 1861 Joseph J. Finegan, a resident of Fernandina, was commissioned a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army today and placed in command of the Military District of Middle and East Florida.
APRIL 5, 1865 Captain J. J. Dickison, the commander of Company H of the 2nd Florida cavalry, reported that his troops had successfully intercepted the courier line between Jacksonville and St. Augustine. Four Federal troops were reported killed and a fifth wounded. Two horses and the mail pouches between the two towns were captured.
APRIL 6, 1862 The U.S.S. Pursuit captured the steamer Florida today as she was loading a cargo of cotton at North Bay at the head of Bear Creek.
APRIL 6, 1863 The U.S.S. Huntsville captured the sloop Minnie today off Charlotte Harbor. The Minnie was carrying a cargo of cotton.
APRIL 6, 1865 The 5th, 8th and 11th Florida Infantry Regiments, commanded by General Theodore Brevard, which have been in retreat since the Army of Northern Virginia’s lines were broken at Petersburg, were pressed into battle today as skirmishers. These units were captured by a Federal cavalry force under the command of Brevet major General George Armstrong Custer.
APRIL 7, 1862 Captain R. S. Smith, commanding the Marianna Dragoons, led troops to St. Andrew’s Bay today in an effort to recapture the steamer, Florida (See entry for April 6).
APRIL 7, 1864 The U.S. schooner Beauregard captured the English schooner Spunky today off Cape Canaveral. The Spunky was enroute to the Bahamas with a cargo of cotton.
APRIL 8, 1861 The Confederate government sent a second requisition for troops to the State of Florida today. Another 1,500 men were requested for duty with the Confederate Army.
APRIL 8, 1862 Federal troops withdrew from the former Confederate battery at St. Johns Bluff.
APRIL 8, 1862 Federal troops preparing to evacuate Jacksonville spent the night aboard troop transports when heavy winds prevented the ships from sailing.
APRIL 8, 1862 Captain R. S. Smith and troops from the Marianna Dragoons prevented Federal troops aboard the captured steamer Florida from landing in St. Andrew’s Bay. Four to five men of a seven man landing party were killed. The Union troops retreated to the Florida and left the bay area.
APRIL 8, 1863 The U.S.S. Gem of the Sea captured the British blockade runner Maggie Fulton today off the Indian River Inlet.
APRIL 8, 1864 More than 500 Federal troops evacuated Jacksonville today, two years to the day after the first Federal evacuation in 1862.
APRIL 10, 1862 A Confederate force of some forty men from Company f of the 1st Florida Cavalry, under the command of Captain William M. Footman, captured two Federal soldiers near the Amelia Island Railroad. In a skirmish just a few hours later at the Judge O’Neal House, four Federals were taken prisoner & one was killed.
APRIL 10, 1864 Confederate troops at St. Andrew’s Bay were reportedly busy constructing boats for use in preventing deserters from reaching Federal ships in the bay and the Gulf.
APRIL 11, 1861 United States troops occupied Fort Pickens today as relations between the United States and the Confederate States deteriorated.
APRIL 11, 1862 Former Governor Madison Starke Perry was elected colonel of the 7th Florida Infantry Regiment today when it was mustered into Confederate service in Gainesville.
APRIL 11, 1863 Confederate General Joseph J. Finnegan issued a proclamation today that put those persons who have been enrolled for active duty in Confederate forces but who have not reported for duty on notice that they will be rounded up and dealt with as deserters.
APRIL 11, 1864 The U.S.S. Nita captured the schooner Three Brothers today at the mouth of the Homossassa River. The schooner was carrying an assorted cargo and several passengers, one of whom was slapped into leg irons after he continued to assail the Union sailors with foul language.
APRIL 11, 1865 The U.S.S. Sea Bird today captured the Confederate sloops, Florida and Annie, at the mouth of the Crystal River. Both Confederate boats were carrying cargoes of cotton.
APRIL 12, 1861 The 1st Florida Infantry regiment arrives in Pensacola for duty with Confederate forces under the command of Brigadier General Braxton E. Bragg.
APRIL 12, 1862 Federal forces in St. Augustine, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Louis Bell, placed the city under martial law today. No one was allowed to enter or leave the city unless that person has taken an oath of allegiance to the United States. At Fort Marion (Castillo de San Marcos), Union forces have mounted ten howitzers and other artillery pieces as they prepare that fort for defense against a possible Confederate attack.
APRIL 12, 1863 The U.S.S. Annie captured the schooner Mattie off the Florida Gulf Coast today.
APRIL 12, 1865 Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia, today. Lee’s surrender signaled the end of the Confederate States of America, although the final Confederate surrender would not take place until mid-May.
APRIL 13, 1861 A new steamship line has been incorporated today to serve between the Confederate States and Europe. The port of Charleston will serve as the Confederate home for this line and Liverpool will be its European Terminus. Floridians were joining the incorporators who have pledged $350,000 in capital.
APRIL 13, 1862 The Federal gunboat, U.S.S. Beauregard arrived in Tampa today to demand the surrender of Fort Brooke. When the Confederate commander, Major R. B. Thomas, refused, the Beauregard shelled the fort. No casualties were reported.
APRIL 13, 1864 Federal troops from the U.S.S. Restless landed today with orders to proceed up East Bay to destroy Confederate ships thought to be anchored there and to destroy Confederate salt works in the area. Two large salt works were destroyed, along with 300 bushels of salt, 200 bushels of corn, and 50 bushels of meal.
APRIL 13, 1864 Confederate General Joseph J. Finegan ordered troops to scout the banks of the St. John’s River near Yellow Bluff and Broward’s Neck to see what, if any, activities Union troops were engaged in. Finegan’s order comes as a result of Federal reinforcements being added to the existing forces in Jacksonville.
APRIL 13, 1865 Confederate Florida was devastated by the news of General Robert E. Lee’s surrender in Virginia. The state’s population was busy speculating what will happen next.
APRIL 14, 1863 The U.S.S. Huntsville today captured the blockade runner Ascension off Florida’s Gulf Coast.
APRIL 14, 1863 The U.S.S. Sonoma captured the schooner Clyde today in the Gulf of Mexico. The Clyde carried a cargo of cotton and naval stores.
APRIL 14, 1865 Floridians, like other Americans, were shocked at the news received by telegraph tonight that United States President Abraham Lincoln has been wounded by an assassin while attending a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. Lincoln’s condition was grave, and he was being treated by a number of doctors.
APRIL 15, 1862 The 6th Florida Infantry Regiment was mustered into Confederate service today at Chattahoochee. Jesse J. Finley was elected Colonel.
APRIL 15, 1863 The U.S.S. William G. Anderson captured the Confederate schooner, Royal Yacht, today in the Gulf of Mexico. The schooner was carrying a cargo of cotton.
APRIL 15, 1865 Floridians were dismayed at the announcement of Federal President Abraham Lincoln’s death at 7:22 a.m. this morning as a result of wounds inflicted by an assassin, John Wilkes Booth. They were also alarmed at what the news of additional efforts to assassinate Lincoln’s Cabinet might mean for the defeated South.
APRIL 16, 1861 The Confederate War Department today issued its third troop request from Southern states. Florida’s quota was 2,000 men. Other states were asked to furnish 5,000 men each.
APRIL 16, 1861 The U.S.S. Atlantic arrives off Santa Rosa Island (Pensacola) and disembarks 1,000 men for the defense of Fort Pickens.
APRIL 16, 1862 The Confederate Congress enacted the first Conscript Law today, making all Southern white men between the ages of 18 and 35 subject to military service.
APRIL 16, 1863 The U.S.S. Hendrick Hudson today captured the British blockade runner Teresa off the Florida coast.
APRIL 16, 1864 Federal reinforcements have been ordered to Fort Myers. Four Federal ships will transport the troops.
APRIL 16, 1865 All Federal ships in Florida ports were ordered to fire their guns each half-hour in honor of slain Federal president Abraham Lincoln. The order remains in effect from sunrise to sunset. All Union flags were also ordered to be flown at half-mast.
APRIL 17, 1861 Governor-elect John Milton arrived in Tallahassee today to be present when the Florida Constitutional Convention convenes tomorrow.
APRIL 17, 1861 Confederate Brigadier General Braxton E. Bragg today imposed martial law in Pensacola and ordered the cessation of all trade and communications with Federal forces in Fort Pickens. The U.S.S. Powhatan arrived today with more men and supplies for Fort Pickens.
APRIL 17, 1863 The U.S.S. Wanderer today captured the Confederate schooner Annie B southwest of Egmont Key with a cargo of cotton aboard.
APRIL 18, 1861 Confederate attempts to bribe the Federal troops at Fort Pickens into surrendering was foiled because of the alertness of the fort’s commander, Colonel Harvey Brown.
APRIL 18, 1861 The Florida Convention was called to order today in Tallahassee at 4:00 p.m. Forty-five members were in attendance, in addition to Governor Madison Starke Perry and Governor-elect John Milton. The Convention unanimously approved the adoption of a permanent Constitution of the Confederate States of America.
APRIL 18, 1862 Brigadier General Joseph J. Finegan of Fernandina formally assumed command of the Department of East and Middle Florida today.
APRIL 18, 1863 Federal ships were busy today. The U.S.S. Susquehana today captured the schooner Alabama off the Gulf Coast of Florida and its cargo of coffee, wine, nails and dry goods. On the east coast, the U.S.S. Gem of the Sea captured and destroyed the British blockade runner Inez off Indian River Inlet.
APRIL 18, 1864 Boats from the U.S.S. Beauregard seized the British schooner Oramoneta today and removed its cargo of salt and percussion caps. The Federal schooner Fox captured and burned the schooner Good Hope near the mouth of the Homosassa River. The Fox was forced to retreat because of Confederate gunboats sallying out of the river. Elsewhere, the U.S.S. Pursuit landed men near Cape San Blas in St. Joseph Bay. A salt works and accompanying buildings were destroyed.
APRIL 19, 1861 A flotilla of some 25 steam tugs and schooners, filled with soldiers, attempted an attack on the Federal ships U.S.S. Powhatan and U.S.S. Atlantic near the Gulf side of Santa Rosa Island. A shell from the Powhatan forced the flotilla back. In other news, United States President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a blockade of all ports of the Confederate States.
APRIL 19, 1862 The 3rd Florida Infantry regiment, commanded by W.S. Dilworth, was ordered to proceed without delay to Corinth, Mississippi, today.
APRIL 20, 1863 A landing party from the U.S.S. Port Royal captured a quantity of cotton at Apalachicola today. The Federal troops also captured three Confederates. Elsewhere, the U.S.S. Octorara captured the British blockade runner W.Y. Leitch just east of Florida. The English vessel was carrying a cargo of salt.
APRIL 21, 1863 The 1st Regiment of Florida Cavalry suffered nineteen casualties (killed, wounded or captured) in fighting near Danville, Kentucky.
APRIL 22, 1863 The U.S.S. Octorara seized the British schooner Handy today off the coast of east Florida. The Handy was carrying a cargo of salt.
APRIL 22, 1864 Several skirmishes occurred between Confederate and Federal troops near Palatka. Captain J. J. Dickison and his cavalry troops killed eleven Federal soldiers and captured 30.
APRIL 23, 1863 The U.S.S. Tioga seized the British sloop Justina today. The Justina was bound from the Indian River to Nassau with a cargo of salt.
APRIL 26, 1861 Colonel George T. Ward was elected a delegate to the Confederate Congress today by the Florida Convention. He replaced Colonel James P. Anderson, who assumed his duties with the 1st Florida Infantry regiment.
APRIL 26, 1863 The U.S.S. Sagamore captured the schooner, New York, today off the Tortugas. The New York carried a cargo of turpentine and cotton.
APRIL 26, 1864 The U.S.S. Union captured the schooner O.K. today as it was attempting to run the blockade between Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor.
APRIL 27, 1863 Major General Dabney H. Maury was placed in command of the Confederate District of the Gulf today by the Confederate War Department.
APRIL 27, 1864 The U.S.S. Honeysuckle captured the British schooner Miriam in the Gulf of Mexico today.
APRIL 27, 1865 The U.S.S. Pontiac was dispatched to the eastern coast of Florida today to prevent Confederate President Jefferson Davis from escaping to Cuba.
APRIL 28, 1861 Two Federal soldiers deserted Fort Pickens today and turned themselves in to Confederate authorities. Seven Federal soldiers were captured by Confederate forces when the boat in which they were riding overturned.
APRIL 28, 1864 A regiment of Federal troops were reported operating near Fort Butler in Volusia County today.
APRIL 29, 1862 Federal reported place the number of Union soldiers on Santa Rosa Island at 2,119.
May 1, 1863 Florida’ 2nd Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Regiment, and 8th Infantry Regiment, assigned to the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, were part of the action at Chancellorsville that started today and which would last until May 4th.
May 1, 1864 The U.S.S. Fox captured the Confederate sloop Oscar today in the Gulf of Mexico. The Confederate sloop Oscar was bound from St. Mark’s to Havana.
May 2, 1863 Florida’ 2nd Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Regiment, and 8th Infantry Regiment, assigned to the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, were part of the action at Chancellorsville.
May 3, 1862 The Federal steamer, R. R. Cuyler, captured the Confederate schooner Jane about forty miles southwest of Tampa in the Gulf of Mexico. The Confederate schooner Jane was carrying a cargo of pig lead.
May 3, 1863 Florida’ 2nd Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Regiment, and 8th Infantry Regiment, assigned to the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, were part of the action at Chancellorsville.
May 3, 1864 Some eleven officers and forty-seven men off the Confederate ship, C.S.S. Chattahoochee, today launched an expedition against Federal forces operating around St. George’s Sound in Apalachicola Bay.
May 3, 1865 Federal troops were ordered to take possession of Key Biscayne today and to guard the passes near the key in order to prevent any attempt by Confederate President Jefferson Davis to escape to Cuba or the Bahamas.
May 4, 1863 Florida’ 2nd Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Regiment, and 8th Infantry Regiment, assigned to the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, were part of the action at Chancellorsville.
May 4, 1864 The Confederate detachment from the , C.S.S. Chattahoochee arrived at Chattahoochee early this morning and then proceeded to Rico Bluff.
May 5, 1862 The Florida 2nd Infantry Regiment, assigned to D. H. Hill’s Division of the Army of Northern Virginia, participated in the Battle of Williamsburg (VA) today.
May 5, 1863 The U.S.S. Tahoma captured the schooner Crazy Jane near Egmont Key near Charlotte Harbor. The Crazy Jane was carrying a cargo of cotton and turpentine.
May 7, 1863 The Confederate schooner Sea Lion, carrying a cargo of cotton, was captured in the Gulf of Mexico today.
May 7, 1864 The U.S.S. Sunflower today captured the Confederate sloop Neptune with its cargo of cotton as Federal troops occupied Tampa.
May 8, 1860 The Pensacola and Georgia Railroad started laying track for a line to run between Lake City and the Suwanee River.
May 9, 1861 When a 32-pounder was fired by Confederate troops at Fort Marion (Castillo de San Marcos) in St. Augustine, residents of St. Augustine feared the city was under attack by Federal forces. Their fears were calmed when the fort’s commander, Lieutenant Charles F. Hopkins, explained that the firing had been undertaken to clean the bore of the cannon.
May 9, 1862 Confederate forces evacuate Pensacola today, torching all the military installations and property in the city. The steamer Fulton was set afire, along with two privately owned smaller boats.
May 9, 1865 Confederate forces in Tallahassee, under the command of Brigadier General Samuel Jones, were making preparations for the official surrender of the city to Union forces tomorrow.
May 10, 1861 Union president Abraham Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus in Florida, citing the existence of an “insurrection” against the United States in that state.
May 10, 1862 Federal forces occupy Pensacola, which was surrendered peaceably by the mayor of the city.
1862 The Federal barge, James L. Davis, arrived in Apalachicola today and found the inhabitants in an “almost starving condition.”
May 10, 1865 Major General Samuel Jones, CSA, formally surrenders Tallahassee, the only Confederate state capitol east of the Mississippi that was not captured by military action, and all Confederate troops and property in the state to federal Brigadier General Edward M. McCook.
May 11, 1861 “The Cowboys,” a local militia company, was organized in Duval County today.
May 11, 1864 Captain J. J. Dickison, commanding Company H, 2nd Florida Cavalry, has positioned his men to keep watch on Federal activities in the area around Fort Butler.
May 12, 1861 Florida newspapers report that three former residents of St. Augustine, Abraham Dupont, William Quincy, and Thomas Mirando, participated in the assault against Fort Sumter.
May 12, 1863 Governor John Milton named Mariano D. Papy of Tallahassee as the state’s Impressment Commissioner.
May 12, 1864 The U.S.S. Beauregard today captured the British sloop Resolute while the sloop was at anchor off Cape Canaveral.
May 12, 1865 The crew of the Confederate gunboat Spray surrendered their boat to Federal authorities at Fort Ward at St. Marks.
May 12, 1865 David Levy Yulee was appointed Florida Commissioner and dispatched to Washington to confer with President Andrew Johnson about conditions in Florida. Yulee was appointed by Acting Governor Abraham Kurkindolle Allison, who had assumed the office following Governor John Milton’s suicide on April 1, 1865.
May 13, 1862 The U.S.S. Vincennes arrived in Pensacola Bay today to assist with the Federal occupation of the City of Pensacola. The Vincennes was the first Federal ship to enter Pensacola Harbor since the outbreak of the Civil War.
1863 The U.S.S. DeSoto captured the Confederate schooner Seabird off Pensacola Bay, while the U.S.S. Huntsville captured the Confederate schooner A.J. Hodge at sea off the east coast of Florida.
May 14, 1863 The U.S.S. Fort Henry captured a small flatboat loaded with corn in Wacassassa Bay near Cedar Key.
May 16, 1863 The United States schooner, Two Sisters, reported the capture today of the Confederate schooner Oliver S. Breese off the Florida Keys.
May 16, 1864 Federal troops from the U.S.S. Somerset landed near Apalachicola today. After a brief skirmish with Confederate troops, the Federal troops reported the capture of six small boats, four prisoners, and a quantity of ammunition and supplies.
May 17, 1863 The U.S.S. Kanawha captured the Confederate schooner Hunter today in the Gulf of Mexico. The C.S.S. Hunter carried a cargo of cotton. In other news, the Confederate blockade runner C.S.S. Cuba was burned by her crew prevent its capture by the U.S.S. DeSoto. The decision to burn the ship came after a six-hour sea chase. The C. S. S. Cuba’s cargo was estimated to have a value of $1,250,000 (Confederate).
May 17, 1864 A convention of Unionists was convened today in Jacksonville to elect delegates to the Republican Convention, which was scheduled to meet in Baltimore on June 7.
May 18, 1863 The U.S.S. Kanawha captured the Confederate schooner Ripple today in the Gulf of Mexico.
May 19,1864 The U.S.S. DeSoto today captured the schooner Mississippian today in the Gulf of Mexico. The Mississippian was carrying a cargo of cotton and turpentine.
May 20, 1861 William Wing Loring of St. Augustine resigned his commission in the Untied States Army today and accepted an appointed as a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army.
May 20, 1862 A skirmish between Federal troops and Confederate troops occurred today at Carr’s Hill near the Gulf of Mexico. Seventeen Union soldiers were killed or wounded. The Confederate troops experienced no casualties.
May 20, 1865 General E. M. McCook, commander of the Federal occupation forces in Florida, today ordered that the flag of the United States be raised over the state’s capitol building, effectively signaling an end to Florida as a Confederate state.
May 21, 1862 The 4th Florida Infantry regiment left for Corinth, Mississippi, today.
May 21, 1863 The U.S.S. Union today seized the British blockade runner Linnet west of Charlotte Harbor.
May 21, 1864 Florida cavalry forces near Palatka, commanded by captain J. J. Dickison, were reinforced today by twenty-five artillerymen and several guns from Dunham’s Battery.
May 22, 1863 Boats from the U.S.S. Fort Henry captured the sloop Isabella in Wacasassa Bay.
May 22, 1865 Part of the baggage of Confederate President Jefferson Davis arrive at David Levy Yulee’s Cotton Wood plantation near Archer. Davis was attempting to flee the North American continent after the surrender of Confederate armies in Virginia and North Carolina. For years, rumors persisted that a considerable part of the Confederate treasury was buried on Yulee’s property. If so, it has never been found.
May 23, 1863 Florida Governor John Milton issued a strong letter of protest to Confederate President Jefferson Davis against the Confederate Congress’ reduction in the number of plantation overseers exempt from military service.
May 23, 1864 Confederate troops under the command of Captain J. J. Dickison captured the Federal gunboat Columbine near Palatka. The Columbine was destroyed to prevent its re-capture by Federal troops.
May 24, 1862 Two Federal vessels, the Amanda and the Bainbridge, captured the Confederate steamer Swan west of the Tortugas. The Swan was carrying a cargo of cotton and resin.
1863 The U.S.S. Port Royal captured the Confederate sloop Fashion near Apalachicola Bay. A small barge and ship repair facilities were also destroyed at devil’s Elbow.
May 25, 1861 The Pensacola Rifle Rangers were organized today. Edward A. Perry was elected captain.
May 25, 1864 The Florida Brigade, under the command of General Joseph J. Finegan, arrived in Richmond today. It will become part of Anderson’s Division of the Army of Northern Virginia.
May 25, 1865 David Levy Yulee, former United States and Confederate States senator, was arrested today by Federal authorities in Gainesville.
May 26, 1863 Walter Gwynn assumed the office of Comptroller of Florida today.
May 26, 1864 Federal forces from the U.S.S. Wartappo attacked Confederate salt works at Goose Bayou today. Men from the 2nd Florida (U.S.) Cavalry destroyed about sixty kettles.
May 27, 1861 The Coast Guards, a company from the Crystal River area, was organized today. James L. Miller was elected as captain.
May 27, 1863 The Confederate gunboat C.S.S. Chattahoochee exploded on the Apalachicola river today. Eighteen men were killed and twelve others were wounded. Faulty boilers were responsible for the explosion.
1864 Federal forces attacking Confederate salt works at East Bay were fired upon by Confederate forces. No casualties were reported on either side.
May 28, 1864 Union soldiers from the Federal schooner Fox destroyed salt works between the Suwannee River and St. marks. Twenty-five kettles and 100 bushels of salt were destroyed.
May 30, 1863 The U.S.S. Fort Henry captured a small sloop and a scow today in Wacasassa Bay. The scow was carrying 56 bales of cotton.
May 30, 1863 Confederate General Pierre Beauregard arrived in Tallahassee today, along with Confederate General Howell Cobb of Georgia. Both men will address a public gathering in the Senate chambers of the State Capitol.
May 30, 1864 The U.S.S. Bermuda captured the sloop Fortunate today off the coast of the Indian River Lagoon. The sloop was bound for Nassau with a cargo of cotton.
May 30, 1865 For United States Vice-President and Confederate General John C. Breckinridge arrived at Carlisle’s Landing on the Indian River Lagoon. Breckinridge and his party were escaping capture by Federal soldiers and to make their way to Cuba.
May 31, 1861 Federal mail service comes to an end in Florida and the rest of the Confederate States of America. Confederate Postmaster General John Reagan announces that the CSA will now perform the functions previously carried out by the United States Postal Service. The official date of the new service will be June 1.
May 31, 1863 The U.S.S. Sunflower captured the British blockade runner Echo near the Tortugas. The Echo was carrying a cargo of 185 bales of cotton.
JUNE 1, 1861 The Federal blockade of the City of Fernandina started today with the arrival of the Union ship, U.S.S. Perry, under the command of Lieutenant Enoch G. Parrott.
JUNE 1, 1864 Federal troops moving out of Jacksonville surprised confederate troops at Camp John Milton on McGirt’s Creek and drove them toward Baldwin. The Union troops numbered about 2,500. They destroyed the Confederate camp.
JUNE 2, 1862 Confederate troops surprised a detachment of 11 men from the U.S.S. Kingfisher on an expedition up the Aucilla River. Two Union soldiers were killed and nine captured.
JUNE 2, 1864 A detachment of soldiers from the U.S.S. Sunflower destroyed a sizable salt works on the shores of Tampa Bay. Four kettles, a quantity of salt, and several furnaces were also destroyed.
JUNE 2, 1865 Florida-born Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith surrendered his army to Federal forces today in Texas.
JUNE 3, 1863 The U.S.S. Stars and Stripes captured the blockade runner Florida near St. Marks. The Florida, a small sloop, was carrying a cargo of 6 bales of cotton and a barrel of tar.
JUNE 3, 1864 Confederate troops regain their positions at Camp John Milton on McGirt’s Creek, which had been overrun by Federal troops on June 1.
JUNE 3, 1865 A party of Confederate refugees, including General John C. Breckinridge, left the Indian River Lagoon near Jupiter Inlet today and headed for the open ocean.
JUNE 5, 1862 The Confederate steamer Havana was set ablaze today in Deadman’s Bay. The steamer was fired to prevent her capture by the Federal ship Ezilda.
JUNE 6, 1863 The U.S.S. Tahoma captured the Confederate schooner Statesman in Tampa Bay. The U.S.S. Tahoma’s crew was able to effect the capture despite harassing fire from a Confederate artillery battery.
JUNE 9, 1864 The U.S.S. Proteus captured the British schooner R.S. Hood off the Florida coast today.
JUNE 9, 1865 The first African-American missionary, Reverend William G. Steward, arrived in Jacksonville today from Charleston to begin organizing churches for the newly liberated freedmen in the state.
JUNE 10, 1863 The U.S.S. Fort Henry captured 250 bushels of corn belonging to Confederate Senator David levy Yulee today on a barge off the mouth of the Withlacoochee River.
JUNE 10, 1864 The United States’ steamer, Union, today captured the Confederate sloop Caroline off Jupiter Inlet.
JUNE 11, 1862 The Union navy captured two Confederate vessels in the Gulf of Mexico today. The U.S.S. Sesquehanna captured the Princeton, a blockade runner, while the U.S.S. Bainbridge captured the schooner Biagorry and its cargo of cotton.
JUNE 13, 1861 Confederate President Jefferson Davis has designated today as a Confederate “Day of Thanksgiving,” and has called for fasting and prayer for the protection of the Confederate States of America.
JUNE 13, 1863 The U.S.S. Sunflower today captured the Confederate blockade runner, Pushmataha, near the Tortugas.
JUNE 14, 1863 The Federal ship, U.S.S. Somerset, shelled Confederate salt works on Alligator Bay, near St. George’s Sound. Following the shelling, 65 Union sailors and marines were put ashore. They destroyed 65 kettles, 200 bushels of salt, and thirty houses.
JUNE 15, 1862 The U.S.S. Somerset and the U.S.S. Tahoma shelled the Confederate fort near the lighthouse at the St. Marks River. When Confederate artillery units withdrew, Federal troops landed and burned the fort, the interior of the lighthouse, and the buildings used as barracks for the Confederate troops.
JUNE 15, 1863 G. Troup Maxwell announced today that he would be a candidate for the Confederate Congress from the Second Florida Congressional district. General elections were scheduled for October.
JUNE 16, 1862 The U.S.S. Somerset captured the British blockade runner, Curlew, off the coast near Cedar Key.
JUNE 16, 1863 The Circassian, a Union supply steamer, captured the Confederate sloop, John Wesley, off the coast of St. Marks today. The John Wesley, was carrying a cargo of 12 bales of cotton.
JUNE 16, 1864 Federal troops from the schooner J.S. Chambers, dispatched up the Waccasassa River, returned to their ship today with 12 bags of cotton.
JUNE 18, 1863 The Federal schooner, John S. Chamber, today captured the British blockade runner Rebekah thirty miles west of Charlotte Harbor. The Rebekah was carrying a cargo of whiskey.
JUNE 18, 1863 The U.S.S. Tahoma today captured the British blockade runner Harriet near Anclote Keys. The U.S.S. Tahoma also chased another British ship, the Mary Jane, ashore near Clearwater. The Mary Jane was destroyed by the U.S.S. Tahoma.
JUNE 20, 1861 The First Florida Cavalry began assembling at Camp Mary David, six miles south of Tallahassee. The unit will be activated for Confederate service in two weeks.
JUNE 20, 1862 The U.S.S. Beauregard captured the blockade runner Lucy off Deadman’s Point Key today.
JUNE 20, 1862 Colonel J. J. Finley and the 6th Florida Infantry regiment arrived in Chattanooga today.
JUNE 20, 1864 An armed expedition from the U.S.S. Iuka returned from a raid up the Waccasassa River today. The raiders brought with them twenty-seven bales of captured cotton.
JUNE 23, 1862 The U.S.S. Pursuit captured the Confederate sloop Kate today. The Kate had sailed from Nassau with an assorted cargo.
JUNE 23, 1863 The U.S.S. Beauregard has been assigned blockade duty north of Cape Canaveral and Mosquito Inlet.
JUNE 25, 1863 The U.S.S. Sagamore captured the British schooner Frolic off the Crystal River. The Frolic carried a cargo of cotton and turpentine.
JUNE 25, 1864 The U.S.S. Proteus today captured a British steamer, the Jupiter, off the east coast of Florida. All cargo had been thrown overboard prior to capture.
JUNE 25, 1868 Florida was conditionally re-admitted to the United States today. federal occupation of the state, however, would not end until 1877.
JUNE 28, 1863 Boats from the U.S.S. Fort Henry captured the schooner Anna Maria in the Steinhatchee River. The Anna Maria was carrying a cargo of cotton.
JUNE 28, 1864 Troops boarded three Federal ships today at Punta Rassa to sail north to Bayport. This was preliminary to an attack on Brooksville.
JUNE 30, 1864 Troops from the U.S.S. Roebuck today captured the Confederate sloop Last Resort in Jupiter Inlet. The sloop was carrying a cargo of six bales of cotton.
July 1, 1864 The U.S.S. Merrimac, under the command of Acting Lieutenant W. Budd, captured the blockade-running sloop Henrietta at sea west of Tampa. The Henrietta was carrying a cargo of cotton.
July 1, 1864 A Federal expedition from Fort Meyers sailed for Bayport on the west coast of Florida, near Cedar Keys. It was composed of the 2nd U.S. Colored Infantry and the 2nd Union Florida Cavalry [white], some 240 men in all.
July 3, 1863 Boats from the U.S.S. Fort Henry, under the command of Lieutenant McCauley, captured the sloop, Emma, north of Sea Horse Key [Cedar Key] with a cargo of tar and Confederate mail.
July 4, 1868 Military government came to an end when civilian control of the state government was restored. Federal troops continued to occupy Florida until the striking of the Compromise of 1877. The [Tallahassee] Floridian reported that the Republican Party held a Presidential campaign rally to celebrate this auspicious occasion and that the crowds from all over the state, particularly newly enfranchised freedmen, made up “Probably the largest crowd here, ever before at any time.”
July 5, 1863 The U.S.S. DeSoto, with Captain W. M. Walker in command, captured the blockade runner, Lady Maria, off the coast of Clearwater, Florida, with a cargo of cotton.
July 5, 1864 A Federal column of black and white soldiers advanced from Cedar Keys on the Gulf Coast into the interior. After the column had advanced for a few miles, it was attacked by Confederate cavalry and retreated to Cedar Keys. The Federal force suffered eight wounded. Confederate losses were unknown.
July 6, 1864 A Federal column of black and white soldiers advanced from Cedar Keys on the Gulf Coast into the interior. After the column had advanced for a few miles, it was attacked by Confederate cavalry and retreated to Cedar Keys. The Federal force suffered eight wounded. Confederate losses were unknown.
July 7, 1862 The U.S.S. Penquin, under the command of Lieutenant J. C. Williamson, was ordered to Key West for duty with the East Gulf Blockading Squadron.
July 7, 1863 The Trustees of Florida’s Internal Improvement Fund withdrew from public sale all lands lying within two miles of a coast or marsh. The purpose of this action was to prevent speculators from buying all lands suitable for salt production. Salt was an essential item for civilian and military use during the Civil War.
July 7, 1864 The small schooners, U.S.S. Ariel [Acting Master Russell], U.S.S. Sea Bird [Acting Ensign Ezra L. Robbins], and the U.S.S. Stonewall [Acting Master Henry B. Carter], accompanied by the 29-ton sloop, Rosalie, [Acting Master Coffin], transported Union troops on a raid on Brooksville. After disembarking the troops, the Ariel and the Sea Bird proceeded to Bayport, where a landing party captured a quantity of cotton and burned the custom house.
July 8, 1862 In response to a July 4 letter from S. R. Mallory which informed Governor John Milton that the 2nd Florida regiment had lost 471 soldiers since May 1 and which suggested that the governor start a recruitment drive for that unit, Milton replied to General James Longstreet on this date that an effort would be made. Milton states that this will be a hard task since so many have already been mustered into Confederate service and that “those who are left are scattered throughout the state.”
July 8, 1863 Two U.S. Navy cutters, the Restless and the Rosalie, captured the schooner Ann and an unnamed sloop in Horse Creek, Florida, with cargoes of cotton.
July 9, 1862 The Federal schooner Wanderer was ordered to check the Indian River Inlet to determine whether that waterway was being used by Confederate blockade runners.
July 9, 1863 A boat crew from the U.S.S. Tahoma, commanded by Lieutenant Commander A. A. Semmes, captured an unnamed flatboat with a cargo of sugar and molasses near Manatee River, Florida.
July 10, 1861 Colonel Brown, Federal commander of Fort Pickens in Pensacola Harbor, received reinforcements of New York Volunteers, but informed the Secretary of War that more were needed to hold the fort against an anticipated Confederate assault.
July 10, 1862 A Federal ship departs Egmont Key for Key West with a full manifest of Union sympathizers and runaway slaves.
July 10, 1864 U.S.S. Roebuck, Acting Master William L. Martine commanding, captured the blockade-running British schooner, Terrapin, at Jupiter Inlet with a cargo of cotton and turpentine.
July 11, 1864 A landing party from U.S.S. James L. Davis, under the command of Acting Master Griswold, destroyed Confederate salt works near Tampa. These works were capable of producing 150 bushels of salt per day. The vats, reportedly owned by secessionists “Haygood” and “Carter,” were reported to Federal authorities by a Mr. Johnston of Tampa.
July 11, 1864 The following Florida units were participants in the Battle of Atlanta (July-September 1864):
Florida Marion Artillery , Florida First Cavalry Regiment , Florida 1st (Reorganized) Infantry Regiment , Florida 3rd Infantry Regiment , Florida 4th Infantry Regiment , Florida 6th Infantry Regiment , Florida 7th Infantry Regiment
July 12, 1861 The East Florida State Seminary holds its closing exercises for the year.
July 12, 1862 The Federal gunboat, Tahoma, arrives at Key West with the Confederate schooner, Uncle Mose, and its cargo of cotton as the prize.
July 12, 1863 The 1st, 3rd and 4th Florida Infantry Regiments were part of the fighting near Jackson, Mississippi. According to official reported, these units, plus the 47th Georgia and Cobb’s Battery, took 200 prisoners and the colors of the 28th, 41st, and 53rd Illinois Regiments.
July 12, 1864 U.S.S. Ariel, the Sea Bird, the Stonewall, and the Rosalie transported Union troops for a raid on Brooksville, where they captured a quantity of cotton. The troops also burned the customs house.
July 12, 1864 Federal troops advance on Confederate pickets at Cedar Creek at the railroad. Two Confederate scouts from the 2nd Florida Cavalry were captured and killed.
July 12, 1864 Master W. L. Martine of the bark, Roebuck, reported that twenty-six refugees have arrived at Indian River Inlet and asked for transportation to St. Augustine.
July 13, 1861 The 2nd Florida Infantry Regiment was assembled at the Old Brick Church in West Jacksonville and mustered into Confederate service. The Alachua Guards, Leon Rifles, Columbia Guards, Hammock Guards (Marion County), Gulf State Guards of Jackson County, St. Johns Greys, St. Augustine Rifles, Hamilton Blues, Davis Guards of Nassau County, and the Madison Rangers.
July 13, 1861 Two detachments of Confederate Coast Guards were called to active duty by Brigadier General J. Taylor.
July 13, 1863 Confederate report that they opened fire on three launches in the St. Mark’s River opposite old Port Leon. Although the men in the launches return fire, no Confederate casualties were reported.
July 13, 1864 Union and Confederate troops clash at Little and Big Trout Creek.
July 13, 1865 William Marvin was appointed Provisional Governor of Florida by President Andrew Johnson and directed him to call a constitutional convention to write a new constitution for the state as a condition for being readmitted to the Union. Although the Convention met in Tallahassee on October 28 and wrote a new governing document, the new constitution, which would have become effective on November 7, was never activated because Congress assumed responsibility for establishing the rules for readmission and Johnson’s program was rejected.
July 14, 1861 A detachment of the Florida Mounted Volunteers was sent to take up station at Fort Meade. Under the command of 1st Lieutenant J. R. Durrance, the unit includes a sergeant, a corporal, and fifteen enlisted men.
July 14, 1863 The U.S.S. Jasmine, with Acting Master Alfred L. B. Zerega, captured the sloop Relampage, near the Florida Keys. The Relampage was heading out of Havana with a cargo of copper boiler tubing.
July 14, 1864 A detachment of Federal cavalry landed at Broward’s Neck, Duval County.
July 15, 1862 The Florida Sentinel reported that Florida has contributed eight regiments of infantry, two light artillery companies, one regiment of cavalry, and two independent partisan cavalry companies to the war effort.
July 15, 1863 U.S.S. Santiago de Cuba, under the command of Commander Wyman, captured the steamer, Lizzie, off the coast of Florida
July 15, 1864 Confederate forces under Captain McElbey of the 5th Florida Cavalry were located at Green’s Plantation on the road to Baldwin. Federal forces were advancing down the road. A small skirmish was fought at Little Trout Creek. The Confederate forces retreat toward Baldwin, while the Federal forces move to the vicinity of Otter Creek.
July 17, 1861 Already facing shortages of essential civilian goods, such as newsprint, the St. John’s Mirror of Jacksonville was published with pages one-fourth the regular size.
July 17, 1862 The 6th and 7th Florida Infantry regiments, along with the Marion Light Artillery, were ordered to Tennessee to protect that state against and anticipated Federal campaign.
July 17, 1863 The C.S.S. Florida, with Commander John Newland Maffitt at the conn, put into Bermuda to obtain coal and make repairs. In addition, the crew of the Florida buried J. L. Lynch, the Assistant Paymaster, who had died of consumption. Maffitt, upon reaching Bermuda, send word to the port commander that he planned to salute the British flag and asked whether or not the British would return the salute. Colonel William Munro, the British commander, consulted with the Governor and informed Maffitt that the British would return gun for gun any salute offered. This, perhaps, was the only time such an honor was paid to the Confederate naval flag.--See Frank L. Owsley, Jr., The C.S.S. Florida, Her Building and Operations, pp. 74-75.
July 17, 1864 A detachment of Federal cavalry occupy Callahan in Duval County and burned two rail cars loaded with iron. They also arrest Wingate Broward and Joseph Hagans, while confiscating a number of horses and heads of cattle.
July 18, 1863 The U.S. District Court in Key West approved the appropriation of the captured Confederate sloop, Rosalie, into the Union navy for use as part of the squadron blockading Charlotte Harbor.
July 18, 1863 The U.S.S. Sagamore, a Union gunboat, destroyed a Confederate starch mill at Cape Florida.
July 18, 1864 Union troops from Bayport were on the march inland (some 40 miles) for the purpose of destroying plantations, confiscating livestock, and to test Confederate resistance. The Union force was made up of 240 men from Ft. Myers.
July 19, 1861 The Montgomery Mounted Rifles, a Confederate force, landed on Santa Rosa Island. The Confederates attacked a small boat that was on its way to the shore from the Union ship, Mohawk. The Federal crew suffered a number of wounded, and the officer in charge of the landing party was killed.
July 19, 1863 Federal soldiers from the U.S.S. Fort Henry, anchored at Cedar Key, captured twenty-two bales of cotton on an expedition up the Waccasassa River.
July 19, 1864 Confederate units reoccupy their lines near Cedar Key.
July 20, 1861 The 1st Florida Cavalry Regiment, under the command of Colonel G. W. M. Davis, was assembled at Camp Mary David, about six miles south of Tallahassee. The regiment consisted of 10 companies drawn from Columbia, Nassau, Suwanee, Leon, Levy, Duval and Alachua counties.
July 20, 1863 Union and Confederate forces skirmished along the mouth of the Waccasassa River. Two Union soldiers were killed.
July 20, 1864 On July 20, an expedition of 400 men from the 2nd U. S. Colored Infantry and the 2nd Florida Cavalry (U.S.) moves from Cedar Keys to St. Andrews bay on a mission into the interior. The campaign continued until July 29, with tremendous destruction of property and the confiscation of 115 slaves.
July 21, 1862 Federal naval officials were concerned over the disappearance of the U.S.S. Beauregard near the mouth of the Crystal River. Union officials report that the ship and its crew were likely captured by Confederate forces or lost at sea.
July 21, 1863 The Quartermaster General of the Confederacy issued a call for as many Florida palmettos as can be harvested for use in Richmond hospitals.
July 21, 1863 The Confederate blockade runner, James Battle, arrived in Key West with a cargo of 600 bales of cotton.
July 21, 1864 Confederate forces burn and destroy two trestles on the Cedar Keys Railroad about five miles south of Baldwin.
July 22, 1863 A small boat from the U.S.S. Fort Henry, commanded by Orderly Sergeant C. Nugent, made a midnight reconnaissance into Bayport.
July 22, 1864 Colonel James Shaw, commanding the 7th U.S. Colored Infantry, embarks on an expedition up the St. Johns River to Black Creek.
July 22, 1864 A Federal force composed of elements of the 7th Vermont Veterans Volunteers, the 82nd U.S. Colored Infantry, the 1st Florida Cavalry (U.S.), the 14th New York Cavalry, and the 1st Florida Battery (U.S.) attacked Confederate forces at the newly-completed Fort Hodgson (Camp Gonzales) 15 miles north of Pensacola. Eight Confederates were captured, in addition to the regimental flag of the 7th Alabama Cavalry and a considerable amount of provisions.
July 22, 1864 The following Florida units participate in the ill-fated Battle of Atlanta on this date:
Florida Marion Artillery , Florida 1st Cavalry Regiment , Florida 1st (Reorganized) Infantry Regiment , Florida 3rd Infantry Regiment
Florida 4th Infantry Regiment , Florida 6th Infantry regiment , Florida 7th Infantry Regiment (not directly involved)
July 23, 1863 Union forces at Jacksonville begin a five day campaign against Confederate fortifications at McGirts Creek (north of Jacksonville). In this campaign, Federal troops drive Confederates forces from their breastworks, tear up a section of railroad, and burn the railroad bridge over the St. Marys River.
July 24, 1862 The U.S.S. Quaker City, with Commander __ Frailey at the helm, captured the blockade runner, Orion, at Campeche Bank, south of Key West.
July 24, 1863 The gunboat, U.S.S. Sagamore, reported that it had discovered eleven barrels of turpentine at Haul Over, thirteen miles north of Cape Canaveral. The Federals speculated that local Confederates were planning to sent it out on a blockade runner.
July 24, 1864 Union forces cross the South Fork of Black Creek (near Jacksonville) and attack two trestles on the Baldwin-Gainesville Railroad.
July 25, 1861 The 3rd Florida Infantry Regiment was organized on Amelia Island. William S. Dilworth was elected Colonel; J. T. Wright received the most votes for Lieutenant Colonel; while Lucius A. Church was elected Major.
July 25, 1863 Colonel G. Troup Maxwell of the Florida 1st Cavalry declares himself to be a candidate for the Confederate Congress.
July 26, 1861 Thomas E. Jordan was appointed postmaster of Pensacola by Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who also appointed Chandler C. Yonge as the Confederate attorney for the Florida district.
July 26, 1862 A Union reconnaissance of the Indian River region found no activity in the area.
July 26, 1864 Confederate Major General Patton Anderson was transferred from his post as Commander of the Confederate District of Florida to duty with Major General John Bell Hood in Atlanta. General John K. Jackson assumed Anderson’s command.
July 28, 1863 Under the command of Lieutenant Commander English, the U.S.S. Beauregard and Oleander, accompanied by boats U.S.S. Sagamore and Para, attacked New Smyrna, Florida. After shelling the town, the Union forces destroyed several vessels, destroyed a sloop loaded with cotton, and burned large quantities of cotton on shore. In addition, Marines landed and destroyed all buildings that had been occupied by Confederate troops.
July 27, 1864 Union General Birney, operating out of Jacksonville, captured Baldwin.
July 28, 1864 The following units from Confederate Florida participated in the Battle of Ezra Church as Major General John Bell Hood attempted to break Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s siege of Atlanta:
Florida 1st Cavalry Regiment , Florida 1st (Reorganized) Infantry Regiment , Florida 3rd Infantry Regiment , Florida 4th Infantry Regiment , Florida 6th Infantry Regiment , Florida 7th Infantry Regiment , Florida Marion Artillery continued to serve the Confederacy in the Siege of Atlanta as part of the Hoxton Battalion, Artillery, 1st Corps, Army of Tennessee.
Hiram Smith Williams, a member of the 40th Alabama Regiment during the war and a resident of Rockledge, Florida, from 1872 until 1921, noted in his diary:
“Up and off early this morning to the Arsenal in the North West part of the city. Here were rested until about 11:00 o’clock when the whole army was moved rapidly to the left. We were ahead of all the infantry, and the first thing we knew, the cavalry fell back past us, and the balls falling around us showed that the enemy was near. Such confusion I never saw, the troops hurrying past us and forming in line of battle, while the continuous roar of musketry showed that they were hotly engaged. Falling back half-a-mile we stopped to await orders near the road, and I can truthfully say that I never saw so many wounded men in the same length of time before.... A few more such affairs as this and that of the 22nd (the Battle of Atlanta) and we will have no army left. This day’s work has done more to de-moralize our army than 3 months under General [Joseph E.] Johnston.” From This War So Horrible: The Civil War Diary of Hiram Smith Williams (University of Alabama Press), edited by Lewis N. Wynne and Robert A. Taylor.
July 29, 1863 The Union ship, U.S.S. Rosalie, under the command of Acting Master Peter F. Coffin, seized the British blockade runner, Georgie, in the Caloosahatchee River near Fort Myers. The schooner had been abandoned and carried no cargo.
July 31, 1863 Florida’s 22nd governor, Sidney Johnston Catts [January 2, 1917-January 4, 1921] was born near Pleasant Hill, Alabama on this date. The son of wealthy planter parents, Catts received an unusually broad education at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama, Howard College, and Alabama Polytechnic Institute. In 1882, he received a LL.B. degree from Cumberland University. An ordained Baptist minister (1886), Catts was a candidate for Congress from the Fifth District of Alabama in 1904. Unsuccessful and in dire financial straights, Catts moved to DeFuniak Springs, Florida. In 1916, Catts lost the Democratic primary, but won the general election as the nominee of the Prohibition Party. Catts’ administration was turbulent and marred by several allegations of fraud, including the appointment of family members to positions of importance.
Catts was defeated in his bid for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator in 1920. He was twice defeated (1924 and 1928) in efforts to regain the governorship. Controversy continue to dog Catts after leaving public office, and near the end of his life, he was accused of being a part of a counterfeiting ring.
Catts had undeniable popular appeal with many Floridians and his unsuccessful races to regain the office of governor were hotly contested. Catts was credited with authoring the statement, “People in Florida have only three friends--Jesus Christ, J.C. Penney and Sidney J. Catts!”
Catts died at DeFuniak Springs on March 9, 1936.
July 31, 1864 Brigadier General John P. Hatch was assigned to command of the Federal District of Florida.
July 31, 1864 Confederate Brigadier General John K. Jackson recommended Captain J. J. Dickison for promotion to Colonel, based on his activities in leading his cavalry unit in South Florida.
AUGUST 1, 1861 The steamer, U.S.S. Mohawk, took up a blockade position outside St. Marks.
AUGUST 1, 1861 Confederate President Jefferson Davis recommended the promotion of Edmund Kirby Smith and William W. Loring, two prominent Floridians, to the rank of brigadier general in the Confederate army.
AUGUST 1, 1862 Yellow fever broke out aboard Federal naval vessels in Key West, forcing several vessels to leave the harbor in search of safe refuge.
AUGUST 2, 1861The 5th Florida Infantry Regiment (about 1,500 men) departed Monticello today for service with Stonewall Jackson’s command.
AUGUST 2, 1864 William Miller, the head of the Confederate Conscript Bureau in Alabama and Florida, was commissioned as a brigadier general today. Miller had been seriously wounded while on duty with the 3rd Florida Infantry regiment. He had also previously served with the 1st Florida Infantry Regiment.
AUGUST 2, 1864 The schooner, U.S.S. Stonewall, moved up the Manatee River and destroyed a sawmill, a gristmill, and a sugar mill that reportedly belonged to Confederate President Jefferson Davis. No Federal casualties were reported
AUGUST 3, 1862 Commenting on the response of Florida men to calls for Confederate service, Governor John Milton informs General Edward A. Perry that some counties doe not have enough men left to have “a militia officer, Judge of Probate, Clerk or Sheriff.” More than 15,000 Floridians served with state or national Confederate forces.
AUGUST 3, 1864 Troops of the 8th U.S. Colored Troops arrive in Palatka in time to save a 25-man detachment of Union 40th Massachusetts Cavalry. Federal losses were three killed, and eight captured; Confederate losses, if any, were unknown. Federal troops abandon Palatka.
AUGUST 4, 1862 The 6th and 7th Florida Infantry Regiments, the 1st Florida Cavalry, and the Marion Artillery were assigned to Davis’ 2nd Brigade of the Confederate Department of Tennessee and were stationed at Knoxville.
AUGUST 4, 1864 Federal General Birney’s Brigade from Florida, some 3,000 troops, arrive as reinforcements for Hilton Head, South Carolina. Many of these troops were former slaves, who have been recruited into the U.S. Colored Infantry.
AUGUST 5, 1861 The Federal Ship Jamestown, operating off the coast near Fernandina, captured the Alvarado, the first reported capture of a blockade runner in Florida waters. The residents of Amelia Island, who witnessed the capture, attempted to come to the aid of the stricken blockade runner. The Union ship captain, fearing a rescue foray from the nearby shore, ordered the Alvarado burned.
AUGUST 5, 1863 Residents of Tallahassee had the opportunity to purchase civilian goods brought in by blockade runners at a public auction held by A. Hopkins and Company. Among the lots offered for sale were 12,000 hooks and eyes, three dozen pocket knives, and 48 cases of toilet soap.
AUGUST 6, 1862 The blockade runner Columbia arrived in Key West under guard by the U.S.S. Santiago de Cuba. The blockade runner Columbia’s cargo was all war materiel, including rifles, powder, cartridges, blankets, and cannons. Although the ship’s master claims to be a British vessel, Federal naval authorities do not accept this as being true.
AUGUST 6, 1863 Alterations started on the British-built Oreto that would transform her into the Confederate gunboat Florida at Green Cay, Bahamas. This action provided part of the basis for a $15,000,000 claim against Great Britain by the United States at the end of the war.
AUGUST 6, 1864 The Federal gunboat Metacomet arrived in Pensacola with Confederate and Union wounded from fighting around Mobile.
AUGUST 8, 1863 The U.S.S. Sagamore captured the English sloop, Clara Louisa, ten miles north of the Indian River. Later that date, the U.S.S. Sagamore also captured the British schooners, Southern Rights and Shot. Still later that day, the U.S.S. Sagamore captured the American schooner, Ann (off Gilbert’s Bar). All the ships were suspected of trying to run the blockade at either the Indian River or Jupiter Inlet.
AUGUST 9, 1863 The Florida Kilcrease Artillery, under Captain F.L. Villepique, left Tallahassee to take up a new duty station at Savannah.
AUGUST 10, 1861 The Third Florida Infantry was mustered into Confederate service today on Amelia Island.
AUGUST 10, 1864 Confederate cavalry and a detachment of the 102nd U.S. Colored Infantry clashed near Baldwin (north Florida). A section of railroad tracks was destroyed by the Federal troops. This was part of a series of on-going clashes between the two armies.
AUGUST 12, 1862 The Federal steamer, R.R. Cuyler, arrived at Key West to begin its tour of duty with the East Gulf Blockading Squadron.
AUGUST 12, 1863 The U.S.S. Beauregard was on station at the Haul Over Canal, thirteen miles north of Cape Canaveral. The U.S.S. Pursuit was stationed off the coast at Jupiter Inlet. Confederate blockade-runners were suspected of using the Indian River area to land contraband cargoes.
AUGUST 12, 1864 Two Confederate cavalry companies, accompanied by an artillery battery, advanced today against the 102nd U.S. Colored troops who are destroying tracks. Four men from the 75th Ohio were taken prisoner. The Federals dispatched cavalry troops from Baldwin to drive the Confederate forces back. Union losses were one killed and four captured.
AUGUST 13, 1862 Confederate General Joseph Finegan issues a request for slave owners to make their slaves available for work on the fortifications at St. Marks.
AUGUST 13, 1864 Union naval commanders were under tremendous pressure from insurance underwriters to capture or sink the Confederate raider C.S.S. Tallahassee, under the command of Commander John Taylor Wood. The Confederate raider C.S.S. Tallahassee captured or destroyed nine vessels in two days. Secretary Sumner Welles dispatched a flotilla of more than nine ships to hunt for this raider.
AUGUST 14, 1861 The Union blockader, Mohawk, which had been operating off the coast of St. Marks captured and scuttled a Confederate ship to close off the channel to further use.
AUGUST 14, 1864 Union General Alexander Sandor Asboth (an Austrian refugee and friend of Louis Kossuth) ordered his troops, about 1,400 men, to leave Pensacola & move across the Perdido River for operations near Mobile Bay.
AUGUST 15, 1864 The Florida 2nd and 5th Cavalry Battalions were engaged by Federal troops in the Battle of Gainesville, which will last until August 19.
AUGUST 16, 1863 The U.S.S. DeSoto captured the Confederate ship Alice Vivian in the Gulf of Mexico. The Confederate ship Alice Vivian’s cargo was cotton bound for European markets.
AUGUST 16, 1864 The U.S.S. Honeysuckle returned to Key West today. The U.S.S. Honeysuckle was on station along the Indian River Inlet. The bark, James L. Davis, has been dispatched to take up this station. Until the bark, James L. Davis arrives on station this area has no blockade enforcers on duty.
AUGUST 17, 1862 The 7th New Hampshire Volunteers (Union) has been transferred to St. Augustine to relieve the 4th New Hampshire, which will be stationed at Hilton Head, SC.
AUGUST 17, 1863 The U.S.S. DeSoto captured the Confederate steamer, Nita, in the Gulf of Mexico.
AUGUST 17, 1864 Union forces were decisively defeated at Gainesville by Confederate cavalry troops under the command of Major J.J. Dickison. The Federal forces lost 28 killed, five wounded, and 200 taken prisoner. The Confederate loss was one killed and five wounded.
AUGUST 17, 1864 The 17th Connecticut Infantry, under the command of Colonel William H. Noble, occupied the country near Starke. The 17th camped at Shake Rug Corner, near the Bellamy Road, that night.
AUGUST 18, 1864 Colonel William H. Noble, commanding the 17th Connecticut Infantry (U.S.), ordered some 4,000 pounds of cotton to be burned at the McCrae Plantation near Starke. Skirmishes between Confederate cavalry and Federal troops between Gainesville and Starke continued.
AUGUST 19, 1863 Armed boats from the U.S.S. Norwich and the U.S.S. Hale attacked two Confederate signal stations on the St. Johns River. One signal station, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel A. H. McCormick, was taken. Five Confederate soldiers were captured, along with a trove of equipment. A sudden rain storm prevented the capture of the second station.
AUGUST 19, 1864 An excerpt from the civil war diary of Hiram Smith Williams, who settled in Rockledge in 1872 and who served two terms as a state senator in the 1880s. Williams was a member of the 40th Alabama Regiment and was a combat engineer during the Atlanta Campaign.
“Our operations since the last record have been along our lines to East Point, the junction of the W[est] P[oint] and Atlanta and Macon road. In the meantime we have lived well. Blackberries plenty. Bought a bushel of wheat and had it ground into flour this getting 32 lbs. for ten dollars. Also have had any amount of green corn. Have been blockading roads in the front to our left, where we found plenty of good foraging. We are now at East P[oin]t where we have been building forts and fortifying generally. Got my baggage all safe except a few trifling articles the other day. For which, I was very truly thankful, as I had not change of clothing since they’ve been gone. This afternoon we received orders to go in the front of our left wing. Had rather dangerous times. We were only separated from the enemy’s advance line of skirmishers by one field.”
Lewis N. Wynne and Robert A. Taylor (Editors), This War So Horrible: The Civil War Diary of Hiram Smith Williams (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press)
AUGUST 20, 1862 The Florida 3rd Infantry Regiment, under the command of Colonel William S. Dilworth, assumed it new duty station at Chattanooga, Tennessee.
AUGUST 20, 1863 The Union bark Restless captured the Confederate schooner Ernti with 135 bales of cotton.
AUGUST 20, 1863 An armed Union party attacked two Confederate signal stations on the St. Johns River. One was captured, but a heavy rain squall prevented the capture of the second.
AUGUST 20, 1864 The first edition of the Union, a predecessor of Florida of the Florida Times-Union, was originally published as a “war news” sheet.
AUGUST 21, 1862 The U.S.S. Keystone State captured the British schooner, Fanny, off the coast of Amelia Island. The Fanny was carrying a cargo of salt.
AUGUST 21, 1864 The following Florida units in Confederate service in Virginia participated in the battle at Weldon Railroad: Florida 1st (Reorganized) Infantry Regiment, Florida 2nd Infantry Regiment, Florida 5th Infantry Regiment, Florida 8th Infantry Regiment, Florida 9th Infantry Regiment, Florida 10th Infantry Regiment, Florida 11th Infantry Regiment
AUGUST 22, 1864 An excerpt from the civil war diary of Hiram Smith Williams, who settled in Rockledge in 1872 and who served two terms as a state senator in the 1880s. Williams was a member of the 40th Alabama Regiment and was a combat engineer during the Atlanta Campaign.
“Yesterday we received orders about 2 ocl[oc]k to report to Corps HQ, for which I was not sorry as we were at work in the rain on breastworks for another Div[ision]. Camped at Utoy Church half a mile in rear of our line of battle, to the left of our Div[ision]. This morning we were ordered to make a lot of cheaveau-de-frize’s for the protection of our line. They are made something like a horse rack, consequently the boys have christened them by that name. Worked hard at it all day.”
Lewis N. Wynne and Robert A. Taylor (Editors), This War So Horrible: The Civil War Diary of Hiram Smith Williams (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press)
AUGUST 24, 1862 Company H, 2nd Florida Cavalry, transferred this date from Marion County to Alachua County. Under the command of Captain John J. Dickison, the unit was assigned to Camp Lee where it will be outfitted for service in the field.
AUGUST 25, 1862 Federal General Rufus Saxton secured the approval of the United States War Department to enlist 5,000 African-American troops.
AUGUST 25, 1863 The United States tender, Fox, was on station at Key West.
AUGUST 25, 1866 The Florida Freedman’s Bureau Homestead Office opened today. More than 3,000 homesteads, more than in any other southern state, were awarded to Florida freedmen. Each homestead averaged 80 acres.
AUGUST 26, 1861 The Confederate Congress approved an expenditure of $420,000 for the construction of three gunboats to protect the coast and rivers of Florida.
AUGUST 26, 1863 The United States schooner, Beauregard, captured the schooner, Phoebe, off the coast of the Indian River. First sighted off Jupiter Inlet on August 23, the schooner, Phoebe was allowed to anchor at the Inlet. When a crew was dispatched to the shoreline, the United States schooner, Beauregard’s, commander considered this a violation of the permission and a likely attempt to ferry goods to Confederates.
AUGUST 27, 1861 The Howell Guards, a company from Leon County, left Tallahassee today with the eventual destination of joining the 2nd Florida Infantry regiment [as Company M] in Richmond, Virginia.
AUGUST 27, 1862 The U.S.S. South Carolina attacked and destroyed the abandoned Confederate schooner, Patriot, which was aground near Mosquito Inlet. The U.S.S. R. R. Cuyler captured the schooner Anne Sophia off the coast of Jacksonville today.
AUGUST 28, 1862 Colonel Edward A. Perry of the 2nd Florida Infantry Regiment was promoted to Brigadier General.
AUGUST 30, 1862 Florida infantry units have played an important role in the Second Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) in Virginia. The 2nd, 5th, and 8th Infantry regiments were involved.
AUGUST 30, 1863 The Federal blockade of the Florida coastline was proving effective in hampering the activities of privateers and blockade-runners. The U.S.S. Potomska was on duty near Fernandina, while the Norwich and E.B. Hale were patrolling the St. Johns River system.
AUGUST 31, 1863 The Federal bark, Gem of the Sea, captured the Confederate sloop, Richard, which was owned by John Mooney and James Fuell of West Florida.
AUGUST 31, 1863 News was received in Tallahassee that men of the 5th and 8th Florida Infantry Regiments captured at Gettysburg were imprisoned on Johnston’s Island.
AUGUST 31, 1864 The following Florida units participated in Confederate General John Bell Hood’s ill-fated attempt to break the lines of General William T. Sherman at Jonesboro (south of Atlanta): Florida Marion Artillery, Florida 1st Cavalry Regiment, Florida 1st (Reorganized) Infantry Regiment, Florida 3rd Infantry Regiment, Florida 4th Infantry Regiment, Florida 6th Infantry Regiment, Florida 7th Infantry Regiment.
An excerpt from the civil war diary of Hiram Smith Williams, who settled in Rockledge in 1872 and who served two terms as a state senator in the 1880s. Williams was a member of the 40th Alabama Regiment and was a combat engineer during the Atlanta Campaign.
“The ordeal is past and J[ohn] B[ell] Hood is gone under. Went to East P[oin]t yesterday morning, remained there all day, and this morning early came down to Jonesboro. Our infantry reached here, and charged the enemy in their works as usual, only to be repulsed with heavy loss. This horrid useless waste of human life, this wholesale butchery is terrible and should damn the authors through all time.”
“Our company reached the place just as the fight commenced, but did not see much of it. Had a hearty laugh at one of our Lieutenants, who was carrying a musket and teakettle. Directly a shell burst near him and away went the gun while he struck out in a dog trot. A few minutes after another shell bursted and a piece or rather spent fragment struck him on the leg, when away went the teakettle and away went the Lieutenant, who was seen no more until we were far out of danger. Thank god, I have stronger nerves than that.”
“Our boys have been repulsed all along the line, and I see it requires no military man to tell that Atlanta is gone.”
Lewis N. Wynne and Robert A. Taylor (Editors), This War So Horrible: The Civil War Diary of Hiram Smith Williams (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press).
SEPTEMBER 1, 1862 - Major General Edmond Kirby Smith, a native of St. Augustine, proclaimed this day as a day of prayer and thanksgiving for the men in his command. Kirby Smith was in command of Confederate forces in Kentucky.
SEPTEMBER 1, 1863 - The Marion Light Artillery was assigned to the Army of Tennessee as part of the reserve artillery in General Simon Buckner’s corps. This unit, first commanded by Captain John M. Martin, had been assigned to Triggs’ Brigade, Department of East Tennessee, prior to this reassignment. The Marion Artillery would fight through the Atlanta campaign with the Army of Tennessee.
SEPTEMBER 1, 1864 - An excerpt from the civil war diary of Hiram Smith Williams, who settled in Rockledge in 1872 and who served two terms as a state senator in the 1880s. Williams was a member of the 40th Alabama Regiment and was a combat engineer during the Atlanta Campaign.
"The great struggle is over. Atlanta is being incinerated. Our [General Stephen D. Lee’s] Corps was put in motion early this morning to march towards the city and cover the retreat of Stewart’s Corps while [General William J.] Hardee was left at Jonesboro to hold the forces there in check. The troops are already demoralized and such straggling I never saw before. Proceeded to within five miles of Atlanta where we camped. Stewart’s Corps is busy destroying stores in the city and report says will leave to-night. Well I am heartily glad of it and if it had been evacuated six weeks ago it would have been better."
Lewis N. Wynne and Robert A. Taylor (Editors), This War So Horrible: The Civil War Diary of Hiram Smith Williams (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press)
SEPTEMBER 2, 1861 - Today a small Union raiding party from Ft. Pickens crossed Pensacola Bay and set a million dollar drydock that General Braxton E. Bragg had ordered moved from the Naval Yard.
SEPTEMBER 2, 1862 - W. Fisher of Tallahassee issued a call for a new company of infantry to be organized in Middle Florida. This company will be made up exclusively of men over thirty-five years of age.
SEPTEMBER 2, 1863 - The U.S.S. DeSoto has been ordered to assume a blockading position in the Gulf of Mexico. This order was given by Federal Admiral T. Bailey, the commander of the East Gulf Blockading Squadron.
SEPTEMBER 2, 1864 - An excerpt from the civil war diary of Hiram Smith Williams, who settled in Rockledge in 1872 and who served two terms as a state senator in the 1880s. Williams was a member of the 40th Alabama Regiment and was a combat engineer during the Atlanta Campaign. The people of the entire Confederacy watched the scenario being played out in Atlanta.
“Retreated towards McDonough, Billie McMullen [and] myself concluded we would straggle some and try [and] get something fresh [and] good to eat. Took a road running parallel with the McDonough road and had the good fortune to get a good dinner and excellent supplies. Our supplies consisted of good biscuit, milk, butter, honey and pies. We done it ample justice as the reader of these pages may depend. We overtook the Division after dark [and] camped in a pine thicket.”
“Indications of rain.”
SEPTEMBER 3, 1862 - Major General O. M. Mitchell was named to command the Federal Department of the South, which included territory held by Union forces in and around Fernandina, Jacksonville, and St. Augustine.
SEPTEMBER 4, 1862 The U.S.S. William G. Anderson captured the Confederate schooner, CSS Theresa, in the Gulf of Mexico. The CSS Theresa was carrying a cargo of salt and other commodities.
SEPTEMBER 4, 1863 The 9th Florida Infantry regiment, under the command of Colonel John M. Martin and Executive Officer Major Pickens B. Bird, was mustered into the Confederate army today.
SEPTEMBER 4, 1864 An excerpt from the civil war diary of Hiram Smith Williams, who settled in Rockledge in 1872 and who served two terms as a state senator in the 1880s. Williams was a member of the 40th Alabama Regiment and was a combat engineer during the Atlanta Campaign. The people of the entire Confederacy watched the scenario being played out in Atlanta.
“At last, I hope we have a little resting spell. We are near Jonesboro and the enemy has fallen back towards Atlanta.”
“We are camped in a very good country and I anticipate some good foraging here, as honey and mutton is plenty. Also plenty of sugar cane and some sweet potatoes, just getting in eating order.”
“Have fixed up a very good camp and don’t care if we remain here a month or two or as long as the war lasts. Brought in a fine bee hive to-night. 40 lbs of excellent honey.”
SEPTEMBER 6, 1862 - Confederate General Joseph Finegan brought his troops to Jacksonville prior to crossing the St. John’s River and establishing artillery positions on St. John’s Bluff. These guns would be the target of Union gunboats on September 11.
SEPTEMBER 6, 1864 - The U.S.S. Proteus, under the command Commander Schufeldt, captured the blockade-running British schooner, Ann Louisa, in the Gulf of Mexico.
SEPTEMBER 8, 1862 A landing party from the U.S.S. Kingfisher destroyed Confederate salt works at St. Joseph’s Bay, Florida, that could produce some 200 bushels a day.
SEPTEMBER 10, 1862 The gunboat, U.S.S. Union, left Jacksonville this morning to check out rumors that Confederate troops under the command of General Joseph Finegan had located artillery batteries at St. John’s Bluff, effectively closing the St. John’s River to Federal transit. At about 8:00 p.m., the Union fired at the suspected battery location, but the Confederates did not return fire. The Federal gunboat anchored in the river to await further action.
SEPTEMBER 10, 1864 The U.S.S. Magnolia captured the steamer Matagorda, which was carrying a full load of cotton, in the Gulf of Mexico. The steamer was towed into Key West.
SEPTEMBER 11, 1862 A landing party from the U.S.S. Sagamore attacked salt works at St. Andrew’s Bay, Florida.
SEPTEMBER 11, 1862 Confederate cannoneers dueled the Federal gunboat, Union, at St. John’s Bluff today. The Florida Milton Light Artillery, under the command of Captain Joseph L. Dunham, hoped to block the upper reaches of the St. John’s River from Federal access. After a considerable duel that lasted four-and-one-half hours, the Union, now assisted by a second gunboat the U.S.S. Patroon, was forced to withdraw after suffering some damage. Also included in the battle were troops from the 1st Florida Special Infantry Regiment and the Florida 2nd Infantry Battalion.
SEPTEMBER 11, 1864 Union General Alexander Asboth, headquartered in Pensacola, reported today that Confederate forces under the command of a Colonel Montgomery were fortifying Marianna and other small outposts in Northwest Florida.
SEPTEMBER 12, 1862 The landing party from the U.S.S. Sagamore spent today destroying the heavy wrought iron boilers of the salt works at St. Andrews Bay. To the east, Confederate General Joseph Finegan ordered artillery reinforcements to bolster the Florida Milton Light Artillery entrenched at St. John’s Bluff.
SEPTEMBER 12, 1863 The captain of the U.S.S. Stars and Stripes reported an unsuccessful attack on the Confederate steamer Spray up the St. marks River. Two Confederate sailors were captured. In the Gulf of Mexico, the Confederate steamer, Alabama, was captured by three Federal ships, the San Jacinto, the Tennessee, and the Eugenie.
SEPTEMBER 13, 1861 The Washington County Invincibles were inducted into Confederate service as Company H, 4th Florida Infantry regiment. The soldiers will be stationed at Fernandina.
SEPTEMBER 13, 1863 The U.S.S. DeSoto captured the British steamer, Montgomery, today after a nine hour chase in the Gulf of Mexico south of Pensacola.
SEPTEMBER 14, 1861 The Confederate schooner, Judah, was burned by Federal troops at Pensacola Bay.
SEPTEMBER 14, 1862 Richard Keith Call, third (1836) and fifth (1841) Territorial governor of Florida, died on this date at his Leon County plantation, “The Grove.”
SEPTEMBER 15, 1861 Confederate Brigadier General John B. Grayson embarks on an inspection trip of the defenses along the West Coast, at St. Marks, Apalachicola, Cedar Key and Tampa.
SEPTEMBER 15, 1862 Confederate troops under Brigadier J. Finegan continue to hold their position at St. John’s Bluff despite repeated attempts to dislodge them.
SEPTEMBER 15, 1863 A Federal gunboat, Two Sisters, shelled the town of Bayport today. A large cotton warehouse and a Confederate steamer were destroyed.
SEPTEMBER 16, 1863 The U.S.S. San Jacinto, under the command of Lieutenant Commander Ralph Chandler, seized the Confederate blockade-runner, Lizzie Davis, off the west coast of Florida. She had been bound from Havana to Mobile with a cargo that included quantities of lead.
SEPTEMBER 16, 1864 An expedition from the U.S.S. Ariel, with Acting Master Russell in command, captured over 4,000 pounds of cotton in the vicinity of Tampa Bay.
SEPTEMBER 17, 1862 Today the single bloodiest battle of the Civil War was fought at Antietam (Sharpsburg), Maryland. George B. McClellan, the Union commander, possessed superior forces, but failed to effectively marshal his overwhelming forces against the Confederate Army under the command of Robert E. Lee. The first day’s battle ended with the Confederate Army stopping five major Federal attacks, although at a high price. When the day ended, Southern forces still held their position and would hold them until the night of September 18-19, 1862. The Federal losses were put at 2,010 killed, 9,416 wounded, and 1,043 missing (out of a total force of 75,000). Lee’s losses were estimated at 2,700 killed, 9,024 wounded, and 2,000 missing (out of 40,000). The following Florida units were involved in the Confederate effort at Antietam: Florida 2nd Infantry Regiment, Florida 5th Infantry Regiment, Florida 8th Infantry Regiment.
SEPTEMBER 17, 1862 At St. John’s Bluff near Jacksonville, there was a small skirmish between Confederate and Union troops.
SEPTEMBER 18, 1862 Despite reinforcements of more than 12,000 soldiers and the presence of 24,000 fresh troops, who had seen no action in yesterday’s battle, Union General George B. McClellan refused to attack the much smaller Confederate army under General Robert E. Lee. Lee withdrew his forces from Antietam (Sharpsburg) late tonight and early tomorrow. The first Confederate invasion of the North had been stopped.
SEPTEMBER 18, 1863 - Confederate General Braxton E. Bragg (Army of Tennessee) made the opening move in the Battle of Chickamauga campaign when he moved most of his forces out of Ringgold, Georgia, into Tennessee. Skirmishes broke out all along the line separating Union and Confederate positions. Florida units which participated in this epic battle were: Florida Marion Artillery, Florida 1st Cavalry Regiment, Florida 1st (Reorganized) Infantry regiment, Florida 3rd Infantry Regiment, Florida 4th Infantry Regiment, Florida 6th Infantry Regiment & the Florida 7th Infantry Regiment. The first full day of fighting would commence tomorrow.
SEPTEMBER 19, 1862 Robert E. Lee continued the evacuation of his Army of Northern Virginia from Maryland following the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg).
SEPTEMBER 19, 1863 Confederate General Braxton E. Bragg and Union General William S. Rosecrans started the process of “feeling out” each other’s positions. The Battle of Chickamauga officially began with the initial conflict between troops of Union General George H. Thomas and those of Confederate cavalry leader, General Nathan Bedford Forrest, which were operating as dismounted cavalry. General James Longstreet and his forces from Virginia reinforced General Bragg tonight.
SEPTEMBER 20, 1863 - This was the second day of the Battle of Chickamauga. Confederate forces under the command of General Braxton E. Bragg earned a tactical victory over the forces of Union General William S. Rosecrans. Union General George H. Thomas’s staunch defense of Snodgrass Hill earned him the nickname, “Rock of Chickamauga.” Union forces withdraw toward Chattanooga.
Casualty figures were:
Union--Total forces 58,000
Confederate--Total forces 66,000
SEPTEMBER 21, 1863 The Army of Tennessee, under the command of General Braxton E. Bragg, pursued retreating Union forces to the city of Chattanooga. Deciding not to assault the city itself, Bragg established siege positions around the city. This siege continued throughout September and into November.
SEPTEMBER 22,1862 - Floridians reacted to the news that President Abraham Lincoln had issued an emancipation proclamation that will become effective on 1 January 1863. The proclamation freed all slaves in areas opposing the United States, but had little practical impact.
SEPTEMBER 22,1863 The commander of the U.S.S. DeSoto pursued the Leviathan, a Union ship that had been commandeered by Confederates and put to sea in the Gulf of Mexico. The chase extended thirty-five miles into the Gulf.
SEPTEMBER 22,1864 Despite the recommendation of Major General Sam Jones, the Confederate War Department today rejected the promotion of Captain J. J. Dickinson to major. The reason given was “...there is no position known to which he could be appointed.”
SEPTEMBER 23, 1863 Union General Alexander Asboth and 700 mounted troops attacked the village of Eucheanna in North Florida. The raiding column then struck a hastily prepared Confederate fortification at Marianna, the county seat of Jackson County. Marianna was plundered. 81 prisoners were taken, 200 horses and 400 cattle were rounded up, and 600 Negro slaves were impressed. Asboth and the Federal troops abandoned Marianna that night and returned to Pensacola with their spoils.
SEPTEMBER 25,1861 The Bartow Artillery was ordered to Brunswick, GA, today by Acting Confederate Secretary of War Judah P. Benjamin. Confederate authorities were fearful of Union raids along the coast of South Georgia and North Florida.
SEPTEMBER 25,1864 Union General Alexander Asboth continued his movement through the Florida Panhandle. Latest Confederate reported were that he crossed the Choctawhatchee River today and was proceeding toward Marianna where Confederate forces under Colonel [?] Montgomery was preparing to defend the town. Marianna where Confederate forces under Colonel [?] Montgomery was preparing to defend the town.
SEPTEMBER 26, 1861 The U.S. Vice-Consul General in Havana alerted the commander of the Union Naval Base at Key West that two Confederate steamers, the Sumter and the Bamberg, suspected of being blockade-runners, took on cargo and coal in the West Indies.
SEPTEMBER 26, 1864 Colonel Montgomery organized the “Cradle to the Grave Company” into a defensive force at Marianna. The “Cradle to the Grave Company” was composed of youngsters under sixteen years of age and of older men fifty years of age and older. Opposing this force was approximately 700 Union troops under the command of General Alexander Asboth.
SEPTEMBER 27, 1863 The U.S.S. Clyde, under the command of Acting Master A.A. Owens, seized the schooner, Amaranth, near the Florida Keys. The schooner was carrying a cargo of 11,000 cigars and 200 boxes of sugar. The U.S.S. Para arrived today in Fernandina to repair damage done to her masts while on patrol duty off Mosquito Inlet. Mosquito Inlet was the scene of a Union naval attack just a few days earlier. The settlement there was destroyed and several sloops and schooners were burned.
SEPTEMBER 27, 1864 Union forces under General Alexander Asboth attacked the hastily prepared Confederate defenses at Marianna today. The following description of the action was offered by William Watson Davis in Civil War Reconstruction in Florida (New York: Columbia University, 1913), pp. 311-312.
“The raiders come up rapidly. They sweep aside the barricade with artillery and follow this with a determined charge by the 2nd Maine Cavalry. The Confederate force breaks up. Some flee through the town for the Chipola River beyond. Some take refuge in the Episcopal church near the barricade and continue the fight from its windows. A torch is thrown against the church. It took fire. As it occupants rush from the burning building they are shot down and fall amid the gravestones of the churchyard. Some of the boys are burned to death in the church. At the bridge across the Chipola a desperate resistance beats back the Federal advance. Marianna is plundered. 84 prisoners are taken, 200 horses, 600 negroes, and 400 cattle. The Federal loss is not recorded. That night the Federal column quits Marianna on its return march to Pensacola. The prisoners and movable booty are carried along.”
SEPTEMBER 30, 1863 The United States bark, Gem of the Sea, captured the British schooner, Director, near Sanibel today. The schooner was carrying a cargo of salt and rum.
The United States schooner, Two Sisters, arrived at Tampa Bay today, bringing mail and supplies for the U.S.S. Adela.