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To better understand why Florida (and Pensacola in particular) were important, have a look at the attached link. Of interest, the names: Buchanan (wasn't he before Lincoln?), John H. Winder, Commodore Armstrong, Adam Slemmer (one of my heroes), Bragg, USS Powhatan, Colonel Harvey Brown (USA commander, Battle of Santa Rosa Island).

 

When I was studying the Civil War in High School (what century was that?)... I'm pretty sure Pensacola got a mention... but was quickly forgotten: nothing happened there, far as I could tell. And where was Pensacola, anyway? (If it didn't produce oranges, or shoot off rockets, or host Spring Break parties, what good was it?) 

 

It was only because of an accidental visit... and then doing some research... and then visiting again... Anyway, I'm only just putting together the Pensacola/Shiloh connection, and will title that 'Pensacola connection, part 3.'

 

 

Ozzy

 

 

http://www.mikalac.com/civ/fl.html   (US Civil War in Florida)

 

 

And this is a good link, too:  http://www.pensapedia.com/wiki/Civil_War   (Actions of Adam Slemmer)

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For those who prefer videos to the printed word, the attached link features local Pensacola historian, J. Earle Bowden, describing the October 8/9, 1861 Battle of Santa Rosa Island. The video is sponsored by Pensacola News Journal, and runs for about four minutes; includes a good map of the disputed area, and several prints from Harper's Weekly.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BHULzaLhuk     (Battle of Santa Rosa Island near Pensacola, Florida)

 

 

Ozzy

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Ozzy,

At the start of the Civil War, many actions occurred that seemed important and of strategic importance.  These movements were spurred by the rebel forces attempting to capture the various federal facilities that were within the boundaries of what later became the Confederate states of America.  These included many military posts such as forts, stations, depots, arsenals and sectional headquarters.  Other federal posts were governmental as well as treasury, mints, and the custom service.  The actions to seize these facilities were small and local actions and because they seemed important, they received much newspaper reporting. 

 

Of all of the confederate actions and the largest was the later movement of the confederacy to reinforce the army of the Department #2 Commanded by General Albert Sidney Johnston in early spring 1862.  A call had gone out to the governors of the states of Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama and Arkansas.  This call was issued by General Pierre Beauregard was well received by the various states.  Mississippi issued a call for 10 additional regiments for war service.  The chief Pensacola connection was the movement of the Army of Pensacola north to Corinth Mississippi to join with Johnston's forces where they became known as the Army of the Mississippi.  The troops from Pensacola were commanded by Major General Braxton Bragg and became known as the Second corps of the Army of the Mississippi.  Bragg brought about 10,000 soldiers from Pensacola and troops gathered from the defenses of Mobile, Alabama.

 

I believe this movement from Pensacola represents the most important contribution to the rebel cause, from the Gulf region of the confederacy.

Ron     

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Ron

 

You are correct about the contribution of numbers (and Bragg) from Pensacola/Mobile. But, as an added bonus, many of these 'sand-baggers' were acknowledged as experienced, due to the Santa Rosa action, and gunnery duels (fort-to-fort, and fort-to-ship) that exposed men to operations under fire. It was these men, in particular, Beauregard requested.

 

See 'Pensacola connection, part 3.'

 

Cheers

 

Ozzy

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There are a few minor erroes in the following link... For example, it is not known whether the first Federal sentry shots were fired from Fort Barrancas, or its Advanced Redoubt (the fourth brick fort, that guarded the landward approach to the Navy Yard.) Adam Slemmer is reported as receiving 'orders from Washington' to prevent capture of his post; my research has uncovered no such order -- Slemmer acted on his own initiative. Also, this article states that President Buchanan sought out the 'Pickens Truce,' (most of my research indicates it was Senator Mallory, but Buchanan readily went along with the 'gentleman's agreement.')

 

Regardless, it is a comprehensive report on the 'Pensacola Affair,' and is especially worthwhile for its pictures, and 'cast of characters,' (and what became of them), at the end of the article.  http://exploringoffthebeatenpath.com/Battlefields/Pensacola/index.html

 

 

Cheers

 

Ozzy

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If you enjoy diaries and well-written regimental histories, you may find this History of the 1st Alabama Volunteer Infantry of interest. Put together by Regimental Historian, Edward Young McMorries, it details CSA army life in Pensacola; describes an inspection of troops conducted by General Bragg; details actions of the Battle of Santa Rosa Island (and the U.S. Marine raid on Confederate blockade runner, Judah, which precipitated that battle); describes the destruction of Fort McRae during the November 1861 artillery duel. A contemporary, hand-drawn map (quite detailed) of Pensacola Bay and surrounds is included.

 

The 1st Alabama arrived at Pensacola in February 1861, and left for Island No.10 in March 1862. The route they took to reach that Confederate bastion is described, (as is their time as POWs afterwards). Actions of the 1st Alabama following exchange are detailed: Port Hudson, Atlanta, Franklin, Nashville, Carolinas...

 

Available at the following site: http://genealogytrails.com/ala/military_1regt1.html

 

 

Ozzy

 

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Here is an interesting piece from the article:

Closely adjoining this cemetery of our dead comrades lies a cemetery of Federal dead, and we are informed that for many years it has been the custom on Decoration day to hold memorial exercises in the open spaces between these two burial spots, and at their conclusion to decorate the graves of Federal and Confederate dead alike. For this beautiful and touching tribute accorded by Union soldiers to their one-time foemen we tender our full-hearted acknowledgments, and say to them that they have, by their kindly remembrance of our comrades, given a fresh illustration to the saying of the ancient Tusculan that:

"Whoever is brave should be a man of great soul."

I belong to the Henry Hardin Camp #2 SUVCW. It is based in Madison, WI. Every Memorial day we have a ceremony at Union Rest at Forest Hill Cemetery. Afterwards, we move to Confederate Rest where we join the 2 Madison members of the SCV for their ceremony. I had an interesting experience there one year. There is usually about an hour or so between the ceremonies and I happened upon the 2 Rebs putting little Rebel battle flags on the graves while trying to ignore a "blue hair' who was giving them grieve about the flags. It became my distinct pleasure to put this woman in her place and I we had the satisfaction of watching her storm off threatening me with the police. Sometimes only a Yankee can put another Yank in their place. The two Southern gents seemed to appreciate my efforts, probably due to the fact they felt limited as to how they could respond.

Jim

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Jim

 

Thanks for 'the rest of the story...'

 

When I was growing up in Rock Island, my family would occasionally visit the National Cemetery on Arsenal Island. One visit, we passed an area I hadn't seen before... and there were all these tiny Confederate Flags, adorning graves set off from the National Cemetery. When I asked my father, he told me they were Confederate soldiers, but did not know why they were buried in Illinois. Nearly two thousand graves: enough for a small army. Which led to a lot of imaginings 'how' they got there.

 

Years later, I found out 'there was a POW Camp for Confederate soldiers on Arsenal Island,' and that was the extent of my understanding. I did not learn the full story until I moved away, and got access to a better library.

 

Ozzy

 

post-550-0-01263600-1426045926_thumb.jpg     Rock Island Confederate Cemetery from Google Images

 

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Speaking of cemeteries...

 

The National Cemetery at Pensacola is unusual, in that it pre-dated the Civil War. Burials included veterans of the War of 1812, the Mexican War, and yellow fever deaths at the Navy Yard, before the Confederate Period (January 1861-May 1862). During that short time, nearly seventy Confederate soldiers died in proximity to Pensacola (of various causes) and were buried in the grounds at the existing 'Marine Hospital Cemetery.' Once Federal forces regained control, burials of Union dead resumed... until control of the cemetery passed from the Navy Department to the War Department, in 1868, and the burial ground was renamed Barrancas National Cemetery.

 

Still in use today, there have been over 32,000 interments. (Civil War burials, Sections 1-12. If I remember correctly, CSA burials in Section 2.)

 

Ozzy

 

 

References:

 

http://www.exploresouthernhistory.com/barrancasnationalcemetery.html     (Guide to Barrancas National Cemetery)

 

http://www.cem.va.gov/CEM/cems/maps/barrancas828.pdf     (Modern map of Sections within Barrancas National Cemetery)

 

http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/national_cemeteries/photos/list_of-sites2/828_SitePlanE.jpg     (19th century map, showing location of cemetery, between Navy Yard and Fort Barrancas)

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