Search billions of records on

Apopka Historical Society and Museum of the Apopkans



 What's New
 Board Of Directors
 Florida History
 History of Apopka
 History of Society
 How to Volunteer
 Map & Directions
 How to Join
 Buy a Brick
 Gift Shop

This Day In Florida History During the Civil War  

APRIL 1861-1865

april 1

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

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

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

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

APRIL 5, 1861 The 1st Florida infantry regiment, consisting of about 500 men, was mustered into Confederate service today at the Chattahoochee Arsenal. Patton Anderson of the Jefferson County Volunteers was elected colonel of the regiment.

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

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

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

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 9

APRIL 9, 1862 Federal troop ships, evacuating troops from Jacksonville, reached Mayport today, but could not set out to sea because of the low tide that prevented the ships from “crossing the bar.”

april 10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

APRIL 21, 1863 The 1st Regiment of Florida Cavalry suffered nineteen casualties (killed, wounded or captured) in fighting near Danville, Kentucky.

april 22

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

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 24

april 25

april 26

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

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

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

APRIL 29, 1862 Federal reported place the number of Union soldiers on Santa Rosa Island at 2,119.

april 30

april 31