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
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
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, 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
APRIL 6, 1863
The U.S.S. Huntsville captured the sloop Minnie today
off Charlotte Harbor. The Minnie was carrying a cargo of
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.
APRIL 8, 1862
Federal troops preparing to evacuate Jacksonville spent the night
aboard troop transports when heavy winds prevented the ships from
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, 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.”
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.
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
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
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
APRIL 17, 1863
The U.S.S. Wanderer today captured the Confederate schooner
Annie B southwest of Egmont Key with a cargo of cotton
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
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
APRIL 27, 1863
Major General Dabney H. Maury was placed in command of the
Confederate District of the Gulf today by the Confederate War
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
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.