- Confederate General Braxton E. Bragg reported that he had
approximately 3,000 men under his command in Pensacola, but arms for
only about 600 of them.
- The Union ship, the U.S.S. Sagamore, today captured the
blockade-runner, By George, off the coast of the
Indian River. The captured vessel was carrying a cargo of coffee and
DECEMBER 1, 1862 - The United States gunboat, Tioga,
captured the schooner Nonsuch, after a four- hour chase.
Although the Nonsuch was flying British colors, she was
carrying a cargo of coffee and cartridge paper. She was taken to Key
West for adjudication.
- The Florida Legislature today approved an appropriation for
$60,000 to care for the sick and wounded soldiers of the state.
DECEMBER 2, 1862
- Colonel William
G. M. Davis of the 1st Florida Cavalry received his appointed today
as a Brigadier General and was assigned to command Confederate
forces at Knoxville and parts of East Tennessee.
DECEMBER 2, 1862
- The Florida Comptroller, Walter
Gwynn, reported that the state expended $958,260.76 during the
fiscal year that ended on October 31. The state received
$1,068,397.58 in taxes and other revenues.
DECEMBER 2, 1863
- As of this date, Federal naval authorities reported that
thirty-four Union ships were attached to the East Gulf Blockading
Squadron, which enforced the naval blockade of Florida from Cape
Canaveral on the East Coast to St. Andrews Bay on the Gulf Coast.
DECEMBER 2, 1863 - Men from the Federal bark,
Restless, laying at anchor at St. Andrews Bay, marched
inland to Lake Ocala. At Lake Ocala, they destroyed three separate
salt works belonging to a Mr. Kent. The operations, which could
produce 130 pounds of salt per day, were worked by a force of
seventeen men, who were captured and paroled. In addition to the
boilers, two flatboats, six oxcarts and other equipment were
destroyed. A large quantity of salt was thrown into the lake.
DECEMBER 3, 1863
- Governor John Milton signed the legislative bill today
incorporating the Monticello and Thomasville railroad Company.
DECEMBER 3, 1864
- A Federal task force, using men from the U.S.S. Nita,
Stars and Stripes, Hendrick Hudson, Ariel,
and Two Sisters destroyed a large salt works at Rocky point,
near Tampa Bay today. Seven boilers and other equipment were
destroyed. There were no casualties.
DECEMBER 4, 1862
- Colonel Caraway
Smith of the 2nd Florida cavalry was assigned to command the coastal
defenses of Florida from Dead Man’s Bay west to Dickerson Bay.
Smith’s headquarters was at Camp Leon near Tallahassee.
DECEMBER 4, 1864
- Brigadier General Robert Bullock of the 7th Florida infantry
regiment was severely wounded today in fighting near Murfreesboro,
Tennessee. Jacob A. Lash, major, took over command until a
DECEMBER 4, 1864 - The blockade runner Peep O’Day was
captured today by boats from the U.S.S. Pursuit near the
Indian River. The blockade runner Peep O’Day was
carrying a cargo of cotton.
DECEMBER 5, 1862
- The Florida Treasurer announced today that the State of Florida
had issued $1,886,640.15 in treasury notes as of this date. Of these
notes, $1,486,601.28 was in circulation.
DECEMBER 5, 1863
- Federal General Alexander Asboth reported that Confederate forces
were fortifying a position at Fifteen-Mile Station. Asboth also
reported that large numbers of deserters were coming through his
lines to take the oath of allegiance to the Union.
DECEMBER 5, 1864
- Governor John Milton signed into law a bill that created special
courts for trying slaves, free Negroes, and mulattos accused of
capital offenses. Milton also signed a bill that places all white
male inhabitants of Florida between the ages of 16 and 55 into
DECEMBER 6, 1861
- Governor John Milton today signed the bill changing the name of
New River County to Bradford County in honor of Captain Richard
Bradford, who was killed in the Battle of Santa Rosa Island on
October 9, 1861.
DECEMBER 6, 1862 -
Governor John Milton signed a bill today suspending the collection
of taxes in counties under Union control.
DECEMBER 6, 1864
- The U.S.S. Sunflower today captured the Confederate
sloop, Pickwick, along the Gulf Coast near St. George’s
DECEMBER 6, 1864 - Governor John Milton called for the
restoration of 3-days-a-week mail service between Gainesville and
Tampa. The service had been reduced to a once-a-week run.
DECEMBER 7, 1861
- John K. Mitchell was appointed Commander in the Confederate Navy,
while Henry K. Stevens received a commission as Lieutenant. Both men
DECEMBER 7, 1863
- The commander of the U.S.S. Sagamore received orders
to proceed to the mouth of the Suwannee River and to capture two
river pilots stationed there. The pilots were suspected of piloted
three Confederate steamers carrying contraband up the river at the
end of their voyages to Havana.
DECEMBER 7, 1864
- The Federal blockade at Fernandina was lifted by order of Union
President Abraham Lincoln. Ships of the South Atlantic Blockading
Squadron were ordered by Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgreen to obey this
order, but to carefully screen the incoming ships to ensure they had
not visited other ports that were still blockaded.
DECEMBER 8, 1862
- The Pensacola and Georgia Railroad was opened to Gee Gee’s
Turnout, four miles from Quincy.
DECEMBER 8, 1863
- The Florida Sentinel suspended publication today because of
a lack of paper.
DECEMBER 8, 1863 - Former State paymaster, R.C. Williams, was
cleared of charges made in November that he had defaulted with
$11,400 in state funds.
DECEMBER 9, 1861
- The Calhoun rangers, activated by Special State Order 83, reported
for duty today at Camp Milton, near Apalachicola.
DECEMBER 9, 1863
- The Federal Navy reported the U.S.S. Circassin would serve
as a supply ship operating between Cape Canaveral on the Atlantic
Coast of Florida and the coast of Texas.
DECEMBER 9, 1864
- The Florida Brigade, consisting of the 2nd, 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th
and 11th Florida Infantry regiments attacked Federal positions at
Bellfield, Virginia, today after a two-day march. Federal units
refused to become involved in combat and the Florida units returned
to their camp.
DECEMBER 10, 1861
- General Braxton E. Bragg, on duty in Pensacola, reported that he
was having great difficulty persuading his troops to reenlist for
the “duration of the war.” Many of the initial 90-day terms of
enlistment were expiring and some troops were ready to abandon their
units and go home.
DECEMBER 10, 1862
- The Federal ship, U.S.S. Sagamore, reported the capture of
the British blockade-runner, Alicia, near the Indian
River on the Atlantic Coast.
DECEMBER 10, 1862
- The M. Sandford, a Federal transport steamer, was
reported aground near the Turtle Harbor Lighthouse. A contingent of
the 156th New York Volunteers was aboard. The U.S.S. Gemstock
and the U.S.S. Blackston evacuated the 500 men and
officers of the unit.
DECEMBER 10, 1863
- Officers and men from the Union steamer, Bloomer,
report the destruction of salt works near St. Andrews Sound this
morning. Twenty-seven buildings, 200 kettles, 2,000 bushels of salt,
and warehouses containing enough supplies for three months’
operations were destroyed. The value of the materiels destroyed was
estimated at $500,000 (US).
DECEMBER 10, 1864
- The U.S.S. O.H. Lee captured the British blockade runner,
Sort, off Anclote Key today. The Sort was carrying
a cargo of cotton.
DECEMBER 11, 1862
- In action near Fredericksburg, Virginia, today the 8th Florida
Infantry Regiment suffered losses. Twenty men were lost in battle,
while an addition 2 were captured.
DECEMBER 11, 1863
- The United States bark, Restless, with
the assistance of two other Federal ships, the Bloomer
and the Caroline, began shelling Confederate works in the
town of St. Andrews today. Confederate forces in the area were
stationed there to protect the valuable salt works in the area.
DECEMBER 12, 1861
- Under Special Orders No. 264, issued by the Confederate War
Department in Richmond, General Braxton E. Bragg’s command was the
Florida Panhandle and extended westward to include the Pascagoula
Bay and the part of the state of Mississippi that lies east of the
DECEMBER 12, 1863
The Union steamer, Bloomer, continued its operations
against Confederate salt works on the Gulf Coast. The
Bloomer continued operations in the West Bay area.
DECEMBER 13, 1861
- Polk County* was created today by the Florida legislature from
lands that had previously constituted parts of Brevard and
Hillsborough Counties. Named for president James Knox Polk, the
eleventh president of the United States, Polk County was the 39th
Florida County. ( *This citation is taken from Samuel Proctor,
Florida A Hundred Years Ago. This document, published by the
Florida Civil War Centennial Commission, is contradicted by Allen
Morris, Florida Handbook, which cites February 8, 1861, as
the date for the county’s creation.)
DECEMBER 13, 1861
- The Florida Legislature approved a one-year moratorium on the
payment of taxes for the year 1860-1861.
DECEMBER 13, 1862
- The Florida 1st and 3rd Florida Regiments returned to Chattanooga
today from the Confederate campaign in Kentucky. Because of the high
casualty rate the units have suffered, they will be re-organized as
the 1st and 3rd Consolidated Regiment.
DECEMBER 13, 1862
- On the Virginia front, the 2nd Florida Infantry Regiment suffered
casualties of four killed and 34 wounded.
DECEMBER 13, 1863
- The Union bark, Roebuck, today captured a
Confederate sloop off the coast of the Indian River. The Confederate
sloop had a crew of two men and was carrying a cargo of 16
bags of salt and one box of “notions.”
DECEMBER 13, 1864
- The Confederate Bureau of Conscription today issued General
Circular No. 36, which authorizes the impressment of free Negroes
and slaves into the Confederate Army. Florida’s quota of such
impressments was fixed at 500.
DECEMBER 14, 1860
- Robert C. Williams assumed office today as the Comptroller of
Florida. He held this office until May 26, 1863, when he was
replaced Walter Gwynn.
DECEMBER 14, 1861
- More than 1,000 Federal troops arrived to reinforce the Union
garrison holding Fort Pickens and Santa Rosa Island in Pensacola
DECEMBER 16, 1861
- General Robert E. Lee ordered a regiment of Mississippi troops,
under the command of Colonel William F. Dowd, to supplement the
1,300 Confederate soldiers at Fernandina.
DECEMBER 16, 1861
- The State Comptroller reported that Floridians have paid
$227,374.11 so far. This is Florida’s assigned quota of the
Confederate Direct Tax.
DECEMBER 16, 1862
Confederate General Joseph J. Finegan established his headquarters
to Lake City.
DECEMBER 17, 1861
- The Florida Legislature appropriated $10,000 for the purchase of
cloth to be given to patriotic women’s societies to manufacture
DECEMBER 17, 1861
- The Legislature authorized the City of Pensacola to print $25,000,
to be issued in small bills, for which the city’s resources were
pledged to redeem.
DECEMBER 17, 1861
- The Legislature, meeting since November 18, adjourned today.
DECEMBER 17, 1863 - The U.S. bark, the Roebuck,
reported the capture today of the British blockade-runner,
Ringdove, and its five-man crew off the Indian River
DECEMBER 18, 1861
- Brigadier General R. F. Floyd, commander of Confederate forces at
Apalachicola, reported that he had 612 men under his command.
DECEMBER 18, 1863
- Federal soldiers destroyed salt works around St. Andrews Bay
today. An estimated 500 “works,” 33 wagons, 12 flat boats, two
sloops, six ox-carts, 4,000 bushels of salt, 700 buildings, and more
than 1,000 kettles and iron boilers were destroyed. Union officials
estimated the combined productive capacity of the destroyed works at
15,600 bushels a day.
DECEMBER 19, 1862
- Major A. A. Canova was appointed Confederate Chief of Subsistence
today in Florida.
DECEMBER 19, 1863
- Several “exiled” Union men left St. Augustine today for Port Royal
aboard the Federal steamer Maple Leaf.
DECEMBER 19, 1864
- A federal expedition from Barrancas and consisting of the 97th
U.S. Colored infantry reached Pollard today. A supply depot, filled
with military clothing and equipment, was destroyed. Several bridges
and miles of railroad track over the Little Escambia River were
DECEMBER 20, 1862
- Florida Commissioners J. M. Chambers and J. F. Bozeman reported
the completion of underwater obstructions on the Apalachicola River.
DECEMBER 20, 1863
- The Union steamer Fox attacked a Confederate steamer
aground at the mouth of the Suwannee River. The crew abandoned the
ship after the Union steamer Fox fired howitzers and
dispatched an armed boarding party. It was thought the Confederate
steamer was the Little Lilly. The Federals, unable to
operate the engine, set fire to the vessel.
DECEMBER 20, 1864
- Floridians watched the approach of General William T. Sherman’s
army on Savannah and the evacuation of that city by the Confederate
army. Some Confederate military officials feared that Sherman
would now turn his attention to the State of Florida.
DECEMBER 20, 1865
- David Shelby Walker, Florida’s eighth governor (December 20,
1865-July 4, 1868), took office today. Shelby was born in
Russellville, Kentucky, on May 2, 1815. After attending private
schools in Kentucky and Tennessee, he settled in Leon County,
Florida, in 1837. Walker was a member of the first Legislature under
statehood as a Senator from Leon County (1845) and a Representative
from Leon County in 1848. From 1849 until 1854, he served as the
Register to Public Lands and the State Superintendent of Public
Instruction. He was Mayor of Tallahassee, and in 1860, became a
Justice on the Florida Supreme Court, a position he held until he
became governor. Although Walker opposed secession, he supported
Florida when it left the Union. Walker’s administration had the
difficult task of restoring civil government during reconstruction.
He returned to the practice of law in 1868 and was appointed Circuit
Court judge in 1876, a position he held until his death on July 20,
DECEMBER 21, 1858
- Bradford County, the 36th county in Florida, was established today
as “New River County.” On December 6, 1861, the name of the county
was changed to honor Captain Richard Bradford, the first Florida
officer killed in the Civil War. He died at the Battle of Santa Rosa
Island on October 9, 1861. The County seat is Starke.
DECEMBER 21, 1862
- The U.S.S. Gem of the Sea left Key West today to take up
station off Jupiter Inlet, the Indian River, and Cape Canaveral.
DECEMBER 21, 1864
- The U.S.S. Tallapoosa was ordered by Federal
Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles to proceed from the Boston Naval
Yard directly to Key West for duty with the East Gulf Blockading
DECEMBER 22, 1862
- The U.S.S. Huntsville, under the command of Acting
Lieutenant W. C. Rogers, seized the Confederate schooner,
CSS Courier, off the Tortugas today. The CSS Courier
was carrying a cargo of salt, coffee, sugar and dry goods.
DECEMBER 23, 1861
- Confederate President Jefferson
Davis forwarded the names
of William Davis, George W. Pratt, and John M. Hendry, all
Floridians, to the Congress with a recommendation that they be
commissioned as chaplains in the
DECEMBER 23, 1863
- A detachment of Federal troops, commanded by Henry A.
Crane, was dispatched to Charlotte Harbor to disrupt the flow of
Florida cattle to Confederate armies. It was estimated by Federal
authorities that 2,000 head of cattle were herded northward each
week to supply the Army of Tennessee and the Army of Northern
DECEMBER 24, 1862
- The U.S.S. Charlotte, under the command of Acting Master
Bruner, today captured the Confederate steamer Bloomer
in the Choctawhatchee River, Florida.
DECEMBER 24, 1863
- The U.S.S. Fox, with Acting Master Asbury in
command, today seized the British blockade runner, Edward,
off the mouth of the Suwannee River after a two-hour chase. The
Edward was captured after trying to run down the smaller Union
ship. She was carrying a cargo of lead and salt.
DECEMBER 24, 1863
- The U.S.S. Sunflower, under the command of Acting Master
Van Sice, captured the blockade runner Hancock
near the lighthouse at Tampa Bay. The blockade runner was carrying a
cargo of salt and borax.
DECEMBER 25, 1863
- The Florida 2nd Infantry Battalion (re-assigned to the Florida
10th and 11th Infantry Regiments on June 8, 1864), today engaged
Federal forces attacking Fort Brooke, present-day Tampa.
DECEMBER 27, 1862
- The U.S.S. Roebuck captured the British schooner
Kate as it was attempting to run its cargo of salt, coffee,
copper, and liquor into the mouth of the St. Mark’s River.
DECEMBER 27, 1863
- Confederate scouts reconnoitering the Union camp near the Myakka
River fired a shot into the camp, but the Federal soldiers did not
return fire. The Union soldiers, however, doubled their pickets and
kept on the alert for further activity.
DECEMBER 27, 1864
- U.S. Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles ordered the paddle wheel
steamer, Mahaska, and the schooner, Sophronia,
to Key West for service with the blockading squadrons.
DECEMBER 28, 1862
- Soldiers with the Florida 4th Infantry regiment were engaged in
fighting at Lebanon Pike, Tennessee, today.
DECEMBER 29, 1862
- The British sloop Flying Fish was captured off the
Tortugas by the U.S.S. Magnolia.
DECEMBER 29, 1863
- Boat crews from the U.S.S. Stars and Stripes destroyed a
blockade runner, Caroline Gertrude, aground on a bar
at the mouth of the Ocklockonee River. Union sailors,
attempting to salvage the cargo of cotton, were subjected to a heavy
fire from Confederate cavalry units ashore and returned to their
ship after setting the Caroline Gertrude ablaze.
DECEMBER 30, 1862
- General Joseph J. Finegan reported today that he had 595
infantrymen, 797 cavalry troops, and 255 men assigned to artillery
units in his command in Central and North Florida. Union forces
were listed at 2,057 for all land forces.
DECEMBER 30, 1863
- Acting Ensign Norman McLeod and members of the crew of the
U.S.S. Pursuit today destroyed two salt works at the head of St.
DECEMBER 30, 1863
- Confederate soldiers attacked Union troops from the U.S.S.
Rosalie who were encamped near the mouth of the Myakka River.
The U.S.S. Rosalie turned its guns on the Rebel forces and
the Federal troops withdrew to the ship. Proceeding further up the
river, the Rosalie encountered Confederate forces, who fired
at them from the riverbanks.
DECEMBER 31, 1861
- Confederate authorities reported that there were 195 officers and
3,323 enlisted men on active duty in Florida. Union officials listed
80 officers and 2,023 enlisted men on duty.
DECEMBER 31, 1863
- There were skirmishes between Confederate and Union troops near
St. Augustine today. The Confederate forces consisted of the Florida
2nd Cavalry, under the command of Captain John J. Dickison.
DECEMBER 31, 1863
- Confederate General Pierre Beauregard reported that there were now
3,709 Confederate troops stationed in the district of East and
DECEMBER 31, 1862
- The Confederate Army of Tennessee, under the command of General
Braxton E. Bragg, engaged a Federal army under the command of
General William Rosecrans at Murfreesboro (Stone’s River),
Tennessee. Although the Confederates had heavy losses, their assault
against the Union forces was successful. At the end of the day, both
armies faced each other across the open battlefield. Florida units
participating in this battle, which lasted until January 3, 1863,
Florida 1st (Reorganized) Infantry Regiment
Florida 3rd Infantry Regiment
Florida 4th Infantry Regiment
DECEMBER 31, 1864
- Major General Samuel Jones relieved General Pierre Beauregard of
command of Confederate forces in South Carolina, Georgia, and
DECEMBER 31, 1864 -
Federal forces in Florida now numbered 5,414.