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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Willis carried a cargo of cotton for British textile mills.
1862 The Confederate
steamer Florida had reportedly successfully eluded Federal
ships blockading the coast of Florida and was safely at sea.
1862 The annual meeting
of the stockholders of the Union Bank of Florida was held today in
the bank’s offices in Tallahassee.
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.
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.
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
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
1864 A boat from the
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
was carrying two bales of cotton and five barrels of turpentine.
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.
1861 The Florida Senate
approves a bill to incorporate the town of Monticello in Jefferson
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.
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.
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.
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
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
1861 LaVilla Institute
and the College of St. Augustine were incorporated today.
1861 Baker County, the
state’s 38th county, was established today. The county was named in
honor of James McNair Baker (1822-
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
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.
1861 The steamer
Everglade today unloaded its cargo of 1,500 muskets at
Fernandina. The muskets were from the Charleston Arsenal.
FEBRUARY 9, 1861
Pensacola today with troops to support the
Union occupation force at
troops were not off loaded as both Union and Florida forces maintain
an uneasy peace in the area.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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
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.”
1861 The Reverend A. D.
Pellicer, formerly a resident of Sr. Augustine, rendered the opening
prayer for the opening of the Confederate Congress.
1864 Federal forces
commanded by Brigadier General Truman Seymour have concentrated at
Baldwin in preparation for a major push westward into the heart of
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
U.S.S. Mahaska captured the
schooner Delia off the coast of Bayport, Florida, and seized
its cargo of pig lead and sabers.
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.
1862 The Federal gunboat,
Ethan Allen, entered Clearwater harbor today and
captured the schooner Spitfire and the sloops Atlanta
1862 A company of volunteers from Leon County were mustered
into Confederate service today with Richmond N. Gardner as captain.
1864 The largest Civil War battle to take place in the State
of Florida occurred today at
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
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.
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.
1861 Stephen R. Mallory
of Florida was appointed Secretary of the Confederate States Navy
today by President Jefferson Davis.
1864 The U.S.S. Para
today captured the small Confederate steamer Hard Times
on the St. Marys River.
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.
1862 Jefferson Davis was
inaugurated today as the first regular, non-provisional president of
1862 Command of the
Federal Department of Florida was assumed by Brigadier General Lewis
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
1863 The U.S.S. Gem of
the Sea today captured the Confederate steamer Charm
about five miles up the St. Sebastian River.
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.
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.
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.
1863 The U.S.S. Tahoma
today captured the Confederate schooner Stonewall near Key
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
1865 The Federal
expedition under the command of General John Newton reached Punta
Rassa today. It immediately departed for Cedar Key late in the
1862 The U.S.S. Mohican and the U.S.S.
Bienville captured the British blockade runner Arrow off
the coast of Fernandina today.
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.
1862 The U.S.S. Bienville captured the schooner Alert off
St. John’s, Florida, today.
1864 A boat expedition from the U.S.S. Tahoma destroyed a
large salt works on Goose Creek, near St. Marks.
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.
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.
1862 Confederate General
Samuel Jones assumed command of the Department of Alabama and West
Florida from General Braxton E. Bragg.
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
1864 The U.S.S. Clyde
arrived at Cedar Key to take on coal.
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.
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