1861 The artillery duel
between Confederate and Union forces at Pensacola continued until
about 4 o’clock this morning. Casualties were minimal for both
1862 General Robert E.
Lee has asked Brigadier General J. H. Trapier to increase the number
of cannons and manpower on Cumberland and Amelia Islands to protect
Fernandina from a Union attack.
1863 Florida units with
the Confederate Army of Tennessee were still engaged in the Battle
of Murfreesboro (Stone’s River) in Tennessee. Captain Augustus O.
MacDonnell of the 1st and 3rd Florida
Consolidated narrowly escaped serious injury when his sword was
shattered by a shell fragment.
1864 The Confederate
Congress has approved the following Floridians as adjutants in
Florida regiments and battalions: James B. Johnson, 5th
Infantry Regiment , R. J. Reid, 2nd Infantry Regiment, W.
McR. Jordan, 3rd Infantry Battalion, B. F. Parker, 4th
Infantry Battalion, James O. Owens, 6th Infantry
Battalion, George Dawson, 7th Infantry Regiment, F.
Philips, 1st Cavalry Regiment; C. B. Paslay, 7th
1865 Senators Augustus E.
Maxwell and James M. Baker, along with Representative Robert B.
Hilton, join other Confederate legislators as the Confederate
Congress re-convenes after a one-day New Year’s Day recess
1861 Delegates to the
Florida Secession Convention meet in Tallahassee to take up the
question of secession. Edmund Ruffin of Virginia arrived to confer
with Governor Madison Starke Perry and members of the convention.
1863 John Branch, the
sixth Territorial Governor of Florida, died today in Enfield, North
Carolina. (For more information, see entry for August 11.)
1863 The Battle of
Murphreesboro (Stone’s River) came to an end today. General Braxton
E. Bragg withdrew from the battle despite apparent victory during
the first two days. Florida units in the Army of Tennessee suffered
a large number of casualties. (See entry for December 31.)
1865 The U.S.S.
Kanawha today captured the Confederate schooner Mary Ellen
today in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.
1861 Governor Madison
Perry and his advisors made the decision to seize Federal properties
1862 The Union blockader,
U.S.S. Sagamore, was sighted near Santa Rosa Island.
1863 William Dunn
Moseley, Florida’s first governor under statehood (1845-1849), died
today. Moseley was born at Moseley Hall, Lenoir County, North
Carolina, on February 1, 1795. He attended the University of North
Carolina with such notables as James K. Polk, later president of the
United States. After college, he practiced law in Wilmington, North
Carolina, and entered public service as a state senator. He was
defeated in the North Carolina gubernatorial race of 1834. In 1835,
Moseley purchased a plantation in Jefferson County, Florida, and
resided there until 1851. A member of the Territorial Legislature,
Moseley defeated Richard Keith Call, the third and fifth Territorial
governor of Florida, in the contest to become the first governor of
the new state of Florida. In 1851, Moseley moved to Palatka, where
he was a planter and fruit grower.
1861 The Quincy Guards,
commanded by Colonel Duryea, seized the Chattahoochee Arsenal today.
The troops confiscate 500,000 rounds of musket cartridges, 300,000
rounds of rifle cartridges, and 50,000 pounds of gunpowder.
1861 The Florida
Secession Convention reconvened today. John C. McGehee, a passionate
state-rights planter from Madison County, was elected permanent
chairman. McQueen Macintosh of Apalachicola introduced a resolution
declaring Florida’s right to secede and urged the passage of a
proclamation declaring that the state was no longer a part of the
1863 Crews from the
U.S.S. Sagamore seized the British blockade runner Avenger
in Jupiter Inlet. The Avenger was carrying a cargo of coffee,
gin, salt, and other goods.
1865 An expedition from
the U.S.S. Winnebago seized two copper kettles used for
distilling turpentine, 1,280 copper pipes, and four sloop-rigged
boats in the Gulf of Mexico today.
1861 U.S. Senator Stephen
F. Mallory of Florida recommends that the state’s Secession
Convention secede. This declaration followed a caucus of Southern
senators called by Jefferson Davis and John Slidell of Mississippi.
1863 The U.S.S.
Pocahontas captured the blockade runner Antona today off
Cape San Blas, Florida.
1863 The U.S.S. Ariel
today captured the sloop Good Luck, a blockade runner from
New Smyrna near Key Biscayne Bay.
1861 Federal soldiers
guarding Fort Marion (Castillo de San Marcos) in St. Augustine
surrender the post to a company of local volunteers. In Tallahassee,
the Secession Convention, after hearing appeals from Edmund Ruffin
of Virginia, E.C. Bullock of Alabama, and L.S. Spratt of South
Carolina, approves the McIntosh resolution by a vote of 62-5 for
immediate secession. A committee of 13 was appointed to prepare the
official secession ordinance.
1861 Governor Madison
Starke Perry ordered the occupation of Fort Clinch (Amelia Island)
by Florida troops. He also authorized Colonel William Chase to seize
the Federal forts at Pensacola if he can.
1861 In the Secession
Convention, the Ordinance of Secession was introduced for debate.
The efforts of George T. Ward of Leon County and Jackson Morton of
Santa Rosa County to defer secession until Georgia and Alabama have
seceded were defeated.
1863 In a rather busy day
of activity, the Union Navy ships of the Blockading Squadron engaged
in efforts along the entire coast of Florida. In North Florida, the
U.S.S. Uncas reported an attack by land-based Confederates as
it moved along the Nassau River. Three Federals were wounded. In
Tampa Bay, the U.S.S. Tahoma captured the blockade runner
Silas Henry with a cargo of cotton. The Silas Henry had
run aground in Tampa Bay. The U.S.S. Sagamore seized the
British sloop Julia ten miles north of Jupiter Inlet with a
cargo of salt. The Julia was the ship suspected for carrying
away the light from the Cape Florida lighthouse.
1864 Two armed boats from
the U.S.S. Roebuck were dispatched to Jupiter Inlet to halt
the influx of small blockade-runners from the Bahamas.
1861 Federal troops in
Pensacola make ready to defend Federal forts against confiscation by
1861 Floridians were in a
quandary about the news that South Carolina troops had fired on the
Union vessel Star of the West, which was carrying reinforcements for
Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.
1861 In Tallahassee, the
final debate on the Ordinance of Secession concludes in late
afternoon. Delegates agree to postpone a final vote until tomorrow.
1862 Elias Yulee, brother
of David levy Yulee, was nominated by Confederate President
Jefferson Davis for a commission as major in the Confederate Army.
1863 According to federal
dispatches, an empty and unmanned schooner, the Flying Cloud,
has been boarded near the St. Lucie River.
1863 The U.S.S. Ethan
Allen today destroyed a large salt works south of St. Joseph’s
Bay. The works were capable of producing 75 bushels of salt per day.
1864 Boat crews from the
U.S.S. Roebuck, under the command pf Acting Master John
Sherrill, captured the blockade-running Confederate sloop, Maria
Louise, with a cargo of cotton off Jupiter Inlet, Florida.
1861 The Ordinance of
Secession, approved by the Secession Convention yesterday, was
signed today. Florida became an “independent nation” until it joined
the Confederate States of America on January 28. Soon-to-be
governor, John Milton, unfurls the new flag of Florida, a white silk
banner with three stars. The stars represent the three southern
states that have seceded—South Carolina, Mississippi, and Florida.
1864 The U.S.S.
Honeysuckle, under the command of Acting Ensign Cyrus Sears,
captured the British blockade runner, Fly, near Jupiter
Inlet. Boat crews from the U.S.S. Roebuck, under the command
of Acting Master Sherrill, captured the British Blockade runner,
Susan, and its cargo of salt at Jupiter Inlet.
1861 Confederate forces
seize the U.S. Navy Yard at Pensacola. Forts McRee and Barrancas
were also taken. Federal forces garrisoned Fort Pickens on Santa
the navy yard at Pensacola, were seized. The late commander of the
navy yard, in a dispatch to Government says: 11 Armed bodies of
Florida and Alabama, troops appeared before the gate of the navy
yard, and demanded possession. Having no means of resistance,
I surrendered and hauled down my flag. They are now in
( From The Record of the
Rebellion, Volume I, page 14 )
January 12, 1861
- A dispatch to the Florida senators announced the same as follows.
"We repaired down here and captured Fort Barraneas and navy yard,
and then paroled the officers, granting them permission to continue
to occupy their quarters. We are now in possession. This move was in
consequence of the Government garrisoning Fort Pickens, which has
before remained unoccupied. You will propose to the Administration,
resuming the status quo antebellum and we will immediately
Pensacola navy yard contains a hundred and fifty-six thousand
dollars' worth of ordnance stores. - Richmond Enquirer,
January 14, 1861. ( from
The Record of the Rebellion,
I, Page 14)
1861 Shots from the
Federal garrison in Fort Pickens forced a Confederate reconnaissance
detachment to abandon their effort to reconnoiter the area around
1863 Benjamin F. Allen
assumed office as Florida’s Secretary of State. Allen was appointed
by Governor John Milton to replace Fred L. Villepigue, who was ruled
ineligible for the office by the Florida Attorney General because he
held a commission in the Confederate Army. Allen, who was a private
in the Florida Light Artillery Company, was seeking a discharge in
order to assume his new office.
1863 A Confederate
officer from Lake City met with the commander of the U.S.S.
Norwich, operating in the St. John’s River, in an effort to
re-open postal routes between Florida and northern states.
Confederate officials, by command of General Joseph J. Finegan,
forward letters from northern
January 13, 1864
Boat crews from the U.S.S. Two Sisters, under the command of
Acting Master Thomas Chatfield, captured the schooner William
off the Suwannee River today. The William carried a cargo of
salt, bagging, and rope.
1861 The United States
Senators from Florida, David Levy Yulee and Stephen F. Mallory, were
officially informed today of Florida’s secession from the Union.
1862 The bodies of three
Union sailors were recovered on the beach at St. George’s Island and
given a military burial.
1864 Small boats from the
U.S.S. Roebuck chased the blockade-running British sloop,
Young Racer, and forced her aground north of Jupiter Inlet. The
sloop, which was carrying a cargo of salt, was destroyed by her
1864 The U.S.S. Union,
under the command of Acting Lieutenant Edward Conroy, captured the
blockade-running steamer, Mayflower, and its cargo of cotton
near Tampa Bay today.
1864 The federal
schooner, U.S.S. Beauregard, today captured the British
schooner, Minnie, about twenty miles south of Mosquito Inlet.
The captured ship was carrying a cargo of salt, liquors, and
1865 Florida units
attached to the Army of Northern Virginia (Confederate) were engaged
in heavy fighting today at Petersburg, Virginia.
1864 Captain John
Westcott of the 2nd Florida Infantry Battalion has been promoted to
major by the Confederate War
Department. His effective date of rank will be January 24, 1863.
1862 Union sailors and
soldiers took possession of Sea Horse Key and Cedar key today.
Although there were no casualties, Union forces destroyed the
railroad depot and wharf, several box cars loaded with supplies,
several ships and boats, and a considerable supply of guns and
ammunition. Capture of Cedar Key effectively ends the importance of
the newly constructed railroad from Fernandina to this Gulf town.
1864 The U.S.S.
Roebuck captured the Confederate sloop Caroline today as
it was attempting to run the blockade into Jupiter Inlet. The
Confederate sloop Caroline was carrying a cargo of
salt, gin, soda, and dry goods.
1864 The U.S.S. Stars
and Stripes captured the British blockade runner Laura
off the Ocklockonee River with a cargo of whiskey, cigars, and
1861 Jackson Morton of
Santa Rosa County, Patton Anderson of Jefferson County, and James B.
Owens of Marion County were appointed as Florida’s delegates to the
Southern Convention scheduled to meet in Montgomery, Alabama, on
1862 The U.S.S.
Connecticut captured the British blockade-runner, Emma,
off the Florida Keys.
1863 A Federal naval
officer reported that he had found 45 bags of salt on a conch bar
near Jupiter Inlet. It was also reported that a small boat with two
Confederates has been captured near the St. Lucie River.
1866 John Beard assumed
office today as Florida’s Comptroller.
1861 Despite demands by
Confederate forces in Pensacola, Union Lieutenant Adam Slemmer
refuses to surrender Fort Pickens to them.
1862 The Federal gunboat
Sagamore, operating off the Gulf Coast near the Apalachicola
River, sent several boats ashore to investigate conditions on St.
Vincent’s Island. The Federal officer in charge reported that the
fort on the island had been burned and abandoned.
1864 The U.S.S. Stars
and Stripes captured the British blockade-runner Laura
today off the Ocklockonee River after a chase of nearly seven hours.
The Laura was carrying a cargo of cigars, whiskey, and
1861 A Federal force
under the command of Brevet Major L. G. Arnold occupied Fort
Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas today. In St. Augustine, Colonel G. C.
Gibbs announced that the city was preparing its defenses against a
1862 The U.S.S. Itasca,
under the command of lieutenant Charles H. B. Caldwell, today
captured the Confederate ship, Lizzie Weston, off the coast
of Florida enroute to Jamaica with a cargo of cotton.
1863 The effectiveness of
the Federal blockade of the Southern coast was revealed in this
captured letter from Nassau: “There are men here who are making
immense fortunes by shipping goods to Dixie…Salt, for example, was
one of the most paying things to send in. Here in Nassau it is only
worth 60 cents a bushel, but in Charleston brings at auction from
$80 to $100 in Confederate money, but as Confederate money is no
good out of the Confederacy they send back cotton or turpentine,
which, if it reaches here, is worth proportionally as much here as
the salt is there….It is a speculation by which one makes either 600
or 800 per cent or loses all.”
1864 The U.S.S.
Roebuck today captured the British blockade-runner Eliza
about a mile inside Jupiter Inlet with a cargo of fourteen bales of
cotton. Roebuck also captured the British sloop Mary
inside Jupiter Inlet later in the day. The Mary had a cargo
of 31 bales of cotton.
1861 Florida’s United
States senators David Levy Yulee and Stephen R. Mallory, along with
U.S. Representative George S. Hawkins, formally withdraw from the
United States Congress today. This following Florida’s secession
from the Union.
1861 Florida’s Secession
Convention adjourns in Tallahassee.
1862 The Confederate
schooner Olive Branch bound from Cedar Key to Nassau with a
cargo of turpentine was captured by the U.S.S. Ethan Allen.
1863 The Federal steamer
U.S.S. Uncas in the St. John’s River fired on Confederate
pickets near Cedar Creek. A Parrott gun on board the Union vessel
exploded, seriously wounding one man whose arm was shattered and
January 21, 1865
The U.S.S. Honeysuckle arrived in Cedar key today with the
British schooner Augusta in tow. The British vessel will be
taken to key West and claimed as a war prize by Acting Ensign
Charles N. Hall and his crew.
1863 The Federal steamer
U.S.S. Bibb left the St. John’s River for Port Royal, South
Carolina, today. It carried a white refugee named Jackson, who
reported to Federal officials that the Confederates had a man-of-war
carrying eight guns on the Chattahoochee River. He also reported
that the steamer Cuba was preparing to run the blockade via
the Suwannee River.
1863 It was reported that
Federal Brigadier General Adam J. Slemmer was captured in the recent
Battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Slemmer first came to the
attention of Floridians when he was a Lieutenant in command of Fort
Barrancas in January 1861. It was Slemmer who ordered Federal troops
to concentrate in Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island in Pensacola
garrisons at St. Augustine removes lenses from the St. Augustine and
Jupiter Inlet lighthouses forcing them to shut down.
1865 The British blockade
runner Fannie McRae was captured today by the Federal tender
Fox between St. Marks and Deadman’s Bay in the Warrior River.
President Jefferson Davis has recommended Joseph J. Finegan of
Fernandina beach be given a commission as Lieutenant Colonel in the
1863 The U.S.S. Paul
Jones was assigned to deliver ammunition and other stores
to ships on patrol duty in the St. John’s River. The Paul Jones
was also instructed to proceed up the river “as far as you may deem
necessary” on a reconnaissance mission. After that mission was
completed, the ship was to join the federal blockade off Florida’s
1861 The Marion Artillery
of St. Augustine announced today that it had fortified Fort Marion
(Castillo de San Marcos) with several 32-pounders and 8-inch
January 26, 1862
The U.S.S. Sagamore left its moorings at St. Vincent’s Island
and moved further up the channel of Apalachicola Bay.
1862 Brigadier General
Samuel Jones has been assigned to command the Army of Pensacola
relieving General Braxton E. Bragg.
1864 Union General
Alexander Asboth, in command of Federal forces at Pensacola,
reported that 1,200 Confederates were encamped at nearby Pollard. He
also reported that two companies of Confederate cavalry were camped
at the head of Choctawhatchee Bay.
1865 Lieutenant Charles
A. French of the U.S.S. Ino captured an unknown ship with a
cargo of cotton and sugar today on the Manatee River.
1861 Former U. S. Senator
David Levy Yulee informed Stephen Mallory that the Federal warship,
U.S.S. Brooklyn, was bound for Fort Pickens with two
companies of soldier aboard. Mallory immediately informed friends in
the Union capital that Confederate forces would not attack as long
as conditions did not change. When this information was passed along
to outgoing President James Buchanan, he ordered the troops be kept
aboard the ship and not landed.
1863 The U.S.S.
Sagamore captured and destroyed the British blockade runner,
Elizabeth, today at the mouth of Jupiter Inlet.
1864 The U. S. schooner,
Beauregard, captured the British blockade-runner Racer
about ten miles north of Cape Canaveral. The English vessel had left
New Smyrna bound for Nassau with a cargo of cotton.
1864 The British steamer
Rosita was captured today by the U.S. Army transport steamer
Western Metropolis about eighty miles out of Key
West. The British steamer Rosita was carrying a cargo of
liquor, cigars, and assorted merchandise.
1862 The U.S. Storeship
Supply captured the Confederate schooner Stephen Hart
south of Sarasota with a cargo of arms and ammunition.
1864 Governor John Milton
informs General Pierre Beauregard, commanding the Department of
South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, that Confederate army
deserters were organizing themselves into bands in the state. The
areas of the strongest groups were in LaFayette, Washington, Walton,
Taylor and Levy counties in West Florida. They deserters were
also operating in strong bands from Tampa to Fort Myers in Southwest
January 29, 1865
The 34th U. S. Colored Troops have been transferred to Florida
1862 The U.S.S.
Kingfisher captured the blockade runner Teresita
today in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.
1862 General J. H.
Trapier, in command of Confederate forces in Florida, reported that
he had the following number of men under his command: Infantry: 133
officers, 1,994 enlisted men, Cavalry: 46 officers, 1,080 enlisted
men, Artillery: 6 officer, 89 enlisted men
January 31, 1863 Confederate authorities reported that in the
District of East Florida, there were 810 men and officers on duty,
while the District of Middle Florida had a total of 751 men and