OCTOBER 1, 1862
The Federal Expeditionary Force, under the command of Brigadier
General John M. Brannan, landed at Mayport Mills on the St. Johns
River. The land troops were accompanied by the Union gunboats
Paul Jones, Cimarron, Water Witch, Hale,
Uneas and Patroon.
OCTOBER 1, 1867
The first post-Civil War voter registration results were filed in
Tallahassee. Some 15, 441 African-Americans registered to vote
compared to 11,151 whites.
OCTOBER 2, 1862 -
Federal troops landed at Buckhorn Creek, between Pablo and Mount
Pleasant Creeks near Jacksonville. Troops under Brigadier General
John M. Brannan attacked Confederate emplacements at St. Johns
Bluff. Union gunboats were slowly moving up the river, shelling all
houses and barns they encountered.
OCTOBER 2, 1863 -
A Federal detachment from the gunboat, Port Royal, attacked
salt works near St. George’s Sound. Six boilers, two large vats and
several kettles were destroyed.
OCTOBER 2, 1864 -
The U.S. schooner, O.H. Lee, arrived in Key West today. The
schooner was scheduled to take up blockade duty off the coast near
OCTOBER 3, 1862 -
The Federal attack on Confederate positions along the St. Johns
River was halted because of intelligence that three Georgia
regiments were being rushed to reinforce Confederate forces.
Confederate forces, evacuated from positions at St. Johns Bluff,
arrived by train in Baldwin for reorganization and re-equipping.
OCTOBER 4, 1862
- The U.S.S. Somerset, under the command of Lieutenant
Commander English, attacked Confederate salt works at Depot Key. The
landing party from the U.S.S. Somerset was augmented by a
strong force from the U.S.S. Tahoma, under the command of
Commander John C. Howell. The salt works were destroyed. Salt was
recognized as a “strategic material” for the Confederacy.
OCTOBER 4, 1863 -
The master of the United States schooner Two Sisters reported
that he was unsuccessful in catching a suspected Confederate
schooner off the coast of Bayport.
OCTOBER 5, 1857 -
Madison Starke Perry, fourth governor of Florida (October,
1857-October 7, 1861), took the oath of office today in Tallahassee.
Perry, elected as a Democrat, had represented Alachua County in the
1850 Florida Senate. Perry’s administration was a busy one that saw
the settlement of the boundary dispute with Georgia, the expansion
of railroads in the state, and the re-establishment of the Florida
militia. Perry was governor when Florida seceded from the Union on
January 11, 1861. Perry was succeeded in the governor’s chair by
John Milton. Following his tenure as governor, Perry served as the
Colonel of the 7th Florida Regiment until illness forced his
retirement. He died at his Alachua County plantation in March 1865.
OCTOBER 5, 1861 -
Lt. Seton Fleming assumed the position of Adjutant of the 2nd
OCTOBER 5, 1862 -
The City of Jacksonville was occupied today by Federal forces. The
city was practically deserted. Union pickets encountered Confederate
cavalry two miles east of the city. Confederate units were camped
about 12 miles west of Jacksonville.
OCTOBER 5, 1863 -
Major Pleasant W. White, Confederate Commissary Agent for Florida,
received a request from General Braxton E. Bragg for Florida cattle
to feed the Army of Tennessee. (The White Papers are in the Tebeau
Collection at the Library of Florida History in Cocoa.)
OCTOBER 6, 1862 -
Floridians were voting today for state offices (Senate and House of
Representatives) under the new Confederate Constitution of Florida.
OCTOBER 6, 1863 -
The sloop, Last Trial, which had sought shelter in Key West
because of heavy weather, was searched by Federal officials and 26
sacks of salt discovered on board. With no cargo manifest and no
flag on board, the sloop was declared a blockade runner (a fact
admitted by the sole crewman on board) and a prize of war. Her
captain, George Elliot, was arrested in Key West.
OCTOBER 6, 1864 -
Lieutenant W. P. Randall of the Federal bark, Restless,
reported that men from his ship destroyed salt works at St. Andrews
Bay--fifty boilers, 90 kettles, 31 wagons, 500 cords of wood, and
150 buildings of various kinds.
OCTOBER 7, 1861 -
Madison Starke Perry (see October 5 entry) turned the reins of state
government over to Governor John Milton, the fifth governor of
Florida (October 7, 1861-April 1, 1865) Milton, who was born on
April 20, 1807, in Jefferson County, Georgia, was a lawyer who
practiced in Georgia, Alabama, and New Orleans before coming to
Florida as the captain of a volunteer company in the Seminole War.
In 1846, he moved to Jackson County. In politics, Milton was an
powerful Democrat and an ardent states’ righter. In 1850, Milton was
elected to the Florida House of Representatives.
early secessionist, Milton was instrumental in leading Florida out
of the Union (3rd southern state to do so) and he encouraged
Governor Perry to seize Federal military establishments in the
During the Civil War, Milton cooperated with Confederate
authorities, unlike some other southern governors. He worked with
Commissary Agent Pleasant W. White to forward Florida cattle and
salt to Confederate armies.
When the Confederacy collapsed,
Milton retired to his home near Marianna, and, on April 1, 1865, he
put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. In his last statement
to the Florida Legislature, he stated that “...death would be
preferable to reunion.”
OCTOBER 7, 1862 -
A Federal army transport captured the Governor Milton on the
St. Johns River near Enterprise.
OCTOBER 7, 1864 -
The C.S.S. Florida was seized today by the U.S.S.
Wachusetts in Bahia Harbor, Brazil, after a surprise attack
while the Confederate ship was at anchor under the protection of the
Brazilian government. The U.S.S. Wachusetts was under the
command of Commander Napoleon Collins, whose defiance of
international law and the expressed prohibitions of the Brazilian
government led to his eventual court-martial and dismissal from the
Union Navy. Secretary Sumner Welles, however, restored Collins to
his command. Brazilian protests over this blatant violation of
international law continued until 1866.
OCTOBER 8, 1862 -
Confederate forces under General Braxton E. Bragg engaged a Union
army under the command of General Don Carlos Buell outside
Perryville, Kentucky ( Chaplin Hills ). Despite the fact that
neither army commander was aware of the importance of this battle
and never committed all of their resources to the fight, the Battle
of Perryville ended the Confederate invasion of Kentucky. Union
forces were 37,000 strong, while the Confederate army had a strength
of only 16,000. Union casualties were 845 killed; 2,851 wounded; and
515 missing. Confederate casualties were 519 killed; 2,635 wounded;
and 251 missing. Florida units involved in the Battle of Perryville
were the Florida 3rd Infantry Regiment and the Florida 1st Cavalry
OCTOBER 8, 1863 -
Union Brigadier General Alexander Asboth was named to command of
Federal forces in West Florida.
OCTOBER 9, 1861 -
Federal forces on Santa Rosa Island near Pensacola were scattered in
a surprise raid by Confederate troops.
OCTOBER 10, 1862 -
A Court of Inquiry, directed by Captain Wilkinson Call, today
decided that Lieutenant Colonel Charles F. Hopkins was not guilty of
dereliction of duty in regard to the evacuation of the St. Johns
Bluff position on October 2, 1862.
OCTOBER 9, 1863 -
The Union schooner, Two Sisters, set sail from Cedar Key
after spending three days making repairs to its sail.
OCTOBER 10, 1861 -
General Edmund Kirby Smith, a native of St. Augustine, was named to
command the Confederate districts of Middle and Eastern Florida.
OCTOBER 10, 1863 -
The Federal schooner Two Sisters turned a small boat carrying
two men back to the shore while on patrol duty off the coast of
OCTOBER 11, 1861 -
Confederate forces in Tampa captured two sloops, the William
Batty and the Lyman Dudley, both home based in Key West,
and thirteen sailors who were made prisoners and taken to Fort
OCTOBER 11, 1862 -
Federal forces evacuated the City of Jacksonville today and returned
to Hilton Head, SC.
OCTOBER 12, 1861 -
The U.S.S. Dale, under the command of Commander Edward M.
Yard, captured the schooner Specie off the coast of
Jacksonville with a large cargo of rice.
OCTOBER 12, 1864 -
Union troops, operating from Jacksonville, moved south along the
eastern bank of the St. Johns River, laying waste to orange groves.
OCTOBER 12, 1864 - Federal Rear Admiral Cornelius K.
Stribling arrived in Key West to assume command of the East Coast
OCTOBER 13, 1861 -
The U.S.S. Keystone State captured the Confederate steamer
Salvor near the Dry Tortugas Islands with a cargo of cigars,
coffee, and munitions.
OCTOBER 13, 1862 -
Union troops occupying St. Augustine were described by the Savannah
(GA) Republican as being respectful of the local population
and were commended for supplying the city’s poor with rations from
OCTOBER 13, 1863 -
The U.S.S. Two Sisters was on a reconnaissance mission near
Clearwater. The Union gunboat Tahoma joined the other Federal
ships (Adela, Stonewall Jackson, and Ariel) on
blockade duty at the mouth of Tampa Bay.
OCTOBER 14, 1861 -
Confederate General Braxton E. Bragg assumed command of the
Department of Alabama and West Florida today.
OCTOBER 14, 1862 -
Throughout Florida efforts were underway to collect used clothing
suitable for Virginia winters and funds to purchase the material
that cannot be acquired through donations to equip Florida troops
for the upcoming winter in the Army of Northern Virginia.
OCTOBER 14, 1863 -
The 8th Florida Infantry Regiment participated today in the Battle
of Bristoe Station when General A. P. Hill’s corps struck the
retreating rear units of Union General George Meade’s Army of the
Potomac. Although Hill’s assault disrupted the Union retreat, it did
not break their lines and Meade was able to prepare defensive
positions around Centreville, VA. Lieutenant Colonel William Baya of
the 8th Florida was listed among the wounded.
OCTOBER 15, 1862 -
Crews from the U.S.S. Fort Henry , operating on the
Apalachicola River, captured the Confederate sloop, G. L.
Brockenborough, with a cargo of cotton.
OCTOBER 15, 1863 -
The U.S.S. Honduras captured the British steamer, Mail,
near St. Petersburg. On board were 176 bales of cotton, six barrels
of turpentine, and about $2,500. The capture of the Mail
followed a three-hour chase by the U.S.S. Honduras, which was
assisted by three other Union ships--the U.S.S. Two Sisters, the
Sea Bird, and the Fox. It was reported that the
Union Navy now has thirty-three ships in its East Gulf Blockading
Squadron, based in Key West.
OCTOBER 15, 1864 -
A column of Federal troops raided orange groves south of
Jacksonville and east of the St. Johns River. More than 300 barrels
of oranges were captured. Some of the oranges were distributed to
Union troops in the area, and the remainder were shipped to the
Union stronghold at Hilton Head, SC.
OCTOBER 16, 1861 -
Confederate Major W. L. L. Bowen, commander of Fort Brooke (Tampa),
ordered the two sloops captured recently (see entry for October 11)
to be turned over to the Confederate naval commissioner as legal
prizes of war.
OCTOBER 16, 1863 -
The U.S.S. Tahoma and the U.S.S. Adela were ordered to
seize two Confederate blockade- runners, the Scottish Chief
(owned by Tampa resident James MacKay) and the Kate Dale.
The Union plan was to shell the town and Fort Brooke and, under the
cover of darkness, to send men ashore to destroy the
blockaderunners. The citizens of Tampa held an emergency meeting to
form a military company to defend the city against the Union forces.
Confederate troops from the 2nd Florida Infantry Battalion were on
hand to help repel the Federal invasion.
OCTOBER 17, 1863 -
The Union ships, Adela and Tahoma, shelled Tampa
today. A number of casualties were inflicted. On land, Federal
troops reached the Hillsborough River at about 6:00 a.m. Sighting
the Scottish Chief and the Kate Dale, they set both
ships on fire. The Scottish Chief had a cargo of 156 bales of
cotton, while the Kate Dale carried 11 bales. Confederate
forces, under the command of Captain James Westcott, attacked the
Federals later in the evening and killed five soldiers, wounded ten,
and took seven prisoner. Confederate losses were not reported.
OCTOBER 17, 1863 - The famed “Cow Cavalry” continued its
roundup of cattle in the Tampa region for movement to Confederate
troops in Virginia and Tennessee.
OCTOBER 18, 1863 -
Federal soldiers wounded in yesterday’s skirmish near Tampa were
evacuated to the lighthouse on Egmont Key. In a display of 19th
century gallantry, Confederate Captain James Westcott, who commanded
the successful action against the Federals, informed the Union
soldiers that their dead would be buried with full military honors
OCTOBER 18, 1864 -
Approximately 200 Federal soldiers from Fort Barrancas in Pensacola
attacked a small group of Confederate cavalry in Milton. One Union
soldier was killed and several others wounded. There is no record of
OCTOBER 19, 1863 -
The Chief Commissary officer for General Braxton E. Bragg’s Army of
Tennessee, Major J. F. Cummings, today appealed to Florida
Commissary Agent Major Pleasant W. White for more Florida cattle for
Confederate soldiers fighting in northern Georgia. He informed White
that “Captain Townsend, assistant commissary of subsistence, having
a leave of absence for thirty days from the Army of Tennessee, I
have prevailed on him to see you and explain to you my straightened
condition and the imminent danger of our army suffering for want of
beef.” (For more information about this subject, see Robert A.
Taylor, Rebel Storehouse: Florida in the Confederate Economy
(Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1995, p. 162.)
OCTOBER 19, 1864 -
Federal raiders, operating along the shores of Escambia Bay,
confiscated approximately 1,500 bricks, several doors, and a large
amount of window sash for use on Federal fortifications/buildings in
the Pensacola area.
expedition made up of men from the U.S.S. Stars and Stripes
made its way up the Ocklockonee River in West Florida. Today and
tomorrow, this expedition destroyed an extensive Confederate fishery
on Marsh’s Island and captured a detachment of Confederate soldiers
assigned to guard the fishery.
OCTOBER 20, 1863 -
The U.S. tender Annie captured the British blockade runner
Martha Jane near Bayport. On board was a cargo of 26,609 pounds
of sea island cotton, $1,206.88 in gold, silver and U.S. currency,
and $127.70 in Confederate money.
OCTOBER 20, 1863 - The Confederate schooner Ann of Nassau
and another small sloop were captured with cargoes of sea island
cotton near Bayport as well.
OCTOBER 20, 1863 - Major J. F. Cummings, Chief Commissary for
the Army of Tennessee, continued to press Major Pleasant W. White
for more beef for troops in North Georgia. “The army is to-day on
half rations of beef and I fear within a few days will have nothing
but bread to eat. This is truly a dark hour with us, and I cannot
see what is to be done. All that is left for us to do is to do all
we can, and then we will have a clear conscience, no matter what the
world may say.” (For more information about this subject, see Robert
A. Taylor, Rebel Storehouse: Florida in the Confederate Economy
(Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1995, p. 162.)
OCTOBER 20, 1864 -
The U.S. Navy Department ordered the U.S.S. San Jacinto to
report to Key West for blockade duty.
OCTOBER 21, 1863 -
The U.S. bark Gem of the Sea captured a small sloop with four
men and a single barrel of turpentine. One of the men was Richard
Maiers, the former marshal of Key West.
OCTOBER 21, 1864 -
The U.S.S. Sea Bird, under the command of Ensign E. L.
Robbins, captured the blockade running British schooner Lucy
off Anclote Keys. The Lucy was carrying an assortment of
OCTOBER 21, 1864 - Confederate and Union troops skirmished
today at Bryant’s Plantation in northern Florida.
OCTOBER 22, 1863 -
Commander A.A. Semmes of the U.S.S. Tahoma communicated with
Captain James Westcott at Fort Brooke in an unsuccessful effort to
have the family of Acting Master’s Mate H. A. Crane released.
OCTOBER 23, 1863 -
The U.S.S. Norfolk Packet, under the command of Acting Ensign
George W. Wood, captured the schooner Ocean Bird off St.
OCTOBER 23, 1863 -
Lieutenant Ball of Dunham’s Artillery (Florida Milton Light
Artillery, Battery A, Artillery) was killed today in a fight at
Cathey’s Hotel in Lake City. His killer was J. A. Pickett.
OCTOBER 24, 1861 -
The U.S.S. Rhode Island, under the command of Lieutenant
Stephen D. Trenchard, captured the schooner Aristides off
OCTOBER 24, 1864 -
The U.S.S. Nita, under the command of Acting Lieutenant
Robert B. Smith, captured the schooner Unknown off Clearwater
Harbor after her crew had escaped.
OCTOBER 24, 1864 - The U.S.S. Rosalie, under the
command of Acting Ensign Henry W. Wells, captured an unidentified
blockade running sloop off Little Marco Island with a cargo of salt
OCTOBER 24, 1864 - On land, skirmishes broke out between
Confederate and Union forces near Magnolia, Fl. Florida units
participating were the Florida 2nd Cavalry and the Florida 5th
Cavalry Battalion. Cavalry, under the command of J. J. Dickinson,
killed ten of the fifty-five Union troops, wounded eight, and took
twenty-three prisoners. There were no Confederate casualties.
OCTOBER 25, 1864 -
A detachment of 600 Union troops left Fort Barrancas in Pensacola
and attacked the town of Milton. Nine Confederates were taken
prisoner. Several soldiers on both sides were wounded. The Federal
troops captured a small quantity of lumber and timber. The ferry
crossing across the river was destroyed by the troops.
OCTOBER 25, 1865 -
The Florida Ordinance of Secession
was annulled by a special Constitutional Convention mandated by
Andrew Johnson on this date.
OCTOBER 26, 1861 -
The Confederate Department of Middle and Eastern Florida was defined
as extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Choctawhatchee River.
OCTOBER 26, 1863 -
The U.S.S. Two Sisters returned to Cedar Key today after a
cruise along the Gulf Coast.
OCTOBER 27, 1819 -
Henry Bradley Plant, pioneer developer of railroads on Florida’s
west coast and the founder of the Plant System of railroads and
steamships, was born in Branford, CT. During the Civil War, Plant
was the southern manager for Adams Express Company, which he renamed
the Southern Express Company. Plant’s services were considered so
valuable to the Confederate government during the war that he was
excused from the requirement that he become a Confederate citizen.
After the war, Plant began to assembled the Plant System in the
South. In Florida, the Plant System ran from Jacksonville to Palatka
and Sanford. Ultimately the Plant System stretched to Tampa and
points south. By 1895, Plant had more than 1,400 miles of railroads
under his control and about 1,300 miles of steamer routes. See
Edward A. Mueller, Steamships of the Two Henrys (DeLeon
Springs: E. O. Painter Printing Company, 1996).
OCTOBER 28, 1862 -
The U.S.S. Sagamore, under the command of Lieutenant
Commander George A. Bigelow, captured the British blockade running
steamer Trier off the coast of the Indian River Inlet. The
U.S.S. Montgomery seized the blockade running steamer
Caroline off the coast of Pensacola.
OCTOBER 28, 1862 - Union soldier surprised a detachment of
Confederate cavalry at Gonzalia (about 20 miles north of Pensacola)
early this morning. All but nine of the Confederates were killed or
OCTOBER 28, 1865 -
A constitutional convention, called at the direction of President
Andrew Johnson and Provisional Governor William Marvin, met today in
Tallahassee to write a new state constitution as a condition for
readmission into the Union. The constitution, which was to become
effective on November 7 without a vote of the citizens, never became
effective because President Johnson lost control of the process of
Reconstruction to Congressional Republicans.
OCTOBER 29, 1864 -
Brigadier General William S. Walker of Florida assumed command of
Confederate troops in Weldon, VA.
OCTOBER 29, 1864 -
C.S.S. Olustee, formerly
the C.S.S. Tallahassee and under the command of Lieutenant
William H. Ward, eluded Union blockaders off the coast of Wilmington
today to begin a nine-day cruise against Union shipping in the
OCTOBER 30, 1862 -
Fearing what impact the Union occupation of the
Fernandina-Jacksonville-St. Augustine area might have on the slave
population of North Florida, Confederate General Finegan authorized
Captain J. J. Dickinson and his Cavalry to assemble free blacks and
slaves with no owners present and to move them to the interior of
the state where they could be placed in the charge of some
responsible white person.
OCTOBER 30, 1863 -
The U.S.S. Annie, under the command of Acting Ensign
Williams, seized the blockade-running British schooner, Meteor,
off the coast of Bayport, Florida, today.
OCTOBER 30, 1861 -
Governor John Milton reported to Confederate authorities at Richmond
that Union gunboats had captured the ship, Salvor, owned and
commanded by James McKay of Tampa, near Key West with a cargo of
“21,000 stands of arms, 10 boxes of revolvers, six rifled cannon,