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Civil War, Marianna

A History of Florida


West Florida; the First Raid. Many citizens of Jackson and adjoining counties had opposed secession, but when the war began, they volunteered as readily as the men of other parts of the State. No part of Florida suffered as much as this from Federal raiders. During the summer of 1862 the first raiding party from Pensacola visited Milton, and from that time to the end of the war there was little safety. General Asboth especially made his name dreaded throughout that part of the State.

Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis

Eucheeanna Looted. In September, 1864, General Asboth with several companies of cavalry, two companies of negroes, and a large number of deserters from the Confederate army, came as far east as Marianna. They committed such outrages that one is glad to know that the leader of the leader of the expedition was not a native American.

What was the position of many citizens of West Florida? When and where was the first raid into that section? Name the Federal general who raided West Florida in 1864. Of what did his force consist?

At Eucheeanna, Asboth had all the old men arrested. Only old men could be found, as others were in the army. He locked these prisoners up in the old jail. Here they kept without food a night and a day and part of a second day. To their other sufferings was added great anxiety for their families and homes. When the town had been robbed of all worth having, the prisoners were released, and the general and his men rode on to Marianna. All were mounted on horses taken in the neighborhood.

McKinnon and the Raiders. It is impossible to tell all about the raid, but one incident may be mentioned. Some of the party were at the home of Colonel McKinnon, one of the old pioneers of Walton County. Now he was an old man of eighty years. One of the officers seized from the wall a sword that the old gentleman had carried through the Seminole War and valued now above all other possessions. "You shall not touch that sword! " cried the old hero with trembling voice. "It has never been drawn except in defense of my country. You have taken everything else but that sword you shall not take; I have never permitted it to be used against the Union." "Why, Colonel," said the officer, "we did hear that you were a Union man, but since coming here learn that you have six sons in the rebel army." Colonel McKinnon's eyes flashed as he answered, "Yes, and this violence of yours and robbery of yours will drive more men into that army."

Describe the actions of the Union forces at Eucheeanna. Tell the story of Colonel McKinnon.

Marianna's Exposed Condition. Marianna was in a defenseless condition. Pensacola on the West was the Federals. Quincy, fifty miles east, was the railway station. About the same distance south was St. Andrews Bay, blocked by Federal gunboats. The federates had one cavalry company at Marianna, another company was twenty miles west, and a third twenty-five miles in another direction. These companies were under command of Colonel Montgomery. When he learned that the Federals were approaching, he sent couriers in haste to his scattered forces with orders to report at Marianna. Church bells were rung to give notice of danger, and all men who could bear arms hastily gathered together. A few soldiers at home on sick leave, white-haired old men and boys under sixteen, some mounted, but most of them on foot, formed themselves into a company and reported to the colonel for duty.

Defense of Marianna. Two roads led into Marianna from the west, and Colonel Montgomery did not know by which of them the Federals would approach Marianna. He barricaded the street where the roads met in the center of the town. A church was on the left, a large boarding house on the right. Here the Confederates took their stand.

The Battle. Early in the afternoon the advance pickets of the Federals appeared, but retreated on meeting the Confederate fire. In a little while the main body appeared, advancing directly toward the church. A part of the command flanked the town. For half an hour there was the fiercest fighting. General Asboth ordered the church and boarding house and a private house opposite to be burned, yet the heroic little band of Confederates still held their ground. But when the flanking party in the rear began their work, the Confederates could do no more against such odds, and began to retreat to the Chipola River on the east of town. They were pursued with steady firing by the cavalry, and only about fifty succeeded in crossing the river. These destroyed the bridge. Some others, by scattering in every direction, escaped capture, but about one hundred, among them Colonel Montgomery, were made prisoners. In this fight the Confederates lost sixty killed and wounded. The Federals had twelve killed and twenty-five wounded. General Asboth was among the wounded.

Enumerate and locate the forces upon which Marianna was depend ent for protection. What steps were taken to defend Marianna Describe Montgomery's preparations.

Reenforcements arrived too late. Although in complete possession of the town, the Federals decided to return to Pensacola, and left Marianna in the night. Asboth was taken in a carriage. The other wounded were left and were cared for at the Confederate hospital. The prisoners were sent to Northern prisons. Only about forty of them lived to return home, and they were so enfeebled by the hardships and privations they had suffered that most of them died within a few months after reaching home.

The battle was over when the companies Colonel Montgomery had sent for arrived on the east side of the river. They expected to renew the fight next morning, but learned that the Federals had left the town. Colonel Scott arrived with his battalion next day, and attempted a Pursuit, but the Federals were too far on their way to Pensacola to be overtaken.

Describe the battle and its results. What maneuver forced the Confederates to give way? What did the Federal forces do after the battle? When did reenforcements arrive for the Confederates?

Excerpt Part Two, Chapter 14, "Marianna" A History of Florida, 1904. Next Section; Table of Contents.


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