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Pensacola

By far, the most significant conflicts in Florida were at Pensacola, Fernandina, Jacksonville and nearby Olustee.  At the outbreak of the Civil War, Pensacola was the largest city in Florida. In April, 1861, the Union Army increased its troops at Ft. Pickens on Santa Rosa Island, across from the town at the entrance of Pensacola Bay. This aggravated the confederates who occupied Ft. Barrancas and Ft. McRee. They tried to seize the fort even though the two sides had earlier formed a “truce”. The Feds didn’t yield and increased their troops, as well as blockading the harbor with Union Navy Ships. These conflicts continued into early 1862, when the confederate troops were ordered to go to other states because the battles there were more important. Consequently, the confederate troops finally abandoned Pensacola after one year of standoffs. When they left, they took what they needed and burned the rest.

The Harbor of Pensacola, showing the Forts and Navy Yard
Jefferys, Thomas
1763

This map by Thomas Jefferys of “The Harbor of Pensacola, showing the Forts and Navy Yard” was from Harper’s Weekly, February 1861, and was used in an exhibit of Florida in the Civil War by the Museum of Florida History along with a lithograph of Fort Pickens and a photograph of southern troops and their heavy artillery aimed at Ft. Pickens from across the bay.

This map predates the Civil War by one hundred years (1763). The bay is labeled “Bay of Sta. Maria de Galbes”. The same name is on the fort in the town where the Navy yard is located. It was later named Ft. Barrancas. Ft. Sta. Rosa was later named Ft. Pickens.

Facsimile reprint by Univ. of Florida Press: 1976.

Sketch of Fort Pickens, Florida
Lt. Langdon
1861

This “Sketch of Fort Pickens, Florida”, by Lt. Langdon was done in May 1861. It was published in Atlas of the Union and Confederate Armies. Plate V. Inset 6. The lines extending out beyond the fort show the direction toward the Navy Yard, Ft. Barrancas, Ft. McRee, etc.

References