Fort Pickens

Periodically we like to close with a little-known Florida historical fact. While researching January events we came across the following. The firing on Fort Sumter, South Carolina, which began on April 12, 1861, is generally regarded as the beginning of the American Civil War. However, it was in Florida that the first actual shots between Union and Confederate supporters occurred.  

On January 8, 1861 a small garrison of U.S. Army troops stationed in Pensacola were attacked by a local group of secessionists. The attack was rebuffed and two days later, on January 10th, Florida succeeded from the Union. Upon hearing the news, the Union troops retreated to Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island. Thus began the Battle of Pensacola. Over the next sixteen months there were skirmishes between the two sides. At its peak over 9,000 troops were involved in the siege, which involved the Union naval fleet. In May, 1862, shortly after news of the fall of New Orleans reached Florida, the Confederates abandoned Pensacola.

We hope you enjoyed this edition of our eNewsletter. We will keep you updated on the happenings in Tallahassee as the legislature continues to meet ahead of the beginning of session in March. The JEJ Team