Sunday, July 20, 2008
Civil War in Panama City - Part Two
When Florida officially put itself on the road to war in January of 1861, the immediate impact on St. Andrew Bay and the modern Panama City area was minimal.
There were no fortifications or military facilities on the bay, so the area was not an immediate focus for military activity. Some of the local men joined Confederate companies from Washington County, but otherwise there was no real focus on the area during 1861.
For the most part, life continued as normal on the bay during the spring, summer and fall of 1861. The fisheries remained active, but the resort community quieted as few people from the inland counties risked the possibility of a Union raid into the bay. As the Union navy slowly began to increase its blockade efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, St. Andrew Bay also developed as a port for blockade runners. Small sloops and steamers would come into the bay and moor near the mouth of Bear Creek. From there, goods could be shipped by wagon up through the Econfina settlement to Marianna or by barge up Bear Creek to the short portage over into the Chipola and Apalachicola Rivers.
Our series on the Civil War in the Panama City area will continue.