Saturday, September 27, 2008
The Battle of Marianna, Florida - September 27, 1864, 12:15 p.m.
While the main fighting of the Battle of Marianna was taking place in the yard at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, a second phase of the engagement opened here at Courthouse Square.
Montgomery's retreating Confederate cavalry reached the courthouse to find the surrounding streets and grounds already occupied by the flanking party of Federals that had come around the north side of town.
Surgeon Henry Robinson of the 5th Florida Cavalry was engaged in this part of the battle and reported that hand to hand combat, on horseback, broke out in the area surrounding the courthouse.
Colonel Montgomery was unhorsed on the southeast corner of the square and captured. Confederate troops, however, also took several Union prisoners in the fighting here.
Two members of the Campbellton Cavalry knocked a Union soldier from his horse here and made off with his saber. It remained a cherished artifact for the descendents of George Ball for many years, but is believed to have been lost in an unfortunate house fire.
The man body of the Southern cavalry finally forced its way through the Federals here and moved around the square to Jackson Street and continued down the red clay hill to the Chipola River (Lafayette Street then ended at the Courthouse). Eyewitnesses reported seeing fighting as the troops went down the river.
When they reached the river, the men of Chisolm's Alabama Militia company made a bold stand and held back Union attacks while the other men tore up the planking from the open wood bridge. The Confederates then crossed over and took up defensive positions on the east bank, successfully driving back several Union attempts to take possession of the bridge.
Our series will continue and you can always read more by visiting www.battleofmarianna.net.