Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Raid on Marianna - September 24, 1864

This photograph shows Ponce de Leon Spring in Holmes County as it appeared before the area was developed as a state park. The spring was along the route of Asboth's march on September 24, 1864.
The Federals turned north from Eucheeanna on the morning of the 24th, heading up the west side of the Choctawhatchee River into Holmes County.
Raiding continued as the troops advanced. Among the locations hit on the 24th was a log hotel at Ponce de Leon Spring. The spring is now a state park in Holmes County and is a beautiful spot, although the view has changed considerably since the days of the raid.
The first Union casualty of the raid was suffered on this day as the troops were crossing Big Sandy Creek near Ponce de Leon. Private Joseph Williams of Company H, 82nd U.S. Colored Infantry was mortally wounded in an accidental shooting and left in the care of a local family.
Leaving the Ponce de Leon vicinity, the column pushed north into Holmes County and rode into the community of Cerrogordo late in the day.
Cerrogordo was then the county seat of Holmes County, but consisted of little more than a courthouse, jail, store and a few homes. A ferry crossed the Choctawhatchee River here and Asboth seized the flat and sent men across to secure a beachhead on the opposite bank.
The main body camped at Cerrogordo for the night while waiting to begin crossing the river the next morning.
Our series on Asboth's raid on Marianna will continue. Until the next post, you can read more by visiting or purchasing a copy of my book, The Battle of Marianna, Florida. The book is available in Marianna at Chipola River Book and Tea (downtown across from the Battle of Marianna monument). You can also order a copy online. Click here for more information.

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