Thursday, January 22, 2009

Did Women Fight at the Battle of Marianna?

One of the more interesting legends involving War Between the States activity in Florida is that at least a few women of Marianna joined the fighting when Union troops attacked that town on September 27, 1864.

A report that appeared in a Northern newspaper shortly after the battle indicated that every "man, woman and child" in the town was armed, but there has been little else to prove or disprove the claim.

I've now found an original source from the Confederate side that makes the same claim. It appeared in the Mobile, Alabama, Register and Advertiser on October 9, 1864, and provides some basic information on the Battle of Marianna, including the following note:

At Mariana the people fought him bravely, even the women taking a hand and firing at him from the windows of the house and a church.

The church was St. Luke's Episcopal Church, which was burned during the fighting. Two adjacent homes - the residence of Dr. R.A. Sanders and the boarding house of Mrs. Caroline Hunter - were also burned by Federal troops because shots were being fired at them from the windows.

I find it interesting that I've now been able to find two accounts, one Northern and one Southern, that describe women taking part in the fighting at Marianna. It is definitely a topic that warrants additional research.

If you would like to learn more about the Battle of Marianna, please visit my website on the battle at or consider my book, The Battle of Marianna, Florida.

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