Wednesday, March 11, 2009

International Military Delegation Tours Marianna Battlefield

More than 60 military officers from around the world spent part of Saturday touring the historic scene of the Battle of Marianna, the second such group to tour the battlefield in the past year.

Arranged by the International Military Student Office of the U.S. Army's "Strength through Allies" program, the tour gave officers from numerous countries the opportunity to learn about the tactics of the historically unique battle and discuss the guerrilla fighting that took place in Jackson County during the Reconstruction era's "Jackson County War." Canada, Germany, Norway, Mexico, Colombia, the Philippines and a number of other countries were represented.

The Battle of Marianna has received growing recognition over recent years as the unique nature of the 1864 engagment has become better understood. As the international officers learned on Saturday, the battle marked a rare combination of unusual circumstances ranging from untrained and barely organized militia companies standing up to seasoned and well-armed U.S. troops to armed involvement by women and children and an unusual situation in which both Unionists and Secessionists fought beside each other using ambush and "urban warfare" tactics to defend their community.

In addition, the destruction and loss of life resulting from the battle played a role in sparking one of the most brutal Reconstruction era uprising's in the South. The "Jackson County War" can only be described as a full-fledged guerrilla war that involved armed attacks, murders, assassinations and what we would today label "terrorist activities." I'll have more on that tomorrow.

To learn more about the battle, please consider my book, The Battle of Marianna, Florida. It is available through and most other online booksellers and can also be purchased through Chipola River Book and Tea in Downtown Marianna. You can also visit for more information.

If you are interested in arranging a guided tour of the battlefield either for yourself or a group, please contact me at and I will be glad to help arrange it for you.

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