Sunday, August 9, 2009

New Design Launched for Battle of Marianna site

A major redesign has been launched at the top site exploring the history of the Battle of Marianna, Florida. It can be accessed by visiting

One of the most intense Civil War battles in Florida, the fight at Marianna developed on September 27, 1864, when the city was attacked by Union troops under the command of Brigadier General Alexander Asboth. Confederate forces led by Colonel Alexander B. Montgomery resisted, resulting in a fierce battle that was called the "most severe fight of the war" for its size by participants who had taken part in such actions as Shiloh and Chickamauga.

Commanding a force of troops from the 2nd Maine Cavalry, 1st Florida U.S. Cavalry, 82nd U.S. Colored Infantry and 86th U.S. Colored Infantry, Asboth stormed the town at high noon on September 27th, culminating the deepest penetration of Confederate Florida by Union soldiers during the entire War Between the States.

After driving back an outnumbered force of mounted men from the 1st Florida Reserves, Campbellton Cavalry, Greenwood Club Cavalry and Chisolm's Alabama Militia, the Union troops rode headlong into an ambush prepared for them by the Marianna Home Guard. Firing from the cover of trees, fences, shrubs and buildings along both sides of the main street, the home guards mowed down "every officer and man" at the head of the Union column. Asboth himself was wounded in two places and the 2nd Maine Cavalry suffered its greatest losses of the war.

The battle deteriorated into two fights, one for control of the vital bridge over the Chipola River, and the second for command of the town itself. Although cornered and surrounded on the grounds of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, the men and boys of the Marianna Home Guard refused to surrender and waged a fierce battle at close range with attacking Union forces. It was not until they ran low on ammunition that they finally agreed to lay down their arms, only to be fired on by outraged Union soldiers.

A possible massacre was prevented when one of the Federal officers pointed a pistol at the head of one of his own men and threatened to shoot any man who dared shoot a prisoner. Captain George Maynard later received a Congressional Medal of Honor in part for his actions at the Battle of Marianna.

The new site features numerous photographs of the battlefield as well as detailed accounts of events leading up to, during and following the battle. There are casualty lists, orders of battle and even a walking tour of the battlefield as it appears today.

To learn more, please visit

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