Saturday, March 6, 2010

145th Anniversary of the Battle of Natural Bridge

Today (March 6th) marked the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Natural Bridge, the Florida engagement fought in 1865 that was one of the last significant Southern victories of the Civil War.

The annual reenactment of the battle will take place tomorrow (Sunday) at the Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park near Woodville (just south of Tallahassee). Events get underway with the opening ceremonies and memorial service at 1:45 p.m. (Eastern time), followed by the battle reenactment at 2:30 p.m. The weather looks perfect for this year's event, which means you probably can expect a very large crowd, so be sure to head out early in order to get a good spot. Concessions are available at the battlefield.


The Battle of Natural Bridge was fought on March 6, 1865, when a Union force led by Brigadier General John Newton tried to force its way across the St. Marks River in the face of heavy resistance from Confederate forces led by Major General Samuel Jones and Brigadier General William Miller. The Southern troops reached the battlefield firest and were able to entrench on rising ground overlooking the Natural Bridge, which was a place where the river flowed underground for a short distance before rising back to the surface and continuing its course to the Gulf of Mexico.

With a superior position, more cannon and a strong force, the Confederates were able to hurl back at least eight Union charges. By the time the smoke cleared, 151 Union soldiers had been killed, wounded, captured or were missing in action. Southern forces lost 49 killed, wounded or captured. The battle preserved Tallahassee's status as the only Confederate capital east of the Mississippi not captured by Union forces before the end of the war.

If you would like to learn more about the Battle of Natural Bridge, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/nbindex. My book on the topic can be purchased by clicking the ad you see above.

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