Saturday, September 18, 2010
September 18, 1864 - Along the old Jackson Road
The section of trail followed by the Union troops as they left Gulf Breeze still exists today and probably looks remarkably like it did in 1864. It is located north of the highway in the Naval Live Oaks Area of Gulf Islands National Seashore and can be followed on foot through the national park area.
The Jackson Trail itself is actually a section of the old Federal road, built in the 1820s to connect Pensacola and St. Augustine. This section follows an older Indian trail. Funded by the U.S. Congress, the road was the first built by the United States after it took possession of Florida to connect the east and west coasts of Florida.
Accounts of the 1864 raid indicate it had been raining heavily as the soldiers in Asboth's column made their way east up the old road. Much of the route was muddy and portions were underwater.
You can learn more about the preserve at www.exploresouthernhistory.com/navalliveoaks and more about the Marianna raid at www.battleofmarianna.com.