Saturday, November 6, 2010

J.J. Dickison's Cannon on display at Silver River Museum

One of the most unique artifacts of the War Between the States in Florida can be found on display at the outstanding Silver River Museum at Silver River State Park in Ocala.

A small howitzer said to have been used by Captain J.J. Dickison and his men is part of a display of Confederate and Union artifacts at the museum, which is a joint venture of the Marion County School District and the Florida Park Service. Dickison, of course, was known as the "Swamp Fox" of the Confederacy because of the highly successful raids he engineered using tactics much like those employed by General Francis Marion, the original "Swamp Fox" of the American Revolution.

A Florida cavalry officer, Dickison was a courageous defender of the home front who bedeviled Union troops in Florida with bold tactics and sudden surprises. His tactical ability was well-demonstrated at engagements such as the Battle of Number Four near Cedar key and actions at Gainesville and along the St. Johns River. He often spoke of his "small cannon" or howitzer and the efficiency with which it was served.

The well-preserved howitzer is just one of the myriad of artifacts on display at the Silver River Museum, which is one of the finest public museums in the state. Other exhibits include a gigantic mammoth skeleton, artifacts from Florida's colonial times, relics of the Second Seminole War and even Spanish cannon and pieces of silver. You can learn more about the museum at


Terry Sirmans said...

Thanks Dale, never knew this existed. Will visit first chance I get.

Dale said...

Terry, It is really a very nice museum and is only about one mile from Silver Springs. I was stunned by the extent of the collection and the outstanding job they did in organizing the exhibits.