Friday, March 11, 2011

Now Available: The Battle of Marianna, Florida (Expanded Edition)

I'm pleased to announce that the new Expanded Edition of my book, The Battle of Marianna, Florida, is now available.

The new edition of the book includes nearly 50 pages of additional information, including maps, more photographs, a detailed bibliography, expanded casualty lists, additional biographical information and a great deal of new information about the 1864 Northwest Florida raid and Battle of Marianna.

The Battle of Marianna was the climax of a raid carried out in Northwest Florida by Union troops under Brig. Gen. Alexander Asboth from September 15 - October 4, 1864. Not only was the raid the deepest penetration of Confederate Florida during the entire War Between the States, it was longer than Sherman's March to the Sea making it one of the most remarkable cavalry raids of the war. In addition, Jackson, Walton, Washington and Holmes Counties in the Florida Panhandle sustained more economic damage during the raid than did any other counties in Florida during the entire war.

The Federal troops began crossing Pensacola Bay from Barrancas Post to what is now Gulf Breeze on September 15, 1864. It took three days to get the men, horses and artillery across and on the 18th they began a movement east along the north shore of Santa Rosa Sound to the old Camp Walton site at today's Fort Walton Beach. From there they skirted around the northern shore of Choctawhatchee Bay and turned inland, devastating the farming communities of today's Walton County and skirmishing with Confederate cavalry at Eucheeanna (then the county seat) on September 23rd.

From Walton County the raiders turned north and crossed the Choctawhatchee River at Cerrogordo in Holmes County on the 25th. Some of the men made it as far north as Geneva in southern Alabama. By midday on the 26th of September, they had pushed into the plantation belt of northwestern Jackson County, pushing aside opposition from the Campbellton home guard as they advanced.

The Union troops reached Marianna the next day, launching a two-pronged assault on the city. Marianna was defended by a few hundred Confederate militia, reserves, home guards and volunteers and one of the fiercest small battles of the war took place in its streets. The 2nd Maine Cavalry sustained its most severe casualties of the war on September 27, 1864, and nearly 20% of the male population of the city was killed, wounded or captured in the fighting. A church and homes were burned and some Confederate soldiers died in the flames rather than surrender.

Often overlooked or misunderstood by historians, the engagement had a dramatic impact on the region of Florida west of the Apalachicola River. Many of the soldiers on both sides were combat veterans and those leaving accounts almost unanimously agreed that it was one of the most severe fights for its size they had encountered in the war.

The new edition is available by following the ad above and can also be obtained as an instant download for your Kindle reader or Kindle software on your computer or smart phone. Signed copies are available through Chipola River Book & Tea in Downtown Marianna (across Lafayette Street from the Battle of Marianna Monument). You can also read more about the battle at www.battleofmarianna.com.

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