|Road through Euchee Valley|
No sooner had the smoke cleared that did the Union soldiers begin rounding up the men and boys of the Euchee Valley area. Most were too young or too old for regular military service and were in their homes when the Federals arrived in Eucheeanna. Not taking any chances that they might resist his command's foraging efforts, General Asboth had them placed in confinement at the community's jail. They were held there until he left Eucheeanna on the morning of the 24th.
|Grave of Giles Bowers. Asboth commandeered his Home.|
Destroying Douglas's Ferry might seem like a strange decision, as it was the primary means of crossing the Choctawhatchee River on the main road from Eucheeanna to Marianna. Asboth, however, planned to approach the latter place from an unexpected direction and destroying the ferry not only concealed his intent, but also prevented its use by any Confederate force that might try to come in behind him.
A small detachment was sent out in Confederate uniforms under Lt. Col. Andrew Spurling of the 2nd Maine Cavalry in an attempt to capture the Southern cavalrymen that had escaped from Eucheeanna during the skirmish. Their tracks were found leading up the road to Geneva, Alabama, so Spurling and his men set off in that direction. Please click here to learn more about their activities.
The rest of the men set up camp in Eucheeanna and immediately began to move out in small squads to forage for food, seize wagons and livestock and liberate slaves. They undertook these activities with enthusiasm and the misery inflicted on the families - white and black - of Walton County was severe. Corncribs and smokehouses were cleaned out. Slaves were forced to hook up wagons and carriages and go along, although in many cases they did not wish to leave (a number escaped by hiding in the woods until the soldiers left). Homes were ransacked and at least two women were sexually assaulted.
|Ponce de Leon Springs in Holmes County|
From Ponce de Leon the column continued north to Cerrogordo, then the county seat of Holmes County, which was reached on the afternoon of the 24th. I'll have more on events there in the next post.
To learn more about the West Florida Raid, please consider my book, The Battle of Marianna, Florida. It can be purchased by clicking the Books section on the upper right of this page and is also available for Amazon Kindle and at iBooks. To read an overview of the raid, please visit www.battleofmarianna.com.