Sunday, September 21, 2014

Freeport kicks off 150th commemoration of 1864 Marianna Raid

The new historical marker has been unveiled in Freeport.
The Walton County city of Freeport today held the first event commemorating the 1864 Northwest Florida raid that ended at the Battle of Marianna, Florida.

An impressive crowd gathered at Marse Landing at Four Mile Creek to unveil a new interpretive marker. It details the community's role as the forward base from which Union troops moved out on their march to Marianna. Set on a beautiful pavilion and overlook, the marker includes 19th century photographs that help visitors see the historic site as it likely looked during the War Between the States (or Civil War).

The new marker examines Freeport and the 1864 raid.
The ceremony was particularly meaningful as today marked the 150th anniversary of the date that Brigadier General Asboth advanced from the landing. His troops had circled the northern rim of Choctawhatchee Bay before arriving at Four Mile Creek where they met the quartermaster steamer Lizzie Davis. Provisions, ammunition, forage and other supplies were landed and the long line of soldiers turned north into the heart of Walton County. Two days later they attacked the county seat of Eucheeanna in a preliminary action to the Battle of Marianna, which took place on September 27, 1864.

Members of the Walton Guards (7th Vermont).
The soldiers that departed Four Mile Creek were members of the 2nd Maine Cavalry, the 1st Florida Cavalry (U.S.), the 82nd U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) and the 86th USCT. Two companies of the Florida battalion returned to the landing briefly on September 23, 1864, bringing down prisoners, recruits and unserviceable horses. The remained only a short time before turning back to rejoin the main unit at Eucheeanna (three miles southeast of present-day Defuniak Springs).

Danny Katro stands by the marker he helped make a reality.
The marker at Four Mile Creek was inspired by Freeport resident Danny Katro, who approached community leaders with the idea of commemorating the 150th anniversary of the occupation of the port on Choctawhatchee Bay. Research followed, other citizens chipped in and the beautiful new interpretive panel became a reality.

The event was the first of a series of scheduled activities that will commemorate the 1864 raid and its culminating battle at Marianna. To learn more about the raid and to check out the schedule of events for this week, please visit

Here are some additional photos from today's unveiling.

The marker stands on the site of the forward base for the 1864 raid.

The mayor and I join together to unveil the new marker.

I speak to the audience about the 1864 raid.

The Walton Guards portrayed the 7th Vermont for the event.
Mayor Russ Barley speaks at today's event.

Audience members wait for the beginning of the ceremony.


No comments: