Camp Chase Gazette

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Battle of Fort Brooke   

Other Names: None

Location: Tampa

Date(s): October 16-18, 1863

Commanders: Lt. Comdr. A.A. Semmes [US];
Capt. John Westcott [CS]

Forces Engaged: Tahoma, Adela, and landing force [US]; Company A, 2nd Battalion, Florida Volunteers [CS]

Estimated Casualties: Unknown

Description: Two Union ships bombarded Fort Brooke on October 16 as a diversion, while a landing party under Acting Master T.R. Harris disembarked at Ballast Point and marched 14 miles to the Hillsborough River to capture several steamers. Harris and his men surprised and captured the blockade running steamer Scottish Chief and sloop Kate Dale. The Rebels destroyed the steamer A.B. Noyes to preclude her capture. On its way back to the ship, Harriss force was surprised by a detachment of the garrison, causing casualties.

Result(s): Union victory

 Battle of Natural Bridge   

Other Names: None

Location: Leon County

Date(s): March 6, 1865

Commanders: Maj. Gen. John Newton [US]; Maj. Gen. Sam Jones [CS]

Forces Engaged: 2nd U.S. Colored Infantry and 99th U.S. Colored Infantry [US]; Kilcrease Artillery; Dunhams Battery; Abells Battery; 5th Florida Cavalry; 1st Florida Militia; Barwicks Company Reserves; Hodges Company Reserves; Company A, Milton Light Artillery; Companies A, B, and F, Reserves and reinforcements from Georgia amounting to approx. 1,000 men [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 174 (US 148; CS 26)

Description: Maj. Gen. John Newton had undertaken a joint force expedition to engage and destroy Confederate troops that had attacked at Cedar Keys and Fort Myers and were allegedly encamped somewhere around St. Marks. The Navy had trouble getting its ships up the St. Marks River. The Army force, however, had advanced and, after finding one bridge destroyed, started before dawn on March 6 to attempt to cross the river at Natural Bridge. The troops initially pushed Rebel forces back but not away from the bridge. Confederate forces, protected by breastworks, guarded all of the approaches and the bridge itself. The action at Natural Bridge lasted most of the day, but, unable to take the bridge, the Union troops retreated to the protection of the fleet.

Result(s): Confederate victory

Battle of Olustee   

Other Names: Ocean Pond

Location: Baker County

Date(s): February 20, 1864

Commanders: Brig. Gen. Truman Seymour [US]; Brig. Gen. Joseph Finegan [CS]

Forces Engaged: Division [US]; District of East Florida [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 2,806 total (US 1,860; CS 946)

Description: In February 1864, the commander of the Department of the South, Maj. Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore, launched an expedition into Florida to secure Union enclaves, sever Rebel supply routes, and recruit black soldiers. Brig. Gen. Truman Seymour moved deep into the state, occupying, destroying, and  liberating,  meeting little resistance on February 20, he approached Brig. Gen. Joseph Finegans 5,000 Confederates entrenched near Olustee.  One infantry brigade pushed out to meet Seymours advance units.  The Union forces attacked but were repulsed. The battle raged, and as Finegan committed the last of his reserves, the Union line broke and began to retreat. Finegan did not exploit the retreat, allowing most of the fleeing Union forces to reach Jacksonville.

Result(s): Confederate victory

Battle of St. John’s Bluff   

Other Names: None

Location: Duval County

Date(s): October 1-3, 1862

Commanders: Brig. Gen. John M. Brannan [US]; Lt. Col. Charles F. Hopkins [CS]

Forces Engaged: Expeditionary Force: 2 infantry regiments, a light artillery battery and detachment of the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry (total force 1,573) [US]; a small artillery and cavalry force [CS]

Estimated Casualties: Unknown

Description: Brig. Gen. John Finegan established a battery on St. John s Bluff near Jacksonville to stop the movement of Federal ships up the St. Johns River. Brig. Gen. John M. Brannan embarked with about 1,500 infantry aboard the transports Boston, Ben DeFord, Cosmopolitan, and Neptune at Hilton Head, South Carolina, on September 30. The flotilla arrived at the mouth of the St. John s River on October 1, where Cdr. Charles Steedman s gunboatsPaul Jones, Cimarron, Uncas, Patroon, Hale, and Water Witchjoined them. By midday, the gunboats approached the bluff, while Brannan began landing troops at Mayport Mills. Another infantry force landed at Mount Pleasant Creek, about five miles in the rear of the Confederate battery, and began marching overland on the 2nd. Outmaneuvered, Lt. Col. Charles F. Hopkins abandoned the position after dark. When the gunboats approached the bluff the next day, its guns were silent.

Result(s): Union victory

Battle of Santa Rosa Island   

Other Names: None

Location: Escambia County

Date(s): October 9, 1861

Commanders: Col. Harvey Brown [US]; Confederate Brig. Gen. Richard H. Anderson [CS]

Forces Engaged: Santa Rosa Island Garrison (approx. 600 men) [US]; infantry and artillery detachments (approx. 1,200 men) [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 154 total (US 67; CS 87)

Description: After midnight on October 9, Brig. Gen. Richard Anderson crossed from the mainland to Santa Rosa Island with 1,200 men in two small steamers to surprise Union camps and capture Fort Pickens. He landed on the north beach about four miles east of Fort Pickens and divided his command into three columns. After proceeding about three miles, the Confederates surprised the 6th Regiment, New York Volunteers, in its camp and routed the regiment. Gen. Anderson then adopted a defensive stance to entice the Federals to leave the fort and attack. Receiving reinforcements, Col. Harvey Brown sallied against the Confederates, who reembarked and returned to the mainland.

Result(s): Union victory

Battle of Tampa  

Other Names: Yankee Outrage at Tampa

Location: City of Tampa

Date(s): June 30-July 1, 1862

Commanders: Capt. A.J. Drake [US]; Capt. J.W. Pearson [CS]

Forces Engaged: One gunboat [US]; Osceola Rangers, company [CS]

Estimated Casualties: None

Description: On June 30, a Union gunboat came into Tampa Bay, turned her broadside on the town, and opened her ports. The gunboat then dispatched a launch carrying 20 men and a lieutenant under a flag of truce demanding the surrender of Tampa. The Confederates refused, and the gunboat opened fire. The officer then informed the Confederates that shelling would commence at 6:00 pm after allowing time to evacuate non-combatants from the city. Firing continued sporadically into the afternoon of July 1, when the Federal gunboat withdrew.

Result(s): Confederate victory (Inconclusive, but Union gunboat withdrew.)