Battle of Marianna, Florida

December 2004 photos/narratives courtesy of Dale Cox, AR
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1. The Battle of Marianna, Florida
2. Battle of Marianna - Wikipedia
3. Marianna, Florida - Historic Sites and Points of Interest
4. The Battle of Marianna - History of the Civil War


The Battle of Marianna, Florida, took place on September 27, 1864, in the streets of the Northwest Florida city. Every marker for the battle tells a different story, but basically the engagement was fought between a Federal raiding party commanded by Brigadier General Alexander Asboth (of Pea Ridge fame) and a Confederate defense force headed by Colonel A.B. Montgomery (former commander of the 3rd Georgia Infantry). The fierce engagement lasted only about 30 minutes and resulted in the death, wounding or capture of 25% of the city's 1864 population. The wounds Asboth received here ultimately claimed his life


This monument in Riverside Cemetery was erected over the grave of Lt. Isaac Adams, 2nd Maine Cavalry, who died of wounds received in the fighting. Adams and the other Federal dead were initially buried in shallow graves on Marianna's Courthouse Square, but according to eyewitnesses the bodies were rooted up by hogs a day or two after the battle. They were then reburied at Riverside Cemetery in a plot apart from the town burial grounds


The state memorial to the city's defenders stands in Confederate Park in the center of the city. The park occupies a small section of the battlefield. Marianna is the seat of government for Jackson County, which in 1864 was one of Florida's most populated and prosperous counties. The center of a vast area of plantations and farms, the community was garrisoned by three companies from the 5th Florida Cavalry, a company of infantry from the 1st Florida Reserves and a company of local volunteers


Marianna in 1864 was the home of Florida's Confederate Governor, John Milton. The governor's plantation, "Sylvania," stood on Blue Springs Road a few miles east of town. Local tradition has long held that the Federal raid targeted Sylvania, but Union reports make no mention of Milton's home as a target. The governor was away in Tallahassee when the battle took place. He took his life at Sylvania less than seven months later rather than accept surrender to the U.S. Government. The home no longer stands

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