The Civil War on Pensacola Bay, 1861–1862

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About the Book

In 1845, sparsely populated Florida had been admitted to the United States along with Iowa in an ill-fated attempt to keep the balance between slave and free states and ultimately avert the civil war that many felt was on the horizon. When hostilities began in 1861, Florida’s Pensacola Bay area with its magnificent harbor, valuable navy yard and impressive fortifications became hotly contested by Union and Confederate forces. While Pensacola’s lack of navigable rivers and limited rail access had kept it from developing into one of the country’s major commercial centers, its location provided the perfect base for hostile strikes on nearby Mobile and New Orleans. Focusing on the town of Pensacola and the small residential villages of Warrington and Woolsey, this volume details the events which took place in and around Pensacola Bay immediately before and in the early months of the Civil War. It takes a look at the various people involved and how their personalities and attributes shaped the course of events. The work presents happenings from a contemporary viewpoint rather than how they were reported and retold at a later time. More than 70 period photographs and illustrations complete the depiction of events.

About the Author(s)

Retired administrator John K. Driscoll lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Bibliographic Details

John K. Driscoll
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 74 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013 [2007]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7512-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0303-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. The Bay, the Yard, and the Forts      3

2. “To Use Whatever Means He Had”      20

3. “If Blood Is Shed, You Are Responsible”      33

4. “Pickens Is Not Worth One Drop of Blood”      50

5. “Too Much Dallying and Curtseying”      79

6. “Give the Powhatan to Captain Mercer”      106

7. “When the Arrow has Fled from the Bow”      125

8. “Fort Pickens Now Stood Alone”      137

9. “A More Innocent War Was Never Carried On”      159

10. “The Enemy Failed in All Objectives”      179

11. “A Signal Gun Fired at 10:00 A.M.”      197

12. “Fort Pickens Stands to This Day”      206


Notes      213

Bibliography      223

Index      229

Book Reviews & Awards

“excellent…the best history of the military and political crisis over Fort Pickens to date…well written, fully documented, and richly informative…highly recommended”—Civil War Books & Authors; “thoroughly researched…recommend”—Nautical Research Journal.