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From: "Mary Sampson" <>
Subject: Re: [FLGADSDE] Battle of Natural Bridge, 1865 Newspaper Article
Date: Sat, 6 Oct 2001 13:46:35 -0700
Thamks so much for the article. I too have several ancestors who fought in
the Battle of Natural Bridge. My grandfather Samuel Howell was a private
1st Fl. Reserves
under Capt. Samuel B. Love of Gadsden Co. I have letters from military
files of Samuel & his brother Thomas Howell identifying the different
battles they participarted in including Natural Bridge.
Mary Howell Sampson
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, October 05, 2001 6:01 AM
Subject: [FLGADSDE] Battle of Natural Bridge, 1865 Newspaper Article
> I found this article on microfilm in the Smathers
> Library, Univ. of Florida, Gainesville on Oct. 4, 2001.
> Enjoy, Jim Webb - Jacksonville, Florida
> "Quincy Semi-Weekly Dispatch" Newspaper
> March 15, 1865, Vol. 7, Number 13, page 2
> Another Victory
> IN FLORIDA
> Battle of Natural Bridge
> It gives us heart-felt pleasure to record the signal triumph of our
> arms in the repulse and entire discomfiture of the Federal force
> which landed at St. Marks Light House on Saturday, March 4th.
> The enemy, numbering 1,800 men, (mainly colored troops,)
> under the command of Brig. Genl. Newton, left Cedar Keys on
> Tuesday, February 28th, in seven steamers--three large side-wheel
> steamers, carrying troops, and four propellers loaded with stores to
> stock the Fort at St. Marks after it should be captured. This is the
> statement of prisoners. Several small sailing vessels accompanied
> the expedition. The fleet arrived at the Light-House on Friday
> evening, March 3d, and commenced landing troops; which work was
> completed by 1 P. M. of Saturday. They landed two pieces of
> artillery, (howitzers) but no calvary. Their only horses were those
> used by the General and his staff.
> The enemy at once took up their line of march for Newport. At
> East River, Col. G. W. Scott with his calvary command met and
> checked them for a while; but their force being so much superior,
> he was compelled to fall back, which he did slowly and contesting
> every step of their advance. In this way he fought them and
> obstructed their march until Sunday evening, when he was forced to
> retreat across the bridge at Newton, burning the bridge behind him.
> To Col. Scott and his command great credit is certainly due for thus
> holding in check nearly forty-eight hours, a force outnumbering them
> ten to one.
> In the meantime, the alarm had been sounded, and from all
> quarters the people were rallying and pressing forward to the "Front."
> During Sunday night and Monday morning reinforcements came down
> the railroad, and preparations were made to meet the enemy, who had
> marched towards the Natural Bridge, finding it impossible to force a
> passage across the river at Newport. Among the Companies that
> went down on Sunday night and Monday morning were four from this
> county, (Capt. Dupont's, composed of men over fifty years of age,
> Capt. Scott's, Capt. Johnson's and Capt. Smith's,) together with Lieut.
> Whitehead's section of artillery. Capt. Johnson's company was kept at
> Tallahassee, being detailed. The others pushed on.
> Our forces had barely reached the ground, when the ball opened
> at 4 A. M. with lively skirmishing. This continued until 10 or 11
> o'clock, when the fight commenced in earnest, and continued for
> three or four hours. The enemy attacked with considerable spirit,
> and made three attempts to cross the bridge, but each time was
> repulsed with comparatively heavy loss. Their last repulse decided
> the event of the day, and they commenced a retreat to their fleet,
> leaving on the field some twenty-five killed, but carrying most of
> their wounded with them. Some prisoners were taken in the pursuit
> and some wounded picked up. Prisoners stated that they had
> thrown some of their dead into the St. Marks river, and had buried
> eleven under their breast-works on their extreme right, where our
> troops had made an attack.
> Our forces behaved gallantly throughout. Citizens, volunteers,
> old men and young boys, most of whom had never been under fire
> and never expected to be, all stood up to their work without flinching,
> and too much cannot be said in their praise.
> Maj. Gen. Sam Jones was in command. Brig. Gen. Wm. Miller
> distinguished himself by his coolness and intrepidity on the field.
> The brave Capt. H. K. Simmons met a glorious death--closing upon
> the battle-field, with his face to the foe, a life which he had exposed
> continually from the commencement of the war, in the service of his
> country. The 2d Florida Calvary under Col. Carraway Smith,
> behaved with great gallantry, and the Artillery was admirably served.
> The Kilcrease Artillery, Capt. Houston, and Dunham's Battery, Capt.
> Dunham did great execution, and contributed largely to our success.
> Lieut. Whitehead's section, which was dispatched on Monday
> morning to Newport, also did excellent service, and has the credit of
> preventing by its rapid and steady fire, the capture of that place by
> the enemy.
> The services of Surgeons C. A. Hentz, C. A. Gee, and T. M.
> Wilson, and their careful and constant attention to the wants of our
> men, are deserving of special notice, and were the occasion of
> frequent remark.
> Our loss is 3 killed and 23 wounded--most of them slightly.
> That of the enemy is estimated at 350 to 400 killed and wounded.
> We also took 30 prisoners--28 black and 2 white.
> Of the enemy's killed and wounded we have the following
> Killed--Lieut. Col. Pearsoll; Major Lincoln, shot through the
> bowels; Adjutant General _________, died at the Light-Hause; Col.
> Towsend, 2d U. S., mortally wounded in thigh by grape-shot;
> Lieut. Seymour and Lieut. Murphy.
> Wounded--Gen. Newton, wounded in thigh, and left arm crushed
> by falling of a tree cut down by our cannon shot; Lt. Carpenter, in
> left arm.
> The following is a statement of the enemy's forces:
> 19th Louisiana, (colored,) Lt. Colonel Pearsoll, 10 companies,
> averaging 75 men each, 750.
> 2d U. S. Infantry, (colored,) Colonel Towsend, 6 companies,
> averaging 100 men each, 600.
> 2d Fla. Calvary, dismounted, (mostly deserters,) Maj. Triggs,
> about 450--total 1,800.
> There are many incidents of the fight worth of mention, if we
> had time and space.
> Two deserters were captured--one of them Peter Pelt,
> belonging to Capt. Simmon's Company, and the other _____
> Fowler, belonging to Capt. Jeter's Company. They were tried on
> the ground, by a drum-head Court Martial, and sentenced to be
> shot on the spot; which was done in the presence of the command.
> The Yankees carried off two men from Newport, (Hatch and
> McCook,) but subsequently released them. They say that the
> Yankees admitted a loss of 300 to 500, and that their officers
> stated in conversation, that we had a a very large force--much
> superior to theirs. It is no matter to them now, what our numbers
> were; but fully two-thirds of our forces never had opportunity or
> occasion to fire a gun.
> The conduct of one of our privates is deserving of mention--
> Joseph Nixon, formerly of this county, but now of Leon. He was
> stationed among our sharp shooters, and managed to get within
> about fifty yards of the enemy's entrenchments and behind a tree.
> Nixon gave the enemy a specimen of the tactics in vogue in the
> old Florida war. Raising a shout, some of the enemy would put
> up their heads, when he would fire. Then coolly re-loading, he
> would yell again, and the operation would be repeated, and at
> every shot down would go a black or white Yankee with a bullet
> through his skull--a most advantageous mode of fighting, and
> worthy of imitation.
> The following is a complete list of our casualties, for which we
> are indebted to Surgeon Hentz, of Col. Love's regiment, Florida
> State troops.
> Capt. H. K. Simmons, 2d Fla. Calvary, shot through head.
> John Grubbs, Barwick's Co. Reserves,shot through heart.
> Eli Triplett, Co. F, Scott's Batallion, shot through head.
> Sergt. John T. Thigpen, Co. A, 2d Fla. Cav., severely, right leg.
> Corpl. M. B. Hawkins, Co. K, 2d Fla. Calvary, right thigh severely.
> N. P. Jelks, Co. I, 2d Fla. Calvary, left hand, slight.
> W. C. Lipscomb, Co. I, 2d Fla. Cavalry, back, severe.
> Corpl. Wm. Hewlett, Co. I, 2d Fla. Cavalry, right knee.
> O. D. Jones, Co. I, left hip, mortal.
> Jas. H. Robuck, Co. I, right hand, 2 fingers off.
> W. W. Felkel, Co. E, 2d Fla. Calvary, contusion, right knee, shell.
> L. D. Smith, Co. I, 2d Fla. Calvary, left leg, slight.
> G. W. Hinson, Co. A, 2d Fla. calvary, right thigh, flesh.
> Wm. R. Minton, Abell's Battery, right leg, severe, shell.
> Jno. F. Simmons, Hodge's Co., 1st Fla. Reseerves, left arm and
> side, flesh.
> Geo. D. Griffin, Co. A, Milton Light Artillery, left arm amputated.
> Saml. Odom, Co. F, 1st Fla. Reserves, groin, slight.
> J. B. Ellis, Co. B, 1st Fla. Reserves, left arm and right lung,
> J. L. Anderson, Co. A, 1st Fla. Reserves, right leg, flesh.
> H. T. Mash, Co. C, 5th Fla. Calvary, right leg broken by shell,
> John Putnam, Kilcrease Artillery, ancle, slight.
> Search over 1 Billion names at Ancestry.com!
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