Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Association and Its Role in the early Baptist history in the Panhandle

Have you ever wondered how the early Protestant churches in the Panhandle got their start? If we are lucky in our search for answers, the churches where we are looking will have a written history or records that will give us a hint as to who in the community was instrumental in founding the church … Continue reading Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Association and Its Role in the early Baptist history in the Panhandle

Some of the Oldest Cemeteries in Northwest Florida

Let me start by saying that I do not have connections in every county in the Florida panhandle. Both sides of my family are mostly congregated in the northwestern end of the panhandle: Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, and Holmes counties. In the 20th century when family began moving out of the area they skipped … Continue reading Some of the Oldest Cemeteries in Northwest Florida

April 1864-April 1865 Bringing the Death and Destruction to an End

In this post we will wrap up this series on the Florida panhandle during the War for Southern Independence (aka Civil War, War Between the States). We’ve looked at the conditions at home, and the motivating factors for some of the responses of the men who were expected to defend the homefront by those in … Continue reading April 1864-April 1865 Bringing the Death and Destruction to an End

April 1863 – April 1864: The Independence Experiment Begins to Falter and the Florida Panhandle Homefront Becomes Chaotic

Let’s do a thought experiment to open this month’s post. It is June 1863. You are a 32-year man who was born and raised in the Florida panhandle. You are married with four children still living. Your wife is a small woman with a strong will but losing a couple of children over the last … Continue reading April 1863 – April 1864: The Independence Experiment Begins to Falter and the Florida Panhandle Homefront Becomes Chaotic

Early Florida Confederate Regiments in the War for Southern Independence: 1861-1862

Let me shift hats from local historian to genealogist. If you really want to know how your Florida panhandle ancestor experienced the war, you must go beyond finding the same name on an index of Confederate soldiers from the general area where your ancestor lived and assuming it is the correct man and that the … Continue reading Early Florida Confederate Regiments in the War for Southern Independence: 1861-1862

April 1862 – April 1863: War Begins in Earnest. The Impacts Become Noticeable

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts on the War for Southern Independence (aka Civil War, War Between the States) in the Florida Panhandle (post 1) (post 2) (post 3). It will be followed within a few days by a follow-up post on some of the early Florida Regiments from this period. … Continue reading April 1862 – April 1863: War Begins in Earnest. The Impacts Become Noticeable

1861: The Florida Panhandle’s Role in the War for Southern Independence, Part 1

A hundred and sixty years seems like a lot and plenty of time to heal wounds and move forward. And yet, today’s political climate tells us it was either not enough time, or we didn’t bother to use the time wisely. We are still struggling with some of the same issues today that our ancestors … Continue reading 1861: The Florida Panhandle’s Role in the War for Southern Independence, Part 1

The Hidden History of the Florida Panhandle During the Civil War, Pt 2

We left off last time exploring which States the men of the 1st Florida Cavalry Union Volunteers were living in during the 1860 census. Let’s pick up from there and dig a little deeper. Today the Northwest Florida panhandle consists of the following counties: Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, … Continue reading The Hidden History of the Florida Panhandle During the Civil War, Pt 2

The Hidden History of the Florida Panhandle During the Civil War, Pt 1

Pensacola Bay Today outside the ranks of the intensely interested students of the Civil War, many do not know of the Southern participation in the Union Army. Many Southerners are unaware that every Southern state, except South Carolina, had at least one white regiment fighting for the Union. For those of us in the Florida … Continue reading The Hidden History of the Florida Panhandle During the Civil War, Pt 1

Reconstruction in the South & the Florida Panhandle, Part 2

Until the last few decades, there wasn’t a lot written about Reconstruction that wasn’t either heavily weighted toward one viewpoint (Southern) or the other (Northern), if it was discussed in detail at all. It may be getting a bit better with at least some professors and history writers making an attempt to be balanced in … Continue reading Reconstruction in the South & the Florida Panhandle, Part 2