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

Oak Grove in Okaloosa County, FL: It’s Importance & Development in the History of the FL Panhandle

Anyone who knows me, or follows my blogs, knows I have an affinity with the upper Yellow River area known as Oak Grove. For the last couple of years, I’ve been researching the genealogy and history of the area that will eventually culminate in a book. Some of us with family from the area like to … Continue reading Oak Grove in Okaloosa County, FL: It’s Importance & Development in the History of the FL Panhandle

Florida’s Secession from the Union and What That Teaches Us About the War – Part 2

As the nation entered 1861, South Carolina had adjourned its Convention and issued its Declaration (17 Dec 1860 - 20 Dec 1860, Declaration issued on 20 Dec 1860 and adopted on the 24th) and several more Southern states had determined to have a Convention to discuss secession (though the assumption in most cases was that … Continue reading Florida’s Secession from the Union and What That Teaches Us About the War – Part 2

Florida’s Secession from the Union and What That Teaches Us About the War – Part 1

Before I get to Florida’s Convention and Declaration, I want to share my framework for this discussion. For me, the War for Southern Independence (aka Civil War, War Between the States) was a seminal event for our ancestors. It was the second major test of our democratic skills as a nation (the first was the … Continue reading Florida’s Secession from the Union and What That Teaches Us About the War – Part 1