“Shall We Gather at the River”: A History of Yellow River Baptist Church

I’m sorry I haven’t posted much lately. Given what my schedule is gearing up to look like during the holidays, I decided I needed to seriously focus on getting those few less than glamorous parts of a published book done, and the book uploaded to the printer’s website so I could get a final proof … Continue reading “Shall We Gather at the River”: A History of Yellow River Baptist Church

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

Three of the Older Cemeteries along the western side of the Upper Yellow River

We’ve come to the third and final installment in this series on burial rituals and cemeteries in the Florida Panhandle. The first two, if you missed them are here and here. In this post, I would like to present three small cemeteries that I am as intimately connected to as a person can be with … Continue reading Three of the Older Cemeteries along the western side of the Upper Yellow River

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 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

April 1861-April 1862: “Unnecessary, wanton and atrocious vandalism reaches much beyond the individuals who have suffered.” – A.C. Blount to Governor, 1862

This is the third 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).  Sorry it is a bit late. June was a challenging month! We left off in the last post with the closure of the Florida … Continue reading April 1861-April 1862: “Unnecessary, wanton and atrocious vandalism reaches much beyond the individuals who have suffered.” – A.C. Blount to Governor, 1862

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 Controversial Excursion of 2nd Lt. Joseph Sanders of the 1st Florida Union Cavalry Volunteers

We’ve made a brief journey through the history of the 1st Florida Union Cavalry over the last three blogs (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). We’ve looked at where these Southern men came from, whether they were deserters or dodgers of Confederate service and how they served while in the 1st Florida Union Cavalry. In … Continue reading The Controversial Excursion of 2nd Lt. Joseph Sanders of the 1st Florida Union Cavalry Volunteers