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

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 panhandle and … Continue reading The Hidden History of the Florida Panhandle During the Civil War, Pt 1

Florida’s Secession and how NW Florida Families Experienced the War – Part 3

For my last two blogs (Part 1 and Part 2), we’ve been looking at Florida’s Secession Convention and its Declaration in support of secession that led to Florida leaving the United States and within a short period of time becoming a part of the Confederate States of America. In this final blog in this series, … Continue reading Florida’s Secession and how NW Florida Families Experienced the War – Part 3

Did Your Southern Ancestor Serve With the Union? An Exploration of the 1st Florida Union Cavalry Volunteers

The War for Southern Independence, aka the American Civil War or the War Between the States, was a difficult war as experienced by Floridians and south Alabamians. It was not just about “do I side with the Confederacy or the Union”, it was about the safety of families left behind and whether they would survive … Continue reading Did Your Southern Ancestor Serve With the Union? An Exploration of the 1st Florida Union Cavalry Volunteers

Questions of Honor and Courage: Individual Decisions During the Civil War

Many of us with ancestors in the Florida panhandle know there was a Union regiment of Southern men that served during the Civil War at Ft. Barrancas. Many of us have ancestors who served with that regiment and we have family stories or reasons that they served that we hold to be true. But most … Continue reading Questions of Honor and Courage: Individual Decisions During the Civil War

Approaching the Coming Crisis: 1840-1860 in the NW Florida community of Oak Grove

Our little side journey meeting some of my ancestors has for the moment ended. Let’s return to Oak Grove, Okaloosa Co, FL in the decades of the 1840s and 1850s. In the last post on Oak Grove we left the area with the 1840 census. I listed 51 households from the 1840 census that I … Continue reading Approaching the Coming Crisis: 1840-1860 in the NW Florida community of Oak Grove

Big Fish in a Small Northwest Florida Pond: William Franklin and Mary Ann Malissa Hart King

The Kings were latecomers to the Oak Grove area, arriving sometime between 1880 and 1885. It isn’t known what motivated them to move west from Walton County and settle in the small, rural community of Oak Grove. But they are there by the 1885 Florida census and William Franklin is teaching, running a general store … Continue reading Big Fish in a Small Northwest Florida Pond: William Franklin and Mary Ann Malissa Hart King

So You Think Your Know Oak Grove, Okaloosa Co, FL? – Part 3

In the last post, we left Oak Grove at the end of 1830 with approximately 30 families having settled along the Yellow River in what was then Walton Co, FL. By 1839 the community of Barrow’s Ferry/Oak Grove had grown a bit, the area filling out on both sides of the river. And many of … Continue reading So You Think Your Know Oak Grove, Okaloosa Co, FL? – Part 3

Was the Northwest Florida Panhandle a “Unionist” Stronghold? – Part 2

Since my post of 27 June, one man has been added to the list of members who joined the 1st Florida Union Cavalry. Bennett G. Senterfitt was the son of Jesse and Mary Faircloth Senterfitt, who were both members of Yellow River Baptist Church (YRBC) in 1840 when the church was founded. It is important to … Continue reading Was the Northwest Florida Panhandle a “Unionist” Stronghold? – Part 2