Abandoning Florida's Coastal Defenses, 1862
|In early 1862, the Confederate military defeats in Tennessee led to a pressing
need for more Florida troops to fight outside the state. Confederate national
officials determined that Florida's long coastline was too large an area
to defend and ordered most of the troops guarding the state to transfer
to more active theaters of the war.
New York Herald. This national newspaper carried a headline and map
noting the successes of Union Admiral Francis DuPont in northeast Florida
in early 1862.
|Confederate troops withdrew from Pensacola in early 1862, and Union
troops quickly occupied the area of extreme northwest Florida. On the northeast
Florida coast, at Fernandina, Jacksonville, and St. Augustine, a large
Union naval force pressured the southern forces to evacuate. In spite of
its decision to weaken its defense of coastal regions, the South was able
to successfully hold and defend most of the populated, interior regions
Union troops marching through Fernandina. A Harper's Weekly illustration
of the Union occupation of the Florida town. (Florida State Archives)
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