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The Battle of Marianna, Florida: Expanded Edition ePub download

by Dale Cox

  • Author: Dale Cox
  • ISBN: 1460949498
  • ISBN13: 978-1460949498
  • ePub: 1350 kb | FB2: 1990 kb
  • Language: English
  • Category: Americas
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; Expanded edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Pages: 200
  • Rating: 4.4/5
  • Votes: 723
  • Format: txt lit azw mbr
The Battle of Marianna, Florida: Expanded Edition ePub download

The Battle of Marianna, Florida was fought on September 27, 1864, at the culmination of the deepest penetration of Confederate Florida by Union forces during the entire Civil War. A small but highly significant battle, it involved some of the fiercest fighting of the war in Florida. An "urban battle" fought house to house and street to street in a time before that term had come into general usage, the battle at Marianna was intense and bloody and was remembered by many veteran participants as one of the most intense short range fights of the war. The Battle of Marianna, Florida follows the entire course of General Alexander Asboth's Northwest Florida raid and also details the fighting that took place at Eucheeanna, Campbellton and Vernon. The raid's impact on the entire panhandle region is carefully detailed.
Author Dale Cox brings to life the little known Sept. 1864 battle of Marianna, Florida. The work is well structured and well researched. The author does a masterful job describing the period setting and conditions from many perspectives. He has delved deeply into the various county histories, correspondence, pension records, and census data to bring us an original treatment of this obscure action. The bulk of the narrative is gleaned from first hand accounts of various participants and natives.

The Marianna raid and battle was the culmination of an earlier probe which had illustrated the vulnerability of the region. Although it was a small affair in a large war, Marianna was one of many such small actions that effectively strangled the agricultural and economic output of the South late in the war. Along their path the raiders stripped the region of foodstuffs and other supplies.

In the raid General Asboth with about 700 Union cavalry and mounted U.S. Colored infantry rapidly penetrated from Navy Cove to Campbellton in West Florida. The force then turned southeast to strike Marianna. Their movements were too rapid for the various CSA home guard and cavalry to effectively oppose and the CSA was uncertain of their whereabouts until they reached Campbellton. The CSA commander, Col. Montgomery was slow to request reinforcements, call out the home guard, and concentrate his forces. With his semi-organized companies and home guard, he set a last minute trap in Marianna that succeeded in wounding several Union officers. However, Asboth's flanking force enveloped many of these defenders. The next day the raiders withdrew--bringing with them approximately 100 prisoners and 600 fleeing slaves.

Mr. Cox is very even-handed in his coverage with no perceptible North/South bias. He does particularly well conveying how hard things were for all residents (secessionist, unionist, and neutral) at the hands of both Union and Confederate authorities. He does an admirable job of reviewing the important roles that slaves and colored troops played in the area, the battle, and in the post war years. I particularly appreciate his presentation of various and sometimes-contradictory facets in multiple accounts. He is careful to weigh each and propose a reasonable interpretation or correction based on the available information.

Mr. Cox does seem overly forgiving of CSA Col. Montgomery's substantial errors. While he makes a convincing case that Montgomery's actions in the battle itself were sound and rebuts contemporary editorials claiming intentional sabotage or cowardice, the author cannot adequately explain the soundness of Montgomery's strategic actions preceding the battle. Although it is true that Montgomery could not have known which way the raiders were headed, he failed to call on reinforcement promptly, and he failed to concentrate to defend the most valuable potential target. While the colonel appears to have been trying to cover all bases, he failed to appreciate the rapidity with which raiders had moved in the past, and the poor scouting performances turned in by Florida cavalry in prior raids. He was caught largely unprepared.

While the narrative itself is well polished, there are a few things that should be improved to compliment the text. The most important of these would be maps. The main text has a very simple map that really doesn't help the reader. What is really called for is a full-page map of the raid's route displaying rivers, dates, clashes, feints, and the towns mentioned in the text. Another map is needed to show the streets, paths and bridges of the battle itself. A second substantial flaw is the lack of a bibliography. Although the author provides footnotes for his primary sources, some of his secondary sources appear not to have been footnoted or at least not where one would expect to find them. (There are also a dozen or so typographical or editing errors, primarily late in the text, but the overall impression of the editing is quite good.)

In terms of research, balance, and analysis this is a 6-point effort on a 5-point scale. Unfortunately, the lack of maps makes it much harder to follow than it should be. If you are interested in small raids, Florida Civil War history, or the U.S. Colored Troops, then I highly recommend this book. Grab the "Official Military Atlas of the Civil War" to understand the period place names and routes, and look up the Marianna street maps online so that you can follow the text of the battle. "The Battle of Marianna, Florida" is an excellent companion to William Nulty's "Confederate Florida: The Road to Olustee."
I got this book and started reading it the same day and couldn't put it down until I had finished it. Having read and heard the story of the battle at Marianna most of my life this really cleared up the raid. It's not the cavalry raid style of the major raids in the major campaign areas but doesn't mean that it's any less brutal. It contains mention of two rapes, incidents of murder of prisoners and the battle is easy to imagine from the description. The Confederates had very few regulars and the cavalry wasn't the same caliber as in the regular army in training. The Union troops side of the story is also well covered and even down to the U.S.C.T. involved in the action. Not a lot of maps but the author gives details of the raid and battle using names of the roads and places of the time but also gives the current place and road names to give a modern orientation. There is also a list of the killed, wounded and captured (some names remain unknown). Florida's fight in the War between the States is not covered well even in the major threaters but this book fills a little of the gap. I recommend this book highly for that reason.
I am a Civil War period (1861-1865) in Florida researcher. This book was a reference in a bibliography I had seen and I purchased it based on the fact that it had good references, a solid bibliography, was well written and very well researched. This reference has been invaluable for the information that I have been able to obtain and use for my research. I would say that it is a must have for anyone researching Florida's involvement in the Civil War.
Ferri - My name
Really good, well-researched book. I researched some of the same skirmishes and Elmira prison for a book I was compiling and I reached pretty much the same conclusions that Mr Cox did on several points of the history of this time and place. More than the smoke of battle often obscures the actual components of any event in war; one hears so many versions of the most obscure events that they begin to take on the aura of legend, further dimming the truth of the event. Mr Cox presents a clear, plausible picture of the Battle of Marianna. Really appreciated were the lists of men of Home Guards, etc.
I wasn't aware of this battle. Since I am from Florida, it made it more interesting to me.
I liked how he gave background information about the conditions and how the people lived.
The only negative thing is that he occasionally appeared to look at things from a modernized yankee perspective.
"The Battle Marianna, Florida" finally sheds light on an otherwise dark past in the Florida Panhandle's history concerning the effects of the Civil War upon all of its population, including slaves and people of color who were involved in the Union Army, as the Colored Infantry. Dale Cox has done an outstanding job in pinning the true story for all to learn about and be informed. It paves a necessary foundation that was otherwise missing and misrepresented by others. Thank you, Dale Cox.
Very interesting. Highly pleased & highly recommended for all history buffs
great book. but you sent me two. I gave one away as a gift, but didn't like that my order got messed up.
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