FLORIDA JOURNALISM DURING
THE CIVIL WAR
HORANCE GIBBS DAVIS, JR.
A TR is PRI sairD TO T11 GRADUATE COUNCIL or
TnE Univ nsT OF FLORDA
In PARTIAL FUFItMEWT OF TBE REsUItRzMn ro TBe
DEuGRE OF MASTR orF ART
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF TABLES . . . .. v
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS . . ... v
I. INTRODUCTION ........ . 1
II. ANTE BELLUM FLORIDA . . 3
III. PALLADIA OF LIBERTY . . 15
St. Augustine Examiner
St. John's Mirror
Key of the %u-=
ainesville Cotton States
Tallahassee Florida Sentinel
Floridian and Journal
IV. SECESSION AND AR .. . 41
V. UNION OR DEATH. .. . 68
VI. COLD TYPE WITH TURNED COATS. ...... 82
Key West New Era
St. Augustine Examiner
Jacksonvillle lorida Union
VII. DESERTERS . . .. 105
VIII. TROUBLED EDITORS . . 112
The Editors and the Draft
IX. EDITORS AT BATTLE . . 126
TABLE OP CONTENTS
X. SLAVES, SLAVERY AND BLACK TROOPS . 145
XI. CONTENT AND MAKE-UP . . ... 152
The Founts of the Confederate Flow
How It Looked
XII. END OF THE BALL . . .. 178
Tne Survirors and the Replacements
Back in the Union
XIII. SUMMARY . . . 204
BIBLIORAPHY . . . ... . 212
BIOGRAPHICAL ITEMS . . . . 215
LIST OF TABLES
1. Growth of Florida .... .......... 13
2. Florida Newspapers 1860 and 1865 . 209
LIST OP ILLUSTRATIONS
1. Location of Florida Newspapers 1860-1861 210
2. Location of Florida Newspapers 1865 . 211
The days are past when men viewed the state as a
single entity entitled to shape its own destiny independent
of the United States confederation. And although the view
was relinquished only with fire and blood, it is perhaps well
that it is but a harsh and vivid memory and not a bitter fact.
For in a world of schisms we should keep in mind the result of
schisms--even the Jehovah blessed land of the Jews fell beneath
foreign conquerors when it split into the Northern and Southern
lands of Israel and Judah.
The South thought it could secede from the United
States--a civil war remade the Constitution and proved the
South wrong. But the war, by killing the seed of secession
in men and by leaving scars on Southern culture, shaped the
destiny of these United States. This shaping process has yet
to come to an end.
So although a study of the Civil War is a study of
history, it is also a study of the present and the future.
At no better place than the press can war history be
studied. While official documents reveal facts and figures,
troop movements and hours of battle, the newspapers reveal the
picture of a people at war. Their fears, their hopes, their
losses, their gains, their pleasures, their sufferings--all of
these are depicted in the press of their times. Therefore,
a study of Florida Journalism during the Civil War should in
some measure be a study of the people of Florida during a time
of extreme test.
On that basis is this study justified. As a reflection
of Florida Journalism, this is war as felt, feared, fought, and
forfeited by the people of Florida. This is Florida Journalism
during the Civil War.
ANTE BELLU. FLORIDA
Florida was the last Federal territory to become a
slave state. Its population by 1846 was 58,000, and the
state was entitled to admission into the Union of the states.
In accord with the principle of balanced representation in the
Senate between free soil and slave soil, bills for the admission
of Florida and Iowa were coupled together. Florida entered the
Union on March 3, 1845.1
Florida grew between 1845 and 1860. The decade before
1860 was especially phenomenal. Ideas and material wealth grew
alike, for with the spread of railroads and cotton fields went
also a militant pro-slavery sentiment.
Ribbons of steel were laid with eagerness through the
Florida wilderness. Almost 400 miles of railway were constructed
and put into operation between 1850 and 1860 at a cost of more
than $8,000,000. Florida surpassed Louisiana, Texas, and
Arkansas in added railway mileage during the decade. More saw-
mills were built, more roads laid out, more turpentine was ex-
tracted from trees, more fields were cleared for the cultivation
of cotton and corn. Settlers poured into the central peninsular
1 Adapted from William Watson Davis, The Civil War
and Reconstruction in Florida, (Columbia University, 1913),
counties--particularly Alachua and Marion. The State's popula-
tion went from 87,445 in 1850 to 140,427 in 1860. Real and
personal property rose from $22,862,270 in 1850 to $73,101,500
In 1850, Florida had only four towns of more than a
thousand population. The smallest was Jacksonville with 1,045
persons and the largest was Pensacola with 2,164. Key West had
1,825 and St. Augustine 1,934.3
The population gain in the decade between 1850 and 1860
represented a 60 per cent increase and the number of towns over
a thousand population grew to nine. The largest was Pensacola
with 2,876, the smallest Monticello with 1,080. The others
were Tallahassee, Milton, Apalachicola and Fernandina. Most
of these were trading and shipping centers for cotton.4
The 1860 census revealed 186 manufacturing establish-
ments which employed 2,454. Their wages totaled $620,000, about
three times the 1850 total. The average gross return over out-
lays per establishment was $5,200, double the 1850 figure.5
2 Adapted from Davis, Op. cit., p. 34. The source of
his figures is the Federal Census for both 1850 and 1860. The
Census of 1860 places Florida property evaluation at $82,592,641,
but Davis labels this as "assessed valuation" when compared with
his true or "intrinsic" valuation of $72,101,500. For the Cen-
sus valuation see Statistics of the United States, 1860, (U.S.
Government Printing Office, lbb), p. 297.
3 John N. Webb and Paul E. Penlon, "FloridasEarly
Industrial Development: 1850-1890,"'Economic Leaflets (Bureau
of Economic and Business Research, College of Business Administra-
tion, University of Florida), Volume XI, Number 5, April, 1952.
The distribution of wealth and population among Florida's
43 counties in 1860 was far from equal, however. Seven great
planting counties--Alachua, Gadsden, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon,
Madison, and Marion--were the centers of both wealth and popula-
tion. A majority ($45,994,472) of the $82,592,641 assessed
property evaluation was found in the planting counties. An-
other wealthy county was Santa Rosa, which contained valuable
saw-mill interests, bringing the total wealth of eight count-
ies to $51,022,289 as compared to the total Florida evaluation
The seven planting counties were also the greatest slave-
holders. In 1860 they contained 39,795 of the 61,745 total slaves
in Florida. Leon County was the heaviest populated with an
aggregate of 12,342, but three-fourths (9,089) of this number
was slave, with only 60 free colored in the county. Jackson
County was second highest in population with 10,209, 4,903 of
which was slave and 43 free colored.7
Yet, despite all of this expansion and growth, Florida
at the outbreak of the Civil War had fewer factories, fewer
towns, less wealth, and less population than any other slave
state.8 Only $1,874,125 were invested in Florida manufactories.
6 Statistics of the United States, 1860, (U,Si Govern-
ment Printing Office, d66b) p. 297.
7 Statistics of the Population of the United States,
1870, (U.S. Government Printing Office, l (2), pp. 3-5, 16-19.
8 Davis, Op. cit., p..3
About $886,000 of this amount was invested in Santa Rosa County,
mostly in saw-mills.9 Florida was not yet ready to become an
These figures demonstrate conclusively that the wealth-
iest and most influential citizens of Florida were residents of
only a handful of Florida's counties. In these counties lived
the majority of those who dominated the policy of Florida in
the crisis of 1861, for of all the residents of Florida these
had the most of the property to lose, especially when including
slaves as property. Thus, what was true of the South was also
true of Florida. D. R. Hundly, an Alabama planter, draws the
following picture of "social stratification" in the South during
the Civil War period:
At the top stood the plantation aristocrat.
Then came the middle class made up of smaller
slaveholding planters, professional men, trades-
men and skilled mechanics. Next followed the
yeomen, while separated from them by an almost
impassable chasm were the poor whites. Under-
neath all were the negroes, slave or free.
Members of the middle class were usually defi-
cient of culture and refinement and sometimes
from sheer envy and jealousy entertained a
most cordial hatred of those whose attainments
and good breeding they despaired of ever being
able to emulate.IO
This was Florida that was so well represented on April
23, 1860, at the national Democratic convention in Charleston,
9 Davis, Op. cit., p. 33. Figures are from the 1860
10 Arthur Charles Cole The Irrepressible Conflict,
(MacMillan Company, 1934), p. 36, adapted from D.R. Hundly,
Social Relations in our Southern States, p. 95.
S.C., where the sectional division over slavery was exposed
within the Democratic party. The Florida delegation included
John Milton of Jackson County, who soon after was elected
governor of Florida, and Charles E. Dyke of Leon County, an
editor of the Tallahassee Floridian and Journal and a man very
active in Florida Democracy. This delegation seceded as a body
from the convention with the other cotton state delegations when
the convention, controlled by the Northern Democracy, failed to
endorse the extreme and uncompromising Southern view.11
The Democratic party had split in two over the slavery
issue. This news was of great import to the people of Florida.
Mass meetings were called together in practically all important
towns and villages, and resolutions were adopted indorsing the
action of the Florida delegates.12 John Milton spoke to crowds
of people in Fernandina and Tallahassee concerning the conven-
tion. Petty wrangling between Northern and Southern politicians
was not the cause of the schism, he said, but he did place the
blame on a profound difference in public opinion North and South.1l
A conservative minority was not in sympathy with either
the act of withdrawal at Charleston or the attempt which followed
to form a Southern Democratic party. United States S.nator
David L. Yulee wrote from Washington to C. E. Dyke, editor of
11 Davis, Op. cit., pp. 39-40.
12 Fernandina East Floridian, May 3, 10, 12, 1860.
the Floridian, protesting against the sending of a delegation
to the Southern Democratic convention called to meet in Rich-
mond, Virginia. Yulee thought a Southern party would weaken
the Southern cause.14
But the Southern party did meet in Richmond, and out of
it came the nomination of John C. Breckinridge. When the smoke
of the political battles had cleared, the Northern Democrats
had nominated Stephen Douglas, and a fourth candidate, John
Bell, was flying the flag of the Constitution Union Party.
Thus the election of Abraham Lincoln, the "Black Republican,"
was practically assured.
At least one Florida paper, the Florida Sentinel pub-
lished in Tallahassee, advocated the election of John Bell, of
the Constitutional Union Party.15 The only other paper in that
city, the Floridian, edited by C. E. Dyke, was of opposite poli-
tics, Southern Democratic.16
Some Florida papers advocated Breckinridge for president
long before his nomination. The St. Augustine Examiner notes
on March 24, 1860, that the Key of the Gulf (published in Key
West) "has raised the name of John Ci Brecklaridge (sic), of
Kentucky, for President." The following month, the Examiner
14 Fernandina East Floridian, June 14, 1860.
15 Tallahassee Florida Sentinel, July 17, 1860.
16 Ibid., July 31, lbO. A news story reports that,
before a meeting of Leon County Democracy, Dyke introduced resolu-
tions endorsing Breckinridge and Lane.
also burst into song for Breckinridge.17 And later it became
Unfurl the banners in the air,
And raise the deafening shout,
We bearded Douglas to his lair,
And put him to the rout;
We'll heal the Union where she bleeds,
Let Constitution reign,
And follow truth where e'r 1 leads
With Breckinridge and Lane.
Just like the editors of today, Florida publishers felt
it incumbent upon them to get out the vote. Today's efforts,
of course, are milder and more of a neutral nature. Those get
out the vote efforts in 1860 almost smoldered with emotion.
The St. Augustine Examiner said:
Your country calls upon you to resave her
from the bloody hands of Northern fanaticism,
from the torch of the incendiary, and the
dagger of the assassin. Go to the polls, and
there do whatever freemen may do to put down
Lincoln, the ally and confederate of John Brown.19
Breckinridge and Lane carried the state by a substantial
majority on election day, November 7, 1860. Not a single vote
was cast for Abraham Lincoln:
Breckinridge and Lane (Southern Democratic) 8,543
Bell and Everett (Constitutional Unionist) 5,437
Douglas and Johnson (Northern Democratic) 367
Lincoln and Hamlin (Republican) 0
Breckinridge and Lane majority 1,36920
17 St. Augustine Examiner, April 14, 1860.
18 Ibid., August 4, IB6o.
19 Ibid., October 20, 1860.
20 Davis, Op. cit., p. 45. As his source he uses E.
Stanwood, History of the Presidency, p. 297, although he admits
that Greeley's and Stanwood's figures do not exactly agree.
See Greeley, American Conflict.
Florida had lost an election--nothing but an election.
So why did the nation's choice of Abraham Lincoln mean war for
Florida? The New York Times declared that the secession of
Florida meant the wiping-out of old debts and that the South
was in control of "The railroad class who want secession for
financial ends."21 William W. Davis, in The Civil War and
Reconstruction In Florida, notes such a possibility:
S.It is true that at this time the Florida
Railroad owed one firm in New York three quarters
of a million dollars. Heavy stockholders in the
red were Florldians active in furthering secession.
David L. Yulee, United States Senator, was presi-
dent of the road, and a prominent figure in the
secession movement. Did secession mean neces-
sarily the wiping out of honest bonded indebtedness?
In this tragic and complex crisis in the South's his-
tory did the selfish and sinister designs of a few
Southern and Northern capitalists arouse the pas-
sionate and generally honest prejudices of the more
than 5,000,000 Americans who promptly answered the
On the other hand, it seems that more than greed was
the cause of this great sectional conflict. Although, no doubt,
certain individuals saw advantages in a North-South cleavege,
could they have so simply aroused the sentiments of a nation?
There appear to be other reasons for the upheaval which soon
was to come:
.The basic cause for the (Civil) War was
the development of sectionalism in the United
States, which grew out of two fundamentally
different types of social and economic order.
The South was dominated by an agricultural system
based on the plantation, with its large estates,
21 N.Y. Times, January 23, 1861.
22 Davis-, p. cit., p. 65.
staple crops, and the institution of slavery.
The North, on the other hand, was industrial
and commercial, with its af culture carried
on by the small farm. .
Certainly the cause of the Civil War is found somewhere
within these basic differences, whatever the immediate cause.
But the fuel which fed the flames of war in the populace, as
reported by the Florida press, appears to be the issue of slavery.
This was the way of life--the economic system--which the Southern-
er sought to defend. Abolition was seen as hazardous to economic
well being, but coupled with this was a reluctance to accept the
Negro as a human being. Literature supporting these contentions
was widely advertised:
SHALL WHITE MEN RULE AMERICA.
The Newspaper for the Times?
The Weekly Daybook for 1861
The Day-Book holds that this is a government of
WHITE MEN, and that inferiority of social and
political position for the Negro race, and superio-
rity for the white race, is the natural order of
American Society. All who want to REFUTE THE
ARGUMENTS OF THE ANTI-SLAVERVITES, and understand
the negro question, should read it. .
VAN ERVIL, HORTON & CO.,
162 Nassau Street, New York.24
The Florida slave holder apparently retreated to such
literature to justify his position on slavery. That the arguments
are trite today may show the un t en a b le position of the Southern
er of the 1860's, but it apparently was a convincing argument in
23 The Columbia Encyclopedia, (Columbia University Press,
1942), p. 368.
24 St. Augustine Examiner, March 2, 1861.
its day. The Florida press quoted extensively from tirades of
the Weekly Daybook. One of the most prominent 1861 Florida
sheets devoted four columns of its front page to a Daybook arti-
cle of this temper:
Being but a layman, I cannot be expected, nor per-
haps permitted, to meddle with theology, but I venture
to assert, that any dispassionate man who will trace
out from the scripturers (sic) the entire history of
the negro race, from the first unnatural, incestuous
and innominable (sic) act perpetrated by Ham, as
defined by Rabbinical writers, and the culmination
of their foul and unnatural enormities of Sodom and
Gomorrah, down to their extinction or expulsion from
Palestine by the express command of Deity--their
animalized and libidinous idolatry, by which 'they
made Israel to sin,' and caused the wrath of God to
fall upon A DIVIDED PEOPLE; any person, I say, who
will calmly follow up this horrible narrative, will
come to the conclusion that perpetual servitude was
the moderate punishment of a race capable of such un-
speakable excesses and abominations. 25
Regardless of factors behind the Civil War, however,
the people of Florida began to gird themselves for battle. A
few days after the fatal votes were cast in the 1860 election,
the strongest and most influential Democratic organ in the state,
the Tallahassee Floridian, said:
Lincoln is elected. There is a beginning
of the end. Sectionalism has triumphed. What
is to be done? We say resist.A
25 St. Augustine Examiner, April 20, 1861. The Examiner
quotes "the New York Day Book of the 30th ult." The article is
billed as a letter from Dr. J. S. McFarlane of New Orleans.
26 Tallahassee Floridian and Journal, November 10, 1860.
GROWTH OF FLORIDA
Real and Personal Estate 1860 (evaluation)1
Total for planting counties
Total for eight counties
Total for all 43 counties
1 Statistics of the United States, 1860, (U.S. Govern-
ment Printing Office, 16bb), p. 297.
2 Planting County.
3 Containing huge saw-mill interests.
4 Statistics of the Population of the United States,
1870, (Government Printing office, 2), pp. 3-.
GROWTH OF FLORIDA (con't)
Total free colored
Slaves In Planting Counties 18606
61,745 Total slaves in Florida
5 Statistics of the United States, 1860, Op. cit., p. 53.
PALLADIA OF LIBERTY
Of what calibre and number was this press which was
to see Florida fury burst into flames? Of what nature were
the editors who fed the flames and led the way to action?
These questions assume importance as this study nears the
actual outbreak of war.
In 1860, Florida's papers were not especially numerous
or large. But their very scarcity and smallness probably
made them more influential than large papers in a less
strategic situation. The Florida papers, most of them week-
lies, carried a minimum of local news, but by the use of ex-
change clippings and telegraphic dispatches presented to their
readers ihat was probably their only view of the outside world.
Census figures reveal some information concerning the
growth of the Florida press. The information is neither complete
nor absolutely accurate, but it can be used for comparative pur-
poses. Even a swift glance at these figures should indicate
the tremendous set-back suffered by the Florida press during
the Civil War:
Tri- Semi- Annually
Daily Weekly Weekly Weekly Total Issued Circ.
1850 0 0 1 9 10 319,800 5,750
1860 0 2 1 19 22 1,081,600 15,500
1870 0 2 1 20 23 649,220 10,5451
One authority accepts the census figure of 22 as accurate
by noting, "Of the 22 newspapers in Florida, 17 were Democratic,
which number included the most influential journals."2
In neighboring Georgia, an older and more settled state,
newspapers were flourishing. In fact, "the number of papers
grew from fifty-one in 1850 to 105 in 1860, or a jump in circula-
tion from 64,155 to 180,972, during the decade. The daily papers
increased from five to twelve during the period."3 Thus it is
significant that the only press conventions in the Southeastern
area occurred in Georgia--in Atlanta in March, 1862, in Macon
on January 5, 1863, and in Augusta on February 4, 1863. It is
of even more significance to this study that no Florida papers
were represented at these conventions.4 It could well be that
Florida editors were too busy, their shops too small, and their
sincerity of purpose too intense to be spending time at conventionE
1 1850 figures are from the Seventh Census of the
United States, (Robert Armstrong, public printer, 1053), p.
409. Other information is from Statistics of the Population
Of the United States, 1870, (U.S. Government Printing Office,
lb'2), pp. 462-4B4.
2 William Watson Davis, The Civil War and Reconstruction
in Florida, (Columbia University, 1913), p. 42.
3 Rabun Lee Brantley, Georgia Journalism of the Civil
War Period, (Williams Printing Company, 1929), p. 13.
4 Ibid., pp. 91-92.
:ith the use of all available sources, it is possible
to name 26 Florida newspapers which were regularly being pub-
lished during the crisis of 1860 and early 1861. Twenty-three
of these papers were definitely being published in 1860. The
rest came into existence or became known to us during the early
part of 1861. True enough, some of these papers were short-
lived, as will be shoun later. Present information indicates
that only ten of these papers survived the period 1860-1865,5
and only seven were in existence in 1870. Thus it is seen that
the mortality rate for the original 26 newspapers was very high
during the Civil War. It is understood, of course, that new
newspapers cropped up and either fell by the wayside or managed
to survive the period.
It is rather significant that all but one of the major
population centers of 1860 had at least one newspaper. It is
but common sense that a newspaper cannot exist except where there
is a public and trade. The nine towns of 1860 with a thousand
or more population were Jacksonville, Pensacola, Key West, St.
Augustine, Tallahassee, Apalachicola, Fernandina, Monticello and
5 As shall be seen later, the 10 newspapers surviving
the war years 1860-1865 were the Lake City Press, the Madison
Messenger, the Monticello Family Friend, the Newnansville Dis-
patch, the Pensacola Observer, the Quincy Dispatch, the Taila-
nassee Floridian and journal, the Tampa Peninsular and the
Jacksonville Herald, ri the T ie--h-o cee cTtinrcl.
Milton6--and all but Milton boasted a newspaper.
In seeking to compile an accurate list of newspapers
existing in Florida during 1860, every effort was made to con-
sult the best authority--the newspapers themselves. Where copies
of each newspaper were not available, there were many instances
in which contemporary editors took note of editorial colleagues
in other towns--and these references were presumed valid on face
value. Only in two cases--icanopy Cotton States and the Jack-
sonville Herald--is the information second-band from other
authorities, although the existence of all were checked with such
The following newspapers were definitely in existence
St. John's Mirror11
6 John N. Webb and Paul E. Fenlon, "Florida's Early
Industrial Development: 1850-1890," Economic Leaflets (Bureau
of Economic and Business Research, College of Business Adminis-
tration, University of Florida), Volume XI, Number 5, April, 1952.
7 Mentioned in the St. Augustine Examiner, March 31, 1860.
8 Ibid., but spelled Telegraph in the April 7, 1860, issue.
9 Mentioned in the St. Augustine Examiner, March 31, 1860.
Some issues of the 1860 East Floridian also are available.
11 Ibid., July 21, 1860.
Key of the Gulf12
Cotton States lateg published in Gailesville)15
Florida Home Companion21
12 Mentioned in the St. Augustine Examiner, March 24, 186C
13 Ibid., September 15, 1860.
14 Ibid., Called the Independent Press in the March 24,
1860, issue of the Examiner.
15 Winifred Gregory, American Newspapers 1921-1936,
(H.l. Wilson Company, 1937), PP. 93-100 Existence of the Cotton
States during this period is further confirmed by The Quarterly
Periodical of The Florida Historical Society, Volume XI, Number 1,
July, 1932, from a list compiled by Elmer J. Emig.
16 Mentioned in the St. Augustine Examiner, September 8,
17 Ibid., April 14, 1860. In Gregory, Loc. cit., this
paper is called the Southern Messenger.
18 Mentioned In the St. Augustine Examiner, April 14, 186(
19 Ibid., March 24, 1860.
20 Ibid. September 22, 1860. In G-egory, Loc. cit.,
this paper io called Florida Dispatch.
21 Mentioned in the St. Augustine Rkaminer, March 31,
bloridlan and Journal28
In addition to these 23 newspapers being published in
1860, we can list three newspapers which are known to have
existed in early 1861:
22 Mentioned in the St. Augustine Examiner, March 24,
1860. The April 2, 1861, issue of the Gazette also is available.
23 Ibid., April 7, 1860.
24 Ibid., March 31, 1860. It is supposed that this
is the Quincy Semi-Weekly Dispatch, known to be in existence
in 1860 (Gregory, Loc. cit.). It could, however, be the Newtans-
ville Dispatch already listed because the Examiner did not note
its location. The exact location of this particular reference,
is immaterial, however, since Gregory, LoV. cit., confirms the
existence of a Quincy Dispatch during this period.
25 Mentioned in the St. Augustine Examiner, March 24, \
26 Many issues of the Examiner are available for this
27 Mentioned in the St. Augustine Examiner, June 23,
1860. Gregory, Loc. cit., calls it the Tallahassee Sentinel.
28 Mentioned in the St. Augustine Examiner, March 24,
29 Ibid. Gregory, Loc. cit., calls it the Florida
The Sunny South32
Some rather miscellaneous facts can be gleaned concerning
the nature of these newspapers and the men who ran them. For
instance, political affiliation evidently played a great part
in the role of the newspaper. The St. Augustine Examiner says
of the Jacksonville Standard:
Mr. Ramon Canova, has retired from the proprietor-
ship of the Jacksonville Standard. His successors are
Messrs., Steele and Doggett, who are of the same politics
with Mr. Canova.35
Mention has already been made of the Key West Key of
the Gulf in its early advocacy of the Breckinridge nomination,
which indicates that it was early a "rebel" sheet. Its fate
will be covered later in this study.
Perhaps some Florida editors could not cope with the
increasing complexity of the national scene:
J. N. Bowen, late editor of the Independent
Press, committed suicide on Saturday last, at
=Lake City by shooting himself through the head
with a pistol. We have not heard any cause
assigned for the rash act. His remains were
placed on the steamer Cecile, to be forwarded
30 Gregory, Loc. cit.
31 Mentioned in the St. Augustine Examiner, January
.32 Ibid., February 16, 1861.
33 St. Augustine Examiner, March 31, 1860. The style
of writing during this era obviously permitted the profuse use
of commas. Although we would call this incorrect, this author
prefers to simply reproduce them as they appear instead of
indicating each one with a "sic."
to his friends in Tennessee.3'
Not only did the Lake City Independent Press survive
its editor, however, but it was one of the few original 1860
newspapers which existed in 1870.35
Not all sheets survived their editors, and this can be
taken as an indication of the precarious margin on which some
of these newspapers operated. The St. Augustine Examiner re-
cords just such a situation, and at the same time illustrates
a method sometimes used of incorporating the headline into the
Death of T. S. Gourdin, Esq.
(EDITOR OF THE SOUTHERN CONFEDERACY)
This gentleman died at his lodgings at the
Washington House, in Jacksonville, on Wednes-
day, 27th ultimo, and his remains were put on
board the steamer Carolina, to be conveyed to
the city of Charleston for interment.36
Later the Examiner says:
From the Jacksonville Confederacy
The death of the Senior Editor of this paper,
which we recorded a short time since, together
with a desire to respond to other business,
arrangements, has induced the Junior Editor, to
offer for sale, his entire interest, together
with the books, contracts, &c, appertaining to
the paper. He is also authorized to negotiate
for the sale of the interest represented and
owned by his late Partner, Mr. Gourdin, with
a view of effectually Vinding up the concern.--
(sic) The paper is in a most flourishing condi-
tion, enjoying a large subscription and advertis-
ing patronage. The office material, Press (sic),
34 St. Augustine Examiner, November 3, 1860.
35 Gregory, Loc. cit.
36 St. Augustine Examiner, March 9, 1861.
&c, &c, are in excellent order, and a rare oppor-
tunity is offered to any party wishing to assume
the duties of Editorial (sic) life. A bargain is
offered. Apply soon to
Some information concerning the founding of newspapers
during the time of the Civil War can be gathered from the press
of that day by notice editors took of newspapers new to their
exchange list. Such an item as this is the following notice
concerning a Micanopy paper:
We have received the first number of the
"Peninsular Gazette" a handsome sheet, neutral
in politics, which im to be henceforth published
in nicanopy. Messrs. James B. gan and J.J.
McDaniel are the Editors .
Just such a notice appeared concerning the Sunny South
The Sunny South
We have received the first number of a paper
bearing the above title, published in Tampa, Fla.
It is edited by A. DeLaunay, Esq. It is devoted
to the advocacy of the rights and interests of
the Southern people, and promises from the speci-
men now before us, to become a valiant champion
in the good cause. Success and good fortune
attend the enterprise and its managers.39
St. Augustine Examiner
Most of this information concerning the press as it
existed during the crisis of 1860-61 comes from the St.
Augustine Examiner, a sheet which showed more interest in the
37 St. Augustine Examiner, April 13, 1861.
38 Ibid., September B, 1F60.
39 Ibid., February 16, 1861.
contemporary press than other Florida Civil War papersof which
record remains. The Examiner of this period was a four page
full sized weekly paper, with six columns per page. Subscrip-
tion was two dollars per annum, and advertising was "one dollar
per square of twelve lines and under for the first insertion,
and 75 cents for each subsequent insertion."140 It was pub-
lished every Saturday by proprietor Matthias R. Andreu, and
as early as 1859 it carried this motto under the masthead:
"EQUALITY IN THE UNION AND NOTHING LESS."41 Andreu, as a
citizen, was very active in the local St. Augustine Democracy.
He held office in various political organizations, as witness
Breckinridge and Lane
On Thursday evening, at the City Hall, a
large and enthusiastic meeting was held by
the Democracy of the City to ratify the nomi-
nation of BRECKINRIDGE and LANE. The meeting
was organized by calling Col. F. L. DANCY, to
the Chair and appointing M. R. ANDREU Secretary.
Col..Dancy after mentioning the object of the
meeting, enlarged upon the various existing
political organizations, and showed the Demo-
cratic party is the truly National one, and
the only true Union party, and Breckinridge
and Lane the true National nominations. .42
Later, Andreu was one of six signers of this call to
40 St. Augustine Examiner, September 15, 1860.
41 The earliest issue available with this motto is
October 29, 1859.
42 St. Augustine Examiner, July 14, 1860.
The public meeting was held on the 10th and
the 15th and ended up resolving that the state
purchase some 'efficient arms of modern warfare,'
an armory in various sections of the state, repeal
of all laws concerning the bearing of arms, uniting
against Black Republicism (sic), That in the event or
the recommendation by the Executive of the State
of Florida, to the General Assembly, of a call by
that body of a convention of the people, to con-
sider the propriety of the States resuming the
powers granted to the General Government. .'
that the legislature (if Lincoln is elected) take
no part in electing a U.S. Senator, and 'That,
in the event of the withdrawal from the Union,
of any one or more of the slave States, then
and in that case the Governor of Florida is
requested to take the necessary constitutional
measures for the withdrawal of Florida from the
Union, and our Senators and members of Congress
are requested to take no further part in public
affairs by virtue of their present commissions.'
lhich were read and the Resolutions adopted un-
Editor Andreu had, in the meanwhile, turned the Examiner
into a campaign paper. He wrote in August, 1860:
Desiring to contribute all in our power to
the success of the democratic nominees, both
State and federal (sic), we propose to issue
the Examiner for the Campaign commencing the
4th of August till after the election to all
new subscribers for fifty cents. As we do this
merely from our interest in the success of our
worthy candidates, and in support of the import-
ant principles involved in the contest, we trust,
that all good democrats will at least exhibit
their interest in the canvass, by obtaining and
sending us the names of numerous subscribers
for the campaign. Ldss than this they can not
do. Ve will say further, that if there are any
true BRECKINRIDGE and LANE men in the city or
out of it, who are unable to pay for this cam-
paign paper, if they will leave their names at
the office, we will send them the Examiner till
43 St. Augustine Examiner, November 17, 1860.
after the election FREE. On these terms, if
Democrats do their duty, the Examiner will be in
the i;ands of every fB(ECKINRiDGCE and LA, man in the
country. Let us see what can be done.
By the issue of October 13, 1860, it was perfectly
obvious that the Examiner was a party press--its news was
party news. The Democratic platform was run continuously on
the front page. As November 7, 1860, election day, neared,
the Examiner became more and more radical despite subscriber
resistance. Said the Examiner three weeks before election:
Sc'eral subscribers to the EXAMINER of
opposition politics, have within the last
fc days withdrawn n their names from oar list.
While we regret to lose any support for our
paper, we cannot allow any such demonstration
to affect our course. The paper was started
as a democratic journal and an independent
organ of Southern opinion. It has hitherto
maintained its original position, and so
long as we conduct it, shall continue to
advocate with whatever ability we possess, the-
interests, the honor, and the political equal-
ity of the South. At the same time, it has
uniformly aimed to treat opponents with fairness
and courtesy; and not forgetting the fact that
the EXAMINER is the only Journal in the City,
we have been free to accord the use of its
columns to all persons and parties whether
concurring with us in opinion or otherwise. .
In the present political canvass we have
supported BRECKINRIDGE as the candidate whose
election was imperatively demanded by the
interests of the South and the safety of the
Union. With that view we hoisted his name
at the head of our columns previous to his
nomination. We shall continue to support
him with zeal, energy, and confident hope
till the election. And if unfortunately
he should be defeated, by his Black Republican
44 St. Augustine Examiner, August 4, 1860.
competitor, we shall call upon every Southern
man and every Southern State to unite in de-
fence (sic) of the rights of the South. We
shall advocate with all the force God has given
us the IMMEDIATE FORMATION OF A SEPARATE CON-
FEDERACY OF THE COTTON STATES. If that be
secession or treason make the most of it.45
Two weeks later the Examiner admitted the probable
defeat of Breckinridge and urged again the union of the
.There is, we are grieved and humiliated
to say, too little doubt that the Abolitionist
LINCOLN will be chosen to the Presidency.
The Southerner will then be called upon to
choose between submission to the rule of a
party whose avowed purpose is the abolition,
not the restriction, of slavery, and a glorious
career ol uninterrupted prosperity as a separate
But cannot the citizens of our section be
united as one man? Shall we not drop all minor
issues, and forgetting past feuds, rally around
the banner of the entire South? We can never
submit to Lincoln's inauguration; the shades
of RevoluntiDnary sires will rise up to shame
us if we should do that; cannot all of the
Southern people, Bell men, Breckinridge men,
and Douglas men, band together to resist the
Abolition foe? He have differed among our-
selves hitherto, let us drop dissentions, and
form a UNION OF THE SOUTH FOR THE SAKE OF THE
SOUTH. Let this be our rallying cry and the
gatesof (sic) thp Abolition Hell shall not pre-
vail against us.46
The Examiner was two years old in 1860, for in Volume
III, Number 1, dated September 15, 1860, the editor says:
The present number commences the third year
of the EXAMINER. A few words in respect to the
paper, its past, present and future, may accord-
ingly be indulged.
S. .As the only journal in the county it
presents peculiar claims; and we consider that
45 St. Augustine Examiner, October 13, 1860.
46 Ibid., October fF, lbO.
every business man has an interest in its success
far greater than the cost of a yearly subscription.
Although editor Andreu wrote confidently of the
"future" he most certainly could not see what the next two
years would bring to his city, his press, and himself. More
concerning all three of these elements will be found further
in this study.
St. John's Mirror
The St. John's Mirror, in 1861, was a four page sheet
with seven columns per page published in Jacksonville. Its
pro-secession editor was M. Whit Smith, a gentleman of whom
we know little. His paper sold for two dollars per annum "in
advance," and the advertising rates were $1.00 for a square
(12 Brevier lines or less) for one insertion and fifty cents
for each subsequent insertion. Like many papers of his day,
five of the seven front page columns were filled with adver-
tisements. His paper urged that citizens be forced to take
an oath to the Confederacy, and that fortifications be erected
and manned to protect the city of Jacksonville.47
The Mirror's regular publication day was Tuesday.
However, on Wednesday, July 17, 1861, a sheet one-fourth the
size of a regular page and printed on one side was issued
with this notation:
We have made such arrangements for a supply
47 Jacksonville St. John's Mirror, May 7, 1861.
of paper, that there will hereafter be no delay
or failure in the publication of the Mirror
on its regular day.
Obviously, the paper shortage had already caused the
Mirror to suffer. The title of this cut-down issue, however,
was called the "ST. JOHN'S MIRROR--EXTRA." The headlines
shouted, "GREAT BATTLE IN MISSOURIL--FEDERAL TROOPS KILLED!--
CAPTURED BY BEN MCCULLOUGH!!" The editor must have considered
the extra a good idea, for he was the only Florida publisher
(as far as existent records reveal) who planned to issue extras
as a regular feature:
By an arrangement Just concluded with the
Agent of the Telegraph Company here, the dis-
patches will hereafter be published in Extras,
at the office of the Mirror, immediately on
It is doubtful, however, if editor Smith fulfilled his
ambitious program to any degree. Despite the fact that the
paper existed, under one name or another, as far back as 1848,
the last copies existent are dated in July, 1861.49 Even if
the paper continued for another year, it hardly could have
maintained its editorial stand. Jacksonville was captured by
Federal troops on March 12, 1862, without firing a shot.50
Key of the Gulf
Among historians, the Key of the Gulf is the most
48 Jacksonville St. John's Mirror--Extra, July 17, 1861.
49 Gregory, Loc. cit.
50 William Watson Davis, The Civil War and Recon-
struction in Florida, tolumbia University, 1913), p. 15B
widely known secession sheet in Florida. This fame is probably
the result of its suppression by Federal forces.
The Key of the Gulf in 1860 was on its fifth volume.
It was a weekly, published on Saturday, edited by Wm. H. Ward.
Its subscription was a little higher than usual, being three
dollars per year. It consisted of four pages (about 13
inches wide) of six columns each. Advertising was conspicuouslyy
inserted at the rate of ONE DOLLAR per square of fourteen lines,
or under, for the first, and FIFTY CENTS for each subsequent
insertion." On the masthead was the motto, "Ask Nothing but
what is Right--Submit to Nothing That is Wrong."51
The anti-Union sentiment of this sheet was clearly dis-
cernable in November, 1860. The editor then wrote:
Day is dawning! The South is not always to
be shrouded in perpetual night. The great ques-
tion of Southern rights, like a snowball descend-
ing the mountain side, grows and gathers in strength
and power as the popular heart is aroused to the
importance of the issue. Throughout the South,
the intelligent southern press and southern thinkers
and southern leaders are beginning to realize the
great truth that the South is doomed, damned and dis-
graced if she longer submits to Northern fanaticism
and intolerance, Abolition outrage and Domination. .
Already has the noble and chivalric State of South
Carolina taken the initiative in this glorious work
of redemption--the maintenance of souther rights
and honor. ..Onward, gloriously onward!3
One of editor Ward's most fervent battles was con-
ducted against Judge William Marvin, Union-advocate and Admiralty
51 Key West Key of the Gulf, March 3, 1860.
52 Ibid., November 24, l0bO
Judge of the Federal Court, who did not resign his position
when Florida seceded. When the fog of Civil War gunpowder
cleared, Marvin became the provisional Governor of Florida.53
Immediately before the Key of the Gulf was suppressed by Major
French in May, 1861,54 editor Ward made a trip to Montgomery,
Alabama, supposedly to confer with Confederate officials. The
Floridian and Journal at Tallahassee recorded part of his jour-
The Editor of the Key West Key of the Gulf,
who was in Apalachicola a few days ago, en route
for Pensacola, states that Judge Marvin has de-
cided to relinquish his position as Admiralty Judge
of the Federal Court, and that be had already ceased
the exercise of his Judicial functions. ?
Actually, nothing was further than the truth. Judge
Marvin held his office till the summer of 1863, when he volun-
When he arrived in Montgomery, editor Ward told of
Federal troops in Key West:
Montgomery, April 2--Mr. W. H. Ward, editor of
the "Key of the Gulf," at Key West, arrived here
last night, direct from Pensacola.
He states that on the 25th of March, the steamers
53 American Annual Cyclopaedia 1865, (D. Appleton and
Company, 18bb), pp. 359-364. Marvin served as Governor during
the year 1865.
54 Davis, Op. cit., p. 248. His information is from
Official Records of the Rebellion, (U.S. Government Printing
Office, 1900), Series III, Volume 1, pp. 184-185. A procla-
mation by President Lincoln dated May 10, 1861, permitted the
55 Reprinted in the St. Augustine Examiner, April 20,
56 N.Y. Herald, July 21, 1863.
Daniel Webster and General Rusk arrived at Key
West, the former with 400 troops, under command
of Colonel Cooper. The General Rusk had 200 men
for Key West and 100 for Tortugas. The Crusader
reached Key West with sealed orders, under charge
of Capt. J.A.M. Craven, with marines, and the
Brooklyn was going into Key West on the 26th March.
She, no doubt, left her troops at Fort Pickens. .57
More concerning the fate of the loud and staunch
Key of the Gulf will be found later in this study, but let
this succinct note indicate the final destiny of its editor:
The Key of the Gulf, published in Key West,
has been suppressed by the Abolitioniss, and
its editor, Mr. Ward, forced to leave.
Gainesville Cotton States
No records of the early years of the Cotton States are
available. It was, however, at first published at Micanopy
sometime in 1860.59 In 1864, the sheet was a weekly published
every Saturday in Gainesville. It consisted (during this worst
year of the war) of only two pages of seven columns each. Even
then the front page was entirely made up of advertisements. The
subscription rate of ten dollars per annum reflected wartime in-
flation. The editors-G.N. Arnow and J.M. Arnow-were, of course,
strict anti-Unionists. Sometime during March or April, 1864,
J. M. Arnow assumed full editorship of the sheet, and the other
57 St. Augustine Examiner, April 13, 1861.
58 Ibid., June 227, 18l.
59 Gregory, Loc. cit.
editor was dropped from the masthead.60 J. M. Arnow, incidently,
was an attorney at law who "can be found at the Cotton States
Office," according to an advertisement in the issue of May 7,
1864. Information found later in this study will indicate that
the editor of the Cotton States was, along with other Florida
editors, greatly troubled with the conditions of war. The
sheet very probably died before 1865.61
Tallahassee Florida Sentinel
The Florida Sentinel, published weekly in Tallahassee,
was a Constitutional Unionist sheet in 1860 and advocated the
election of John Bell for the presidency. As a follower of
that party, it did not agitate for secession, but yet it was
far from being a "Black Republican" sheet. From the volume
of its advertising, it appeared to be the most prosperous sheet
Its editors and proprietors were Edwin A. Hart, later
wounded in action when serving as a Lieutenant in Confederate
forces62 and'Thos. B. Barefoot, who had offices on Monroe Street
in Tallahassee. Every Tuesday they put out a four page sheet
with six columns per page and charged two dollars per annum for th(
service. They also indicated that with "a large and well-selected
60 Gainesville Cotton States, March 19, April 16, May 7,
61 Gregory, Loc. cit.
62 Gainesville Cotton States, June 4, 1864. A news
story mentions Hart as being wounded in the knee during a Florida
skirmish. He is identified as former editor of the Sentinel.
assortment of Plain and Ornanental and Job Type," they were pre-
pared to complete job work "with neatness and dispatch."63
The Sentinel was top-heavy with advertisements in 1860.
Very often pages one, three and four were entirely full, leaving
only page two for editorial matter.64 Even then the editors
were sometimes forced to apologize:
Again we ask the indulgence of some of our
advertising friends for leaving out their favors
this week. Our columns are so crowded we are
compelled to claim this privilege occasionally,
but will make it all right in the end. 5
Between July and December, 1860, the Sentinel came en-
tirely under the control of Edwin A. Hart. As will be seen
later, the Sentinel became a tri-weekly in 1865 with Hart as
co-editor,66 and the paper was one of the few original 1860
sheets to last beyond 1870.67
Floridian and Journal
Published, in 1860, by C. E. Dyke and J. B. Carlisle,
the Floridian and Journal was one of the true voices of Democracy
in the State. Its editors appeared to believe that it bordered
on the official Democratic organ in Florida. It, along with the
Sentinel, was published in Tallahassee, but it was obviously not
63 Tallahassee Florida Sentinel, July 31, 1860.
64 The July 10, 18bO issue, among others, is thus filled.
65 Tallahassee Florida Sentinel, July 17, 1860.
66 Tallahassee Semi-Weekly Floridian, October 27, 1865.
67 Gregory, Loc. cit.
in the sa.e political boat .'ith the Sentinel.
Although the sheet was very probably much similar to
the others already noted for the year 1860, like the rest it
also felt the impact of war. By mid-1864 it was cut to two
pages of six columns eacr, and the subscription was five dollars
for six months. Its 1864 advertising rate was two dollars for
one square (10 minion lines) or less, for each insertion. Also
by 1864 there was a change of ownership, for the Floridian and
Journal was by then published every Saturday by C. E. Dyke and
Chas. K. Sparhawk.68 These two owners continued the paper
through the end of the war, and finally reorganized the paper
in 1865, changed its publishing dates, and renamed it the
Semi-Weekly Floridian69 The paper enjoyed a long life and it
extended long past 1870.70
The editor who remained with the Floridlan throughout
the war, C. E. Dyke, was extremely active in political circles.
It will be remembered that he was one of the Florida delegates
who retired from the Charleston Democratic convention. After
that incident, the Floridian said:
As for ourselves, we are Union-loving men--
we believe it to be the greatest political bless-
ing which our fathers could have bequeathed to us.
We nish to transmit it to our children. But if we
cannot transmit it to them as our fathers did to
us--with all the rights and privileges under the
68 Tallahassee Floridian and Journal, March 5, 1864.
69 Tallahassee Semi-Weekly Floridian, September 26, 1865.
70 Gregory, Loc. cit.
constitution--if we must give t.iem the shadow
without the substance--it is not worth having.71
Shortly after that, this item appeared in the Florida
The Sentinel has the following: Judge T. W.
Brevard having resigned his position as one of
the Board of Education for the Seminary West of
the Suwannee, his Excellence Gov. Perry has
appointed (sic) Mr. C E. Dyke, of the Floridian,
to fill the vacancy.72
Editor Dyke's political position remained firm during
the crisis of 1860-61:
Pursuant to call, the Democracy of Leon,
held a meeting in this city on Saturday, the
28th inst., and nominated candidates for the
State Legislature. The meeting was well attend-
ed and a little more harmonious than usual, the
principal discussion being as to whether the
meeting should first ratify the nomination of
Breckinridge and Lane, or proceed to the nomi-
nations of candidates for the State Legislature.
Resolutions were introduced by Mr. C. E. Dyke,
endorsing the nominations of Breckinridge and
Lane, which were unanimously adopted. .73
It is rather obvious, from letters addressed to editor
Dyke and published in the Floridian, that he was a personal
friend to leading political figures in Florida. Senator David
L. Yulee74 and Senator and Confederate Secretary S. R. Mallory75
both wrote to Dyke.
71 Quoted in the St. Augustine Examiner, May 26, 1860.
72 St. Augustine Examiner, June 23, 716C.
73 Tallahassee Floriaa sentinel, July 31, 1860.
74 Davis, Op. cit., pp. 40-41.
75 Tallahassee Semi-Weekly Floridian, November 24, 1855.
It is in connection rlth a near disaster that we learn
the most concerning the Florida press of 1860 and the men who
published that press. From this incident we can see the spirit
of close co-operation between competing publishers, the value
of the printing plant of that day, and the state of the pub-
lisher's stigma--subscription dellnquincies. However, two
more important factors can be discerned--one of these factors
beinE the will to return. -hen beset by troubles, editors
Dyke and Carlisle had no intention of leaving the Floridian to
die. The other factor is their estimation of their loss--it
was not measured in money or machinery, but in terms of news-
paper files, "the best and indeed the most authentic records
of the affairs of the State as far back as 1828."
These facets were brought out in 1860 when the office
of the Floridian, along with several Tallahassee stores, was
destroyed by fire. The Florida Sentinel, the competing paper,
reported it in this manner:
DESTRUCTIVE FIRE IN TALLAHASSEE
On yesterday (Monday) morning about the
hour of four o'clock our citizens were again
startled by the cry of fire. .
It is with feelings of the most profound
regret that we speak of the heavy and irrepar-
able loss of the Editors of the Floridian &
Journal. They have lost all' Presses, ype,
books, files, paper, a large amount of job
work Just finished, which had not been de-
livered, and sad to say, their books of account,
subscription--indeed everything Their loss is
really a calamity. It is not only one irrepar-
able to them, but to us, to the city, to the
county and to the State.--(aic) Their files con-
tained the best and indeed the most authentic
records of the affairs of tc Statc as far bac,
as 1828. Their loss pecuniarily, can be estimated
at no less than $15,000, being insured only for
$2,000. This, however, can be replaced more easily
than the valuable documents lost, which are not to
be found elsewhere in the State. As the organ of
the Democracy of this State, its loss will be
seriously felt for some time. A generous and liberal
subscription, irrespective of party, has been made
up to enable them to purchase new presses, material,
&c., forthwith and we hope soon to see them re-
established on as firm a basis as ever. We call
attention to their card in another column. Their
services to the Democratic party, well deserve the
gratitude of the party, and we hope it ;:ill be mani-
fested by a generous aid from every member. We
feel sure that party differences -jill not deter
gentlemen of our own party, from extending that
patronage and aid given the press, and we ask it
in their behalf. To persons in arrears to the
Floridian, we q.ould suggest that now is the time
for everyone, no matter how small the amount, to
go forward and liquidate their indebtedness, and
hope they will act upon the suggestion.7o
Thus it was that the Constitutional Unionist Sentinel,
despite the fact that it was of opposing politics, urged the
co-operation of its own party members in re-establishing the
Democratic Floridian. That is certainly an indication of the
calibre of Civil War editors.
In an adjoining column, editors C. E. Dyke and J. B.
Carlisle had this to say of the fire:
But what of the future? This--the Floridian
SHALL be re-established. Oneof the Proprietors
will pFoceed at once to replace the materials
lost, and he hopes that in less than a month
to be able to have every thing on the spot for
a re-issue of the paper. In the meanwhile,
through the kindness of the editors of the
Sentinel, they will publish a whole or a half
76 Tallahassee Florida Sentinel, July 31, 1860.
sh:e?t, as circumstances may warrant. .
The Democracy of the State shall not lose in
this canvass whatever influence the Floridian,
though shorn of some of its proportions, through
this misfortune, may exert to promote the cause
of the South, the Union and the Constitution.
By the loss of the Books of the establishment,
every evidence of indebtedness is destroyed. There
were thousands due us--the hard earnings of many
years. If this were in our hands we could go on
without very great inconvenience; but we can pre-
sent no accounts. We rely solely in this matter
on the recollection of those who are our debtors.
Whatever they may remit, shall be considered a
full acquittance, and we appeal to them to respond
without delay. .77
In the midst of troubles, the Floridian thought of
polltlusl And the very fact that equipment for the Floridian
had to be secured up North in 1860 is a clue as to why many
papers failed during the war--equipment was not available in
The Floridian, however, was far from dead. It lived on
to publish successfully and perform public service--one such
service being the starting of a subscription list for "Mainten-
ance of the Families of Florida Volunteers"78--for four months
after the Floridian's disaster this item came to light:
The Floridian and Journal
This sheet comes to us in an entirely new: dress
greatly enlarged and very much improved. It will
be remembered that this paper and all its fixtures
were destroyed, no great length of time since, by
fire. Mr. DYKE has been north and purchased new
flterial, and now issues Pne of the largest, as
well as one of the very best Southern Rights Papers
77 Tallahassee Florida Sentinel, July 31, 1860.
78 St. Augustine Examiner, May 18, 1861.
in t!. State. : talc great ;leao-re in contributing
our testimony to its merit, and wish our neighbors
Messrs. CARLYLE and DYKE g widely extended and
This chapter brings to an end the study of pre-war
papers. The pictures drawn in this section are not ones
chosen for representation, but rather pictures drawn from cir-
cumstances, for the researcher is greatly hindered by missing
files. A closer study would possibly reveal a few odd issues
of one paper or another, but it appears that in this study a
representative portion of the Florida press has been exposed
And the picture thus exposed is not an uncomplimentary
one. The editor of 1860-61 appears to be an active man, in-
terested in preserving his culture and his economic system. To
this end he has used his sheet with probably more effect than
could be enjoyed by the press today. We can hardly condemn
him. He was fighting for his people. From the crisis of
1860-61 until today, many bigger and better plants have fought
for special interests. Certainly the Civil War press did not
do that. Although it fought a wrong and lost cause, it fought
79 St. Augustine Examiner, November 24, 1860.
SECESSION AND WAR
Dark and usly storm clo.ids gathered early in Florida.
They uJated only for the proper ti..inG of a lightning shaft
and rolling thunder to brings a downpour of hatred and passion,
gunpowder and sabres, defeat and victory. As early as 1858
Governor Madison Stark ierry recommended reorganization of the
state militia with the words, "The late elections in the non-
slave-holding states bode no good for us in the South."1
The appearance of the incendiary Impending Crisis by
Hinton Rowan Helper only added more clouds to the threatening
sky. Various Florida papers printed notices of it and the
most violent passages &ere printed on the front page of the
Fernandina East Floridian.2
The raid of Join Brown at Harper's Ferry in 1859 was
profusely noted in the Florida press. In one issue alone, the
St. Augustine Examiner ran nine different stories concerning
the uprising. Most of these stories were clipped from Northern
papers, and the Examiner notes that "The Charleston and North-
ern Papers are filled ::ith details, of the Harper's ferry
1 The Governor's Message as printed in the Tallahassee
Floridian and Journal, November 20, 1858.
2 Fernandina East Florldlan, December 22, 1859.
insurrection. We clip some of the latest."3
In a later issue the Examiner says:
Such is the issue of the first 'irrepressible
conflict' that is joked about in political circles,
and it proves to be no joke. Such too s1 the
Icgitimatc fruit of That intemperate and unchristian
denunciation which has poured from pulpit, and press,
and forum, for years past upon Southern institutions,
we are forced to believe, not to carry forward any
-reat moral enterprise, but-to foment strife in the
name of the Prince of Peace, to awaken sectional
disturbance, and to plunge this Country into all
the horrors of a civil war.4
Spot news items of Abraham Lincoln's nomination by the
Republican Party appeared in the Florida press. The editor of
the St. Augustine Examiner obviously added the label "Black? to
the Republicans in this from Chicago:
CHICAGO, May 18.--Lincoln, of Illinois, was
nominated to-day for President by the Black Repub-
lican Convention, on the third ballot, by three
Much was made of Lincoln's abolition statements, one
reportedly made when he was running for Senator in 1858. He
was quoted, "I believe this government cannot endure permanently
half slave and half free. I have always hated slavery, I think,
as much as any abolitionist."6 This was reiterated even in
How Mr. Lincoln Loves--"I have hated slavery
as much as any Abolitionist." (Abraham Lincoln's
speech, at Springfield, Ill., July 17, 1856)f
3 St. Augustine Examiner, October 29, 1859.
4 Ibid., November 12, 1i59.
5 Ibid., May 26, 1860.
6 Ibid., December 1, 1860.
7 Ibid., October 27, 1860.
As mentioned before, the editor of the St. Augustine
Examiner saw the writing on the wall even before Lincoln's
election. Like other papers, he urged secession before the
Federal government would have time to collect itself. Four
days before election day the Examiner said:
What Shall Florida Do?
Secede of course! What can she do, in the
event of LINCOLN's election but assert herself
as a Free, Sovereign, Independent Southern State.
Will she, can she, sacrifice her rights, her
honor, her safety, casting all at the foot of
Black Republican power?
.Shall we wait, until, as Commander-in-Chief
of the Army an favy of the United States, he
takes possession of those engines of power to
compel obedience; and of the Treasury of the
Government, to keep them on foot, and to bribe
traitors amongst ourselves, the more securely
to establish his power? Shall we wait,and, 'with
bated breath and whispering humbleness,' permit,
or aid him in taxing us to fill his Treasury?--
to be used, if need be, to our own subjugation--
or, as it is now distributed, to foster the In-
dustry of the abolitionized North, at the ex-
pense of the South?
We answer, without any hesitation on our part,
that it is neither the duty nor the interest of
the South, to wait in this Union, a single day
after it shall be ascertained that a Black Repub-
lican President has been elected; but that we
should proceed forthwith to organize a govern-
ment for ourselves, and withdraw from the fatal
We are now upon the eve of the conflict.
Tuesday is the decisive day. The time for argu-
ment is well nigh past and the era of action is
at hand. le can no longer close our eyes. .
We cannot save the Union of our fathers, but the
honor of Florida is entrusted to our care. It
shall be sacredly preserved. .
8 St. Augustine Examiner, November 3, 1860.
St. Augustine wasted no time after the election. Three
days after election day the Examiner called attention to a
meeting to be held that night (November 10, 1860) and noted
that "The time has arrived when the Citizens of 'St. Augustine'
and 'St. John's County' should take action; and a prominent one
in the present crisis." Continued the Examiner:
.The Presidential scramble is now over;
and we fear the decision (sic) has been against
the South, at least it is to our prosperity,
that we should be prepared, with a unanimity of
feeling to protect our. .(obliterated). .
Honor, our Wives, and our Children; from any
Northern encroachment or invasion, on our rights
and principles, as men and as Southerners. .9
The citizens of St. Augustine, however, had not waited
for the meeting to begin precautions. A committee had long
been organized to watch for any indications of an insurrection:
A Vigilance Committee
A Committee consisting of a number of our most
influential and responsible citizens, has several
weeks since, been organized in this City, for the
purpose of keeping a strict watch upon the move-
ments of strangers, and our slave population.lO
The called meeting of St. Augustine citizens on the
tenth of November and another meeting on the fifteenth finally
resulted in a resolution urging the Governor to provide for
a withdrawal from the Union. One of its six signers was M. R.
Andreu, editor of the St. Augustine Examiner.11
9 St. Augustine Examiner, November 10, 1860.
11 Ibid., November 17, 1860.
Somewhat of a radical himself, Governor M. S. Perry,
of Alachua County, after the election of Lincoln, urged action
upon the Florida legislature. In a message to that body, he said:
The only hope that the Southern states have
for domestic peace or for future respect or
prosperity is dependent on their action now,
and that action is, secession from faithless,
perjured confederates. But some Southern men
object to secession until some overt act of un-
constitutional power shall have been committed.
If we wait for such an overt act our fate will
be that of the whites in Santo Domingo. ..12
The Fernandina East Floridian had previously said:
The time has come--Lincoln is elected--The
curtain has risen and the first act of the dark
drama of Black Republicanism has been represen-
ted--The issue has been boldly made--throw doubt
and indecision to the winds--the requisite steps
should be taken at once for the arming and equip-
ment of every able-bodied man--The irrepressible
conflict has commenced--We must meet it manfully
and bravely--Florida will secede.13
There were other reactions to Lincoln's election. Lincoln
was burned in effigy.14 In St. Augustine the "secession flag"
was raised and "blue Cockades" were worn by many of the citi-
zens.15 In Fernandina two military companies were organized,
equipping themselves and announcing that their uniforms were of
12 Governor's Message, Tallahassee Floridian and Journal,
December 1, 1860.
13 Fernandina East Florldian, November 14, 1860.
14 Ibid., December 5, 19, 1860.
15 Ibid., December 19, 1860.
The St. Augustine Examiner was running this platform in
a conspicuous position:
STATE OF FLORIDA
Notice of the secession of South Carolina, the first
state to take this action, was widely noted in the Florida
press. Somewhat typical was the treatment of the event by
the Florida Sentinel. The news item read:
CHARLESTON, Dec. 20.-The Ordinance of
Secession has passed. It will be ratified
at 2 o'clock p.m. The utmost enthusiasm
prevails. Salutes are being fired, and
other demonstrations of Joy are manifested.
Obviously such items were set in type as soon as the
dispatches were received by the paper office, for before pub-
lication time the editor managed to include the entire secession
ordinance of South Carolina.18
Even before the secession of South Carolina, Governor
M. S. Perry had made a very definite move. In a message, he
I must earnestly recommend a call of
a Convention of the people of the State, at
17 St. Augustine Examiner, November 24, 1860. It ran
for sometime after this date.
18 Tallahassee Florida Sentinel, December 25, 1860.
an early day, to take such action as in their
judgment may be necessary to protect and pre-
serve the rights, honor and safety of the
people of Florida. I would further recommend
a revision of the Militia laws, with a view
to a more effective organization of the
Military, and an appropriation of one hundred
thousand dollars as a military fund for the
ensuing year, to be expended as fast as the
public necessities may require.19
Thus it was that the Florida secession convention
assembled in Tallahassee on January 3, 1861, at the call of
the legislature. And on Thursday, January 10, 1861, Florida
became the third state to secede. The secession ordinance was
We, the people of the State of Florida, in
Convention assembled, do solemnly ordain, publish
That the State of Florida hereby withdraws her-
self from the Confederacy of States existing under
the name of the United States of America, and from
the existing government of said states, ought to be
and the same is hereby totally annulled and said
Union of States dissolved, and the State of Florida
is hereby declared a sovereign and independent nation;
and that all ordinances heretofore adopted, in so far
as they create or recognize said Union, are rescinded,
and all laws or parts of laws in force in this State,
in so far as they recognize or assent to said Union,
be and they are hereby repealed.
Passed January 10th by 62 to 7, at 12 o'clock and
22 minuets (sic)."
Florida had launched her bold experiment. Senators
Yulee and Mallory publicly gave up their seats in the United
States Senate on January 21, 1861, just eleven days after their
19 St. Augustine Examiner, December 8, 1860.
20 Ibid., January 19 lTl.
state had receded.21
This act of the senators, of course, drew wide notice
in the Florida press. For instance, the February 9, 1861,
issue of the St. Augustine Examiner devoted a half column to
the "Remnass (sic) of Messrs. Yulee, and Mallory, of Florida
on Withdrawing from the United States Senate, Jan. 21st, 1861."
There was, as yet, no war. Nevertheless the Florida
press reflected a preparedness program. Newspaper sentiment
indicated that war was thought inevitable. So the formation
of armed companies and the arming of men went on apace:
The steamer Everglade landed during her last
stop to this place (Fernandina) fifteen hundred
muskets. These arms are from the Charleston
Arsenal and are said to be very effective (sic)
weapons. They are provided with percussion locks
and are lighter than the musket in ordinacy (sic)
use. One thousand of these arms will remain here
for the present as a point of distribution, and
will be issued as orders arrive to that effect.
We are informed that twenty-five hundred similar
guns and one thousand Maynard Rifles are expected
here on the 30th inst. The various cavalry com-
panies throughout the state, are to be armed with
the latter most elegant and efficient weapon.22
The organization of a stronger state militia was well
under way. Elections held during the spring of 1860 had made
such provisions.23 Companies of "Minute Men" were being formed
in hamlet after hamlet and then coalescing into larger military
21 William Watson Davis, The Civil War and Recon-
struction in Florida, (Columbia University, 1913], p. 07.
2e St. Augustine Examiner, February 9, 1861, quoting
the Fernandina East FloridTan.
23 Davis, Op. cit., p. 45.
bodies. The Florida press reflected the organization of troops
and the movement of military bodies obviously without censor-
ship. A Palatka correspondent of the St. Augustine Examiner
wrote: "Our little town is a good deal stirred up Just now in
consequence of orders from Gov. PERRY, to our Guards to report
themselves to Fernandina at once. They are to leave on Thursday.
This is moving on short notice 24 n the same month the
Examiner said, "BOYS HERE IS A CHANCEI We learn that President
Davis has made a requisition on Gov. M. S. Perry of this State
for 500 men."25 Such notices as that appeared beginning with
the month of March, for the formal organization of the Con-
federate army began on March 1, 1861. On that day the secre-
tary of war notified the governors of the states in the Con-
federacy that by the act of February 28 the President of the
Confederate States was authorized to receive volunteers for
twelve months and was directed to assume command of all military.
(During 1861, the Confederate war department called on Florida
for 5,000 troops. The muster rolls of these military organiza-
tions entering state and Confederate service during this first
year of fighting present a sum total of 6,722).26
The St. Augustine Examiner, one of the very earliest
advocates of secession from the Union, had seen its goal realized.
The editor now found his duty to editorialize for peace:
24 St. Augustine Examiner, March 9, 1861.
25 Ibid., March 330, ~7i.
26 Davis, Op. cit., pp. 90-94.
The Democratic Party has been displaced and
in its stead has been installed the Black Repub-
lican Party, having for its leader and represen-
tative, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, who was inaugurated on
the 4th inst., and entered upon his Executive
duties as Chief Magistrate of the States that
still adhere to the late Federal Union.
.e shall look with anxiety for the next
and latest advices from Washington, and these
will inform us whether in the future the rela-
tions of the two American Confederacies shall
be friendly and fraternal, their power and
strength be increased by mutual and auxiliary
cooperation, their commerce, manufacturers (sic) "nd
agriculture be encouraged, advanced and extended,
and the cause of civizilation (sic) and human
liberty be permanently established and coopera-
tive on the North American Continent. Or
whether they will bristle with preparations for
fratricidal war, where a brother' band will be
imbrued with a brother's blood and the smiling
beauty of universal happiness and prosperity
will be changed into the horrors of wide spread
ruin and desolation. Forbid it heaven. Our
voice is still for peace, provided it involve
no sacrifice of our honor or of our rights.27
A week later, the Examiner's editor had undergone a
change of view. The apparent cause was the text of Lincoln's
inaugural address, of which the editor said, "This certainly
means nothing else but WAR--WAR--WAR--, nor do we see any other
spirit prevailing among the members of the abolitionized con-
gress."28 And he carried this dispatch from the Confederate
Capital, indicating that much of the Southland held the same
27 St. Augustine Examiner, March 9, 1861.
28 Ibid., March 1.
MONTGOrIERY, .Tarch 5--The public proceedings of
Congress to day are unimportant; they sat with closed
doors most of the day, and again tonight.
The general opinion here is that Lin cln's In-
augural is a virtual declaration of war. ,
Governor Perry wrote to Capt. T. A. McDonell, of the
Gainesville Minute Men, this letter dated April 2, 1861, which
was reprinted in Florida newspapers:
DEAR SIR:--I am prevented from witnessing the
departure of the brave volunteers for Pensacola, as
intended, by a painful attack of Neuralgia, induced
by excessive exposure. .
The very prompt manner in which the several
Companies have responded to the call upon them
to take up arms in defence (sic) of the rights,
ii.terests and honor of the State, and of the
Confederate States, is deserving of the highest
praise, I beg to tender, in the name of the Ltate,
my sincere thanks and high admiration .
That Florida was truly preparing for the worst is
evidenced by this item:
As act passed by the Florida Legislature
declares that in the event of any actual
collision between the troops of the late fed-
eral Union and those in the employ of the
State of Florida, it shall be the duty of the
Governor of the State to make public procla-
mation of the fact, and thereafter the act of
holding office under the federal government
shall be declared treason, and the person con-
victed shall suffer death. This act was
approved of by ti Governor of the State on
the 14th ultimo.o9
29 St. Augustine Examiner, March 16.
30 Ibid., April 13, 18bl.
There was, of course, some excellent opportunities
for bloodshed during this period, although the war as yet still
was in the talking stage. Florida papers were filled with news
stories concerning the situation at Fort Pickens in Pensacola,
as will be seen later. But in addition, Florida papers recorded
the build up of Federal strength in Key West:
NEW YORK, March 31.--The steam ship Daniel
Webster, from Texas via Florida, has arrive at
this port, and reports that she landed at Fort
Jefferson, Tortugas, Companies L. and M., of
the First Artillery; and at Fort Taylor, Key
West, Companies T. and K. of the Same Regiment 32
It is interesting to note that during this time
Florida saw a revival of the African slave trade. In August,
1860, 2,020 Africans captured from "slavers" were in the hands
of Federal authorities at Key West.33 The St. Augustine Examiner
We notice in the Key of the Gulf an article
stating that the U.S. Steamer, Mohawk, T. Aug-
ustus Craven, Lieutenant commanding, with an
American bark, supposed to be the Wild Fire,
in tow with five hundred and thirty genuine
Africans on board had come into that port.
The Bark was captured off Neuvitas, Cuba,
the 26th April. Originally there were 650
negroes aboard from the river Congo of whom
120 had died on the passage.34
In connection with such items, it should be remembered
that although slavery was sanctioned in the United States, the
32 St. Augustine Examiner, April 6, 1861.
33 Fernandina East Floridian, June 7 21, August 9, 1860.
34 St. Augustine Examiner, May 19, 1860.
nation in 1808 had prohibited the importation of slaves.35 The
Florida press, however, took other notice of the illegal slave
trade in the Key West area:
THE AFRICANS ACCIDENT.--The ship South Shore,
one of the vessels chartered by the Government to
convey the rescued Africans at this place to Liberia,
arrived here in the afternoon of the 12th inst.,
thirty days from New York. Yesterday 281 of the
Willians' cargo--consisting ef (sic) 350 Africans--
were sent on board, during which one of the boats
of the South Shore was capsized alongside the ship
and several of the negroes drowned. Had it not been
for the assistance rendered by the officers and crew
of the U.S. steamer Water Witch, in all probability
the greater portion would have been drowned. To-day
the balance of the cargo were (sic) received on
board, and the vessel will sail as soon as possible
for Monrovia, touching at other ports of the Re-
public. To Judge from the emaciated appearance of
the negroes, we should say 70 or 100 may ultimately
reach the coast. What a shame--what an enormous
Government sin! Key West Key of the Gulf, 14th
The first few months in the year 1861 were both months
of feverish activity and strange quiet in Florida. The mili-
tary forces were erecting fortifications and marshalling men,
while civilians attempted to keep business alive and the slave
underfoot. In February the St. Augustine Examiner was able to
report: "The quiet of our streets seldom suffers the least
disturbance. Good order reigns in every part of the City.
Vigilant patrols perform their duty by night, and the efficient
measures of the City Fathers, adapted to promote order and se-
curity at all times, and to give to our Citizens the feeling also
35 The Columbia Encyclopedia, (Columbia University
Press, 1942), p. 141.
36 Tallahassee Florida Sentinel, July 31, 1860.
of security, are successfully carried into execution."37
However, there was tension building up in Florida, as
it was throughout the entire South. Two military situations
were nearing a climax--one of these situations being in the
State of Florida. At Fort Pickens in Pensacola a smaller edition
of Fort Sumter was in the making.
The military situation at Fort Sumter at Charleston
was covered in the Florida press as well, if not better, than
the crisis at Fort Pickens in Pensacola. Fort Sumter was early
considered important by the Florida press. The St. Augustine
Examiner, as early as January 19, 1861, carried long articles
describing Charleston fortifications, including Fort Sumter and
Fort Johnson. The situation at Fort Pickens was exactly as that
of Fort Sumter--both were fortresses manned by Federal forces
in the midst of seceded states. It was known that Major Robert
Anderson, with barely a hundred Union soldiers, held Fort Sumter
in Charleston. News dispatches concerning the tense situation
flew thick and fast:
NEW YORK, April 6th.--The impression at the
Navy Yard is that both Sumter and Pickens will
be reinforced. Cutter Harriet Lane sailed on
the 5th inst., for a Southern destitination .
WASHINGTON, April 6.--It is understood that
a special messenger will be dispatched South
with reference to affairs at Charleston. .
37 St. Augustine Examiner, February 16, 1861.
CHARLESTON, April 8.--All the available troops
in this vicinity have been ordered down to-night
to the fortifications. Look out for squalls. It
is now known for a certainty that reinforcements
are coming t Major Anderson. A fight is inevit-
Each dispatch, when received by the Florida paper,
was set in type and always printed along with later dispatches,
if more arrived. Thus it is that one issue often contained
several dispatches concerning the same event, although the
dispatches contain widely scattered datelines. In the tense
situation surrounding Fort Sumter, however, this practice pro-
duced some unusual news forms:
MATTERS IN CHARLESTON
CHARLESTON, April llth.--11:50 a.m.--No Federal
fleet has made its appearance yet, but we are ready
and waiting for it.
CHARLESTON, April 11--3 p.m.--There is a street
rmor only that Fort Sumter has been demanded.
CHARLESTON, April 11--10 p.m.--All quiet; ball
not opened yet; crowds waiting in great suspense. .
CHARLESTON, April 11--5 p.m.--General Schnierte,
commanding in the city, issued an order this after-
noon, summoning the citizens to appear, properly
armed, in the Citadel Square. .
LATER--8 p.m.--Colonel Rion's regiment passed
Kingsville today, on their way to Charleston, and
will be here to-night .
WASHINGTON, April 11--10:50 a.m.--The city is
teeming to day wi' an excitement almost un-
The following day, April 12, 1861, Pierre G. T. Beauregard,
the Confederate general, attacked Fort Sumter. After an ex-
38 St. Augustine Examiner, April 13, 1861.
39 Ibid., April 20_, iT.
tended bombardment, Kajor Anderson ,as compelled to capitulate.
The joyful news spread rapidly even down to the city of St.
This morning the booming of Cannon and ring-
ing of Bells in our City, proclaimed the joyful
news that Fort Sumter nas surrendered, no thanks
it Seems to the Lincoln Government; all such
favors ;-e are to ain by the valor of our arms.
We rejoice that this long agony is over, right
nobly have the South Carolinians done their
duty; they are no degenerate sons of noble
sires. We have ro words to express our ad-
miration of this gallant State; not only have
they exercised patience and forbearance but
Valor and magnanimity. She has covered her-
oelf all over with glory.
We hope to give our readers an authentic
statement of the attack and surrender, from
the Charleston or Savannah papers which will
probably reach us on Thursday evening; we
await with anxiety any news from thence, and
from Fort Pickens.40
Thus had news traveled faster from South Carolina
than from Pensacola, for the Gulf coast town of Pensacola
was the scene of a development also on April 12, 1861.
Upon the secession of Florida on January 10, 1861,
Federal forces in Pensacola found themselves in an embarrass-
ing position. In order to consolidate their position, they
withdrew from the Navy Yard and Fort Barrancas into the more
easily fortified position in Fort Pickens. The Florida press
interpreted this movement as a victory:
40 St. Augustine Examiner, April 20, 1861.
PENSACOLA, Jan. 13.-The Fort, Barracks, and
Navy Yard near this city were taken at half past
one clock yesterday afternoon by Alabama and
"Spot" news continued to come concerning Pensacola:
PENSACOLA, Jan. 23.-Two Columbiads have been
mounted on Fort Barancas (sic), and the lone star
flag was saluted. Fort Pickens is being invested
(sic) by the allied Southern troops.42
WASHINGTON, Jan. 30.-The President replies
to Senator 1allory's dispatch that the Brooklyn
has gone to Pensacola and will land provisions
for Fort Pickens, Phe will then lay off with
troops to assist in case an attack be made.
The commander of the Brooklyn has been
ordered to watch closely, and if he discovers
signs of an attack about to be made, or any
preparations therefore, to instantly'land the
Artillery Companies at Fort Pickens and bring
his guns to bear upon the attacking forces.
Intense anxiety prevails in this city to
hear from Fort Pickens. An immediate conflict
is anticipated by all parties, and the sentiment
is general that Port (sic) Pickens must be
taken forthwith or that important point will be
lost to the South.43
A letter written to the St. Augustine Examiner the last
of March, only two weeks before a development in the Picken's
..1 cannot understand why the services of
troops are not accepted and they sent here. If
we had 3000 men properly armed we could reduce
Pickens and take it, I think, without the ruinous
sacrifice of life we have heard so much apprehend-
ed. I have no idea that the men-of-war can come
41 St. Augustine Examiner, January 19, 1861.
42 Ibid., February E, lol.
43 Ibid., February 9, 1861.
into the bay. They have to pass within 600 yards
of Fort McRee, where, thanks to Forney's energy,
we have twenty 32's and 42's mounted and shotted.
Six hundred yards is Just as near as is wanted.
We can sink them from McRee 'to a dead moral cer-
tainty.' Then, if they should get by McRee, they
have to face our three tremendous sand batteries,
besides the guns of Fort Barrancas. For McRee is
a pretty strong place, about as much so, in my
opinion, as Fort Pickens, but Fort Barrancag is
much weaker, and is not, I think, tenable.4
Later developments were to prove this correspondent
entirely wrong in his opinions. However, the news from Fort
Pickens continued apace, although by devious routes. The
following item was quoted by the Examiner from the Savannah
Republican, which in turn lifted it from the Columbus Times:
The Columbus Times of Thursday, says 'We
learn from a gentleman direct from Montogomery,
that President Davis will issue an order for
five thousand Volunteers, for Pensacola. Of
this number, Georgia will furnish, perhaps,
two thousand. We consider the information re-
It was during the last of March or the first of April
that Brig. Gen. Braxton Bragg, commanding general in Pensacola,
learned "with surprise and regret that some of our citizens are
engaged in the business of furnishing supplies and fuel, water
and provisions to the armed vessels" standing off Pensacola.
The general forbade such traffic and said "no boat or vessel
will be allowed to visit Fort Pickens or any United States
vessels without special sanction." Accounts of the incident
44 St. Augustine Examiner, March 30, 1861.
45 Ibid., March 30, i81.
were carried in the Florida press in this manner:
FROM PENSACOLA.--Gen. Bragg has issued the
following order at Pensacola:
The commanding General learns with surprise
and regret that some of our citizens are engaged
in the business of furnishing supplies and fuel,
water and provisions to the armed vessels of the
United States now occupying a threatening posi-
tion off this harbor. That no misunderstanding
may exist on the subject, it is announced to all
concerned that this traffic is strictly for-
bidden, and all such supplies i-hich may be capt-
ured in transit to said vessels or to Fort Pickens
will be confiscated. The more effectually to en-
force this prohbbitlcn, no boat or vessel will be
allowed to visit Fort Pickens or any United States
vessels without special sanction. Col. John H.
Forney, Acting Inspector General, will organize
efficient harbor police for the enforcement of
this order. By command of
Brig. Gen. Braxton Bragg,
Robt. C. Wood, Ass't Adj't General46
Some news concerning Pickens came from the North,
indicating that as yet there was no regular break in North-
NEW YORK, April 4.--All preparations (sic) are
being made here to send troops South. One thousand
troops are now on Governor's Island ready for ser-
The steamer PowhattEn is to sail with sealed
orders on the 6th inst., supposed to reinforce
Fort Pickens, and then blockade the mouth of the
Mississippi river. .
A reasonably accurate estimate of Confederate troops
in the Pensacola area is found in this item:
NEW ORLEANS, March 29.--The advices from Pensa-
cola are to the 26th inst. The United States steamer
46 St. Augustine Examiner, April 6, 1861.
47 Ibid., April 13, jL b.
Brooklyn had left, and it was supposed she had
goneto Key West to obtain provisions. The Con-
federate troops continue ariving at Pensacola and
will soon number 5000 men.4
It is true that Confederate troops concentrated at
Pensacola bay--by the middle of April, General Bragg reported
5,000 men in ranks.49 The Pensacola Gazette asserted that
"The arrival of so many troops in our midst looks squally."50
News about the Fort Pickens situation regularly drew
much attention in Florida papers:
MONTGOMERY, March 21--It is believed here
that a collision at Fort Pickens is inevitable.
Major Copplns, of the New Orleans Zouave Regiment,
with five hundred men, has been ordered there this
The long dreaded reinforcement of Fort Pickens took
place on the same day Fort Sumter was fired upon, April 12,
1861. Fort Pickens was henceforth lost to the Confederacy--
the chance for victory was past. Some, of course, held forth
other hopes and ambitions--dreaming of an unfettered Pensacola
serving as an important Confederate seaport. Shortly after
Fort Pickens was reinforced, one correspondent thought he saw
a tweaking of Federal defenses:
FORT PICKENS.--A correspondent of the Pensa-
cola Observer, writing the 22d, says:
The Commander of Pickens has been engaged
several days in dismounting guns from the bar-
bette of the fort--and as no one knows what
48 St. Augustine Examiner, April 6, 1861.
49 Official Records of the Rebellion, (U.S. Government
Printing Office, 1900), Series I, Volume 1, p. 461.
50 Pensacola Gazette, April 2, 1861.
51 St. Augustine Examiner, March 30, 1861.
disposition has been made of them it is reasonable
to suppose that they are anticipating a defeat and
intend making 'hay while the sun shines' by putting
them on board of war vessels off the bar, that this
much property may be saved the 'old wreck' from its
Actually, nothing was further than the truth. It is
logical to presume that the Federal commander merely was
strengthening his position. By midsummer of 1861 the Federal
blockade at Fort Pickens had effectually stopped all shipping
from Pensacola and other Florida ports.53
Florida was at war. The telegraph hummed the news. The
event was heralded in this manner:
THE WAR COMMENCED!
Bombardment of Fort Sumter, Sur-
render of that Fort--Attack on Fort
Pickens and Reinforcement of that
Fort--Pulaski to be next Attacked.
CHARLESTON, April 13.--At a quarter to one
o'clock the flag and flagstaff of the United States
was shot away. .
CHARLESTON, April 13.--Gen Beauregard pre-
scribed the terms of the surrender. .
Passengers arriving by the St. John's on Satur-
day, state that the bombardment of Fort Sumter com-
menced on Friday morning at 4 A.M. Anderson did
not open his batteries until 7 A.M. On Sunday
after noon the wires from Savannah, which had been
down for two days resumed work and the following
dispatch was received:
52 Jacksonville St. John's Mirror, May 7, 1861.
53 Official Records, Op. cit., Series I, Volume 1,
JEFFERSONTON, GA., April 15--Fort Sumter
surrendered 1 o'clock yesterday (Saturday). .
SAVANNAH, April 15.--There are 6 vessels
off Charleston and have been there. There is
a rumor that an attack was made on Pickens
yesterday, and telegraphic dispatches say
that Fort was reinforced last night by 700
SAVANNAH, April 15, 1861.--Lincoln has
issued his proclamation declaring war--.
SAVANNAH, April 16--The Governor of North
Caroline has seized the Forts in that State. .
SAVANNAH, April 17, 5 1/2 pfm.--Lincoln
calls for 15,000 troops. .. .
In the issue in which the above appeared, the Examiner
editorialized, "We have always said that the Abolition Govern-
ment at Washington meant WAR: we have never for one moment
thought otherwise, our opinion has been predicated upon the
known implacable nature, and wicked mischievous devices
that have always marked the course of fanatics--above all it
has been based upon a knowledge of their hatred to us--they do
not love us depend upon that. .55 But the Examiner perhaps
hit closest to the sentiment of the people when it said:
So far from the sentiment of our people being
despondent by the signs of war, they seem eager
for the fight; there is almost a feeling of re-
lief that suspense is over, and that it is no
longer the power of the Abolition Government to
deceive us. .. .5
The Florida press was proud of the "home town" boys who
had made good at war. The Examiner says:
54 St. Augustine Examiner, April 20, 1861.
Most nobly has the 'Ancient City' been
represented in the war now prevailing between
the North and South. At the storming of Fort
Sumter a distinguished part was taken by three
Florida boys all of whom are natives of our
City. Two of these ABRAHAM DUPONT and
WILLIAM QUINCY, served in the Palmetto Guard,
and the other, THOMAS MRANDO served in the
floating Battery.. .
An interesting view of the Confederate forces at
Pensacola is given by an English newspaper correspondent who
visited the fortifications immediately after Fort Pickens was
reinforced. He spent two days in May, 1861, at Pensacola and
was allowed great freedom in examining camps and forts. He
wrote of the Confederates:
From headquarters we started on our tour
of inspection of the batteries. Certainly
anything more calculated to shake the confidence
in American journalism could not be seen, for I
had been led to believe that the works were of
the most formidable description, mounting hun-
dreds of guns. Where hundreds were written,
tens would have been nearer the truth. I
visited ten out of the'thirteen batteries
which General Bragg had erected against Fort
Pickens. I saw but 5 heavy siege guns in the
whole of the works among the 50 or 55 pieces
with which they were armed. .
I had heard during my sojourn in the North,
that the Southern people were exceedingly illite-
rate and ignorant. It may be so, but I am bound
to say that I observed a large proportion of the
soldiers on their way to the Navy Yard engaged
in reading newspapers, though they did not
neglect the various drinking bars and exchanges,
which were only too numerous in the vicinity of
57 St. Augustine Examiner, May 11, 1861. Another example
is found in the May 4 issue.
58 Davis, Op. cit., pp. 118-120, who quotes from W. H.
Russell, My Diary North and South, 1863.
A truer analysis of the military situation at Pensacola
could hardly be given. All remained quiet at Pensacola until
September 14, 1861, when the first blood of the war in Florida
was shed in savage fashion. On that date the Federal warship
Colorado succeeded in reaching, undetected, the side of the
armed Confederate schooner Judah, which was moored at the
docks under Navy Yard batteries. They left behind three of
their number dead and fourteen wounded as the Judah burned
to the water's edge.59
Following this attack, a series of artillery duels be-
tween November 22, 1861, and January 1, 1862, at Pensacola in-
dicated that without tremendous effort Pensacola Bay could never
be controlled by the Confederacy. Thus the South lost a valu-
able port of entry for blockade runners and the greatest naval
base on the Gulf. Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa island never passed
out of the hands of the Union.60 For the next four years it
served primarily as a base from which the Union reached out to
harass the Florida countryside.
In the first stages of the war, other cities were taking
precautions for protection. There was definitely an effort to
fortify the St. John's river by a man, interestingly enough, who
after the war changed his politics and assumed responsibility
for a Union sheet. However, more will be said of Mr. Holmes
Steele later in this paper:
59 Official Records, Op. cit., Series I, Volume 6,
p. 437, and Naval War Records, Series I, Volume 16, pp. 670-674.
60 Davis, Op. cit., p. 138.
To those who feel an interest in the defence (sic)
of the St. John's River, and to those who feel it
to be a duty to contribute something to a common
cause in times like the present, the under-signed
now invites the contribution (sic) of slave labor-
ers, for a week or ten days, for most important
work on the Fort at the mouth of the river. All
persons disposed to aid, as above, will please
report to the subscriber.
The Jacksonville St. John's Mirror commented that "it
is a patriotic duty for every man interested to aid in the
strengthening and securement of the Fort, which is occupied and
to be defended by their fellow-citizens.62
There was some reason for Floridians to be concerned
with Union sympathizers. All Northern-born people within the
state in 1860 numbered 1,908.63 In fact, before the war's end,
Florida furnished about 1,300 white recruits to the Northern
armies.64 It has been estimated that 4,000 Union sympathizers
were in Florida in 1861. By 1865, this number had doubled, there-
fore the proportion of Unionists among the approximately 75,000
white inhabitants varied between five and ten percent.65
The editor of the Jacksonville St. John's Mirror was
somewhat concerned over these sympathizers. He wrote three
weeks after war was declared:
61 Jacksonville St. John's Mirror, May 7, 1861. Steele
is supposedly the man who assumed with "Doggett" the editorship
of the Jacksonville Herald in 1860. Sees St. Augustine Examiner,
March 31, 1860.
62 St. John's Mirror, May 7, 1861.
63 Statistics of the United States, 1860, (Government
Printing Office, lb86).
64 Official Records, Op. cit Series III, Volume 4, p. 12(
65 Davis, up. cit., pp. 246-247. He draws much of this
material from Official Records of the Rebellion.
.ue till suggest that, as a prudential mea-
sure of safety, it might not be amiss to adopt
some plan by which every man's true sentiments
may be ascertained and put upon record in the
shape of an oath or affirmation before some
judicial officer, to support the Constitution
of the State of Florida and of the Confederate
States of America. b
The St. Augustine Examiner echoed those sentiments
the following month. It reprints a letter signed "Nous
Verrons" from the Savannah News which says:
.the plan which seems to promise the best
results, is that of requesting all the male res-
idents of the city, from the age of sixteen and
upwards, to take an oath to support the Consti-
tution and Government of the Confederate States
To this the Examiner adds, "Our sister City--Jacksonville,
should act in this matter at once, as that place is composed prin-
cipally of Northerners."67
Thus came the end of the first year of secession. The
end of the year 1861 found Federal forces firmly entrenched at
Pensacola. Key West had never passed out of Union hands. The
Confederate defense of Florida consisted primarily of defending
the approaches to Apalachicola at the mouth of the Apalachicola
river; Fernandina, the Atlantic terminus of Florida's railway
system; and Jacksonville, near the mouth of the St. John's river.
At that time the principal coast towns in Florida were Pensacola,
Apalachicola, Cedar Keys, Tampa, and Key West on the Gulf; and
66 Jacksonville St. John's Mirror, May 7, 1861.
67 St. Augustine Examiner, June 22, 1861.
St. Augustine, Jacksonville, and Fernandina on the Atlantic.
None of these towns had a population of more than 3,500.68
Florida was at war. But yet it had felt little but the
rejoicing of war. It had yet to feel the terrific impact that
the war was to finally bring. The next checkerboard move was
to be made by the Federal Union.
68 Davis, Op. cit., p. 144.
UNION OR DEATH
The year 1862 was a fateful one for the State of Florida.
An aggressive drive made in the Spring of 1862 by Union forces
in the Western end of Union-Confederate lines drew troops from
all the cotton states to repel the Federal invasion.1 Thus,
in addition to being short on munitions of war, Florida became
short ox troops for protection. By the middle of April, 1862,
5,000 of the 6,500 troops at Pensacola were withdrawn beyond the
state.2 By the end of May probably 3,000 of the 4,000 troops in
East and Central Florida had left.3 The defenses along the coast
were partially or totally dismantled, most of it being moved to
the interior, Even while Confederate troops left the state,
Northern troops were planning to invade.
On January 13, 1862, Union forces had made their first
naval raid on an unprotected Florida seaport. Military strength
at Cedar Keys had been depleted to strengthen Fernandina, which
was the Atlantic terminus of the Florida railroad. With one gun-
1 Official Records of the Rebellion, (U.S. Government
Printing Office, 1900), Series I, Volume b, pp. 400,406,411,418.
2 William Watson Davis, The Civil War and Reconstruc-
tion in Florida, (Columbia University, 1913), p. 148.
3 Davis, Op. cit., p. 149. Most of this information he
derives from Official Records of the Rebellion.
boat the North struck at Cedar Keys and almost .-jped out the
Gulf terminus of the railroad.4
A few weeks later (on February 28, 1862) the Federal
expedition for the occupation of East Florida sailed from
South Carolina. On March 3, 1862, after a few shots fired,
this Federal force captured a deserted Fernandina. On March 12,
a burning Jacksonville, the result of Confederate torches, was
taken. St. Augustine had been captured peacefully the day be-
fore, March 11.5
Thus by the middle of March, 1862, Confederate forces
still were in possession of the most of the Gulf coast, but the
East -oast, from St. Augustine north, was either in the hands of
the Federal military or under the guns of the fleet. The Con-
federate troops remaining had fallen back twenty or thirty miles
to Sanderson and Baldwin. Bodies of irregular Confederate cavalry
moved through the scrub along the sand trails of East Florida
seeking to hand the disloyal. A large portion of the native popu-
lation had retired into the interior to avoid Federal invasion.
A half-million dollars worth of property had been burned at Jack-
sonville by Confederate orders. The Confederate military in
Florida was steadily moving out of the state for Tennessee and
Virginia. Governor John Milton and others were vigorously pe-
titioning the Confederate war department to have the troops re-
4 Naval War R-cords, Series I, Volume 17, p. 51, is
used by Davis, Op. cit., to report this raid. See Davis, p. 153
5 Davis, Op. cit., pp. 153-161.
trained in Florida.6
On the Uest coast, the Federals captured and then aban-
doned Apalachicola the first of April, 1862.7 On May 10, 1862,
the city of Pensacola .as surrendered to Federal authorities.8
However, Forts Barrancas and Pickens were the only points West
of the St. John's river which the Federals held permanently
Thus Pensacola, Fernandina and St. Augustine passed per-
manently into Union hands in 1862. The status of Jacksonville
remained in flux--it was abandoned and recovered later.9
In this manner grew the blockade which steadily ex-
hau-ted the economic strength of the state. In a one-staple
society it is difficult for men to live successfully unto them-
selves. Florida found it increasingly so. Henceforth, then,
the story of the Florida press is the story of a hemned-in people
suffering from the close effects of war.
The ill fame of General Benjamin F. Butler, Union Comman-
der who ruled the city of New Orleans for seven months, was spread
far and wide. When on May 13, 1862, Butler issued a proclamation
to the effect that women insulting Federal soldiers should be re-
garded by the authorities "as females of the towm plying their
6 ParEgrap adapted from Dl;vis, Op. cit., pp. 160-161.
Much of his matri is rom Official Records of the Rebellion.
7 Davis, Op. cit., 163. He uses Naval War Records,
Series I, Volume 17, p. 201-205.
8 Davis, Op. cit., p. 168
9 Ibid., p. 169
trade and treated accordingly,"10 the entire South rose in in-
dignation. Regardless of the real meaning of the proclamation,
it was assumed by the South that the women in question would be
compelled to give their bodies to the Federal soldiers. Much
was written of the incident, including poetry
Aye Drop the treacherous mask! Throw by
The cloak which veiled thine instincts fell,
Stand forth thou base incarnate lie
Stamped with the signet brand of Hell!
At last we view thee as thou art.
A trickster with a demon's heart.11
The war years passed. The people of Florida with
Confederate sympathies were found in the interior of the State.
Fr.;: :ensacola on the West and from Fernandina, Jacksonville,
and St. Augustine on the East the long fingers of the Northern
forces probed inland, discomforting the people who sought refuge
As for suspected Unionists, it is logical to presume
that they were watched and often harried by guerilla bands, which
usually were not irresponsible bodies. They were nominally under
the control of Confederate authorities, and in some cases they
were recognized by the laws of Florida1l2
10 A. B. Hart, The American Nation--A History, (Harpers,
1907), Volume XX, p. 119, quoting from Butler's Book.
11 Tallahassee Florida Sentinel, June 1, 1862. The
poem was written by Paul Hamilton Hayne and first published in
T;1 Davis, Op. cit., p& 258. He cites a joint resolution
providing for organization of the Amelia QOverlla Company and
appearing in Laws of Florida, llth Session.
And, incidently, Florida at this time apparently had
its own war-time version of the OPA (Office of Price Administra-
tion, the World War II agency governing prices). In the March
19, 1864, issue of the Cotton States, there appeared a two column
advertisement labeled "Schedule No. 6." It consisted of "Maxi-
mum prices fixed by the Commissioners for the State of Florida
for produce and army supplies delivered at the places where pmo-
duced, to continue in force until the (obliterated) day of March
next or the publication of the next schedule." Apparently the
schedule was widely advertised, because it appeared also in the
April 16, 1864, issue of the Cotton States.
On February 14, 1864, a Captain Marshall with three
companies of the 4th Mass. Cavalry based at Jacksonville rode
into Gainesville, fifty miles southwest of Jacksonville, and
took possession of food, military stores and cotton valued at
a million dollars. Two days later a band of Confederate light
cavalry arrived at Gainesville led by Captain J. J. Dick i son,
an aggressive and bold guerrilla chief, and drove off the
Federal forces, which retreated toward Jacksonville with some
loss after abandoning the captured property.13
Thus it was that the editor of the Cotton States in
Gainesville took a perfectly understandable position soon after
this incident when he wrote:
The enemy are crowding around us like so many
13 Official Records, Op. cit., Series I, Volume 35,
Part 1, p. 29b.5
pirates to rob us of our rights, and like Beast
Butler to steal our property and leave desolation
in their path. Like Judas they kiss but to be-
People of Florida! the hour has come when duty
must be done. All that is dear to the hearts of
men is danger. Organize! organize! and meet the
enemy with guns in your hands. Let them feel lead
and steel. Will you! will youl remain idle
when the enemy are upon you? God forbid! 1'
The Cotton States assured the citizens that their people
were faithful to the Confederacy:
It has been rumored that a number of the
people of this section of the country had
taken the oath of allegiance when the enemy
occupied it. The report is totally false, and
the people as a whole are p true to our cause
as any in the Confederacy.
The Gainesville paper also notified its readers that
"The Yankees opened the commissary at this place when they were
here and treated their colored brothers and sisters to the good
Gainesville did not remain entirely safe from Northern
forays, On August 17, 1864, a column of Federal troops from
Baldwin made a night march to Starke, a railroad junction, where
they set fire to railroad cars and warehouses full of supplies.
The column pushed on to Gainesville, where they began to pillage.
Captain Dick ison, leading 175 horsemen utterly dispersed the
Federal force in a scattered fight.17
14 Gainesville Cotton States, March 19, 1864.
17 Official Records, Op. cit., Series I, Volume 35,
pp. 22-23, 427-440.
It is also interesting to note that during this time
there was Federal activity in the vicinity of Palatka. Be-
tween March 10 and August 3, 1864, Northern forces took Palatka
twice and abandoned it twice, although they continued to hold
territory in the area on the St. John's river.18
It was also during this period (September 23, 1864) that
General Alexander Asboth, commander of the 1,800 to 3,000 Union
troops at Forts Pickens and Barrancas attacked Marianna, where
a group of 300 old men and boys attempted to defend their homes.
The defenders were forced to retreat to an Episcopal church,
which consequently was burned by Union forces, with the end re-
sult that the Federals captured 81 prisoners, 200 horses, 600
negroes, and 400 cattle.19
There were numerous indications of such North-South
clashes in the Florida press. These clashes, in Florida papers,
took on the aspect of "local news." The Cotton States says:
We learn that the Yankees succeeded in
capturing twelve of our pickets on their
horses, at the St. Johns, near the mouth
of the Oclawaha. This seems mysterlus,
but it is vouched for by one who knows.20
CAPT. DICKIISON'S BRILLIANT ACHIEVEMENTS (sic)
Capt. Dickison seems to be one of those fort-
unate persons, who was 'born under a lucky star.'
He has paid the Yankees a visit at two of their
posts on the St. Johns River, where they consider-
ed themselves securely located for the summer,
18 Official Records, Op. cit., Series I, Volume 35,
Part I, pp. 33, 36, 3t7-3t1.
19 Ibid., pp. 37, 443-445.
20 Gainesville Cotton States, April 16, 1864.
and captured 44 prisoners, 1 Captain ar, 1 Lieu-
tenant, 11 negroes and 2 stories. .
Captain Dickison was quite obviously considered a great
soldier, for the press indicates that he constantly harassed
the Federal troops on the coast:
We learn that on Friday last, Captain DICKISON,
then at Waldo with his command, received information
that a Cavalry force of the enemy, numbering 200
men, had come out from St. Augustine, marched South
to Volusia, and there crossed the St. Johns river.
They took the precaution to burn the bridge over
Oclawaha river, and proceeded to burn, destroy,
and plunder. One large plantation near Ocala was
stripped of slaves, horses, mules, cattle &c.,
and then all the buildings were consigned to flames.
Immediately upon receipt of this intelligence,
Capt. DICKISON started with his command, and on
reaching the Oclawaha river, found that the bridge
had been burned. He could not reach the enemy in
that direction, and was forced to turn eastward
and strike the St. Johns river at Horse Landing.
Here it is supposed he crossed, but we have no
further accounts from him. If the enemy has not
moved very rapidly, Capt. D. has probably got
between him and St. Augustine, and we may expect
to hear of a brisk fight; as the Yankee cavalry
is a body of new troops just sent down, and
supposed to be about the best they have got.22
A week later a Lake City paper practically repeats
that item word-for-word, but adds this later development:
The enemy having so much start of Capt.
Dickison, he did not overtake them until with-
in a mile and a half of St. Augustine, when
he charged them and re-captured twenty-four
negroes, a number of horses and one wagon.23
Dickison's exploits consumed considerable amount of
21 Cotton States, May 28, 1864.
22 Quincy Semi-Weekly Dispatch, March 15, 1865.
23 Lake City Columbian, March 22, 1865.
space in Florida sheets. But sandwiched between advertisements
and news constantly appeared items recording skirmishes and
other incidents of combat. This, actually, was the war seen
From East Florida LAKE CITY, March 2.--A
squadron of our cavalry, supported by infantry,
engaged a part of the enemy's forces at Camp
Finegan yesterday. le drove them from that
place and across Cedar Creek. We captured
one piece of artillery. Our loss is 7 killed
and 23 wounded. Among the killed is Capt.
Stephens, 2 Fla. Cavalry. Enemy's loss is
Col. J. John Williams and Capt. Lee Butler,
who were wounded in the recent battle of Natu-
ral Bridge, is (sic) rapidly recovering from
the effect of their wounds.25
The Newport bridge was not burnt, as at
first stated, but only torn to pieces by our
forces. It was easily repaired after the Yan-
The Florida press took fleeting note of the march of
General William Tecumseh Sherman through Georgia in 1864 and
WORK AND WAIT'--We may safely conclude, says
the Macon Confederate, that while Sherman has been
marching and plundering, LEE has been working and
waiting. The preliminaries must be nearly com-
Spleted, and we may confidently look for the de-
nouement in a few weeks. In the meantime, 1~E
every Southern man put his shoulder to the wheel
and imitate Gen LEE's example--WORK AND WAIT!27
24 Tallahassee Floridian and Journal, March 5, 1864.
25 Lake City Columbian, March 22, 165.
27 Quincy Semi-Weekly Dispatch, March 15, 1865.
Another interesting facet of a study of Florida during
the Civil War is the growth of the salt industry. To ease the
shortage of salt in the Confederacy, both private enterprise
and the Subsistence Bureau of the Confederate government for
the army set up Rettles, boilers, and furnaces on the West
coast of Florida for obtaining seawater residue. By the advent
of 1863 the value of salt works in Florida amounted to more
than three million dollars. Florida's very isolation, poverty,
and uncleared forests near the sea proved assets of value. Fuel
and seawater were cheap. Labor was not wanting -s long as salt
making exempted men from fighting. Many of the laborers (esti-
mated at 5,000) came from other states, and it is surmised that
the food consumed by the salt workers and the forage consumed
by the animals used in hauling the salt from the State helped
rapidly to exhaust the already dwindling supply of forage,
bread, and meat in Florida.28
Florida had become one of the most important states in
the Confederacy in the manufacture of salt. It was only natural
that Federal forces should constantly make raids upon the salt
works in an effort to destroy them. It is estimated that be-
fore the end of 1864 more than $6,000,000 of such property was
destroyed by Northern services.29 Notice of such raids appeared
28 This paragraph is adapted from Davis, Op. cit.,
p. 205. Naval War Records, Series I, Volume 19, pp. 375-377,
is given as his source for much of the information.
29 Davis, Op. cit., p. 205. The estimate is based on
Northern sources. See F. Moore, Rebellion Record, Volume 8, p. 4l1
in the Florida press:
REPORTED ADVANCE OF THE ENEMY ON TALLAHASSEE.--
from the Conductor of the Gulf train of last
evening, we learn that the driver of the Mail
Coach reports that when he left Quincy, Florida,
on Sunday morning last, heavy firing was heard
in the direction of Tallahassee, and it continued
f-r several hours. It was the impression of passen-
gers that the enemy had moved from St. Marks on
The report of firing mentioned above was
distinctly heard in this city (Tallahassee),
and no doubt was from the neighborhood of West
Goose Creek, where the Yankees were shelling
the salt works.30
Last Saturday, a boat containing about twenty
Yankees, landed at West Goose Cree- and broke up
the salt works, carrying off several of the pro-
prietors and two negroes. They broke the kettles
and fixtures of some dozen that had temporarily
Southern forces constantly attempted to halt freight
and troop movements on the St. John's river. This was attempt-
ed by two means--the use of mines and armed attack. A Union
paper in occupied Jacksonville gave an account of a sinking
LOSS OF THE MAPLE LEAF
In our Second Edition, last, week, we announced
the destruction of the United States transport Maple
Leaf, which was blown up by a torpedo in the St.
Jonn's at 4'clock on the morning of the first.
From motives of prudence, all steamers going
and returning from Pilatka (sic),32 were ordered
to go in the night. .
When some sixteen miless above here, near Manda-
30 Tallahassee Floridian and Journal, March 5, 1864.
32 From this and other references during the period,
it is obvious that "Pilatka" was the accepted spelling for
rin, she ran on or against a rebel torpedo, which
exploded thirty feet from her bow, and caused her
to sink in a few minutes, in 27 feet of water.
The Maple Leaf had upwards of fifty passeng-
ers, including her crew; of which most were a-
sleep, excepting those on watch. Providenti-
ally, all escaped in the three life boats, ex-
centing two firemen and two deckhands, who .
probably went domw with the wreck.
(The Maple Leaf). .was of 600 tons, a fine
staunch boat, and was valued at $50,000. The
loss we presume, falls on the Government.
Since this disaster, a number of torpedoes,
of devilish ingenuity, and of great destructive
capacity, have been discovered and removed from
the St. John's, from hear where the Maple Leaf
was lost. It has also been ascertained toat
those infernal machines came from Charleston
very recently, being sent by Monsieur Beauregard.
They look like genuine imtcnbansiam of chivalry,
and reflect the diabolical instincts of rebeldon.33
Later, the same paper carried another incident of that
ANOTHER STEAMER BLOWN UP BY A TORPEDO
LOSS OF THE GENERAL HUNTER
About 9 o'clock on the morning of the 16th,
as the steamers Cosmopolitan and Gen. Hunter,
convoyed by the gunboat Norwich, was returning
from Pilatka with the remaining portion of Col.
Barton's command, when about fifteen miles above
this city, the Hunter came in collision with a
torpedo, which exploded, and damaged the boat to
such an extent that she sank almost immediately.
The accident occurred in the immediate vicinity
of where the Maple Leaf was blown up, and the
hulls of the two vessels lie not more than sixty
feet apart. .
The Hunter was loaded with Quartermaster
and Commissary stores belonging to the Command.34
The Florida press, this time the Confederate press,
33 Jacksonville Peninsula, April 7, 1864.
34 Ibid., April I1, A 1T 4.
recorded another boat incident which historians iiave placed in
the "believe it or not" category. It is probably the first, and
last, time that a vessel of any size was captured and seized by
land forces. The Confederate hero was the intrepid guerrilla
chief, Captain J. J. Dickison. The incident occurred in May
of 1864 and was recorded by the Gainesville Cotton States in
A STILL GREATER ACHIEVEMENT.
Since the above was in type Capt. Dickison
with one piece of artillery worked by 30 of
Dunhams men and 20 sharp shooters, captured a
gunboat with 65 prisoners, 65 stand of arms,
3 stand of colors, and 20 men killed and drowned.
The fight lasted 45 minutes and hissbarp (sic)
shooters would pick off the gunners as fast as
they would man the guns. Long live Capt. Dickison
and the brave men who know so well how to do their
If any man deserves promotion Captain Dickison
does, and we hope that he may soon be rewarded a-
ccording to his merits. No loss on our side.35
Here it is possible with the use of official records
to check the accuracy of Civil War reporting. With the use
of Naval War Records and Official Records of the Rebellion,
Davis has determined that the gunboat Columbine was captured
on May 22, 1864, by Captain J. J. Dickison; that 65 men, in-
cluding wounded, were taken prisoner; that 20 members of the
Federal forces were killed; and that none were injured or
killed in the Confederate command.36 It would appear that
Florida newspapers, despite extreme difficulties, were reason-
35 Gainesville Cotton States, May 28, 1864.
31 Davis, Op. cit., pp. 302-303. He cites Naval War
Records, Series I, Volume 15, pp. 440-454, and Official Records
of the Rebellion, Series I, Volume 35, Part 1, pp. 393-39.
This was Florida during the middle years of the Civil
War as seen by the Florida press. At this period the State
was harassed and harasser. The tide of the war was soon to
take a significant turn, but first it appears appropriate to
examine the press that sprang up in the occupied portions of
COLD TYPE UITH TURNED COATS
In at least two known instances, the title to this
chapter is ,:sntfied. For both the "rebel" handset type of
the Key West Key of the Gulf and the St. Augustine Examiner
were used for Yankee purposes.
Key West New Era
Key West was in a most peculiar position during the
early days of the Civil War. It was situated on an island,
remote from the Florida mainland and with no means of communi-
cation or transportation except boat. Very early in the game
it was watched closely by Federal regulars and off-shore gun-
Something has been said of the Key of the Gulf and its
r4bid secessionist editor, W:m. H. Ward. The sheet's savage
attacks on District Judge William Marvin caused the Judge's
friends to claim that the attacks were inspired by certain busi-
ness men engaged in the "wrecking and salvage" business.1 Early
in May, 1861, McQueen McIntosh arrived at Key West as the new
appointee of the State of Florida to the bench occupied by
1 N. Y. Times, March 13, 1861.
Marvin.2 McIntosh had been a prominent member of the secession
convention. Marvin, however, refused to relinquish his office.
Popular opinion of the whites in Key West might have been with
McIntosh, but Federal guns of boats standing off Key west were
with Marvin. McIntosh was forced to retire to the Florida main-
Major French, the Federal commander at Key West, ordered
in 1861 that no civil or military official of the State of Florida
or of the Confederate government be recognized or obeyed.' On
authority from President Lincoln, he put the town under martial
law, suspended the writ of habeas corpus, and suppressed by force
the sheet Key of the Gulf.5 Evidence indicates that these develop-
ments occurred in May, 1861.
Available information reveals that the town of Key West
had no newspaper for a year, for it was not until March or April
of 1862 that the Yankee sheet New Era appeared. The May 17,
1862, issue of the New Era is Number 7 Volume I, indicating
that it had just begun. At that time the sheet was edited by
Rich. B. Locke. G. W. Burtsell was listed as publisher. The
New Era consisted of four very small pages of two columns each.
Although it was not designated as an official Army or Navy sheet,
2 St. Augustine Examiner, March 23, 1861, carries a dis-
patch of his confirmation by the Confederate Congress.
3 N. Y. Herald, May 24, 1861; N. Y. Times, March 13,
1862; N. Y. Sunday Mercury, November 2 1862.
4 N. Y. Herald, May 18, 24, 1661.
5 Official Records of the Rebellion, (U.S. Government Prin
ing Office, 1900), Series III, Volume pp. 184-185. Proclamation
of Lincoln, May 10, 1861, allowed suspension of habeas corpus in
it concerned itself a great deal with the local military eventD
and news. The editorial in this issue of the New Era is very
THE NEH ERA--ITS SIZE &c.
Some degree of surprise seems to exist among
many of our readers, at the non-enlargement of
the New Era. A few words of explanation may not
be out of place at this time.
The press and type on which our paper is now
printed, was procured almost on the eve of the
departure of the Regiment from New York. There
was little time left for a judiciousselection
of material, and we therefore adopted that which
seemed the readiest and most compact. For many
purposes, our press, small as it is, has been
very useful. Many of the blanks, general orders,
&c., both for the Regiment and Department, have
been satisfactorily executed. But for the pur-
poses of a newspaper, we found our material ex-
tremely limited. However, we concluded to make
the attempt, and trust to the good sense and
discrimination of our readers for an excuse in
regard to size, &c. The reception of the first
number was such as to induce us to negotiate for
the press and type formerly used for the 'Key of
the Gulf,' a rank secession print, the publisher
of which had fled when convinced of the danger
he ran in 'butting' against the Union. Had it
been possible for us to obtain the material on
fair terms, we should have immediately enlarged
our sheet; but finding it impossible to do so, we
concluded to continue our paper in its present
size until we could obtain material elsewhere.
In the meantime, we shall endeavor to make our
little sheet acceptable both to the soldier and
the citizen. In the limited space allowed us,
we shall strive to do what we can for the Union. .
In so doing, we disclaim all wish or intention to
make our press a source of profit; were we so dis-
posed, it could not be done. .
From this one item several conclusions can be drawn:
(1) quite obviously, the editor and publisher of the New Era
traveled with a military unit from New York to Key West, since
6 Key West New Era, May 17, 1862.
the press and type were not procured until "almost on the eve
of the departure of the Regiment"; (2) as a regular practice,
the plant of the New Era was used for military printing, very
probably the reason the equipment was purchased in the first
place; (3) editor Uim. H. Ward, of the Key of the Gulf, had not
only lost his right to publish, but also was forced to flee;
(4) despite the fact that Key West was under martial law, pri-
vate property was still respected--the equipment of the Key of
the Gulf was not seized, but required prospective owners "to
negotiate for the press and type" and even then the Union men
could not "obtain the material on fair terms"; (5) the New Era
was, instead of being a private press, in some way subsi-
dized, for "we disclaim all wish or intention to make our press
a source of profit; were we so disposed, it could not be done. .
Sometime between its issues of May 23 and August 16, 1862,
the New Era assumed the proportions of a real news sheet. In its
August 16 issue, noted as Volume I, Number 18, Burtsell was drop-
ped completely from the masthead, while Richard B. Locke still
held the position as editor. It was "published every Saturday
morning at Key West, Florida," and the price was five cents per
copy with a "liberal deduction when a number are ordered." This
is in contrast with early issues (specifically May 17) when no
price was specified.
7 Local civil rule was not restored in Key West until
December 29, 1862. See N. Y. Herald, January 10, 1863. c::-
'U ".: Y '-. ~' '. T ~ \-: r _t 1 1 ': ''- C 1- ..^ -,.. t L
The New Era had blossomed out into four good-sized pages,
with five columns per page. Of this expansion it said:
It is well known that the 'New Era' is printed
upon the Press formerly used for the publication of
'The Key of the Gulf;' a rank rabid, traitorous,
secession sheet, which advocated the trampling of
the flag on Fort Taylor in the dust, and the dis-
solution of the Union. This sheet was owned and
controlled by the most rabid traitors of Key West,
who, of course, permitted the publication. On
Saturday last, we were waited upon by a resident
of this Island, who claimed to be one of the own-
ers, and at the time sole controller of the Press
and material. He demanded that the NEW ERA should
be stopped and the Press given up to him. He was
told that we would inform him of our intentions
in the matter, and we have done so. The circum-
stances were laid before Col. (Jos. S.) Morgan,
who thereupon issued an order to the Provost Mar-
shall, to seize the Press and material, and turn
the same over to us for the publication of the
NEW ERA, and such other uses as he might order.
Thus stands the case. It was our intention to
publish certain facts in relation to certain in-
dividuals, showing their connection with the re-
bel cause, but for political reasons best known
to Col. Morgan, we refrain for the present from
so doing. 'Man thou art the child of mercy;'
but then let it not be forgotten that 'Charity
respecteth the truth.'1
Thus we see that the plant of the Key of the Gulf
was seized by the ,editor of the New Era for the use of his
own sheet. It was not until the seizure was challenged did
an official order permitting confiscation forthcome. But
under such pressure, the order did come, and immediately,
implying that the New Era enjoyed a high place among the Union
military authorities. And even in this article we detect some-
thing of a Confederate following in Key West, for the New Era
8 Key West New Era, August 16, 1862.
threatened to "publish certain facts in relation to certain In-
dividuals, showing their connection with the rebel cause. ."
This conclusion, that a goodly proportion of Key West
citizens were Confederate sympathizers, is supported by this
item addressed to both Union men and secessionists:
.Although we predict the ultimate freedom of
every negro, not only in Key West, but in the
whole South, yet we are in favor of law and
order. We do not believe there is a reasonable
man in Key West, but want sees (sic), in the dovmnall
of the Southern Confederacy, the extinction of
slavery. .This Union never can be restored with
slavery in one portion and freedom in another.
We do not believe in the subjugation of the
South. Let this be the last rebellion and In
order to insure it, we must forever destroy the
cause. Slavery must be abolished--the whole
country must be free, or the Southern Confed-
eracy must be acknowledged, and allowed to
establish their monarchy, upon a nigger founda-
Thus it is, UNION MEN, and SECESSIONISTS,
of Key West, that we are determined to main-
tain the Union.9
The New Era appeared to flourish and gained some ground
in the field of advertising, which heretofore had been scant.
In one issue it advertised its own job printing.10 In another
issue it printed a long list of deceased soldiers, and added
the notation "New York Papers please copy."11 Later it
printed a "NEW OATH OF ALLEGIANCE" which began "I do solemnly
swear that I will bear true allegiance to the United States,
and support and sustain the Constitution and Laws thereof. .."12
The flourishing appearance of the New Era was probably
9 New Era, August 16, 1862.
11 Ibid., September 13, 1862.
12 Ibid., September 20, 1862.
no true indication of its actual condition. Either it perished
financially, or, if the editor was a soldier, he was moved from
Key West. The New Era passed out of existence in 1853.13
St. Augustine Examiner
Before mid-1861 editor Matthias R. Andreu had felt the
pinch of war, for one issue of his St. Augustine Examiner
appeared onp-eighth of its usual size.l1 But he managed until
March 8, 1862,15 to continue piling venom upon the head of the
Northerners. His tirade was cut short then only because his
was a weekly paper with the next issue due March 15, and the
Yankees landed at St. Augustine on March 11. Matthias Andreu
then felt it opportune to discontinue his business, forgetting
about his proposed March 15th issue, and seeking a more fri-
It was a full month before another issue of the St.
Augustine Examiner appeared and its only resemblance to the
Examiner of Matthias Andreu was in title. All else, including
management and content was changed.
The first issue of the new Examiner was dated April 9,
1862, and continued the numerical order of Andreu's Examiner by
being Volume IV, Number 27. It was "Published Every Wednesday,
13 Winifred Gregory, American Newspapers 1821-1936,
(H.W. Wilson Company, 1937), pp. 93-100.
14 St. Augustine Examiner, June 8, 1861.
15 Yankee St. Augustine Examiner, April 9, 1862.
at St. Augustine, St. John's Co., Fla., by the FOURTH N.H. REGT."
and single copies sold for five cents. Down had come Andreu's
motto of "EQUALITY IN THE UNION AND NOTHING LESS" and up had
gone the motto of thc nc-: management, "THE UNION .MUST AND SHALL
BE PRESERVED.--Andreu Jackson." Of its former editor, the
The last edition of the St. Augustine Examiner
was issued March 8th, 1862. The editor, publisher
and proprietor, then ingloriously took to his heels,
and when last seen was breaking for the uire grass
in open order, to the rear of the city.
For more than a year the duties of our editorial
brother had been so unremitting in his triple capa-
city, and he had labored for the cause of the confed-
eracy with such profound zeal that, fears were enter-
tained for his health, his more recent editorial effu-
sions betraying evident signs of mental aberration.
The aforesaid fears now disappeared in the noon haze,
as he darted from the market place in the middle of
an argument on Northern fanaticism and the policy of
Linkum, on the appearance of .tr. Isaac Smith--that
most amiable gentleman in the fleet of worthies, and,
without looking to the right or left, hastened in
rapid strides to his office, deliriously packed his
portmafteau, unmindful of sundry small bills due and
owing for fish and clams; of orders, directions, and
suggestions; of miscellaneous, selected, and original,
passed into the street--gained the highway, and turn-
ing his face against the city of his love and adoption,
even denying himself the benefit of anathema, threnody,
and soliloquy, broke for the swamp like a prairie bison,
Just as our friend Capt. N. H. BROW-N of "I" Company
stepped ashore with his command.
In assuming the editorial responsibility of the
Examiner, we are under no orders from its former pro-
prietor, and, consigning the sustenance of the rotten
confederacy to that portion of the editorial frater-
nity of the State, who can afford to pay twenty-five
dollars a barrel for flour and four dollars a bushel
for corn without whipping their children when they cry
for bread, we shall advocate the Constitution and the
Union, for which we have pledged our lives. The Union
under which we have lived as one people and one brot r-
hood; the Constitution which is the bond of loyalty.u
16 Yankee St. Augustine Examiner, April 9, 1862.
Obviously, former editor Andreu still had friends re-
maining in St. Augustine, for in its next issue the Examiner said:
l-e understand that the graphic description,
which appeared in our last issue, concerning the
flight of the late editor of this paper, from the
city limits, has roused the ire of some of his ad-
miring friends, who declare that the present pub-
lisher 'ought to be licked.' Ue don't know; how we
should relish the sort of treatment prescribed for
our ailment, but we would merely say that our office
hours are from 8 a. to 5 p.m. We attend to all
business in person.,
The first issue (April 9) of the new Examiner published
its terms for advertising as "One dollar per square, of twelve
lines, and under, 'or une Virsa insertion, and oevL-ny-Five
cents for each subsequent insertion." However, the first few
issues did not indicate that the notice drew much business.
Completely unique in the first issue were evidences of poor
make-up--the type was not evenly in the form. Later issues
showed a marked improvement in make-up.
The content of this first issue included a letter from
General T.W. Sherman with headquarters of the "Expeditionary
Corps" in Jacksonville. He pointed out that United States troops
had arrived to protect the citizens and that "All loyal people
who return to, or remain at their homes, in the quiet pursuit
of their lawful avocations, shall be protected in all their rights,
within the meaning and spirit of the Constitution of the United
States." The letter, dated March 20, 1862, was addressed
"TO THE PEOPLE OF EAST FLORIDA" and said:
17 Yankee St. Augustine Examiner, April 16, 1862.
The troops of the United States have come
amongst you to protect loyal citizens and their
property from (obliterated) by the creatures of
a rebel and usurped authority; and to enable you
to resuscitate a government which they have ruth-
lessly endeavored to destroy.
All loyal people who return to, or remain at
their homes, in the quiet pursuit of their lawful
avocations, shall be protected in all their rights,
within the meaning and spirit of the Constitution
of the United States. The sole desire and inten-
tion of the government is to maintain the integrity
of tie Constitution and the laws, and reclaim States
u:hich have revolted from their national allegiance
to their former prosperous and happy condition0
In the same issue, the Examiner editorialized:
.Even if the late editor of the St. Augustine
a'-ir-;r, hI:o bac done oo much to provoke The rcb-ll-
ion, would return he would not find cause to com-
plain of the tyranny of that class of people ;ho were
said to wear horns (Union troops). In this city the
property of citizens who are not at present resident,
and all who are disposed to return to their allegiance,
will no doubt be allowed to resume business operations
again. Uncle Sam has no vindictiveness to gratify.. .19
The second issue (April 16, 1862) of the new Examiner
carried, among other items: (1) a list of deaths in the
Fourth Regiment N. H. Volunteers since their departure from
Annapolis; (2) the order placing St. Augustine under martial
law; (3) a copy of the pass which permitted passage by the
pickets; (4) the oath of allegiance which all citigns were to
take; (5) an address of General McClellan made to the Army of
Also in the second issue is the editor's note that "We
did not arrive in St. Augustine until the 20th of last month,
18 Yankee St. Augustine E::aminer, April 9, 1862.
consequently were not witnesses of the capture of St. Augustine."
To make up this deficiency the Examiner reprinted a letter written
by C.R.P. Rogers, Commander, to Flag Officer S.F. DePont, Com-
manding South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. The letter had
originally appeared in "a Boston paper."
March 12, 1862
SIR:--Having crossed the bar with some difficulty,
in obedience to your order, I approached St. August-
ine under a flag of truce, and as I drew near the
city a white flag was hoisted from one of the bas-
tions of Fort Marion. Landing at the wharf and en-
quiring of the chief authority, I was soon joined
by the mayor and conducted to the city hall, where
the municipal authorities were assembled. .
.I recommended them to hoist the flag of the
Union at once, and, in prompt accordance with the
advice, by order of the mayor, the National ensign
was displayed from the flag-staff of the Fort.
About 1,500 persons remain in St. Augustine,
about one-fifth of the inhabitants having fled.
I believe that there are many citizens who are
earnestly attached to the Union; a large number
who are silently opposed to it, and a still larger
number who care very little about the matter. .
There is much violent and pestilent feeling among
On the night before our arrival, the party
of women assembled in front of the barracks and
cut down the flagstaff, in order that it might
not be used to support the old flag. .There
seems to be no money except the miserable paper
currency of the rebellion, and much poverty exists. .
It is positively stated that the Governor has
ordered the abandonment of East Florida, and pro-
poses to make a stand near Apalachicola.20
Flagstaffs appeared to plague the Yankee forces in
St. Augustine. The same edition of the Examiner notes:
On Thursday last, while a party of soldiers
were employed in raising a flag-staff in Fort
20 Yankee St. Augustine Examiner, April 16, 1862.
Marion, the 'shears' gave way, and the staff falling,
struck a man named DANIEL SULLIVAN, private in Co. D,
knocking him down, and breaking his leg, and burising (sic)
him severely. He was taken to the hospital, and is
The women of St. Augustine did not restrict their anti-
Union sentiment to pre-Yankee days, and in the following issue
they made news, again centered around a flagstaff:
On Tuesday evening last, a party of young
ladies assembled on the Plaza, and commenced
chipping off small pieces from the flag-staff,
which they kissed with all the fevor of a youth-
ful maiden in her first love. Some members of
Company 'I,4 noticing the proceeding, became so
indignant that the senseless wood was so much
more favored than they, that they rushed to the
spot, and in the excess of their passion rooted
up the stump and burned it to ashes, thus destroy-
ing forever what was so late the pride of the vil-
lage. Yesterday morning, as we were crossing the
Plaza, we noticed a bevy of these damsels busily
engaged in collecting the eshes in small papers,
to be carried home. 2
The St. Augustine post commander took a harsher view
of the incident:
OF ST. AUGUSTINE, May 7th, 1862.
Certain women having conducted themselves, last
evening and this morning, in a manner grossly in-
sulting to the United States Forces stationed here,
by collecting together in the Plaza and there openly
manifesting their disloyalty to the United States,
I have ordered that hereafter any woman who shall
be guilty of any open and offensive exhibition of
disloyalty, shall be considered as having forfeited
immunity from punishment by reason of her sex, and
shall be held in strict arrest. And furthermore,
if another such disgraceful scene is enacted, I
shall enforce the full vigor of Martial Law on the
21 Yankee St. Augustine Examiner, April 16, 1862.
22 Ibid., Fay 8, 1862.
By Order of
Lt. Col. 4th N.H. Vols.23
Little more is known of the Yankee St. Augustine Exami-
ner. No record of it exists beyond the year 1862.24 But one
thing can be said with certainty--Matthias R. Andreu did return
to St. Augustine, and he did once again edit the St. Augustine
Examiner. But his 1866 motto was "AN INDEPENDENT PRESS, THE
PALLADIUM OF LIBERTY."25
A year passed after the capture of Fernandina on March
3, 1862, without that city enjoying the benefits of a news-
paper. However, in March of 1863, there appeared a sheet
entitled the Peninsula which was published every Thursday and
delivered to subscribers for two dollars per annum. Advertisements
w er e a straight fifty cents per line.
The May 14, 1863, issue of this paper was Volume I,
Number 3, and listed Jas. M; Latta as both editor and prop-
rietor. The sheet contained four pages of four columns each.
Each page was about 10 inches across4
This particular issue of the Peninsula discloses some
aspects of Yankee censorship as well as revealing a somewhat
23 Yankee St. Augustine Examiner, May 8, 1862.
24 Gregory, Loc. cit.
25 St. Augustine Examiner, September 8, 1866.
insulting view of the reading public. In an editorial address-
ed to "OUR CONTRIBUTORS" the Peninsula said:
S. ,e have only a few words of caution to utter;
do not forget that we are in a military department,
and consequently prohibited from publishing any-
thing that can possibly give the enemy any informa-
tion which may be any possibility be of value to
them. Secondly, be satisfied to state great truths,
and let the public make their own applications, and
deductions.--We know the great public is very stu-
pid, but these long, tedious explanations are tor-
turing. Be brief, much paper and much poverty may
co-exist, as witness the shin-plgters of the so-
called Southern Confederacy. .
The Peninsula as a hole smacked of military occupation.
It is probable that business in Fernandina was at a standstill,
for the early editions of the sheet carried no advertisements
except legal notices. This, perhaps, was the reason for the
straight "fifty cents per line" rate of advertising. The news-
paper appears only to emphasize the military status of the city:
The Provost Marshal is directed to take a com-
plete census of all persons--white and black, now
residing on this island. The oath of allegiance
will be administered to the former.
No countermanding order having been received
in regard to General Hunter's order drafting all
white males between the ages of twenty and forty
five, not employed by Government or engaged in
some necessary business, into the service to fill
up the weakened regiments in the department, the
Colonel commanding the post intends to carry it
out to the letter. The order in regard to the
Sale of intoxicating liquors will also be strictly
Lights are to be extinguished at nine o'clock
at night and any person found upon the street after
that hour without the countersign will be arrested.27
26 Fernandina Peninsula, May 14, 1863.
27 Ibid., July 2, b3.