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The Ocala banner. (Ocala, Marion County, Fla.) 1883-194?, April 06, 1906, Image 4

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F t w
s y y j
d I
e2 Battle of the Natural Bridge f FLEMING
1 I
1 >
The Battle of Natural Bridge
v IBy Francis P Fleming
It somewhat remarkable that notwithstanding
withstanding repeated attempts at no
time during the war between the
states did the United States forces
penetrate and hold any portion of
Florida beyond the range of their na
val batteries The most formidable
of such attempts was that under Gen
oral Seymour which culminated in his
signal defeat by General Finegan at
Olustee February 0 1864 In August
1864 a Federal cavalry command
about 350 strong reached Gainesville
and was there met defeated and cap
tured by Capt J J Dickison with a
force of about half that number
The last attempt to invade the state
before the final surrender was made
during the early part of March 1S65
by Brigadier General John Newton
with a command which he reports
about 1000 strong I am not prepared
to say that such number was incor
rect but it was estimated by the Con
federates to be > much larger This ex
t pedition landed near St Marks light
house the evening of March 4th and
early on morning of the 5th It was met
by Lieutenant Colonel George W
Scott with five companies of his cav
alry battalion and a piece of artillery
After some skirmishing Colonel Scott
retired and being unable to carry off
the pleco of artillerY Its sights were
knocked off and It was abandoned and
fell into the hands of the enemy Scott
retired across the St Marks river at
New Port where he partially destroy
ed the bridge and from a breastwork
on the west side kept up a fire that
prevented the enemy from repairing
the bridge and crossing at that point
During the afternoon Sunday the 5th
Scott was reinforced by a company
r of cadets of the West Florida Semin =
ary at Tallahassee sixtyfive strong
under command of V M Johnson the
cadet captain being J Wesley Weth
Learning from scouts that the enemy
were following up the river and ap
prehending that he would attempt to
cross at the Natural Bridge where
the 3t Marks flows underground for
> R nrie distance Scott proceeded with
r11st of his cavalry up the river on
the west side to that point reaching
there about midnight and establish
ed a picket outpost on the bridge
As soon as jnformatSon of the lancl
rIng ot the enemy near St Marks
reached Major poneral Sam Jones
commanding the Department of Flor
ida with l S at Tallahassee
he issued orders to hasten forward all
available troops In response thereto t
the First egimont of Florida TIe
s rves Colonel J J Daniel and two
companies or Home Guards consist
ing of old men and boys from Quin
cy and Monticello and a section of the
Kllcrease Artillery under Lieutenant
Patrick Houston all under command
of Colonel Daniel ere hurried to the
front The writer at that time an of
ficer of the First Florida cavalry of
the Army of Tennessee temporarily on
sick leave joined this force as a vol
unteer aide to Colonel Daniel These
I troops debarked from the train on the
St Marks railroad at the 011 Still
near midnight lyid at once marched
about seven miles eastward to the
Natural Bridge arriving there at day
light the morning of the 6th and at
I once formed line in an open country
fronting the wood which covered the
natural bridge Before such formation
was completed the cavalry pickets at
tho front were driven in by the ad
vance of the enemy The Federals
pushed forward in a vigorous attack
which was repulsed A spirited fire
was kept up by both sides for some
time The artillery held a position
near the center supported by the in
fantry on either side and the flanks
were held by the cavalry Colonel Dan
iel was severely Injured being dashed
against a tree by his horse which be
came unmanagable when the tiring
commenced lie remained in com
mand however until the arrival of
Brigadier General Miller about 9 a
m who then assumed commandAbout
the samo time the company of cadets
and Dunhams battery reached the
scehc of action A desultory lire was
kept up during the morning and soon
after midday the enemy renewed his
l attack in force and met by a heavy
fire of artillery and small arms was
again repulsed After this a spirited
fire was kept on both sides
e up Ear I
ly In the afternoon the Confederates
were further reinforced by several
companies of the Second Florida cav
n alry dismounted About 4 p m the
enemys fire having ceased the writ
er was placed In command of a line I
of skirmishers by Loeutenant Colonel
Scott and ordered to move forward
and feel the enemy This was done
passing over the ground he had oc
cupied where a number of killed and
some wounded had been left Advanc
ing through the hammock and swamp
to the open on the other side a sub
stantial < earthwork was found by a
force Of the enismy The main line
j tI
4r Y
was then advanced and drove the Fed
erals from this position Under cover
p night the enemy made good his re
treat to the coast and embarked on
the transports from which he had
landed Our small force of mounted
cavalry was insufficient to inflict much
damage upon the retreating foe A
detachment of Gwynns company of
Scotts Battalion under Lieutenant
Eben Burroughs following the re
treat came up next morning with a
body of twentythree negro troops un
der command of a lieutenant which
had become separated from the main
command and after skirmishing with
them for some time succeeded In cut
ting off their retreat and capturing
them Among other captures were two
deserters from the Confederate army
who had acted as guides to the Fed
eral troops These were tried by Drum
Head court martial next day sentenc
ed to death and shot In the presence
of the troops at New Port on the
morning of the 8th General Newton
reports his loss at 21 killed 89 wound
ed and 38 missing total 148 The
Confederate loss was quite small 3
killed and 22 wounded total 25 Among
the killed was Captain H H Simmons
of the Second Florida cavalry a brave
and gallant soldier and efficient offi
cer Another volunteer in this short
campaign well known to the people oJ
the state was Captain D E Maxwell
of the Fjrst Florida cavalry a veter
an of the armies of Northern Virginia
and Tennessee who was recovering
from a severe wound received at
Peachtree Creek near Atlanta Unable
to walk he joined Gwynns company
mounted with his crutches tied to his
saddle He served throughout the ac
tion and participated in the capture
of the detachment above mentioned
< v General Newtons reports found in
the government publication War of
the Rebellion Series 1 Vol 49 Part
1 contain some notable errors On
page 57 he says After a fierce
fight resulting in the complete r re
pulse of the enemy finding that the
navy could not ascend the river I de
tided to withdraw In his more de
tailed report on page CO hesays At
daybreak Major Sinclair with two
companies B and G of the Second
II S Colored Infatnry drove the ad
vanced posts of the enemy over the
bridge when his further progress was
checked by a superior force of the
enemy behind entrenchments The
advanced posts referred to were two
or three cavalry pickets This attack
was made when the Confederate
forces except Scotts cavalry had just
arrived on the ground and before they
had thrown up entrenchments Again
on the same page referring to the
second attack he says Colonel
Townsend with his command advanc
ed gallantly the enemy fleeing on his
approach and abandoning his breast
works but at the foot almost of the
works he encountered a deep slough
Impassible to troops and the command
reluctantly retired Theenemy flee
ing as reported was but the falling
back of our advanced pickets to the
main line and if General Newton was
made to believe that the Confederate
breastworks were abandoned his cred
uiity vas sadly imposed upon Neither
was there any slough in front of main
part of the Confederate lines Nor is
there any foundation In fact upon
which to base his report of the com
plete repulse of the enemy It would
appear strange indeed if General
Newton had mfllcted a complete re
pulse upon his enemy thai he would
have hurried to his transports under
cover of darkness leaving his dead
unburied and part of his wounded be
hind and a detachment which was
captured The Confederate troops
were not repulsed in a single instance
during the campaign though it is not
denied that Scotts cavalry fell back
before the whole Federal command of
five times its numbers on their ad
vance after landing until he could
successfully hold them in check after
crossing the St Marks river at New
General Newton was also misin
formed and therefore greatly exager
rated the numbers of Confederate
troops At the time of the first attack
at the bridge they numbered about
800 and after the arrival of the last
reinforcements when the battle was
practically over the entire force could
not have exceeded 1200 The 1000 re
inforcements from Georgia mentioned
by the General had no existence In
Throughout the action of the Con
federate forces a considerable number
of which had never been under fire
before acted with great gallantry and
Hang on Cling one No matter what
they say
Push on Sing on Things will come
your way
Sittln down and whlnin never helps a
Best way to git there > is to get up and
I 1 < j > ef c v C
Tw Editor Ocala Banner
I 7 u wil take a ruler and place it
r <
ort map of Florida at the narrow
ed a of the peninsular you will find
Keys and the Gulf of Mexico
on one end and Daytona Seabrqeze
and the Atlantic Ocean on the other
while almost in the exact center Is
the city of Ocala
Refer to the scale of miles and
you will find the distance to be nine
tyfive miles Take a pencil and mark
this line on the map study it
and you will be impressed first that
it traverses as a whole an almost vir
gin or new country yet we all know
that on the west of Ocala it is rich In
phosphate and timber and on the
east in farming and stock lands
Start on your penciled line from
Cedar Keys and you will see that a
railroad built from the gulf to the
Atlantic will pass through Gulf
Hammock crossing the A C L first
at Romeo hitting the Seaboard at
Eagle mines crossing both again at
Ocala tapping the Ocklawaha little
above Silver Springs the A C L
branch again at Astor deep water on
the St Johns river at the same place
the A C L main line a few miles
further on then the East Coast line
at Daytona across the Halifax to
the Atlantic
Or diverge slightly south still
striking the St Johns at deep water
run right through bottled up DeLand
making for the Atlantic at New
Smyrna Either route would mean
the construction of approximately 100
miles of railway
It would be impossible to estimate
the value of such a line of railway to
the entire Florida peninsular espec
ially to the territory and the towns
along its line and most especially to
the city of Ocala
What would It mean A line of
boats to Mobile or Pensacola or New
Orleans or all three and direct con
nections with the great west again
direct connection at the Ocklawaha
with that rivers trade capable of
great development and still again
the St Johns where the Clyde or
other lines give us water transporta
tion to the eastern and > uropean
ports and I not least tapping the East
Coast securing southern and giving
them western connections
Could such road be built Yes by
the development of public sentiment
among the people whom it would
most likely benefit Bottled up Cedar
Keys would give half her assessed
valuation for such a road the owners
of phosphate and timber properties
would do their share Ocala would
and should if the road is built lead
all others the large and the small
farmer and stock man would natur
ally help Bottled up DeLand would dive
deep in her pockets the Clyde on
the St Johns would welcome this
accession to their territory and what
wouldnt Mr Flagler do for a straight
line from his road to the Gulf while
the people of Daytona and Seabreeze
which would be made the greatest all
the year resort on the Atlantic coast
would divide their wealth with the
road builders And this is the bearest
outline of the interests involved
And dont believe there isnt suffic
ient water at Cedar Keys for practi i
cal purposes even now Just look at
the government charts and see that
it would not be a difficult matter to
secure what depths is needed for
present purposes
Would such a road pay Yes and
No Yes if the method of the mod
ern railroad constructor like Hill in
the west and Flagler in Florida is
followed and systematic and intelli
gent effort Is made to develop the
actual resources of the country
through which the road passes No
if the ancient history Is followed that
there is just so much business and
we are going to get it anyhow A
railroad man said some years ago
that railroading was an exact science
Judging from very recent develop
ments here it seems to be a very con i
siderably inexact one The road that
is here suggested should be the best
paying one in the south and abso
lutely independent of rail connections
What other hundred mile road would
touch both the Atlantic and the Gulf
and in doing so would cross three
navagible rivers and incidentally tap
other roads exactly eight times
This road ought to haul enough coal
down to the East Coast where they have
more money than wood to burn to
pay its fixed charges And it ought
to be built a long time before the
Isthmain canal is completed This
by way of parenthesis
Ocala It would make Ocala more
than the Atlanta of Florida It
would give her the key to the situa
tion She would no longer have to
plead for justice but be in a position
to demand it She must inaugurate
the movement and carry it on to its
successful completion It can be done
It can be done here But there must
be a start made How The Ocala
board of trade through working
board of trade through working com
mittees should immediately place Itself
in touch with the boards of trade of
Pensacola of Mobile of New Or
leans with the people of Cedar Keys
and on to Seabreeze with Mr Flagler
and the Cyldes The subject
J l 4 < < 1 4 l
t 1 >
should be agitated and discussed
That will cost nothing Each news
paper along the line will take It up
The project is feasible it is simple
and as severely practical as the addi
tion of2 and 2 Ther els and there
tion of 2 and 2 There is and there
community that will discourage every
movement of progress arid object to
every enterprise from the laying of a
few feet of sewer pipe to the construc
tion of a railroad And these neces
sarily crude suggestions will meet on
this hand the common fate But is it
not worth investigation Let these
pessimistic prophets go They remind
one of this story told by a distin
guished Floridian It has a moral The
story goes that a man suffering with
a severe sore throat had a doctor pre
pare an asafoetida poultice and place
it around his neck Returning to his
home he was met by his little boy
who on getting one good whiff of the
malodorous stuff burst into tears and I
ran yelling into the house U Ma oh
ma Pas dead and dont know it
Chistian Endeavor Movements
A report from President Fi E Clark
D D president of the worlds Christ
ian Endeavor Union sent from Stock
holm states that he has held very
large Christian Endeavor meetings
both in Christiana and Stockholm In
the former city King Haakon gave
him permission to speak in the Ca
thedral on Christian Endeavor for he
only can grant foreigners permission
to speak in the Dom There was a
very large audience including the
Bishop of Norway and many of the
clergy and much Interest was mani
fested hundreds standing in the aisles
throughout the service
In Stockholm there were many meet
ings in the interest of Christian En
deavor the largest being in Walden
stroms church which is said to seat
4000 and which was full Prince Os
car Barnodette second son of King
Oscar of Sweden an earnest Chris I
tian man had been invited to attend
the Christian Endeavor meeting in
Geneva It is hoped that he may attend
A report from Secretary Stanley
Edwards Paris of the committee of
Christian Endeavor in Europe states
that the main body of French Protes
tantism Is Presbyterian under the di
rection of a central synod and Chris
tian Endeavor has been brought time i
after time to the attention of these I
synods Finally the synods have vot i
ed in favor of Christian Endeavor j
and that the fiat has gone forth that i
tkey approve of such work and rec
ommend its general adoption by the
local churches and congregations
Christian Endeavor in France is go
ing steadily forward till it has at
tained 22 societies with 2054 mem =
hers but it is uphill work as is all
evangelical work in France
What One Man is Doing
The Flagler road is giving employ
ment to ovef 4000 workmen on the
Key West extension This extension is
and will forever be the most Wonderful
railroad building in the history of
Florida What a wonderful 1 transfor
mation Henry M Flagler has made of
the East Coast of the state from Jack
o sonville to Key West at an expendi
ture probably of 50000000 He has
been the states greatest developer and
benefactor for he will hardly see the
day when a profit will come from his
vast investments Many thousands of
our own people have followed the
opening up of this beautiful and fer
tile country for settlement and many
are getting rich by the opportunities
given in the investment of these mil
lions in our state Such investments
are what make a state great and pros
perous Just see what will be ship
ped from the fruit and trucking sec
tions down the East Coast this sea
son The vegetable output is estimat
ed at nearly half a million crates and
the pineapple crop will foot up near
ly as much There are growers some
from Volusla county who will make
a fortune this season And still you
hear of fanatics and anticorporation
ists fighting Flagler and his enter
prises Proper guards should be
thrown around the operations of rail
roads as are given the people in the
Railroad Commission but this contin
ual foaming at the mouth by fanatics
about railroad corporations does the
state and her people great harm It
Is the method such people aJopt tc
get office It is the office they are af
ter and not for the real interests of
the state or the people Volusia Coun
ty Record
On the front page of Tom Watsons
magazine is a picture of Hon Hoke
Smith of Georgia Toni Is taking a
great interest in Hokes election not
withstanding he was a member of
Clevelands cabinet Toms manifest
interest in Hdkes election ought to be
taken with an allowance of salt Toms
support ought to help the other fel
We are selling more engraved cards
and stationery than ever because we
represent one of the best Engravers l
Am rica Samples shown at any time
The Post Office Drug Store
x S
1 c c > 3if < t iJ1 d if i <
Golden Opportunities
Dress Goods Silks Silk Mulls pr n
and plain Organdies t White and
Fancy Goods Mercerized Ba
tiste Correct Styles
Colors J
In Solid and All the Leading Shades Creams w n
Jacquard Figures White and Black Checks Its
I Woved and Printed WashableFabrics From jf I
Silk Madras to very Sheer and deltcate v
We have the All Lace ones In a number of Elaborate designs
the dalntest Embroidered Turnovers Silk and Mercerized Tabs
with rushing tops r1
We have the tailored washable ones too
We put on sale as long as they last a regular 25c gauge 1 lisle tic
for 19c 3for 50c A hose that you cannot tear
< 1
The Vehicle and Haness t
I Cor Forsyth and Cedar St r
Dealers in Wagons Buggies Carriages Surrei
I Road Carts 7 Harness Saddles f Lap Robes 1 Etc
If you have lands you wish to sell lease or rent >
or if you want to buy lands for farming grazing
turpentining or lumber purposes
Write to
r <
S HE +
M riol Hardware Compani
i 1
American Wire Fencing
Sash Doors s and Blinds 4
Paints Oils and Varnishes 1
Mill and Mining Supplies
f ii Turpentine Snpplies
V Improved Farming Tools jt
J > jfe v t
Marion Hardware Company
Ocala Furniture Company
There is Nothing Too Good For You
Thats a broad statement but it h Ids good for you will surely re
gret buying cheap furniture Now that does not mean that you
should pay an exhorbitant price f or your goods and If you would
know where you can getthe bes t goodsat
goods at lower prices than you
are paying some other place
> Smith Roberts
will y tak i pleasure in showing yo the best goods at the lowest
f price r Everything in the turn we line at consf lent prices
L y
a vi
o f t

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