resisting such an expedition--Florida
having ere this contributed nearly 10,000 men, out of a total white population of 80,000, to the Confederate armies fighting in other States.
A considerable Union feeling was evinced at various points; a Union meeting held in Jacksonville
(the most populous town in the State
), and a Convention called to assemble there on the 10th of April to organize a Union State Government; but, on the 8th, Gen. Wright
withdrew his forces from that place, sending an invitation to Gen. Trapier
to come and reoccupy it. Of course, the projected Union Convention was no more; and those who had figured in the meeting or call whereby the movement was initiated were glad to save their necks by accompanying our departing forces.
That settled, for years, the fortunes of Unionism in Florida
And, though Com. Dupont
, on returning with his fleet to Port Royal
, left a small force at each of the more defensible places he had so easily recovered to the Union
, it is questionable that his expedition effected, on the whole, more good than harm for the national cause.
At Mosquito inlet, the farthest point visited by a detail from his squadron, a boat expedition, under Lt. T. A. Budd
, of the Penguin
, was fired on while returning from an excursion down Mosquito lagoon, Lt. Budd
and 4 others killed, and several more wounded or captured.
Thus closed unhappily an enterprise which was probably adequate to the complete recovery of Florida
, though not able to hold it against the whole power of the Confederacy
was evacuated by Brig.-Gen. Thos. N. Jones
, its Rebel commander; who burned every thing combustible in the Navy Yard
, Forts McRae
, the hospital, &c., &c., and retreated1
inland with his command.
The place was immediately occupied by Corn.
, of the Harriet Lane
, and by Gen. Arnold
, commanding Fort Pickens
Another naval expedition from Port Royal
under Capt. Steedman
, consisting of the gunboats Paul Jones
, with three other steamboats, visited tile Florida coast in the Autumn, shelling and silencing the Rebel
batteries at the mouth of the St. John
, with a land force of 1,575 men, with a fleet of six gunboats under Capt. Steedman
, repeated this visit somewhat later;3
expecting to encounter an obstinate resistance: but the Rebel
works on St. John's bluff were evacuated--9 guns being abandoned — on his advancing to attack them; and he retook Jacksonville
without resistance, but found it nearly deserted, and did not garrison it. The Rebel steamboat Gov
was found up a creek and captured.
Gen. R. Saxton
on three transports, an expedition, composed of two negro regiments under Col. Thos. W. Higginson
, 1st S. C. Volunteers, which went up5
, captured it with little resistance, and held it as a recruiting station for colored volunteers.
regiments were soon afterward sent to reenforce them; but hardly had these landed when a peremptory order came from Gen. Hunter
for the withdrawal of