Bagdad in Santa Rosa County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Thompson House / Skirmish on the Blackwater
This antebellum home, constructed ca. 1847 by Benjamin Woodson Thompson (1809 - 1876), partner in the Forsyth and Simpson sawmill enterprise in Bagdad, is the best remaining Florida Panhandle example of a symmetrical Greek Revival structure having a double verandah with balustrade and cantilevered gable roof. The house was built of local heart pine lumber with the structure of columns, windows and doors reflecting the Doric order. Interior walls are plaster reinforced with animal hair. Widow sashes with rolled glass are flanked by operable shutters. During the Civil War, Union troops from the 2nd Maine Cavalry, 1st Florida Cavalry, 19th Iowa Infantry and United States Colored Troops of the 25th, 82nd and 86th regiments raided Bagdad and Milton and camped in and around the house, leaving graffiti including drawings and signatures on the plaster walls. In 1913 the house, which originally faced the Blackwater River, was moved directly back to its present location when the Mill complex expanded.
Confederates, evacuating Pensacola in the spring of 1862, burned the lumber mills of Bagdad. During the remainder of the war, both sides maintained a presence in Santa Rosa County. Union forces periodically conducted reconnaissance raids and captured building materials for use at the Pensacola Navy Yard. Confederates posted locally recruited cavalry troops to lookout for any Union movement towards the critical rail junction at Pollard, Alabama. During one such raid on October 18, 1864, Lt. Colonel A. B. Spurling commanding Union troops consisting of some 200 men of the 19th Iowa Infantry Regiment and a section of the locally recruited 1st Florida Battery aboard the steamer Planter landed 3.5 miles south of here to salvage logs intended for the Bagdad mills. Some 300 Confederates including Company I, 15th CSA Cavalry Regiment and local militia were alerted and engaged Spurling’s force. After a two-hour skirmish, the Confederates withdrew and Spurling’s men sustaining minor casualties re-embarked while managing to salvage 140 logs. One week later Spurling again raided Bagdad and Milton routing Confederates in a running battle through town. Afterward, Union troops briefly occupied Bagdad and the Thompson House.
Erected 2009. (Marker Number F-671.)
Location. 30° 36.15′ N, 87° 2.001′ W. Marker is in Bagdad, Florida, in Santa Rosa County. Marker is on Forsyth St, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bagdad FL 32530, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 17 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Marquis Bayou Bridge (approx. 1.7 miles away); Hyer-Knowles Planing Mill (approx. 11.4 miles away); Frascati (approx. 16 miles away); Historic John the Baptist Church (approx. 16.4 miles away); Hawkshaw (approx. 16.5 miles away); Fort San Bernardo (approx. 16.6 miles away); Stephen R. Mallory (approx. 16.7 miles away); P.K. Yonge (approx. 16.7 miles away).
Additional keywords. Pensacola
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers • War, US Civil •
Credits. This page originally submitted on . This page has been viewed 1,448 times since then and 103 times this year. Last updated on . Photo 1. submitted on . • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.