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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bagdad in Santa Rosa County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Thompson House / Skirmish on the Blackwater

 
 
Thompson House Marker image. Click for full size.
circa 2010
1. Thompson House Marker
Inscription. (Front):
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.

(Back):
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.
The Thompson House and the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 17, 2016
2. The Thompson House and the Marker
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 by the Bagdad Village Preservation Association and the Florida Department of State. (Marker Number F-671.)
 
Location. 30° 36.15′ N, 87° 2.001′ W. Marker is in Bagdad, Florida, in Santa Rosa County. Marker is at the intersection of Forsyth Street and Thompson Street, on the right when traveling north on Forsyth Street. Click for map
Skirmish on the Blackwater Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 17, 2016
3. Skirmish on the Blackwater Marker
. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4620 Forsyth Street, Bagdad FL 32530, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A New Century (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Longleaf Pine (about 700 feet away); Native Trees (about 700 feet away); The Early History of Bagdad (about 700 feet away); The Architecture of Bagdad (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bagdad Mill Site Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Bagdad Mill Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); Shipbuilding in Bagdad (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Bagdad.
 
Additional keywords. Pensacola
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil
 
Thompson House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 17, 2016
4. Thompson House Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on . This page has been viewed 1,560 times since then and 35 times this year. Last updated on . Photos:   1. submitted on .   2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on November 21, 2016.
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