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

The Thompson House / Skirmish on the Blackwater

The Thompson House Marker image. Click for full size.
circa 2010
1. The Thompson House Marker
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,
The Thompson House and the Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 17, 2016
2. The Thompson House and the Marker
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 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
Skirmish on the Blackwater Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 17, 2016
3. Skirmish on the Blackwater 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. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4620 Forsyth Street, Bagdad FL 32530, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bagdad.
Additional keywords. Pensacola
Categories. Industry & CommerceSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil
The Thompson House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 17, 2016
4. The Thompson House Marker

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Credits. This page was last revised on June 20, 2018. This page originally submitted on August 16, 2010. This page has been viewed 1,770 times since then and 28 times this year. Last updated on February 9, 2013. Photos:   1. submitted on August 16, 2010.   2, 3, 4. submitted on November 21, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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