Bagdad in Santa Rosa County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Civil War and Reconstruction in Northwest Florida
The first years of the Civil War brought prosperity to Bagdad, but a blockade of Pensacola Bay deprived the mill access to former markets. On March 11, 1862, Confederates, burned Bagdad’s industries, shops, and the major buildings in the Pensacola navy yard and other sites to keep them from falling into Union hands. In addition to the mill, many homes were destroyed. The destruction in Santa Rosa County totalled nearly $1 million and turned local sentiments against the Confederacy. Toward the end of the war, Union troops raided the county. The Maine Fifteenth seized logs, cattle, hogs, food and furniture from Bagdad residents. The war crippled industrial production in the South, and Santa Rosa was placed under martial law by the federal government. Ezekiel Simpson had invested money in Northern banks prior to the war, making it possible for him to build an island mill in 1867 and a gang mill in 1870 near Blackwater River. The population of Bagdad in 1899 was 500, and the village boasted its own post office, private school, and machine shop. The need for low-cost building materials in western Europe led to a period of expanding lumber markets. High quality pine construction timber became one of the world’s most important building materials, and northwest Florida became one of the world’s most reliable sources.
Right, top: Burning Pensacola dry dock 1861
Right, middle: Pensacola Confederate monument 1900
Erected 2016 by Bagdad Waterfronts Florida Partnership, Inc.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • War, US Civil • Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical date for this entry is March 11, 1862.
Location. 30° 36.248′ N, 87° 1.847′ W. Marker is in Bagdad, Florida, in Santa Rosa County. Marker can be reached from Main Street, 0.1 miles east of Forsyth Street. Located within the Bagdad Mill Site Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6953 Main 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. The Bagdad Mill Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Shipbuilding in Bagdad (within shouting distance of this marker); The Skirmish on the Blackwater (within shouting distance of this marker); Native Trees (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Ecology of the Blackwater River (about 300 feet away); The Early History of Bagdad (about 400 feet away); Bagdad Lumber Mill / Shipbuilding at Bagdad (about 500 feet away); Bagdad Mill Site Park (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bagdad.
Also see . . . Civil War and Reconstruction in Florida. (Submitted on November 21, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 20, 2018. It was originally submitted on November 21, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 285 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 21, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.