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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Palatka in Putnam County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Battle At Horse Landing

 
 
Battle of Horse Landing Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, March 4, 2017
1. Battle of Horse Landing Marker
Inscription. At this site, on May 23rd, 1864, Captain John Jackson Dickison, with men from the 2nd Florida Cavalry and a battery from the Milton Light Artillery, disabled and captured the Federal gunboat, Columbine. At the time, Union forces controlled the land east of the St. Johns River. The elusive Dickison had made several raids across the river, capturing two outposts. Hoping to trap the Confederates on the east side, Union ground troops moved toward Welaka, and the Columbine was sent upriver. Dickison however, had already crossed the river and set the ambush here at Horse Landing, where the channel and current would bring the boat to within 60 yards of shore.

The Columbine, under the command of Acting Ensign Frank Sanborn, was described as 117 feet in length and "a thing of beauty". The Columbine returned fire, but was soon disabled and surrendered. All but three of her crew and the army troops aboard were killed or captured. The Federal dead are reportedly buried on this rivershore. There were no Confederate casualties. After removing all the supplies and armament possible, the Columbine was burned and sunk, to avoid recapture.

It is the only known incident in history where a cavalry unit sank an enemy gunboat. Dickison was known in the Southern press as the Swamp Fox (and as the Knight of the White Camellia, by the ladies).
Battle of Horse Landing Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, March 4, 2017
2. Battle of Horse Landing Marker
The Federals referred to him as "Dixie", and land west of the St. Johns was "Dixie's Land".

An interesting footnote: A lifeboat taken from the Columbine was later given by Dickison to John S. Breckenridge, Confederate Secretary of War, to aid in his escape to Cuba at the end of the war.
 
Erected 2001 by Marker was placed here through donations by Mr. and Mrs. Jim Gary, the 3rd FL Co. A Reenactment Unit, and the Florida Confederation for the Preservation of Historic Sites, Inc.
 
Location. 29° 32.465′ N, 81° 42.384′ W. Marker is near Palatka, Florida, in Putnam County. Marker is on Boys Ranch Road 3.1 miles east of Route 19 when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 380 Boys Ranch Rd, Palatka FL 32177, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Cross Florida Barge Canal Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Mount Royal Site (approx. 7 miles away); William Bartram Trail (approx. 7.6 miles away); Mount Royal (approx. 8.1 miles away); a different marker also named The Mount Royal Site (approx. 8.1 miles away); Lt. J.K. (Kay) Larkin Memorial
Battle of Horse Landing Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brandon D Cross, March 4, 2017
3. Battle of Horse Landing Marker
(approx. 8 miles away); Putnam County WW II Memorial (approx. 8.6 miles away); Putnam County Confederate Memorial (approx. 8.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Palatka.
 
Categories. War, US CivilWaterways & Vessels
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 7, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 5, 2017, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 113 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on March 5, 2017, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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