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Orange Park in Clay County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Torpedo Warfare on the St. Johns River

 
 
Torpedo Warfare on the St. Johns River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, July 25, 2013
1. Torpedo Warfare on the St. Johns River Marker
Inscription. During the War Between the States, the St. Johns River was a highway to Florida's interior. Lacking warships to counter the Union Navy's control of the river, Confederate forces turned to the use of torpedoes (submerged naval mines). On March 30, 1864, Captain Pliny Bryan of General Beauregard's staff in Charleston led a detachment from the 2nd Florida Battalion composed of Lt. J.D. O'Hern, Corp. John Brantley, Pvt. Musco Crenshaw, Pvt. William Taylor and Pvt. John Frisbee to the river. They worked through the night to place twelve 70 pound black powder torpedoes in the navigation channel off Mandarin Point approximately 1 mile South East of this location. While making a return trip to Jacksonville from Palatka on April 1, 1864 at 4:00 a.m., the Union Army Steamer Maple Leaf, a 210 footlong 3250 ton transport piloted by Romeo Murray (a local African-American), struck one of these torpedoes and sank in the channel in less than 5 minutes, killing four crew members. Two weeks later, on April 16, the Union Army Steamer General Hunter struck another torpedo and sank within yards of the Maple Leaf, killing one. By mid-summer two more steam transports, the H.A. Weed and Alice Price, were sunk by torpedoes in the St. Johns north of Jacksonville, causing 5 additional deaths. The H.A. Weed and Alice Price
Torpedo Warfare on the St. Johns River Marker overlooking St. Johns River image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, July 25, 2013
2. Torpedo Warfare on the St. Johns River Marker overlooking St. Johns River
had their machinery salvaged while the General Hunter was raised and sold in the Spring of 1865. Attempts to raise the Maple Leaf failed and she remained a hazard to navigation until her upper decks were cleared away in 1889. Today her hull, cargo and secrets still rest below the dark waters of the St. Johns.
 
Erected by Town of Orange Park and Sons of Confederate Veterans #1209.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Sons of Confederate Veterans/United Confederate Veterans marker series.
 
Location. 30° 9.965′ N, 81° 41.727′ W. Marker is in Orange Park, Florida, in Clay County. Marker is at the intersection of Kingsley Avenue and River Road, in the median on Kingsley Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Orange Park FL 32073, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Orange Park (approx. 0.4 miles away); Harriet Beecher Stowe Home (approx. 2.2 miles away); Church of Our Savior (approx. 2.6 miles away); Beluthahatchee (approx. 6.6 miles away); St. Johns County / New Switzerland Plantation (approx. 6.9 miles
Torpedo Warfare on the St. Johns River Marker, at Kingsley Avenue and River Road image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, July 25, 2013
3. Torpedo Warfare on the St. Johns River Marker, at Kingsley Avenue and River Road
away); William Bartram Trail (approx. 7.8 miles away); William Bartram Scenic Highway (approx. 8.5 miles away); Camp Chowenwaw (approx. 8.8 miles away).
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. To see the relationship, study marker shown.
 
Also see . . .  Excerpt: Maple Leaf as a Union Army Transport By James W. Towart and Col. J. V. Witt, USA Ret. E. Pliny Bryan, the man who placed the mines in the St Johns River that sank the Maple Leaf, was 34 years old at the time, but he had already accomplished a great deal. He had been a planter, state legislator, spy, and army officer, a man much admired by his associates. The Bryan plantation was located in Prince George County, Maryland close to the southern boundary of Washington D. C. and the Potomac River. E. (Edward) Pliny Bryan was elected to the Maryland State Legislature in the fall of 1859 at the age of 29 as a Democrat ... (Submitted on July 28, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.) 
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
the Maple Leaf, as mentioned image. Click for full size.
By The Maple Leaf Adventure - MilitaryHistoryOnline.com
4. the Maple Leaf, as mentioned
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 28, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 623 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 28, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   4. submitted on August 12, 2012, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
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