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Bagdad in Santa Rosa County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

The Skirmish on the Blackwater

 
 
The Skirmish on the Blackwater Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 17, 2016
1. The Skirmish on the Blackwater Marker
Inscription. During the Civil War, Bagdad was a frequent target of Union raids from Pensacola because the Union needed building supplies for the navy yard. One such raid took place from October 25-28, 1864, and is recounted in the dispatches of Brigadier General Joseph Bailey of the U.S. Army Commanding District of West Florida and Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Spurling of the Second Maine Calvary Commanding Expedition. Evidence of the Union occupancy of the Thompson House was uncovered in 1976. Under a layer of plaster, charcoal graffiti was discovered that read: “Bagdad, Mr. Thompson, Spurling’s First Fla. Calvary camped in your house, on 26th Oct. 1864.” A similar message, dated October 28, was discovered in the upstairs hallway. Eventually the Union troops routed the Confederates and briefly occupied the town.

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew B. Spurling
Andrew B. Spurling was born in Maine in 1833 and moved to California at the age of 18. Opposed to slavery, Spurling joined the 1st Maine Cavalry at the beginning of the Civil War. He was promoted captain of the company in February 1863. A year later he was commissioned junior major of the Second Maine Cavalry and was sent in command of four companies to Brazier City, Louisiana. Spurling was very active in fighting guerrillas, and in June he was promoted to lieutenant
Skirmish on the Blackwater Marker alongside the Blackwater River (below fence & trees). image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 17, 2016
2. Skirmish on the Blackwater Marker alongside the Blackwater River (below fence & trees).
colonel.The regiment was transferred to Florida in June of 1864, and there Spurling distinguished himself. In March 1865 in Evergreen, Alabama, Spurling “advanced alone in the darkness beyond the picket line, came upon 3 of the enemy, fired upon them, wounded 2, and captured the whole party,” an action for which he was later awarded the Medal of Honor. Spurling died in 1906 in Chicago.


{Photos}
Left: Skirmish historical marker
Right, top: Two graffiti writings that were found
Left, bottom: Medal of Honor & photo of Col. Spurling

 
Erected 2016 by the Bagdad Waterfronts Florida Partnership, Inc.
 
Location. 30° 36.282′ N, 87° 1.865′ W. Marker is in Bagdad, Florida, in Santa Rosa County. Marker can be reached from Main Street 0.1 miles east of Forsyth Street. Touch for map. Located within the Bagdad Mill Site Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6953 Main Street, Bagdad FL 32530, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Ecology of the Blackwater River (within shouting distance of this marker); Civil War and Reconstruction in Northwest Florida (within shouting distance of this marker); Bagdad Lumber Mill / Shipbuilding at Bagdad
Another "The Skirmish on the Blackwater Marker" image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 17, 2016
3. Another "The Skirmish on the Blackwater Marker"
Located at 4620 Forsyth Street in Bagdad in front of the Thompson House.
(within shouting distance of this marker); The Bagdad Mill Site (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Early History of Bagdad (about 400 feet away); Native Trees (about 400 feet away); Bagdad Mill Site Park (about 400 feet away); Shipbuilding in Bagdad (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bagdad.
 
Categories. Notable EventsWar, US Civil
 
Lt. Col. Andrew Barclay Spurling portrait. image. Click for full size.
By Public Domain
4. Lt. Col. Andrew Barclay Spurling portrait.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 21, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 21, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 136 times since then and 63 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 21, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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