Monday, November 1, 2010

New Smyrna, Florida in the Civil War

New Smyrna was once at the end of the King's Highway which began at St. Mary's River and then went to St. Augustine before ending in New Smyrna. It was cleared starting in 1632 and followed old Indian trails and was one of the first roads in the New World.

Colonists later widened it to 30 feet.

In New Smyrna, founder Dr. Andrew Turnbull had a coquina stone wharf built around 1768. A lot of trade took place from this spot. You can still see the Old Wharf at low tide at the foot of Clinch Street.

During the Civil War, there were numerous salt works in the area as well as blockade-running. The area was watched by blockaders USS Penguin and the USS Henry Andrews. On March 24, 1862, six small boats were seen coming toward New Smyrna after they had destroyed some slat works. The 3rd Florida, under Captain Strain, attacked the boats. No Confederates were killed, but eight Union sailors were. The next day, the Confederates returned the bodies and personal effects of two officers to the Union ships.

In July 1863, two Union warships bombarded New Smyrna for two days. The Old Stone Wharf and James Sheldon's 40 room hotel were destroyed.

Today, there is a Coquina Wharf B&B in New Smyrna.

A Little-Known Part of History. --B-R'er

No comments: