Thursday, February 10, 2011

Battle of Fort Myers-- Part 1

The battle took place near the end of the war, February 25, 1865, and is sometimes called the Southernmost Battle of the war.

The fort had been built in 1850 for use during the Seminole Wars, but had been abandoned after they ended.

In 1863, Union troops reoccupied it, planning to use it as a base for raids north of the Caloosahatchie River to take livestock which were abundant. This meat was used to supply the Confederate Army of the Tennessee. It is estimated that by 1865, close to 4,000 head of cattle had been captured.

Escaped slaves and Union sympathizers also came to the fort. At one point, there was an estimated 400 on the fort's grounds.

Fort Myers was garrisoned mostly by the 2nd Florida Cavalry, made up mostly of refugees. A company of the 110th New York and another from the 2nd US Colored Troops, both from Fort Zachary Taylor in Key West were also on hand.

The "Cow Cavalry" to the Rescue. --Old B-Runner

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