Friday, December 30, 2011

The Cow Cavalry and Battle of Ft. Myers (Fla)-- Part 2: "I Respectfully Decline"

Three companies of the Cow Cavalry and one cannon set out and arrived at Fort Thomson (LaBelle, Fl.) February 19th and then marched down the river and encamped near Billy's Creek.  On Feb. 20th, they surprised some black soldiers on picket duty and shot them.  This alerted the Fort Myers, whereupon the Confederates fired their cannon and demanded it surrender.

The fort's commander, Captain James Doyle replied, "I respectfully decline."

He wheeled his two cannons out and the battle was on,continuing throughout the day.

On Feb. 21, 1865, the Cow cavalry returned to Fort Meade, having failed to capture the Union fort.  Of 300 Union troops involved, there was one dead and three wounded.  Of the 250 Confederates, one was wounded.

Nothing remains of the fort today, but it was located by the downtown Ft. Myers Historical District.  The original US-41 (Cleveland Avenue) goes by the former location.

Cow cavalry to the Rescue!  --Old B-Runner (Soon to be Old Secesh)

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