Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kindle version of "The Battle of Marianna, Florida" is now available!!

Amazon has begun the process of releasing the new Expanded Edition of my book, "The Battle of Marianna, Florida." If you have a Kindle reading device or use their free Kindle software on your computer, Ipad, smartphone, etc., it is now available for instant download at the discounted price of $9.95.

The print version of the new edition, which includes 50 pages of new material, a full bibliography, expanded casualty and soldier listings, more photographs and additional maps will be out sometime next week. I'll let you know as soon as it is available.

The Battle of Marianna was fought on September 27, 1864, and was one of the fiercest small battles of the War Between the States. It took place when a column of 700 Union troops attacked the city after advancing from Pensacola through today's Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton and Holmes Counties. A force of several hundred Confederate reservists, militia, home guards and volunteers tried to defend the city in what turned into a brutal hand to hand fight.

It is a little known fact that the battle concluded the deepest penetration of Confederate Florida by Union troops during the entire War Between the States. The raid to and from Marianna inflicted more economic damage on Jackson, Washington, Holmes and Walton Counties than was suffered by any other Florida counties during the war. The battle also represented the last major effort by Southern forces to defend Northwest Florida.

If you are interested in purchasing the Kindle e-book, you can do so by clicking the ad above. I'll let you know as soon as the new print version is ready for purchase!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Three Rivers State Park once again targeted for Closure!

Three Rivers State Park
For the second time in three years, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has proposed closing Jackson County's Three Rivers State Park. The move would save the state $200,000 but cost the economy of the Sneads area more than $1,000,000.

To save $6.5 million out of its $1.4 BILLION budget, DEP is recommending the closure of ONE-THIRD of Florida's State Parks and Historic Sites. These include both the Olustee and Natural Bridge Battlefields, the only preserved Civil War battlefields in Florida; the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Home, where the famed author wrote The Yearling; San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park, which preserves the ruins of a 300 year old Spanish fort; three parks that preserve ancient Indian mounds; the site of America's oldest free African American settlement; the site of the Dade Massacre which ignited the Second Seminole War, historic homes, museums and more.

Among three parks that DEP recommends closing permanently and returning to their landowners is Three Rivers State Park. Located on State Road 271 (River Road) on the northern edge of Sneads, the beautiful park covers hundreds of acres of waterfront land on the shores of Lake Seminole and features fishing, camping, hiking trails, picnic areas, boat ramps and a beautiful natural setting. It is on the Great Florida Birding Trail and is the scene of a very nice annual Christmas Lighting Display. 

Three Rivers operates at a cost of only around $200,000 a year, but according to DEP's own studies, generates more than $1,000,000 for the local economy. Such an economic loss could be devastating for Sneads and eastern Jackson County, especially with the nation in the midst of a recession. Please click here to read more about the park.

The proposal is currently before the Florida House of Representative's Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee, which is scheduled to meet again on February 9th. To voice your opinion to the subcommittee members, please visit this link and simply click on their individual names: