|Campbellton Baptist Church|
Occupied by Union troops on September 26, 1864
Organized by order of Governor John Milton, the Campbellton Cavalry was a mounted unit of around 30 citizen soldiers. The men were farmers, laborers and merchants from throughout western and norther Jackson County. Their captain, Alexander Godwin, owned a large plantation north of what is now Cottondale. By September 1864 they were operating as part of a mounted battalion organized by Captain W.W. Poe of the 1st Florida Infantry Reserves.
|Gov. John Milton|
Graceville had not been founded in 1864 and the road followed by the Campbellton Cavalry as it rode for Holmes Creek followed the route of today's Highway 273 to the Galilee Community and from there along a series of roads - some still in use, some not - to the Marianna ford over Holmes Creek near today's Tri-County Airport.
The Campbellton men waded their horses across the creek and before long saw the head of the Union column advancing in their direction along the same road. As the Federal vanguard moved toward them, they fell back across the creek into Jackson County. The Union troops followed.
|Gen. Alexander Asboth|
At some point during the afternoon, however, the 30 or so men of the Campbellton Cavalry advanced on the head of the 700 man Union column. Exactly what happened remains something of a mystery, but three of the Confederates were captured that afternoon. Asboth reported that "rebel troops" were constantly in the vicinity of his column as he marched from the Choctawhatchee to Marianna, fighting with the men forming the vanguard at the head of his command.
|Wartime Sketch of Asboth on the Move|
His dogs always accompanied him.
|Where Union troops camped on the night of the 26th|
A courier sent to Marianna by Captain Godwin, meanwhile, arrived in town and alerted Colonel Alexander B. Montgomery that Union troops were in Jackson County. He immediately mounted up with the two companies available to him - Company C, 1st Florida Reserves (Mounted) and Captain Robert Chisolm's Woodville Scouts, Alabama State Militia - and rode north up the Campbellton road to assess the situation.
The Battle of Marianna would be fought the next day.
To learn more about the Raid on Marianna, please consider my book, The Battle of Marianna, Florida. It is available on the right side of this page or from Amazon.com or your favorite online bookseller. It is also available at Chipola River Book & Tea in Downtown Marianna and I will be there tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 27th) afternoon signing copies.
Also be sure to check out my website on the battle at www.battleofmarianna.com.