|Blue Springs from site of Camp Governor Milton|
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Blue Springs (or Jackson Blue Springs as the state has renamed it) has been a landmark for thousands of years. Early American Indians frequented the spring and surrounding caves to hunt and fish. The actual Old Spanish Trail passed by the spring, which was a frequent stopping point for Spanish missionaries, soldiers and explorers. The U.S.Army of Major General Andrew Jackson visited Blue Springs during the First Seminole War of 1817-1818. During the 1820s it became the centerpiece of Major William Robinson's cotton plantation.
|Sylvania Plantation Marker at Blue Springs|
The availability of a large quantity of fresh water, access to good roads leading in all directions, proximity to Marianna and the good condition of the buildings of the former Robinson Plantation led the Confederate Army to establish Camp Governor Milton at Blue Springs in 1862.
|Historic photo of Blue Springs with plantation house visible.|
State Archives of Florida/Memory Collection
While the term "camp" implies a temporary establishment and evokes mental images of soldiers sleeping in tents, Camp Governor Milton was a more permanent facility. Surviving documents include receipts for lumber and nails used to build a hospital. Soldiers were quartered in the original Robinson plantation house and outbuildings instead of in tents.
|Underwater view of Blue Springs|
Photo by Alan Cox
|View from Blue Springs at Sunset|
Photo by Camille Lakey
The camp was abandoned at the end of the war and not used by Union occupation troops during the Reconstruction era. The buildings are gone now, but traces of the Confederate soldiers that once served there can still be seen in the form of carvings left in the rocks and caves around Blue Springs.
To learn more about the history of Blue Springs Recreational Area, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/jacksonbluespring.