By January of 1865, the Confederates had abandoned their batteries at Ricco's Bluff. The guns were moved first to the "Narrows," a winding section of river downstream, but eventually were relocated to Alum Bluff and finally to Rock Bluff at today's Torreya State Park.
Despite the removal of the artillery, however, Southern troops maintained a small presence at the bluff. Cavalry detachments were kept here to keep watch on the lower river and round up deserters and escaped slaves trying to make their way through to the Union blockade ships at Apalachicola Bay.
By January of 1865, the force at the bluff consisted of around 30 or so men from Company E, 5th Florida Cavalry. Most of the men camped here at the Nixon plantation, but a few pickets were kept on the bluff itself to watch for Union warships.
A Union boat party came up Bear Creek from St. Andrews Bay and portaged over into the Chipola River that month. Rowing down into the Apalachicola, they came up at night and surrounded the camp at Ricco's Bluff. Most of the Confederates there were captured without the firing of a shot. A storehouse filled with corn was burned and the slaves working the plantation were liberated.
The prisoners were carried first to Key West then eventually onto New Orleans. The war soon ended, however, leading to their exchange.
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