Sunday, March 22, 2009
Bugg Spring - Home of J.J. Dickison
This beautiful setting in Lake County, Florida, provided inspiration for Mary Elizabeth Dickison as she wrote Dickison and His Men, the biography of her husband and his heroics during the War Between the States.
Bugg Spring, on the northern edge of the community of Okahumpka, is one of the most historic sites in Florida. Due to its depth (170-175 feet), the spring is now used by the U.S. Navy for sound testing. The spring and grounds are not open to the public and I wish to thank the owners for kindly allowing photographs to be taken of the Dickison cottage and grounds.
J.J. Dickison, Florida's famed "Swamp Fox" of the Confederacy, was one of the most remarkable officers of the War Between the States. Although he served as a captain for most of the war, he often commanded battalion sized groups of men and proved a formidable foe to Union forces in East and Central Florida. Dickison and his men captured soldiers, officers, steamboats and even a Union general during the war. Although he was promoted to colonel at the end of the conflict, he did not learn of the promotion until after he had been paroled by Union forces.
Dickison and his wife Mary lived at Bugg Spring during the decades after the war. Their cottage still stands and is now a nicely appointed private guest house. Mrs. Dickison completed her book here in 1889, dedicating it from "Dickison Park." A small display of photographs and a copy of the book adorns a desk in the cottage, a silent tribute to the writer, her subject and her work.
To learn more about Bugg Spring and the Dickison cottage, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/buggspring.