Friday, June 18, 2010
The Brooksville Raid - Hernando County, Florida
On June 1, 1864, 240 men from the Second Florida U.S. Cavalry and Second U.S. Colored Troops boarded transports at Fort Myers, Florida for a planned raid against the town of Brooksville in Hernando County. A small but important trading center for farms and plantations in the area just north of Tampa Bay, the town was also a distribution point for items running the blockade into nearby Bayport. Usually there were a company or two of Confederate troops in the area, but when the raid hit the town was virtually undefended.
The raiders pushed inland, initially opposed by only a few pickets assigned to watch the coastline. These pulled back ahead of the Federals as they advanced, occasionally exchanging a few shots with them. Meanwhile, as couriers were sent to Tampa Bay to summon reinforcements, a few regular soldiers assembled with local volunteers on "the hill" at Brooksville (possibly a reference to today's courthouse square).
The Federals and Confederates skirmished for a bit, primarily at long range. The Union force seems not to have been really interested in fighting, however, and after taking time for a meal turned and marched to Bayport on the coast. Only one Union soldier was wounded in the Brooksville Raid and his wounds were slight. A few Confederates were taken prisoner.
To learn more about the Brooksville Raid, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/brooksvilleraid.