Battle of Natural Bridge
On the morning of March 6th 1865, a Federal force made up of negro soldiers from the 2nd U.S Coloured Infantry and the 99th Coloured infantry marched towards our state’s capital of Tallahassee. The enemy force was under the command of Federal Brigadier General John Newton. Their mission was to attack and destroy Florida forces in that area and then capture Tallahassee.
Local State forces were aware of the enemy’s activity and immediately built breastworks in order to guard all approaches to the bridge along the St. Marks river. The small Confederate force (mostly comprised of young men from the Florida Military College Institute) was under the command of Confederate General William Miller. With the protection of the breast works, the Confederates were able to repel the multiple attacks the Federals threw at them.
The fighting lasted most of day with the feral negro troops charging three times. They were unsuccessful as our brave Florida troops (supplemented with troops from Georgia) forced the invading Federal force to retreat.
In the end, only three of our defenders were killed with 23 being wounded. Federal casualties were much higher with over 21 killed, 89 wounded, and 38 captured. Because of the Confederates’ brave stand at Natural Bridge on that fateful day, the Federal army never again attempted to capture Tallahassee- making Florida the only state east of the Mississippi free from Federal control.
The defenders of Natural Bridge are all prime examples of how Christian Florida Patriots should act when our great state of Florida is threatened by a foreign invader. For the unparalleled bravery that these great men displayed at that battle, a monument was raised in their honour. The monument reads as follows:
This monument erected under authority of an act of the legislature of Florida of 1921 as a just tribute of the people of Florida to commemorate the victory of the battle of Natural Bridge. March 6, 1865. And to keep in cherished memory those brave men and boys who, in the hour of sudden danger, rushed from home desk and field and from the West Florida Seminary and joining a few disciplined troops by their united valour and patriotism saved their capital from the invaders. Tallahassee being the only capital of the South not captured by the enemy during the War between the States.
Indeed! These men did everything that was required of them on that day in the defence of Florida. Their sacrifice for Florida’s liberty shall never be forgotten.
Buaidh no Bas