The Civil War, Day by Day

Florida Secedes


Florida Secedes

As the possibility of secession grew throughout the South, Florida had taken a particularly aggressive stance in the movement. When Governor William Gist of South Carolina asked the Southern states where they stood with regard to secession, Florida’s Governor Madison Starke Perry provided the most forceful answer. Perry assured Gist that Florida would “follow the lead of any single Cotton state” that deserted the U.S. and was “ready to wheel into line.”

In early January of 1861, Federal troops seized the arsenal at Apalachicola, as well as Fort Marion in St. Augustine. The Army was initially hesitant to provoke confrontations, but was forced to open fire on a group of Florida men who advanced on Fort Barrancas in Pensacola. The troops guarding this fort were then transferred to Fort Pickens on the day Florida left the Union, and refused to surrender under pressure from the state. A civil war was now inevitable.

Mort Künstler painted this portrait of a cavalryman with the Florida state flag.





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All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.