The group that fought totaled 1700 soldiers and a large part of them were older local men. The others were Confederates, and composed of young men who came from the Florida Military and Collegiate Institute (Now FSU) that was located not too far from the battlefield. 

Natural Bridge at the St Marks River

The soldiers and locals were able to keep the Union from getting across the Natural Bridge at the St Marks River. The bridge itself is ¼ mile long, runs along St Marks and drops into a sinkhole. 

The bravery of these men kept the Union from taking the Florida capital and made Tallahassee the only Confederate capital east of the Mississippi River to stand its ground against Union forces during the Civil War. Unfortunately, 24 soldiers were killed in action and another 38 were captured. 

However, this battle was said to be the last known Confederate victory in the Civil War and was the 2nd largest battle in Florida.  

If you would like to see the site of the battle with your own eyes, it is now a Florida State Park called Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park. There is a monument located at the park that has an inscription that gives the details of that fateful day. 

There are also reenactments of the battle held at the park and they are free to the public.  So get out and explore! 🙂

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