Colonel Andrew B. Spurling
The ranking officer of the 2nd Maine
Cavalry during the Marianna Raid,
Spurling was a former sea captain,
gold miner and bear hunter. He
enjoyed impersonating his enemy
and later received a Medal of Honor.
The Skirmish at Eucheeanna, Florida
The Skirmish at Eucheeanna, Florida
Ponce de Leon Springs
Now a state park, the springs were
along the route of Asboth's raid.
Four Mile Landing
The Eucheeanna prisoners were
placed aboard the Lizzie Davis here
at Four Mile Landing in Freeport,
Moving out well before dawn, the Union
column struck the Walton County village of
Eucheeanna at sunrise on the morning of
September 23, 1864.
Then the county seat of Walton County, the
community consisted of a courthouse, jail, a
few stores and a scattering of houses. It took
its name from a small band of Euchee (or
Yuchi) Indians found living in the area when
early Scottish settlers arrived.
Alerted to the presence of a small force of
Confederate soldiers at Eucheeanna, Asboth
moved into position outside the village during
the pre-dawn darkness and ordered the 2nd
Maine Cavalry to attack the community at first
Commanded during the raid by Lieutenant
Colonel Andrew B. Spurling, who enjoyed
amusing friends by placing a candle on the
head of his young servant and then shooting
it out, the 2nd Maine Cavalry had served in
Louisiana before arriving at Pensacola just
one month before the raid. Although it was a
new regiment, many of its officers and men
had already completed service in other units
from Maine and had reenlisted.
While he had more than enough men to
completely surround the small Confederate
camp at Eucheeanna, Spurling instead opted
for a standard line of battle charge. Since the
primary goal of the attack seems to have
been to capture the isolated Confederates
and prevent them from alerting Marianna of
the Union movement, Spurling's tactics are
open to some question.
Regardless, the mounted men of the 2nd
Maine Cavalry stormed the Confederate
camp at sunrise, taking the Southern troops
completely by surprise. Nine Confederate
soldiers were captured in a fight that was
over so fast no one on either side was killed
or wounded. Eleven others escaped and
retreated north from Eucheeanna on the road
that led to Geneva, Alabama, by way of Ponce
de Leon Springs and Cerrogordo.
The prisoners of war taken in the skirmish
came from primarily from Captain W.B.
Amos' Company I, 15th Confederate Cavalry,
and Captain Robert Chisolm's Company of
Alabama Militia Cavalry, with one soldier from
the 1st Florida Reserves also being taken.
The highest ranking officer captured was 2nd
Lieutenant Francis Gordon of Amos'
Since the main bodies of these companies
were elsewhere at the time, it appears that
no more than a detachment from each was
in the camp at Eucheeanna when it was
attacked. Union officers reported that the
small force of Confederates were "enforcing
the conscription." In the terminology of the
day, this meant that they were gathering up
men who were attempting to avoid service in
the Southern military.
Setting up his headquarters in the home of
Giles Bowers, Asboth spread his men out
through the surrounding area with orders to
round up any Confederate soldiers found
and to inflict as much damage as possible.
In addition to the prisoners of war, who were
sent down to Choctawhatchee Bay under the
escort of two companies from the 1st Florida
U.S. Cavalry, the Federals also detained a
number of political prisoners. Among these
were William Cawthon, Sr., Allen Hart,
Colonel William Torrance and members of
the McKinnon, McLendon, Neil, Walker and
Bowers families among others. All were
questioned and then released.
Also captured were 46 horses, 8 mules, 26
stand of arms and a quantity of bar lead
bearing the mark of a Baltimore, Maryland,
factory. Union soldiers also rounded up corn,
hogs, cows, chickens, smoked meat and
weapons from homes throughout the area. A
number of slaves were liberated and sent
down to the Lizzie Davis and squads
destroyed the flat at Douglas' Ferry on the
Choctawhatchee River and all other small
boats in the area.
Turning north on September 24th, the troops
avoided the main road to Marianna and
advanced up the west side of the river to
Ponce de Leon Springs and from there to
Cerrogordo in Holmes County.
The first Union casualty of the raid was
suffered at Big Sandy Creek near Ponce de
Leon Springs when Private Joseph Williams
of Company H, 86th U.S. Colored Infantry,
was wounded in an accidental shooting. He
was left behind in the care of a local family
and it was assumed that he died.
The command spent September 25th
crossing the Choctawhatchee River at
Cerrogordo before moving on the next day.
|A Map of Asboth's Raid
This war-time by Confederate Major G.W.
Scott shows the route taken by Asboth.
(Click to Enlarge)
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Last Update: September 17, 2014