Battle of Fort Myers, Florida - February 20, 1865

Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Messages
1,685
Location
Louisville, KY
#1
Awhile back I decided every once in awhile I was going to start researching and posting about some of the lesser known engagements of the Civil War that are often left out of the history books. My first was the Battle of Corydon (Indiana) and here's my second installment. This battle/skirmish was actually kind of hard to find information on so if anyone has anything to add please do.

Battle of Fort Myers

Contruction of Fort Myers (Florida) began in 1850 due to the ongoing conflict with the Seminoles. When hostilities ended in 1858 the fort was abandoned until late 1863 when Union troops occupied it. This Union garrison would be the only permanant garrison in southern Florida excluding forces at Fort Jefferson and Fort Taylor further south in the Florida Keys.

In February of 1865 Confederate troops based out of Fort Meade (a former US Army post occupied by Confederate troops) set out to capture Fort Myers. On the morning of February 20 somewhere between 200-300 troops composing mostly of militia and cattle ranchers under the command of Colonel Charles Munnerlyn ambushed Union pickets stationed outside the fort. Munnerlyn fired one warning shot from a field piece and then demanded the forts surrender.

Captain James Doyle, commander of Fort Myers, declined and pushed out dismounted cavalry and artillery from the fort's walls. During the day there were dozens of skirmishes and artillery exchanges in the area around the fort but no extensive fighting. Union troops suffered 1 killed with 3 wounded. It appears southern troops suffered only one wounded. The next day Confederate troops withdrew back to Fort Meade, however Fort Myers would only remain in Union hands for a few more weeks after which it was abandoned and never again used as a military post.

This battle is sometimes called the "southern-most battle of the American Civil War" but that claim is up for debate obviously.

USCT.jpg

Monument in Fort Myers, FL to the USCT who were part of the garrison and fought in the Battle of Fort Myers. Troops involved included Co. D & I of the 2nd USCT Infantry Regiment.

Sources:
http://fortwiki.com/Fort_Myers
http://www.civilwaralbum.com/misc16/fortmyers1.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fort_Myers
http://myfloridahistory.org/library/flahistory/civilwar/february

The first of my "series" was this one about the Battle of Corydon
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/battle-of-corydon-indiana-july-9-1863.74912/
 

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Joined
Aug 16, 2012
Messages
35
Location
FL
#2
Oh, wow. I'm originally from Illinois but moved to Florida (Tampa Area) and never realized there was a battle in Fort Myers. Thanks for sharing.
 



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