Battle At Horse Landing Historical

Battle At Horse Landing Historical (HM1X5R)

Location: Palatka, FL 32177 Putnam County
Country: United States of America

N 29° 32.465', W 81° 42.384'

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At this site, on May 23rd, 1864, Captain John Jackson Dickison, with men from the 2nd Florida Cavalry and a battery from the Milton Light Artillery, disabled and captured the Federal gunboat, Columbine. At the time, Union forces controlled the land east of the St. Johns River. The elusive Dickison had made several raids across the river, capturing two outposts. Hoping to trap the Confederates on the east side, Union ground troops moved toward Welaka, and the Columbine was sent upriver. Dickison however, had already crossed the river and set the ambush here at Horse Landing, where the channel and current would bring the boat to within 60 yards of shore.

The Columbine, under the command of Acting Ensign Frank Sanborn, was described as 117 feet in length and "a thing of beauty". The Columbine returned fire, but was soon disabled and surrendered. All but three of her crew and the army troops aboard were killed or captured. The Federal dead are reportedly buried on this rivershore. There were no Confederate casualties. After removing all the supplies and armament possible, the Columbine was burned and sunk, to avoid recapture.

It is the only known incident in history where a cavalry unit sank an enemy gunboat. Dickison was known in the Southern press as the Swamp Fox (and as the Knight of the White Camellia, by the ladies).
The Federals referred to him as "Dixie", and land west of the St. Johns was "Dixie's Land".

An interesting footnote: A lifeboat taken from the Columbine was later given by Dickison to John S. Breckenridge, Confederate Secretary of War, to aid in his escape to Cuba at the end of the war.
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HM NumberHM1X5R
Year Placed2001
Placed ByMarker was placed here through donations by Mr. and Mrs. Jim Gary, the 3rd FL Co. A Reenactment Unit, and the Florida Confederation for the Preservation of Historic Sites, Inc
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, March 7th, 2017 at 9:03am PST -08:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17R E 431557 N 3268143
Decimal Degrees29.54108333, -81.70640000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 29° 32.465', W 81° 42.384'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds29° 32' 27.9" N, 81° 42' 23.04" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)386, 904
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Unnamed Road, Palatka FL 32177, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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