The Battle of Marianna, Florida

The Battle of Marianna was a small but strategically important Civil War battle that took place on September 27, 1864.

Introduction to the Battle

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Battle of Marianna

Ely Corner, scene of Heavy Fighting during the Battle of Marianna, Florida.

Fight at Ely Corner

Union troops reached the western edge of Marianna at roughly 11 a.m. on September 27, 1864. They had battled Confederate cavalry and mounted infantry about three miles northwest of town and found them in a battle line waiting to fight again.

Cutler's Battalion, 2nd Maine Cavalry, charged the Confederate line here but was driven back by a heavy volley of carbine, shotgun and musket fire. Brig. Gen. Alexander Asboth then led Hutchinson's Battalion, 2nd Maine Cavalry, forward and pushed the Southern soldiers up the street.

The Marianna Home Guard ambushed Union troops on West Lafayette Street during the Battle of Marianna

Ambush on West Lafayette

The Confederate cavalry withdrew through a gap in a barricade of wagons that was quickly closed after they passed. Union troops charged after them and suddenly fought themselves caught in an ambush.

The militiamen and volunteers of the Marianna Home Guard opened fire from behind the fences, shrubbery and trees that lined both sides of the street, mowing down more than two dozen Union officers and men.

Cemetery of St. Luke's Church in Marianna where main action of the Battle of Marianna took place.

Brutal Fight at St. Luke's

While part of the Union force pursed Confederate cavalry through town and to the Chipola River Bridge, the main body attacked the home guard force that had ambushed it. Heavy fighting took place as the local defenders were driven back from their positions on the south side of the street and down the hill to Stage Creek where most were killed, wounded or captured. The Federals closed in on the men on the north side of the street, driving them back into the cemetery surrounding St. Luke's Episcopal Church. Heavy fighting took place here until the church and two nearby homes were burned and the home guards surrendered.

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