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American Battlefields
Natural Bridge   

Other Names: None

Location: Leon County

Campaign: Operations near St. Marks, Florida (1865)

Date(s): March 6, 1865

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. John Newton [US]; Maj. Gen. Sam Jones [CS]

Forces Engaged: 2nd U.S. Colored Infantry and 99th U.S. Colored Infantry [US]; Kilcrease Artillery; Dunham’s Battery; Abell’s Battery; 5th Florida Cavalry; 1st Florida Militia; Barwick’s Company Reserves; Hodges Company Reserves; Company A, Milton Light Artillery; Companies A, B, and F, Reserves and reinforcements from Georgia amounting to approx. 1,000 men [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 174 (US 148; CS 26)

Description: Maj. Gen. John Newton had undertaken a joint force expedition to engage and destroy Confederate troops that had attacked at Cedar Keys and Fort Myers and were allegedly encamped somewhere around St. Marks. The Navy had trouble getting its ships up the St. Marks River. The Army force, however, had advanced and, after finding one bridge destroyed, started before dawn on March 6 to attempt to cross the river at Natural Bridge. The troops initially pushed Rebel forces back but not away from the bridge. Confederate forces, protected by breastworks, guarded all of the approaches and the bridge itself. The action at Natural Bridge lasted most of the day, but, unable to take the bridge, the Union troops retreated to the protection of the fleet.

Result(s): Confederate victory

CWSAC Reference #: FL006

Preservation Priority: III.3 (Class C)

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