Calendar of Civil War Activity
1862 to 1864
A -- June 8, 1862 – George Huston, with violent hatred for the Yankees, and a fanatical devotion to the South, was an alleged Captain of a guerrilla company. His Plantation was just south of Hibernia. Early in June a Union gunboat with Lt. John G. Sprotson, USN in command of fifty men quickly surrounded Huston’s house. Lt. Sprotson called, “You are ordered, sir, to surrender to the United States.” Huston’s answer was a shot that killed the Lieutenant. A miniature battle raged with Huston being wounded. He was taken aboard the Gunboat and died the eight days later.
B -- Dec. 3, 1862 – An attack on the U.S.S. Uncas at Magnolia Springs by Capt. John Westcott CSA.
C -- Apr. 1, 1864 – The sinking of the Maple Leaf by underwater torpedoes . The torpedoes were placed on the east side of the St Johns by Capt. Bryan CSA and Lt. Joshua O’Hern CSA ( O’Hern lived on Black Creek at Doctors Inlet & the 2nd Sheriff of Clay) .
D -- Apr. 2,1864 –The 1st Georgia Regular Infantry and the Florida Light Artillery entered Laurel Grove , from the point now called Holly Point ( Orange Park ) fired their artillery at the part of the Maple Leaf above water.
E -- Apr. 16, 1864 – The U.S.S. General Hunter was sunk near the Maple Leaf by another torpedo via Laurel Grove.
F -- Mid April, 1864 – Shortly after the sinking on the river, Union Troops, (40th Mass.), were ordered to destroy the houses along the St. Johns River. Troops commanded by Colonel Guy V. Henry carried out his orders, but let the Fleming Plantation stand. He had been a guest of the Flemings before the war and a cousin of Francis and Charles Fleming.
G -- July 24, 1864 – The 4th Massachusetts Cavalry and the 35th US Colored Troops left Mandarin by steamer and traveled up Black Creek. They left the steamer at Wood Landing and traveled overland with a skirmish at Middleburg .
H -- July 25, 1864 – The 4th Mass and the 35th USCT had a battle at Highlands with Confederate Forces.
I -- July 27, 1864 – The 35th USCT had another skirmish with local Confederate Forces at Whitesville near Middleburg. After having a skirmish with the Florida 2th Cavalry Co. H
J -- August 15, 1864 – Federal Troops occupied Magnolia
K -- Oct. 23, 1864 – The 4th Massachusetts left Magnolia for a raid on Middleburg, with a small skirmish before entering the town.
L-- Oct. 24, 1864 – The 4th Mass set fire to a number of buildings, three large warehouses and a hotel. The Federals retreated across the creek, burning the bridge, and headed back to Magnolia. Capt. Dickison and his Fla. 2nd Cavalry were forced to ride about four miles south of Whitesville where the South Prong was shallow enough to cross. They did catch and ambush the retreating 4th Mass. The Skirmish was at Halsey’s Plantation. The 4th Mass left Magnolia with 55 men. The skirmish lasted about forty minutes. Union: 3 killed, 13 wounded, and 23 captured. Confederate: 2 wounded.
M -- Sept. 24, 1864 – A small skirmish between the 4th Mass and the Florida 2nd Cavalry at Magnolia. Shortly after this the Union Troops were removed from Clay County for the balance of the war.
N -- Dec.24,1864 – A small Confederate force, (3 men), led by William G. Ponce left their CSA HQ on Doctors Lake and crossed the St. Johns River. They were out to capture the commanding officer at the Union HQ in St. Augustine and the next day they did, Col. William Noble, commanding officer of the 17th Conn Inf. and his party, Capt. Young, 107th Ohio and Lt. Rice, 35th USCT, along with three Union soldiers, but later let them go. The next day Col. Noble was turned over to Col. Turney at the CSA HQ on Doctors Lake. Col. William H. Noble ended up at Andersonville Prison in Ga. for the balance of the war. William Ponce was captured by Union scouts on 1/17/65 at Doctors Lake and was sent to the Union Prison at Hilton Head S.C. for the balance of the war.
Map of Civil War Activity