Thompson House / Skirmish on the Blackwater

Thompson House / Skirmish on the Blackwater (HM16XI)

Location: Milton, FL 32583 Santa Rosa County
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Country: United States of America
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N 30° 36.15', W 87° 2.001'

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This antebellum home, constructed ca. 1847 by Benjamin Woodson Thompson (1809 - 1876), partner in the Forsyth and Simpson sawmill enterprise in Bagdad, is the best remaining Florida Panhandle example of a symmetrical Greek Revival structure having a double verandah with balustrade and cantilevered gable roof. The house was built of local heart pine lumber with the structure of columns, windows and doors reflecting the Doric order. Interior walls are plaster reinforced with animal hair. Widow sashes with rolled glass are flanked by operable shutters. During the Civil War, Union troops from the 2nd Maine Cavalry, 1st Florida Cavalry, 19th Iowa Infantry and United States Colored Troops of the 25th, 82nd and 86th regiments raided Bagdad and Milton and camped in and around the house, leaving graffiti including drawings and signatures on the plaster walls. In 1913 the house, which originally faced the Blackwater River, was moved directly back to its present location when the Mill complex expanded.

Confederates, evacuating Pensacola in the spring of 1862, burned the lumber mills of Bagdad. During the remainder of the war, both sides maintained a presence in Santa Rosa County. Union forces periodically conducted reconnaissance raids and captured building materials for use at the Pensacola Navy Yard. Confederates posted locally recruited cavalry troops to lookout for any Union movement towards the critical rail junction at Pollard, Alabama. During one such raid on October 18, 1864, Lt. Colonel A. B. Spurling commanding Union troops consisting of some 200 men of the 19th Iowa Infantry Regiment and a section of the locally recruited 1st Florida Battery aboard the steamer Planter landed 3.5 miles south of here to salvage logs intended for the Bagdad mills. Some 300 Confederates including Company I, 15th CSA Cavalry Regiment and local militia were alerted and engaged Spurling's force. After a two-hour skirmish, the Confederates withdrew and Spurling's men sustaining minor casualties re-embarked while managing to salvage 140 logs. One week later Spurling again raided Bagdad and Milton routing Confederates in a running battle through town. Afterward, Union troops briefly occupied Bagdad and the Thompson House.
HM NumberHM16XI
Marker NumberF-671
Year Placed2009
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 11th, 2014 at 2:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16R E 496803 N 3385550
Decimal Degrees30.60250000, -87.03335000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 30° 36.15', W 87° 2.001'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds30° 36' 9.00" N, 87° 2' 0.06" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)850
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 4655-4673 County Rd 191, Milton FL 32583, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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