Gainesville, Florida

Courtesy of Richard Edling, Philadelphia, PA
Please contact
Webmaster for any use of these images


1. Gainesville, Florida - Wikipedia
2. Battle of Gainesville - Gainesville, FL
3. Civil War Florida
4. Gainesville Area History
5. Civil War Sites in Florida

Gainesville, site of a crucial railroad junction and depot in north central Florida, was the scene of small-scale fighting during the war. On February 15, 1864, a skirmish erupted when about 50 Union troops entered the city intending to capture two trains. Company H of the Second Florida Cavalry with 130 men successfully repulsed this raid. The raiding party was eventually defeated at the Battle of Olustee five days later. The Battle of Gainesville itself took place on August 17, 1864, in the town square. The fighting was viewed by many of the townspeople from the windows of the Beville house near downtown. 342 Union troops of the 75th Ohio Mounted infantry, reinforced by two companies of the 4th Massachusetts Cavalry and supported by a battery of 3 cannons from the 3rd Rhode Island Artillery under the command of Colonel Andrew L. Harris occupying the city were attacked from the rear by some 200 soldiers of the Second Florida Cavalry under Captain Jonathan J. Dickinson (companies H and F), supported by local militia, elements of 5th Florida Cavalry Battalion and a small artillery battery of two cannons for a total strength of about 290 (though only 175 would be engaged in the actual fighting). The Union column, tired from a long march in the hot summer sun of Florida, were taken by surprise and did not have time to fully deploy when the main attack commenced. After just over 2 hours, the Federals were routed, driven out of town and suffered significant casualties—28 dead, 5 wounded, 86 missing or unaccounted and 188 captured, along with 260 horses lost and a 12-pound howitzer. The Confederates lost 3 killed and 5 wounded (2 mortally). Only 40 Union troopers and Colonel Harris escaped. He reported his column was destroyed by a large Confederate force of 600-800 men and 3 cannons (on this last figure he was only off by one). After hearing his account, the remaining Union forces in the north central Florida area withdrew to the garrison at Jacksonville. For the remainder of hostilities between the States, Gainesville would remain unmolested, uncaptured and at peace.


(11-2006) First Gainesville skirmish marker, near intersection of University Ave. and Main Street


(11-2006) First Gainesville skirmish site. This view from University Ave. is looking north toward Main Street (traffic lights)


(11-2006) Battle of Gainesville marker


(11-2006) Gainesville Community Plaza (wartime town square). Site of the August 17, 1864 Battle of Gainesville

(11-2006) Gainesville Community Plaza (wartime town square)   (11-2006) Gainesville Community Plaza (wartime town square)

Gainesville, Florida Page1     Page2

Sites by State Home       Site Index