September 27 This day during the American Civil War

September 27, 1864 – in Campbellton, Florida – Brig. Gen. Alexander Asboth pushed into Jackson County in the morning. His men continuing to raid farms and homes along their route as they went.Passing through the Galilee Community, south of Graceville, they struck the home of Nelson Watford, taking meat from the smokehouse, fodder for their horses, and even digging up and pouring out the family’s large barrel of molasses. Other soldiers carried out similar destruction far north, where one Union soldier fell sick and was left in the care of a local family. This activity quickly alarmed the countryside and Capt. Alexander Godwin, the local Home Guard commander, ordered out his small cavalry company and rode off to meet the Union raiders.Godwin’s company had organized the previous spring and counted 25-30 members from throughout northwest Jackson County. Their strength could have been higher that day because other men volunteered at the first sign of danger and fought alongside the Campbellton men.Since Asboth’s appearance took the county by surprise, it is probable that Godwin had no idea he would soon be facing a strong column of Union cavalrymen. He and his men simply turned out at the first sign of danger and rushed to the protection of their neighbors.Exactly what happened in or near Campbellton that afternoon is still a bit of a mystery. Asboth made no mention of the affair in his official report, but did note that as he marched from the Choctawatchee to Marianna, “rebel troops were constantly in close vicinity of my column, with frequent skirmishes with my vanguard.” One of those skirmishes involved Godwin’s Campbellton Cavalry. Afterwards, Godwin’s men were quickly in full retreat.

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