September 28 This day during the American Civil War

September 28, 1864 – in Vernon, Florida – Believing that Confederate forces were en route and having achieved their objective of capturing Marianna and many of its defenders, the Federals withdrew from the town before sunrise on the morning of September 28. They rode south down the St. Andrews Bay Road and then veered west onto the Vernon road.As the Union soldiers approached a creek crossing, they ran head on into Capt. W.B. Jones and his company of scouts from Vernon and Holmes Valley. Alerted by a courier that Marianna was facing attack, these men were marching to help their neighbors in Jackson County when they unexpectedly encountered the Union column.Accounts of what happened next are extremely meager, but apparently Jones and his men engaged in a brief skirmish with the vanguard of Asboth’s column. At least one Confederate volunteers was killed and several others, including the captain, were captured. The rest of his men retreated as best they could. Pushing forward, the Federals reached Vernon by nightfall on September 28. Camping there, they moved out again for Choctawhatchee Bay before dawn the next morning.As the Federals were pushing southwest from Marianna and engaging Jones’ men in Washington County, help was pouring into Marianna from all directions. Capts. Jeter and Milton had arrived with Companies E and G of the 5th Florida Cavalry on the night of September 27, as did Capt. George Robinson and his Home Guards from eastern Jackson County. They were joined the next morning by Luke Lott’s company from Calhoun County and later by Lt. Col. G.W. Scott of the 5th Florida Cavalry, who arrived ahead of his battalion with a company of Georgia cavalry and a home guard unit from Gadsden County. Organizing these forces as best he could, Scott established a strong line of patrols around Marianna on September 28 and, as soon as he could, set out in pursuit of the Union raiders.Telegrams also went to Gen. Dabney H. Maury in Mobile, who sent the 15th Confederate Cavalry east in an effort to cut off Asboth’s Union column.The following pursuit failed. The Union column was too well-organized and had too much of a head start. By the time Scott’s Confederates could reach Vernon, Asboth was already at Point Washington on the Choctawhatchee Bay.Brig. Gen. Alexander Asboth and the wounded were placed aboard the steamer USS Lizzie Davis, while the rest of the column crossed East Pass and marched down Santa Rosa Island to Fort Pickens. The raid was over.

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