October 18 This day during the American Civil War

October 18, 1863 – in Fort Brooke, Tampa, Florida – On October 15th, 2 Union gunboats steamed past Gadsden Point and on the next day moved up to the fort.The 2 gunboats bombarded Fort Brooke with 126 shells on the 16th. That night a landing party under Acting Master T.R. Harris disembarked at Ballast Point with 130 men, adjacent to the head of the bay, and marched 14 miles to the Hillsborough River to capture several steamers. Harris and his men surprised and captured the blockade running steamer Scottish Chief and sloop Kate Dale. The Confederates destroyed the steamer A.B. Noyes to preclude her capture. On its way back to the ship, Harris’s force was surprised by a detachment of the garrison. Despite the naval barrage, the commander of Fort Brooke, Capt. John Wescott, 2nd Florida Battalion, sent out a force that intercepted the Federals as they were about to raid local saltworks and other Confederate manufactories. The federals suffered 50 men killed & wounded and 5 captured.

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