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Battle of Fort Brooke

 

Battle of Fort Brooke

Battle of Fort Brooke
Part of the American Civil War
Date October 16, 1863 (1863-10-16)–October 18, 1863 (1863-10-18)
Location Tampa, Florida
Result Union victory
Belligerents
United States United States (Union) Confederate States of America CSA (Confederacy)
Commanders and leaders
A.A. Semmes John Westcott
Units involved
USS Tahoma
USS Adela
2nd Florida Infantry, Company A
Casualties and losses
16 Unknown

The Battle of Fort Brooke was a minor engagement fought October 16–18, 1863, near Tampa, Florida, during the American Civil War.

Two Union Navy ships, USS Tahoma and USS Adela, bombarded Fort Brooke on October 16, 1863, as a diversion, while a landing party under Acting Master T.R. Harris disembarked at Ballast Point and marched 14 miles to the Hillsborough River to capture several enemy steamers.

Harris and his men surprised and burned the blockade runner Scottish Chief and the sloop Kate Dale a few miles up the river near the site of today's Lowry Park Zoo.[1] The Confederate defenders 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, the 2nd Florida Infantry Battalion, causing casualties in a brief but sharp exchange before the Union troops returned to sea.

Battle of Ballast Point

The Battle of Ballast Point took place in Tampa, Florida on October 18, 1863. A Union raiding party, landed at the current intersection of Gandy Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard, under the protracted diversionary bombardment of the city of Tampa and Fort Brooke by two ships, one the Tahoma" and the other, to be named. The Union divisions marched up the Hillsborough River to what is now Lowry Park and burned two notorious blockade running ships, the Scottish Chieftain, and the Kate Dale, owned by the future mayor of Tampa, James McKay. Escaping capture by mere minutes, with members of his crew in tow, James McKay sped to the city of Tampa and warned all of the landing party and the fate of his ships.

After burning the ships, the Confederate forces were alerted to the raiding party's location, and commenced pursuit. A confederate cavalry unit (Oklawaha Rangers) caught up with the Union raiders, finally and a full engagement ensued. The union soldiers came under direct fire as they boarded their dinghies, in a tactical retreat.

The site of Ballast Point is now a neighborhood in the city of Tampa, Florida.

References

Sources

  • National Park Service battle description
  • Kennedy, Frances H., ed., The Civil War Battlefield Guide, 2nd ed., Houghton Mifflin Co., 1998, ISBN 0-395-74012-6.
  • CWSAC Report Update and Resurvey: Individual Battlefield Profiles

Coordinates: 28°00′56″N 82°27′52″W / 28.015468°N 82.464423°W / 28.015468; -82.464423

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