Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Florida's Historic Old Capitol
One of Florida's most significant yet often overlooked Civil War landmarks can be found in the heart of Tallahassee.
The state's Old Capitol, which stands on the hilltop at the west end of Apalachee Parkway in the city, is rich in Civil War history. It was here that secession was announced to the people of Florida and that for the next four years Governor John Milton and the state legislature did their best to manage the state through the difficult years of the war.
In addition, the Old Capitol served as a military headquarters. It was here that Major General Samuel Jones and Brigadier General William Miller based their operations during the final months of the war.
The two generals formed their plans for the Natural Bridge campaign here during the early days of March 1865. They convened staff meetings in the building after learning that Union troops were coming ashore to the south at the St. Marks Lighthouse and alarm guns on the grounds were fired to alert the local home guard or militia companies to turn out.
The Battle of Natural Bridge, fought south of Tallahassee on March 6, 1865, preserved the city's status as the only Southern capital east of the Mississippi not conquered by Union troops during the actual combat phases of the war. As a consequence, the Old Capitol was also the only unconquered Confederate capitol building east of the Mississippi.
To learn more about the beautiful and historic old building, please the new Old Capitol pages at www.exploresouthernhistory.com/oldcapitol.