Today in History:

St. Johns Bluff

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Battle Name: St. John’s Bluff
Other Names: None
State: Florida
Location: Duval County
Campaign: Expedition to St. John’ s Bluff (1862)
Dates: October 1-3, 1862
Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. John M. Brannan [US]; Lt. Col. Charles F. Hopkins [CS]
Forces Engaged: Expeditionary Force: 2 infantry regiments, a light artillery battery and detachment of the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry (total force 1,573) [US]; a small artillery and cavalry force [CS]
Estimated Casualties: Unknown
Description: Brig. Gen. John Finegan established a battery on St. John’ s Bluff near Jacksonville to stop the movement of Federal ships up the St. Johns River. Brig. Gen. John M. Brannan embarked with about 1,500 infantry aboard the transports Boston, Ben DeFord, Cosmopolitan, and Neptune at Hilton Head, South Carolina, on September 30. The flotilla arrived at the mouth of the St. John’ s River on October 1, where Cdr. Charles Steedman’ s gunboats -Paul Jones, Cimarron, Uncas, Patroon, Hale, and Water Witch- joined them. By midday, the gunboats approached the bluff, while Brannan began landing troops at Mayport Mills. Another infantry force landed at Mount Pleasant Creek, about five miles in the rear of the Confederate battery, and began marching overland on the 2nd. Outmaneuvered, Lt. Col. Charles F. Hopkins abandoned the position after dark. When the gunboats approached the bluff the next day, its guns were silent.
Results: Union victory
Comments: The site of original the fort is located on the Fort Caroline National Memorial near the Monument to French explorer Jean Ribault.

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