Civil War Reenactment - Raid on Ft. Pierce
Ft. Pierce, Florida - Dec 3+4, 2005
93 photos, 1 panoramic by Wes Mayhle of AZITWES
Raid on Ft. Pierce
-by wes mayhle-
On the east coast of Florida, just south of Ft. Pierce, the 5th Annual "Raid on Ft. Pierce" was held. This Civil War Reenactment is based on the 100+ skirmishes and raids that took place throughout Florida. As the "War Between the States" progressed, the Confederacy became ever more dependent on the supplies furnished by Florida. The Union Blockade had strangled ocean supply lines and repeatedly sought to destroy the Florida's overland material support of the Rebels.
This year the usual battlefield was flooded because the "Savannahs Recreation Area" had received more than its share of rain. A smaller drier area with just enough room for high "casualties" and pyrotechnics was used. Close to 200 spectators watched the 140 reenactors on December 3 + 4 display the reenacting skills of marching, firing, battle, formations, and dying.
The small battlefield was typical Florida coastal land - a little wet, with scattered Palm trees and Palmetto's for cover. Low earthen walls had been erected a both ends fortified with railroad ties and fallen trees. On Saturday one end was defended by the Confederates and one artillery piece. The Union skirmishers came into view and scattered the Rebel outpost. Both sides slowly fed additional troops into battle while taking heavy casualties. Pyrotechnics by the local Bomb Disposal Squad were synchronized with the cannon, blowing the tops off of trees and throwing swamp debris some 30 foot into the air. A couple of the blasts raised great columns of water out of the canal beside the battlefield. After 30 minutes just a few soldiers were left standing and both sides withdrew, ending the battle in a draw.
After dark the younger reenactors had quite a time trying to start a night battle, firing in the other camps direction with abandon. After an hour of wanton powder burning it slowly fizzled out.
Sunday brought the usual "Colors" ceremony and church services. For the battle Sunday, the troops switched ends leaving the Union on the defensive with the Rebels attacking. It started much the same, but on this day the spectators (and photographers) were treated to some more spectacular deaths. A few reenactors went the extra mile this day, dying and rolling over the bank into the canal!!! Fortunately the terrible noise from two days of battle kept 'gators and other nasty swamp residents from producing real casualties. This is the years final Civil War Reenactment held in Florida.
See other Ft. Pierce photos: 2006 Battle
Go to our US Civil War page to learn more about the war.