A Downhome Perspective on All Things Southern

Home About Us Blog Genealogy Recipes Gardening Manners and Etiquette Real Estate Destinations History ArtHunting and Fishing
Photojournalism Southern Furniture Maker Inspiration Write Life Contact-





Destination Natural Bridge






Author, Dale Cox

Rail Road

Joel Ramsey and Dale Cox discuss the importance of the railroad to the Confederate success at Natural Bridge.  These tracks have become a Bike and Walking Track from Tallahassee to St. Marks.

Florida Capitol

The Natural Bridge Tour led by author Dale Cox began at the Old Capitol.  Dale is the author of the Battle of Natural Bridge.  A native of Two Egg, Florida, Dale is quite familiar with the North Florida area.  He and the docent at the capitol struck a friendly conversation and those of us on the tour were the beneficiary. 

One must begin at the beginning to understand the battle and the battlefield.  The alarm came in the middle of the night when a train alerted Tallahassee of the approaching Union troops.  A local military school rousted their cadets and handed them a gun.  One little boy was crying for his mother and the headmaster said, "Little boys who cry cannot be soldiers."  His mother took him home.

Natural Bridge
Light House St. Marks

The light house is the departure point for hundreds of thousands of Monarch butterflies every year in October, which is also the time for the Stone Crab Festival.  Manatee swim in the Wakulla. 


Restaurant at St. Marks

We then went on to St. Marks, located where the Wakulla and the St. Marks Rivers unite, where the Union forces had landed.  This town is 300 years old.  It was the site of a trading post owned by Panton and Leslie.  Later taken by William Augustus Bowles, it became the home of pirate vessels in the Gulf of Mexico.   Fort San Marcos and a light house can also be found close by.  Josiah Francis, as well as Arbuthnot and Armbruster were hung at that fort. 

The battlefield came into being because a natural bridge (the place upon which I stood looking toward one of the sink holes that bordered the natural road which there flowed underground beneath the "natural bridge"..  The Union forces had to cross this bridge to get to the other side and proceed on to Tallahassee.  The forewarned Confederates had taken the high ground and picked off the Union forces (mainly a force of Black soldiers) as they attempted to take the hill.  There is now a national park there.

Spanish Fort

  Salt Marshes