Footsteps of History
There was only one military action in Hernando County during the Civil War and that took place in Brooksville. The Gulf Coast was blockaded to keep supplies from reaching the Confederate troops. The Union army came by sea and virtually destroyed everything within a forty mile radius. Their hope was to stop Southerners here from shipping food and supplies to their troops.
Hernando County was a major supplier for the South of cattle, hogs, food and salt. A militia was formed in Brooksville with Captain LeRoy Lesley as its leader, to protect the blockade runners. The militia provided drivers for the cattle from Florida up to Virginia. They also had troops to help defend the gulf coast against Union gunboats. Many of the Florida ports in this area, Bay Port, Homossassa and others, were under attack often. Because of the militia and the runners success again the Union, Captain J.W. Childs and 250 Union soldiers were order to move to Brooksville to destroy any Southern supplies they could find there. From there, they were to join others in a major land and sea attack on Bay Port.
Today, the raid is commemorated with a festival known as the Brooksville Raid. It is held each January in Brooksville. The raid, itself, is re-enacted, a formal "Blue and Gray Ball" is held and several other interesting and entertaining events are held during the festival.
Civil War Reenactment
Now citizens celebrate this event with a festival called the Brooksville Raid which is held every January. During the festival there is an reenactment of the raid by the Union soldiers. A formal "Blue and Gray" ball is held during the course of the weekend festivities as well as many other events which help everyone recall a time that was a part of our town's history.
about the Brooksville Raid
Website about the reenactment
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