John F. Reiger


In the early months of 1861, some Florida citizens seemed to feel that the approaching conflict would be diversion rather than tragedy. On January 12, the day after the state seceded, a detachment of Florida and Alabama troops seized the navy yard at Pensacola. They were accompanied by a jovial throng of townspeople who found the event greatly entertaining. Other Floridians believed that the government would not fight to preserve the Union, or if it did fight, that the efforts would be cowardly and short. Throughout the state, prominent men offered to drink all the blood spilt in any struggle with the North.