Florida in 1860 cast a peculiar aura. On the fourth of July, Susan Bradford Eppes, daughter of a prominent Tallahassee area planter, was "so proud of the Star-Spangled Banner" carried in a holiday parade by the Governor's Guards. Yet, members of the same militia unit may already have been contemplating the possibility of secession from the Union. West of Tallahassee, in Calhoun County, Florida’s most serious military event of the year was taking shape this same day. Despite ominous political tensions, North and South, local people seemed most concerned with their own immediate problems. A few years earlier two county families had been involved in a feud which left only one, the Durdens, resident. Old social wounds were reopened when a group of anti-Durden people held a fish fry at which petitions were circulated requesting their enemy's physical removal or extermination. The Durdens did not leave, and in time one member of their family was found dead from twenty gunshot wounds. After this incident, there followed a pitched battle on the courthouse square in Blountstown. The anti-Durdens won and then proceeded to ride over the countryside hunting down their enemy.
Bittle, George C.
"Florida Prepares for War 1860-1861,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 51:
2, Article 5.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol51/iss2/5