Conflicts over the issue of slavery and its
impact on the South's economy, in addition to other reasons, led
to a split in the Union. One after another, Southern states were
seceding from the United States of America. On January 10, 1861,
Florida delegates who were meeting in the state capital,
Tallahassee, voted to secede from the U.S. Florida became one of
the six original Southern states to form the Confederate States
of America; eventually, 11 states would leave the Union.
Though Florida had the smallest population of the Southern
states, some 16,000 Floridians fought in the Civil War. While
this was a small number when compared with other southern
states, it was the highest percentage of available men of
military age from any Confederate state. The state also provided
resources valuable to the Confederate cause. Florida's coastline
had important harbors and its products, such as sugar, pork, and
salt, helped to feed the Southern soldiers.
military action took place in Florida, except in a couple of
coastal cities. When Confederate General Robert E. Lee
surrendered in 1865, Tallahassee was the only Southern capital
held by rebel forces. What do you and your family think of when
you think of Florida? The Sunshine State? Oranges?
Beaches? Disney World? You might not think of
Florida's Civil War history.