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The Battle Of Ballast Point, a Civil War Reenactment

Updated on September 2, 2011

Attention History Buffs

Cannon Fire
Cannon Fire
Relocation of cannons
Relocation of cannons
Confederate Soliders
Confederate Soliders
The Medical Team
The Medical Team

This was a Homeschool Field Trip

 Last Year we had a wonderful opportunity to attend a Civil War reenactment of The Battle of Ballast Point. I found this quite interesting, as I did not know that Florida had any battles during Civil War Times. If back in the day when I went to school, they either failed to mention this or I failed to remember this.

I found this most interesting because it is so close to home just across the bay not even a 20 minute drive from my home. My son and step daughter the two homeschoolers tried to act uninterested but you could tell they liked it.

 We saw a campsite, mock trial and execution, and of course the battle. The camp was very realistic with women and children playing musical instruments and doing crafts from the time setting. The trial was long and drawn out, the execution short and quick. The battle of course was the best part. My son could not get enough of it.

I took hundreds of pictures and wore out the battery in the camera. I did convert the photos to black and white to look more realistic using photoshop elements.

The Trial and Execution

The Accusation
The Accusation
In Lock up
In Lock up
Will the Calvary be  coming?
Will the Calvary be coming?
Under full guard
Under full guard
The partner in crime
The partner in crime
Standing Guard
Standing Guard
Judge and Lawyers
Judge and Lawyers
Signing the confession
Signing the confession

A Brief History

On October 18, 1863 the Battle of Ballast Point took place in Tampa, Florida. A Union raiding party, landed at what is now known as the intersection of Gandy Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard, under the cover of the diversionary bombardment of the city of Tampa and Fort Brooke by two ships, one was known the Tahoma and the other, I don't know. The Union divisions strategically moved up the Hillsborough River to what is now Lowry Park and there they burned two famously notorious blockade running ships, the Scottish Chieftain , and the Kate Dale , owned by the soon to be mayor of Tampa, James McKay. Escaping capture by mere minutes and the skin of his teeth, with members of his crew in tow, James McKay raced to the city of Tampa to warn everyone of the landing party and the tragic fate of his ships.

Soon after burning the ships, the Confederate Soldiers and their forces were alerted to the raiding party's location, and went into a full pursuit. The Confederate Cavalry Unit, known as the Oklawaha Rangers,soon caught up with the Union raiders, and a fully engaged battle was started. The union soldiers were under direct fire as they boarded their dinghies, in a full tactical retreat.

Result(s): Union victory

Location: Tampa

Campaign: Expedition to Hillsborough River (1863)

Date(s): October 16-18, 1863

Principal Commanders: Lieutenant Comdr. A.A. Semmes [US];
Capt. John Westcott [CS]

Forces Engaged: Union Navy: Tahoma, Adela, and landing force [US]; Company A, 2nd Battalion, Florida Volunteers [CS]

Estimated Casualties: Unknown

The Camp

A Little relaxation
A Little relaxation
Strumming away
Strumming away
Family fun time
Family fun time
The Ladies Gossip
The Ladies Gossip


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    • profile image

      donna baumoehl 

      7 years ago

      I live in Ballast Point and am southern in heart and mind. Down with Yankees.

    • Emily Smith profile image

      Emily Smith 

      7 years ago from the great plains

      Great pics, this looks like a good reenactment. Wish I lived closer!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice photos being black and white gives them a more realistic look. Great job!


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