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Civil War Encampments and Reenactments in Dade City

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on February 13, 2020

The Pioneer Florida Museum & Village will present its annual spring living history event: The Battle of Santa Rosa Island on February 29 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm and March 1, 2020, from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

The Battle of Santa Rosa Island presents a historical backdrop to the reenactment element to the Museum’s living history presentation.

For this event, reenactors will attempt to portray the Battle of Santa Rosa Island. The main battleground will be dressed to resemble the 6th New York’s encampment, and reenactors will fight in what amounts to a small village. Certain dynamics to the reenactors and improvisational liberties will be taken but the reenactors will endeavor to portray a faithful recreation of the battle.

Completing the vignette of the living history event, the Pioneer Florida Museum & Village has also secured a number of time-period specific demonstrations and presentations, as well as period sutlers and food vendors, all in the shaded ambiance of the museum’s host of period buildings connected to local lore.

About the Battle of Santa Rosa Island

On October 9, 1861, four floating barges containing roughly 1,500 Confederate troops lands under cover of darkness on Santa Rosa Island in Pensacola Bay.

The Confederate force surprises the enemy pickets and pounces upon the 6th New York regiment, encamped outside of Fort Pickens. The New Yorkers rally to form lines but are eventually driven out of the encampment and back to the Fort. Flush with victory, the Confederates ransack the camp. Meanwhile, the 6th New York reassembles and forms up with the fort garrison and begins to drive the Confederates back through the camp.

In the darkness, two companies of US regulars manage to get behind the withdrawing Confederates to block their escape route. These units are struck hard and brushed aside, clearing the way back to the transport ships. 

Pioneer Florida Museum & Village presents The Battle of Santa Rosa Island Living History Event Feb 29-March 1, 2020

There will be two informational presentations at the event. The first will tell the story of the Hillsborough River Raid and the recovery of one of the artifacts from a Confederate blockade runner sunk during the raid, right here in Tampa.

The second will present the actual Battle of Santa Rosa Island, its combatants, its lead-up, the battle itself, its denouement and its consequences. “We are thrilled to host this event and share the stories of battles that happened in Florida,” said Stephanie Black, Executive Director, Pioneer Florida Museum.

Spring Living History Event Schedule:

Both days Saturday (2/29) and Sunday (3/1)

  • 2:00 pm – Battle reenactments
  • Live music throughout the weekend with The 7 lbs of Bacon Mess Band”

*Schedule of Special Presentations:

  • The Battle of Santa Rosa Island by David Eckardt
    • Friday 9:30 am and 11:30 am
    • Saturday & Sunday 1:30 pm
  • The Hillsborough River Raid by James Marshall
    • Friday 10:00 am and 12:00 pm
    • Saturday & Sunday 12:00 pm
    • Saturday Only (2/29)
  • 9:00 am Cane Syrup Making at the Sugar Cane Mill
  • 10:30 am – Ladies Tea at the Mabel Jordan Barn (time period dress required to participate but spectators welcome to attend)
  • 11:30 am -Time Period Fashion Show Sunday Only (3/1)
  • 10:30 am Church Service at the Enterprise Methodist Church

* Times and presentation themes subject to change
** Friday School Field Trip Day is not open to the public.

The Pioneer Florida Museum & Village will present its annual spring living history event: The Battle of Santa Rosa Island on February 29 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm and March 1, 2020, from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm. The Pioneer Florida Museum & Village is located at 15602 Pioneer Museum Rd. in Dade City, Florida.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Admission for children under 5 and parking is free. No pets, no coolers, no outside food or weapons are allowed. Bags are subject to search. Lawn chairs are permitted.