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Updated: 05/08/2013 08:01:13AM

Charlotte Harbor played role in Civil War

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Did you know Charlotte Harbor was the site of a military skirmish during the Civil War? With the fall of Vicksburg, Miss., and Port Hudson, La., in July 1863, Union control of the Mississippi River became uncontested. Consequently, cut off from its western states, the Confederacy came to rely even more ­heavily on Florida to feed its forces in the east.

Florida was sparsely populated, but thousands upon thousands of cattle, descended from those brought by the Spanish more than 200 years earlier, roamed the swamps and open prairies. It’s thought that by late 1863, more than 2,000 head were rounded up and driven or shipped north each week.

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