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I received the following email message from someone who is printing their gggg-grandfather's journal. It covers Fort Myers in the Third Seminole War. This is great, because eyewitness accounts are always valuable for doing research. (Although keep in mind certain points of view, of course.) I will post here when it is available and how to order a copy. I am printing her email here because it is a great promotion for the book.

I don't know if she is talking about Fort McRae in Pensacola. There were four brick forts around the entrance to Pensacola and Pensacola Bay: Fort Pickens, Fort McRae, Fort Barrancas, and the North Redoubt. If I had to be stationed at one of those forts, the worst one would be Fort McRae because it would be more isolated from town than the others. It is out on the dry, desolate, barrier island. Pickens was too, but was a large fort and had more of a community around it. Barrancas is within walking distance of the old ship yard, and the north redoubt is hardly worth mentioning.

During the Civil War the Union kept Fort Pickens, and thus effectively blockaded Pensacola. Of the four forts that I mentioned, three are open to the public as part of the National Parks under Gulf Shores N.P. Except Fort McRae, of which there is probably nothing left of it. Fort McRae was an odd design which did not survive over time, and fell into the sand.

Hi Mr. Kimball,

I just stumbled across your web-site and I am busy reading as much of it as I can. It is very fascinating and well done.

I have just finished working on a book that might be of interest to you. I have 257 letters that were written between my great great great great grandparents (the letters range from 1855-1870) When the correspondence begins between my grandparents they are stationed in Florida -- 1857 . The wife is at Fort Myers and the husband is at Fort McRae. There are 30 letters between them in a six month time period and many different forts are mentioned, living conditions are described and many people are named and talked about. It is a fascinating account -- after they correspond in Florida -- they move on out to the Nebraska Territory -- then on to the Civil War in Kentucky and Chicago. The husband ends up settling in Chicago after his enlistment and the wife and daughter because of health reasons settle in a small community in upstate Michigan. They correspond and occasionally visit. The husband dies suddenly in 1870 and the letters come to an abrupt halt. I have a lot of pictures and various artifacts that belonged to them and are pictured in the book. I hope to have the book published within the next few weeks. If you are interested, I will drop you a line when it is completed.

Jodie Sewall

Current Location:
the hammock
Current Mood:
accomplished accomplished
Current Music:
roofers pounding above
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On June 22nd, 2009 11:17 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Jodie's book
The book is out Chris;

Long Distance Love 1855-1870
by Jodie Sewall

[User Picture]
On June 24th, 2009 01:00 am (UTC), seminolewar replied:
Re: Jodie's book
Here is the link again. (Was broken the first time I tried.)
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