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Battle of Natural Bridge

By: Valerie Lacy
By: Valerie Lacy

Some 4,000 visitors flocked to the southern tip of Leon County Sunday for the re-enactment of the Battle of Natural Bridge.

On March 6, 1865 soldiers from the Florida State Seminary School went on the offensive. At stake was the city of Tallahassee, the only city east of the Mississippi not to fall into Union hands.

On this day the south would win, but fast forward to 2005 and re-enactors will tell you it doesn't matter whose side you're on as long as you remember this.

"It's a portrayal of history. Today I'm fighting in gray and next week I'll be in blue uniform. It's just to try to carry on the history that people just can understand what this whole conflict was about, trying to keep this country together," said Mark Rominger, a re-enactor in charge of military.

MAJ Al Hartman, a Civil War re-enactor, says, "It's just, it's a special thing to actually hit one on the actual date and to know that 140 years ago that Americans struggled here."

Behind the smoke and the fire lies a dedication to the memory of soldiers who fought for a cause and that is not lost on the thousands who attend this ceremony every year.

Brian Polk, the park manager, says, "We will get anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 over the weekend Saturday and Sunday. Friday we have school groups coming in."

They are groups who've seen this re-enactment take place for 28 years.

Approximately a month after the Battle of Natural Bridge, GEN Lee surrendered to the Union forces, but Tallahassee was never captured by Union soldiers.


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