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American Battlefields
St. John’s Bluff   

Other Names: None

Location: Duval County

Campaign: Expedition to St. John’ s Bluff (1862)

Date(s): October 1-3, 1862

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. John M. Brannan [US]; Lt. Col. Charles F. Hopkins [CS]

Forces Engaged: Expeditionary Force: 2 infantry regiments, a light artillery battery and detachment of the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry (total force 1,573) [US]; a small artillery and cavalry force [CS]

Estimated Casualties: Unknown

Description: Brig. Gen. John Finegan established a battery on St. John’ s Bluff near Jacksonville to stop the movement of Federal ships up the St. Johns River. Brig. Gen. John M. Brannan embarked with about 1,500 infantry aboard the transports Boston, Ben DeFord, Cosmopolitan, and Neptune at Hilton Head, South Carolina, on September 30. The flotilla arrived at the mouth of the St. John’ s River on October 1, where Cdr. Charles Steedman’ s gunboats—Paul Jones, Cimarron, Uncas, Patroon, Hale, and Water Witch—joined them. By midday, the gunboats approached the bluff, while Brannan began landing troops at Mayport Mills. Another infantry force landed at Mount Pleasant Creek, about five miles in the rear of the Confederate battery, and began marching overland on the 2nd. Outmaneuvered, Lt. Col. Charles F. Hopkins abandoned the position after dark. When the gunboats approached the bluff the next day, its guns were silent.

Result(s): Union victory

CWSAC Reference #: FL003

Preservation Priority: IV.2 (Class D)

National Park Unit: Fort Caroline National Memorial

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