Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park

On March 6, 1865, a battle was fought at Natural Bridge between Union troops and Confederate soldiers reinforced by older men and young boys. The objective of the Union was to take Tallahassee, the objective of the Confederates was to keep Tallahassee as the one Confederate capital east of the Mississippi to not surrender to Union troops. The Confederates were successful. After repelling numerous Union advances, the battle ended with Confederate casualties put at 3 dead and 22 wounded, Union casualties at 21 dead, 89 wounded and 38 captured. This was the second largest battle of the Civil War to take place in Florida.

Natural Bridge is a site where the St. Marks River drops into a sinkhole, flowing underground for about 1/4 mile before re-emerging. Union troops had landed with a naval flotilla at Apalachee Bay and taken Fort Ward (at what is now known as San Marcos de Apalache State Park) before heading north for Tallahassee. They were met at Natural Bridge by the Confederate force. At the end of a long, losing day, the Union forces retreated to the coast and never came north again (until after the North had won the war). A re-enactment of the battle takes place at the State Park every year in March.

This is a day use only park, and day use hours run from 8 am to sunset, 365 days a year. Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park is located on Natural Bridge Road, off State Road 363 about 6 miles east of Woodville.

Photo of the Natural Bridge Battle re-enactment courtesy of Tim Ross  
Florida Central Panhandle area map

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Area map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!