Wednesday, February 21, 2018
News Roundup

Civil War re-enactors bring battle to life at Fort De Soto Park

ST. PETERSBURG — History buffs took part in the 15th annual Battle of Ballast Point Civil War Re-Enactment at Fort De Soto Park Sunday.

The event was hosted by the 97th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Re-enactment Regiment, in cooperation with the Pinellas County Parks Department and Fort De Soto Park.

Sunday was the last day of the three-day event that featured Union and Confederate infantry, artillery and civilians.

The Battle of Ballast Point took place in Tampa on Oct. 18, 1863. A Union raiding party landed at the current intersection of Gandy Boulevard and Bayshore Boulevard and marched 14 miles up the Hillsborough River to what is now Lowry Park and burned two blockade running ships, the Scottish Chieftain, and the Kate Dale, owned by the future mayor of Tampa, James McKay.

The Confederates caught up with the Union forces and the Ballast Point battle ensued. Union soldiers came under direct fire as they boarded their dinghies in a tactical retreat. Both sides suffered casualties.

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