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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum

Florida Contrabands in New York

Hello Civil War Researchers:

I need assistance in finding information on the families or contrabands that were sent to New York from Pensacola. I've just finished reading George F. Pearce's fascinating book, "Pensacola During the Civil War: A Thorn in the Side of the Confederacy."

Pearce quotes from the diary of of Major Willoughby Babcock of the 75th Union Infantry regarding Contrabands who were employed by the Union Army at Ft. Pickens. Babcock became the provost and Military Governor of Pensacola in 1862. He writes in his diary that the Contrabands as "boatmen, teamsters, and ordinary hands and do more work than any other men on the island." (Santa Rosa Island).

More interesting is this entry " The women and children are sent to New York..."

I can't locate Babcock's diary to uncover an explanation as to why the runaway slaves were sent to New York.

Does any one know of this or other situations where contrabands were sent North?

I'd appreciate any suggestions or comments that you might have.

Also, if you are interested in why Pensacola was a "Thorn in the side of the confederacy", please read Pearce's book. It's an area of Civil War history that has been skimmed over by many historians.

K Wyer Lane


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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