|S.R. 24 Bridge at Number Four|
An important port community and the Gulf terminal of Florida's only Atlantic to Gulf railroad, the Cedar Keys were first held by the Confederates when the Civil War erupted in 1861. By 1862, however, they had withdrawn from the cluster of islands and before long Union forces occupied Seahorse and Depot Keys. The latter is now the site of the main town of Cedar Key.
|View of Battlefield from Fishing Pier|
In 1864, this was the site of Station Four on the railroad. In February of that year, a large Union raiding force led by Major Edmund Weeks of the 2nd Florida U.S. Cavalry and made up of 386 soldiers from his own regiment as well as the 2nd U.S. Colored Troops. The Federals marched inland as far as Levyville between today's towns of Bronson and Chiefland, while a second column marched on Clay's Landing on the Suwannee River.
|Capt. J.J. Dickson, C.S.A.|
At 7 a.m. on February 13, 1864, the "Swamp Fox" caught up with the main body of the Union raiding force at Station Four overlooking Number Four Channel. A fierce battle developed and the two sides surged back and forth. Both commanders ultimately declared victory, with Dickison falling back a short distance from the battlefield and holding a position there, while Weeks and his men withdrew across the railroad trestle to Cedar Key.
To learn more about the Battle of Station Four (also called the Battle of Number Four), please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/stationfour.