Civil War re-enactors gather Saturday at the site of the Raid on Gopher Ridge – in the Collier County town now known as Immokalee. The original encounter was between soldiers from the Confederate Cow Calvary and the U.S. Second Colored Infantry based in Ft. Myers. The Confederate soldiers were in the area rounding up wild cattle to provide beef and leather to the confederacy. The Union soldiers encountered the Confederates on a journey inland for food. David Southall, education Coordinator for the Collier County Museum, says this plays into civil war history and black history.
“ the members of the U.S. Second Colored Infantry were young black men, mostly from Florida, it was a unit raised here in Florida. Some of them were free blacks, some of them were Bahamian fishermen who enlisted in the army because it was good money, but it was also a lot of young black men who had escaped from slavery and decided to join the union cause”.
No was injured in the skirmish between the Union and Confederate soldiers. But, diaries from the time record the event. The re-enactment of the Raid on Gopher Ridge this Saturday is a day long event highlighting Collier’s civil war history with activities from 10 to 4. The re-enactment itself takes place at 2:00 at Roberts Ranch in Immokalee.
Friday, 04 March 2005 00:00