Battle of Tampa Bay – June 30 – July 1, 1862 (Confederate Victory)
On June 30, a Federal gunboat, the U.S.S. Sagamore, came into Tampa Bay. She turned her broadside on Tampa Town, and opened her ports. Commanding officer, Capt. A.J. Drake, U.S.N., dispatched a launch carrying 20 men and a lieutenant under a flag of truce. They demanded the surrender of Tampa Town and Fort Brooke.
Capt. J.W. Pearson, Post Commander at Fort Brooke refused. The officer then informed the Confederates (Osceola Rangers) that shelling would commence at 6:00 pm after allowing time to evacuate non-combatants from the city. Later that day, the Sagamore unleashed her arsenal on the town. The cannons at Fort Brooke responded, and inexperienced soldiers defended Tampa from the attack.
The Sagamore ceased her firing at 6 pm, and reportedly made repairs. Then at noon, the following day, they resumed the attack into the later afternoon when the gunboat withdrew.
The Battle of Tampa Bay was also know as the “Yankee Outrage at Tampa”.
We are fortunate to have Capt. Pearson’s official report on the engagement.
” Captain Pearson’s Official Report “