River culture collides with dogs of war

The age of antebellum river culture was already in decline at the outset of the War Between the States. Better roads and the coming of the railroad allowed easier access to distant inland areas. During the final days of the war, blue clad invaders marched through these areas during the twilight of their antebellum existence.

Beginning in March 1865, General Frederick Steele's Union forces had begun the march north from Pensacola in support of General Canby's movements against Mobile. Steele reached Pollard, turned west and rapidly headed towards Baldwin County and Ft. Blakely.

In Canoe, o...