Why was Florida not a key battleground in the Civil War?

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skolrgipsy eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Owing to its geographical remoteness from the Mason-Dixon Line (the border between North and South), Florida was not a territory that naturally lay in the path of the two opponents in America's Civil War. The southernmost state in the entire United States, Florida was far removed from the Union capitol of Washington, D.C., and the Confederate capitol in Richmond, VA.

Although skirmishes between Union and Confederate troops did take place in Florida, most of the major battles of the war were fought in other Southern states like Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia. Florida was considered important to the Confederate effort in other ways, however, as a supplier of beef, fruit, and other crops, as well as salt from salt works along Florida's extensive coastline.

Many of the battles fought in the state, many with little documentation, resulted from efforts by Union troops to destroy Florida's salt works, and disrupt the supply lines of foodstuffs leading from Florida north to Confederate armies. Florida organized militias to protect its salt works, farms, ranches and roads from Union raids, to keep these supply lines running throughout the war years.

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