Friday, June 26, 2009

Marriage at Sea

Getting married aboard a ship has always been popular. There are romantic notions of a ship's captain performing the ceremony.

For Susanna Jane Lundy, the sister of my great great grandfather, the wedding aboard ship was probably not what they advertise in Modern Bride.

On June 26, 1864, one hundred forty five years ago today, Susanna and her beau, Daniel Green Woods were married aboard the USS Adalea, a blockader off the coast of St. Vincent's Island, Florida. The Union Navy kept ships there to block Confederate ships from having access to the Apalachicola river. This is just a couple miles from St. George Island were we like to vacation and Apalachicola, where my daughter was married in 2007.

The wedding was performed by Lt William Budd of the USS Steamer Somerset. Daniel Woods had enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1862 but by 1864 he had left and joined the Union side, as part of the Florida 2nd Calvary. Both he and Susanna were from Perry, Florida. There were a number men from the area who enlisted in the CSA became disillusioned with the war and left. Once they got back home they joined the Union army or one of the groups of Union sympathizers.

The men of the Florida 2nd Calvary were considered deserters by the Confederate army and were subject to being shot if captured. They moved their families to St. Vincent's Island since it was controlled by the Union Navy. At the time St. Vincent's was more developed than the surrounding area. Today, no one lives on the island and it is a National Wildlife Refuge.

I came across the account of their wedding in a transcript of USS Adela's log book in 2007.

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