Horses’ hooves could be heard pounding the dirt roads outside of town accompanied by the dust clouds associated with it. Brigadier General Edward McCook and his five staffers came trotting in Tallahassee, Florida, the capital of the state. The next day McCook and entourage was joined by elements from the 2nd Indiana and 7th Kentucky Cavalry.
McCook though wasted no time, rendezvousing with Confederate Major General Sam Jones upon arrival in Tallahassee on the 10th. Approximately 8,000 Confederate soldiers would receive their paroles or be listed as paroled
In addition to the parolees, McCook and his men received the following former Confederate military supplies:
40 artillery pieces, 2,500 small arms, 450 cavalry sabres, 1,618 bayonets, 1,200 cartridge boxes, 710 waist belts, 63,000 pounds of lead, 2,000 pounds of nitre pounds, 10,000 rounds of artillery ammunition, over 121,900 small arms rounds, 700 pounds of musket balls, 325 pikes and lances, among other military supplies.
From the Confederate quartermaster stores located around the Florida capital, the Union forces captured:
70 horses, 80 mules, 40 wagons, 4 ambulances, along with tools, stationary, clothing, and camp supplies.
The commissary officers in turn, handed over:
170,000 pounds of bacon, 300 barrels of salt, 150 barrels of sugar, 100 barrels of syrup, 7,000 bushels of corn, 1,200 heads of cattle, and small amounts of other foodstuffs.
The Union cavalry commander also reported the general feeling of the inhabitants of the Florida city, informing his superiors that “I found only the most entire spirit of submission to my authority, and in the majority of instances an apparent cheerful acquiescence in the present order of things.”
Apparently, the only hindrance to the peaceful transition was the local pastor of the Episcopal Church who purposely neglected to mention the president of the United States which was customary at that time. McCook, “thought it my duty to Christianize him if possible and succeeded in convincing him of the error of his way…He prayed for the President that afternoon.” Whatever communication McCook used was not enclosed in the report cited from above.
With all that accounted for the last capital of a Confederate state and the only capital not captured, garrisoned, or torched, east of the “Father of all Waters” fell to the Union. Concluding that busy May day was the raising of the Stars and Stripes, according to McCook, over the “State House, and fort at St. Marks.”