Mention “Key West” and thoughts of idyllic scenery and warm tropical breezes come right to mind rather than the Civil War and its effect upon the island. Treated only anecdotally in past histories and the island commonly referred to as “Unionist,” this book is the first to present a comprehensive account of “Cayo Hueso” during the war.
From its quick military occupation after Florida declared independence, increasing numbers of troops, new forts built, and deportation of citizens accused of “treasonable utterances,” Key West became an embattled community of those who quietly wished for independence and those loyal to the occupier. But despite the military crackdown and patrols, secret communication with Florida officials on the mainland, and blockade running, continued unabated. This is the story of Key West during the Civil War.