William Henry Chase Photo

William Henry Chase

Born: Jun 4, 1798

Death: Jan 1, 1870

Birthplace: Buckfield

Nationality: United States

William Henry Chase

Date of Birth : Jun 4, 1798
Date of Death : Jan 1, 1870
Birth Place : Buckfield

William Henry Chase was a Florida militia colonel during the events in early 1861 that led to the American Civil War. On January 15, 1861, on behalf of the State and Governor of Florida, Colonel Chase demanded the surrender of Fort Pickens at Pensacola, Florida and of its U.S. Army garrison. Chase had designed and constructed the fort while he was a captain in the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Lieutenant Adam J. Slemmer, commander of the fort, refused the surrender demand. An informal truce between the administration of President James Buchanan and Florida officials, including their still sitting U.S. Senators, avoided military action at Pensacola until after the Battle of Fort Sumter in April 1861. Chase was promoted to major general in the "Army of Florida" a few days after his first demand for surrender of the fort. His entire military service to the emerging Confederate cause occurred during the secession crisis prior to the Battle of Fort Sumter. Chase repeated his surrender demand on January 18, 1861 but Fort Pickens was never surrendered to militia or Confederate States Army forces during the Civil War.

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