From Robert Gamble of Tallahasee
Can be seen in Library of Congress Ocala Banner Article August 04, 1905, Page Page Eight
When I first knew Jacob Chancey in the 30s, during the long Indian war of 1835-42 he was a lad of some 12 or 13 years-and he lived with a family of the name of Carter down at the Natural Bridge of the Aucilla River.
Jacob was also the name of the head of the family and from the similarity of their names, I presume that Chancey was a relative.
One day Jacob Carter left home to visit the home of Col. Robert Gamble at Weelaunee, fell into an Indian ambuscade and was killed. We soon learned the fact and mounting, we hastened to the relief of the exposed family, taking them behind our saddles and bringing them to Weelaunee. I lost sight of Jacob until after the war, when, a married man he lived in the neighborhood of his former home. He became a famous hunter and woodsman, rivaling in his skill what we are told of the sagacity of famous Indian scouts. He could see without apparent effert the slightest traces in the forest, traces which baffled the keenest eyes of his companions. Riding with him one day,through the forest far down the Ocilla river on a hunting expedition, he suddenly stopped his horse, and gazing down exclaimed, "Some animal has been killed here". We looked, but could see no trace. Chancey dismounted and carefully removing the fallen leaves and grass exposed the bristles and hair of a hog which had bee!
n killed by some agent more than a year previous.
During the Civil War Jacob was hunting near the coast and going to a landing on the banks of the river, he perceived that a boat from the blockading vessels had landed two men very recently. Immediately suspecting that they had been sent on some important mission, he determined to pursue and procuring a couple of comrades, by his skill he tracked them through the forest some fifteen or twenty miles and surprised them in the act of setting fire to the railroad bridge across the Oscilla. He seized these two men who proved to be Confederate deserters and brought them to Tallahassee.
At this time General Newton of the Federal army was prepared for an invasion, his ships were anchored in the Spanish hole in the St Marks river, and knowing that most of the troops in middle Florida were far east of the city, he sent these men to burn the Ocilla bridge in order to obstruct the arrival of these soldiers to reinforce the militia of the district.
When his troops commenced the inroad marching, up the east bank of the St. Marks, he had intended to cross the bridge at Newport and by forced marches, to capture the city of Tallahassee before the Confederate troops could come to it's relief.
The small Confederate force available engaged him on the east river, but were driven back by superior numbers, and retreating took position at the bridge. Daniel Ladd, a prominent citizen of Newport, had built some frame houses on the east side of the river, near the bridge, and when the enemy approached he fired them and the planks were removed from the bridge.
When the enemy arrived, so fierce was the fire of the burning houses that he could not approach the bridge and having no time to tarry, he marched on up that side of the river with intent to cross at the Natural Bridge. The failure to burn the Ocilla bridge made possible the rallying of the Confederate forces, artillery and infantry, and he was met at the Natural Bridge, defeated and driven back to his ships.
After the war Jacob went to southeast Florida on the Atlantic coast, purchased and planted an orange grove, and died the owner of much valuable real estate.
His two prisoners were tried, convicted and shot near the depot.