Francisca Segunda “Panchita” <I>Sanchez</I> Miot


Francisca Segunda “Panchita” Sanchez Miot

Death Jan 1931 (aged 88)
Burial Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 38802934 View Source

Panchita Sanchez and her two sister's Lola and Eugenia were confederate spys during the Civil War and were true heroines to the Confederacy. The sister's lived along the St. John's river located in St. Augustine, Florida during the Civil War. Union soldiers would often stay at the Sanchez home while the Sanchez sister's cooked them home cooked meals and made them hot cups of Cuban coffee. One evening one of the sisters overheard the Union soldiers plans to attack St. Augustine. Lola went to tell the Confederate soldiers what the Union soldiers had planned for the next morning. While Lola sneaked out of the home, her sisters Panchita and Eugenia passed the time by entertaining the men and cooking for them. Lola arrived back just in time to have supper with her sisters the Union soldiers. The soldiers never suspected that Lola had left the home. The next morning the Union soldiers were surprised that the Confederate soldiers had found out about their plans to attack the city. The Union soldiers were arrested. The Yankees at first thought that the Sanchez girls father "Mauritia Sanchez" was the person who had been spying on them. Mr. Sanchez was arrested but eventually released. The Sanchez sisters were never tried for being spies. The Sanchez sisters names are listed on a plaque at the United Daughters of Confederacy Memorial building located in Richmond Virginia. The Sanchez sisters are part of the Sanchez family from Saint Augustine, Florida. The Sanchez sister's family was very influential in the early settlement of St. Augustine, Florida area and many of the houses that their family once owned from the 18 century are open to visitors today.

Ref: Confederate Veterans, Volume XVII, No.8, August 1909.

Long before the War between the States Mauritia Sanchez left the West Indies and settled on the east bank of the stately St. John's River, opposite Palatka, Fla. His ill health, which had caused his removal from Cuba, continued to grow worse till when the war broke out he was a feeble man - worn and aged. His family consisted of an invalid wife, a son in the Confederate service, and three attractive daughters, who were only prevented by their womanhood from also joining the army. In lieu of this they gave every aid and assistance possible to the cause of the Confederacy.

Information concerning the Yankees percolated in the lines and reached the Confederates, and after watching, the Yankees decided that Sanchez was its Source, and the feeble old man was arrested as a spy and off to prison in what was then called San Marc is now Fort Marion, St. Augustine.

This left the three girls, Panchita, Lola, and Eugenia, unprotected, for their invalid mother was their care, not their guard. Often in the night their place was surrounded by Yankee troops, both whites and blacks, and the house searched for concealed spies; for the information still reached the Confederates, and the Yankees did not suspect the truth—that the girls themselves were the informers.

One Saturday evening three Yankee officers came to the
hacienda. The light, bantering conversation, the quips, and
the laughter made the evening pass delightfully, and later the three girls withdrew to prepare the Cuban supper, to which they had bidden the officers remain as guests.

The officers on the porch had fallen into earnest conversation. What Lola heard convinced her that trouble for her beloved cause was brewing so she silently crept beneath the window and listened. Two plans were spoken for the morrow. One was a gunboat raid up the river at dawn when the Confederate camp was still sleeping. The other was for a foraging party to go southward from St. Augustine, pillaging and capturing all they could find.

Something must be done at once. Camp Davis was only a few miles away. Panchita was to return to the guest and keep them occupied, Eugnia would prepare the food with Lola apparently assisting, but she would go to warn the Confederates.

Miss Sanchez found Camp Davis and Captain Dickinson gave close attention to her breathless story. And now she must ride for her own liberty, for to be suspected and caught meant imprisonment, possibly death! A short, swift ride to the waiting picket, a rapid pull across the moon-kissed waves of the St. John's, the welcoming whinny of her horse. To Lola Sanchez the time of her absence seemed like several hours yet the old clock had registered only an hour and a half in actual minutes when she softly entered the kitchen. Panchita's audience had not yet tired of her sparkling stories and Eugenias cooking and the Cuban coffee was filling the house with wonderful odors.

In next morning in the dawn the gunboat crept silently up the river, the transport full of soldiers following as silently; but where the river makes its bend the Confederate battery lay in wait! "Stormed at with shot and shell," taken by surprise, the transport was captured, the gunboat disabled, and the Yankees were all prisoners instead.

South of St. Augustine the foraging party too was prepared for. Here the ambushed Confederates awaited the enemy, and
in the hot light that followed many brave lives were lost on both sides. The Yankee General Chatfield was killed and Colonel Nobles was wounded and the larger part of his command made prisoners. They also lost their wagons and mules.

Panchita Sanchez determined to effect the release of her father from prison. She made her way to St. Augustine, and after untold labor and suffering, even an offer of herself as prisoner, brought the old man home with her in triumph.

Lola ( Mary Delores, FAG # 12450864 ) Sanchez married a Confederate soldier of the St. Augustine Blues. Eugenia ( FAG # 10961446 ) married Albert Rogers, of the same company, and Panchita wedded Captain John K. Miot, of South Carolina. Lola and Eugenia are buried in Saint Ambrose Cemetery Elkton, FL
Condensed from Confederate Veteran Vol XVII No 8 Published 1909

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