Every year in Wakulla County Florida, Crawfordville, to be exact, at the old home place of the Council family, a reunion is held. It is the Council Family Reunion where all those who are related to John Cecil Council (1833-1910) are welcomed with a fish fry on Saturday night. The mullet is fresh from the nearby bay or gulf, cooked by experts and served with good coleslaw, grits and hushpuppies. I haven't been there in quite a few years, but if I close my mind I can still smell those fish frying, the aroma filling the sultry evening air even though it is October.
I remember the tales my father told about the fish fries of his youth on the beaches in Florida. Fishing was and still is a mainstay of the lifestyle for those who live along the coast.
My great grandfather, John Cecil Council, a member of Captain Milton's Independent Cavalry Company, Florida Volunteers, was captured by the Union Army October 19. 1864 while fishing off the coast near St. Marks.
His duty was to help supply food to the soldiers and sailors of the Confederacy.
He was taken to Ship Island off the coast of Missippi where he was held as a prisoner until the end of the war. He walked all the way back to his place in Wakulla County.