On April 7, 1864, Confederates clashed with Union troops at the Battle of Bowlegs Creek, the only Civil War battle to occur in Polk County.
Union troops had been raiding along the Peace River Valley, stealing cattle from local settlers, and were heading to Fort Meade to cut off the cattle supply for the Confederate army. Confederates fought them at Bowlegs Creek in an attempt to hold them back, but were forced to retreat.
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