Florida In The Civil War
Confederate Military History, Vol. 11
SECESSION OF THE STATE--PROCEEDINGS OF THE CONVENTION--EARLY EVENTS AT PENSACOLA--UNION WITH THE CONFEDERATE STATES--FIRST PREPARATIONS FOR WAR.
WE are told by the historian of an earlier age that whenever the renowned men of the Roman commonwealth looked upon the statues of their ancestry, they felt their minds vehemently excited to virtue. It could not have been the bronze or marble that possessed this power, but the recollection of great actions which kindled a generous flame in their souls, not to be quelled until they also, by virtue and heroic deeds, had acquired equal fame and glory. When a call to arms resounds throughout the land and a people relinquish the pleasant scenes of tranquil life and rally to their country's call, such action is the result of an honest conviction that the act is commendable. In recalling such an epoch, the wish that a true record of the deeds done should be transmitted to posterity must dominate every patriot heart. Loyalty to brave men, who for four long years of desolating war--years of undimmed glory--stood by each other and fought to the bitter end with the indomitable heroism which characterized the Confederate soldier, demands from posterity a preservation of the memories of the great struggle. We cannot find in all the annals of history a grander record or prouder roll of honor, nor more just fame for bravery, patient endurance of hardships, and sacrifices.
The noble chieftain, Robert E. Lee, said: "Judge your enemy from his standpoint, if you would be just." Whatever may be said of the contention between the two great sections of the Union, whether by arbitration of council every issue might have been settled and a fratricidal war averted, there will be but one unalterable decree of history respecting the Confederate soldier. His deeds of heroism "are wreathed around with glory," and he will be ever honored, because he was not only brave and honorable, but true to his convictions. The sacrifices made by our loyal defenders and their glorious deeds shall not perish; but the pen of the historian shall hand them down through the ages--a proud heritage to our race and to all mankind. Now that the people who so grandly illustrated their loyalty to the Confederacy are passing away, the South claims from them a truthful, dispassionate history of the causes leading to their withdrawal from the Union, and the subsequent events when the tocsin of war sounded throughout the land.
Religion and patriotism should dominate every human life, and as love of country comes next to our love and allegiance to God, it must follow that a people panoplied with righteousness must be a highly patriotic people. The memories of the heroic sufferings and sacrifices of the noble men and women throughout the land make a history that will shine with imperishable luster, "idealizing principle, strengthening character and intensifying love of country," proving to the world that "Noble souls through dust and heat Rise from disaster and defeat The stronger."
The grandest vindication of the South will come when Truth, no longer crushed to earth through narrowmind-edness and sectional prejudice, will write in golden characters a just tribute to every American soldier who fell on either side. Let the record be: "Here lies an American Hero, a Martyr to the Right as his Conscience conceived it."
In 1860 the storm of political strife that had been steadily gathering for many years culminated with the election of Abraham Lincoln, the Republican sectional candidate for the presidency of the United States on an avowed sectional policy. At the commencement of hostilities against the South, in Charleston harbor, and especially on the proclamation of President Lincoln calling for 75,000 troops to make an unconstitutional war on the seceded States, the war-cloud darkened all Florida and every heart burned with indignation. All former differences of opinion, all past party prejudices, yielded to the mastery of a just sense of impending danger; and, animated by the spirit that had inspired their fathers in 1776, the people of Florida resolved to unite in the patriotic effort to secure for the South an independent government, as the Constitution framed by their forefathers had been violated. With a patriotic and heroic sense of their great duty, our brave citizens throughout the State began to make preparations to be.in readiness to respond to their country's call, to resist the wicked design of sectional partisans to wage a cruel war of coercion against the seceded States. Companies of cavalry, artillery and infantry were rapidly and successfully organized. The formation of these splendid organizations was so rapid that Florida secured a proud place when the time came for her troops to be received into the service of the Confederate States army.
The ablest jurists and statesmen of the country having firmly asserted, clearly elucidated and bravely vindicated the legal right of a State to secede from the general government, an intelligent, chivalrous people, proudly assured of the justice of their convictions, could not forswear the great principles of a lifetime. On the 3d of January, 1861, the people of Florida, through their delegates chosen in pursuance of the act of the general assembly, approved November 30, 1860, assembled in convention in the hall of the house of representatives in the capitol of the State, at the city of Tallahassee. This honorable body, composed of the best talent in the State, was temporarily organized with John C. Pelot, of Alachua, as chairman, and B. G. Pringle, of Gadsden, as secretary. After an address by Mr. Pelot, the proceedings were opened with prayer by Bishop Rutledge.
The names of the members of the convention, and the counties and districts they represented, are here preserved: John Morrison, A. L. McCaskill, of Walton; Freeman B. Irwin,of Washington; Richard D. Jordan, R.R. Golden, of Holmes; S.S. Alderman, Joseph A. Collier, of Jackson; Adam McNealy, James L. G. Baker, of Jackson; Simmons I. Baker, of Calhoun; McQueen Mcintosh, of Fifth senatorial district; Thomas F. Henry, E. C. Love, of Gadsden; Abraham K. Allison, of Gadsden; John Beard, James Kirksey, of Leon; G. W. Parkhill, G. T. Ward, Wm. C. M. Davis, of Leon; Daniel Ladd, David Lewis, of Wakulla; Thompson B. Lamar, Thomas M. Palmer, of Jefferson; J. Patton Anderson, Wm. S. Dils-worth, of Jefferson; John C. McGehee, A. I. Lea, of Madison; W. H. Lever, of Taylor; E. P. Barrington, of Lafayette; Lewis A. Folsom, Joseph Thomas, of Hamilton; Green H. Hunter, James A. Newmans, of Columbia; A. J.T. Wright, unseated by John W. Jones, of Suwannee; Isaac C. Coon, of New River; John J. Lamb, of Thirteenth senatorial district; Joseph Finegan, Jas. G. Cooper, of Nassau; I. M. Daniel, of Duval; John P. Sanderson, of Sixteenth senatorial district; Matthew Solana, of St. John's;James o. Devall, of Putnam; Rhydon G. Mays, of Seventeenth senatorial district; John C. Pelot, J. B. Dawkins, of Alachua; James B. Owens, S. M. G. Gary, of Marion; W. McGahagin, of Marion; James H. Chandler, of Volusia; William W. Woodruff, of Orange; William B. Yates, of Brevard; David G. Leigh, of Sumter; Q. N. Rutland, of Nineteenth senatorial district; James Gettis, of Twentieth senatorial district; George Helvens-ton, of Levy; Benjamin W. Saxon, of Hernando; Simon Turman, of Hillsboro; Ezekiel Glazier, of Manatee; Wm. Pinckney, Winer Bethel, of Monroe; Asa F. Tilt, of Dade; Jackson Morton, Wm. Simpson, of Santa Rosa; Wm. Wright, Wm. Nicholson, of Escambia; T. J. Hendricks, of Clay; Daniel D. McLean, of Fourth senatorial district; Samuel B. Stephens, of Seventh senatorial district; S. W. Spencer, of Franklin; W. S. Gregory, of Liberty.
The permanent president then selected, Hon. John C. McGehee, of Madison county, was sworn by Judge J. ]. Finley. His address, so clear and dispassionate on this momentous occasion, is worthy of a record in these pages, that the youth of our land may better understand the lofty spirit that characterized the men who were there assembled.
Mr. McGehee said: "Gentlemen, I feel very sensibly the honor you have done me in calling me to preside over your deliberations. Such a manifestation of confidence and respect by the assembled sovereignty of my State, called together in such a crisis to consult together for the general safety, deeply affects my feelings, and in return I offer all that is in my power to give--the homage of a grateful heart. The occasion on which we are called together is one of the most solemn and important that ever assembled a people. Our government, the inheritance from a noble ancestry--the greatest achievement of human wisdom, made to secure to their posterity the rights and liberties purchased with their blood, is crumbling into ruins. Every day and almost every hour brings intelligence confirming the opinion that its dissolution is at hand.
"One State, one of the time-honored thirteen, has withdrawn the powers granted in the Constitution which constituted her a member of the Union, under the political power of the government. All our sister States immediately adjacent to us are at this moment moving in the same direction, under circumstances that render their action as certain as anything in the future. And as we look farther and beyond we see the same swell of public sentiment that a sense of wrong always inspires, agitating the great heart of the more distant States. And no reasonable doubt can be entertained by the most hopeful and sanguine that this excitement in public sentiment will extend and increase and intensify until all the States that are now known as the slaveholding States will withdraw their political connection from the non-slaveholding States, unite themselves in a common destiny and establish another constitution.
"Why all this? The story is soon told. In the formation of the government of our fathers, the Constitution of 1787, the institution of domestic slavery is recognized and the right of property in slaves is expressly guaranteed. The people of a portion of the States who were parties in the government were early opposed to the institution. The feeling of opposition to it has been cherished and fostered and inflamed until it has taken possession of the public mind at the North to such an extent that it overwhelms every other influence. It has seized the political power, and now threatens annihilation to slavery throughout the Union. At the South and with our people, of course, slavery is the element of all value, and a destruction of that destroys all that is property. This party, now soon to take possession of the powers of government, is sectional, irresponsible to us, and, driven on by an infuriated, fanatical madness that defies all opposition, must inevitably destroy every vestige of right growing out of property in slaves. The State of Florida is now a member of the Union, under the power of the government soon to go into the hands of this party. As we stand, our doom is decreed; and realizing an imperative necessity thus forced upon them to take measures for their safety, the people of Florida have clothed you with supreme power and sent you here with the high and solemn duty to devise the best possible means to insure their safety, and have given you the charge to see that their commonwealth suffers no detriment.
"Your presence at this capitol is the highest proof that your people fear to remain under their government. With poignant regret no doubt they leave it, but they have no ground or hope of safety in it. What are we to do in fulfillment of our duty in this crisis? I will not presume to indicate your course---your superior and collected wisdom must decide. I cannot doubt, though, that our people are safe in your hands, and that you will, in a manner becoming the dignity of the high position you hold, and worthy of the trust confided to you, promptly place them in a position of safety above the power and beyond the reach of their enemies. As one of you, representing a noble and confiding constituency, I pledge to you and to them the entire devotion of the powers of my mind in the discharge of this duty; and with my full heart, I ask you, each of you, to forget all former differences of opinion, all past party prejudices, and make now and here, on the altar of your State, your country, for the sake of your people, a sacrifice, an offering of all feeling, prepossession or prejudice that may stand in the way of perfect harmony and concord; and may the God of nations watch over us and bless our labors and guide us into the haven of safety."
A communication was received from Gov. M. S. Perry announcing that Hon. E. C. Bullock, commissioner from Alabama, and Hon. Leonidas W. Spratt, commissioner from Florida, were in waiting, and a committee composed of Messrs. Ward, Baird and Lamar, was appointed to bring the commissioners before the convention. The convention was addressed by these representatives of sister States, also by Edmund Ruffin, of Virginia. On January 7th a resolution was adopted, affirming the right of a State to withdraw from the Union, and a committee to prepare an ordinance of secession for the consideration of the convention was appointed. This committee was composed of J.P. Sanderson of Duval, A. K. Allison of Gadsden, McQueen Mcintosh of Franklin, James Gettis of Hillsboro, James B. Owens of Marion, James B. Daw-kins of Alachua, Wright of Escambia, Jackson Morton of Santa Rosa, George T. Ward of Leon, James Patton Anderson of Jefferson, David Ladd of Wakulla, and Simmons J. Baker of Calhoun.
The committee, in the report accompanying the ordinance which it recommended, alluded to the method of formation of the Union and the right of withdrawal reserved by the States, and said: "The inducements which led Florida to become a member of the United States were those which should actuate every people in the formation of a government, to secure to themselves and their posterity the enjoyment of all the rights of life, liberty and property, and the pursuit of happiness. Your committee fully concur in the opinion that the consideration for which Florida gave her assent to become a member of the Federal union has wholly failed; that she is not permitted enjoyment of equal rights in the Union. The compact is therefore willfully and materially broken." The committee therefore recommended that the convention, called to protect the interests of the State, adopt an ordinance of secession from the United States, and that Florida declare herself to be a sovereign and independent State.
On the sixth day of the convention, January 10, 1861, the proposed ordinance was taken up, considered, and adopted by a vote of yea 62, nay 7; the negative votes being cast by Messrs. Baker of Jackson, Gregory, Hendricks, McCaskill, Morrison, Rutland and Woodruff.
The text of the ordinance is as follows:
"We, the people of the State of Florida, in convention assembled, do solemnly ordain, publish and declare: That the State of Florida hereby withdraws herself from the Confederacy of States existing under the name of the United States of America, and from the existing government of said States, and that all political connection between her and the government of said States ought to be, and the same is hereby totally annulled, and said union of States dissolved, and the State of Florida is hereby declared a sovereign and independent nation, and that all ordinances heretofore adopted, in so far as they create or recognize said Union, are rescinded, and all laws or parts of laws in force in this State, in so far as they recognize or assent to said Union be, and they are hereby repealed."
The president of the convention, was then instructed to inform the proper authorities of other Southern States of the action which Florida had taken. The committee on enrollment reported that in obedience to a resolution adopted by the convention the enrollment of the ordinance of secession had been properly and correctly made, under the direction of the judges of the Supreme court of the sovereign State of Florida, and the same was submitted to the convention for signature. The following correspondence between the judges and Miss Elizabeth Eppes was presented and placed upon the minutes of the convention:
Tallahassee, January 10, 1861.
Miss Elizabeth Eppes:
By resolution of the Convention of the People of the State of Florida, we, the judges comprising the Supreme Court of this State, are appointed to direct the enrolling of the Ordinance of Secession passed this day. In discharging our duty, we have directed that the Ordinance be enrolled on parchment and bound with blue ribbon. The honor of binding the same, we have with your permission intrusted to you, believing that you as one of the native daughters of our beloved Florida and a lineal descendant of the immortal author of the first Declaration of American Independence, will cheerfully lend your aid in embellishing the parchment, which contains the Declaration of the Independence of the Sovereign State of Florida.
Yours with great respect,
CHARLES H. DUPONT,
WM. A. FORWARD,
D. S. WALKER.
Tallahassee, January 10, 1861.
Hon. C. H. Dupont, Hon. Wm. A. Forward and
Hon. D. S. Walker, Associate Justices, Supreme Court of Florida.
Gentlemen: Your honored and esteemed favor of this evening just received, soliciting my aid in embellishing, by your order, with blue ribbon the parchment containing the Declaration of the Independence of the Sovereign State of Florida. I thank you, gentlemen, for the honor and the flattering terms in which your communication is couched. With you, I glory in the solemn act of our own State independence, and in behalf of the ladies of my native State of Florida I assure you we go heart and hand in the cause and will do all in our feeble power to assist in the maintenance of the proud Declaration of Independence. I cheerfully accept the portion of duty assigned me and will embellish the immortal parchment as you desire and request.
I have the honor to be yours respectfully,
E. M. EPPES.
The day following the passage of the ordinance of secession, a committee was appointed to wait upon his excellency, Gov. M. S. Perry, both branches of the legislature, and the judges of the Supreme court, and inform them that the convention was ready to ratify the ordinance and invite their attendance. Governor Perry, suffering an attack of sickness, could not be present at the signing of the ordinance, and his place was filled by the Hon. John Milton, governor-elect. After prayer by Bishop Rutledge the convention signed the ordinance before the assembled citizens of Florida, after which the president declared that the State of Florida was a free and independent State, and that all political connection between her and the existing government of the United States was dissolved.
During the subsequent proceedings of the convention, which continued in session until the 21st, the following resolution was adopted: "Whereas, the State of Florida has severed her connection with the late Federal Union, notice of that fact should be communicated to President Buchanan; Resolved, that Hons. S. R. Mallory, D. L. Yulee and George S. Hawkins, be and are hereby appointed commissioners for that purpose."
It was also resolved, "That this convention authorize and empower the governor of this State to employ the militia of this State, and such forces as may be tendered to the State from the States of Alabama and Georgia to defend and protect the State, and especially the forts and public defenses of the State now in possession of the State, and that the governor be authorized to make all necessary arrangements for the support and maintenance of such troops and carrying on the public defenses; That it is the sense of this convention that the governor should not direct any assault to be made on any fort or military post now occupied by Federal troops, unless the persons in occupation of such forts and posts shall commit overt acts of hostility against this State, its citizens or troops in its service, unless directed by a vote of this convention."
It was on January 12th, two days after the passage of the ordinance of secession, that the Federal troops at Pensacola abandoned the navy yard and Fort Barrancas and retired to Fort Pickens, removing the public stores and spiking the guns at Barrancas and the navy yard. The movement was a significant one, indicating that the Federal garrison, anticipating a demand for the surrender of the forts within the limits of the State, were preparing to act on the defensive, by concentrating in this strong fortress, on the extreme western part of Santa Rosa island, commanding the entrance to Pensacola bay and harbor. They could there sustain a siege without great loss to their forces, and when eventually strengthened by their navy, could act on the aggressive and soon control the city of Pensacola and the adjacent towns. The possession of the fortification commanding the entrance to the harbor of Pensacola was of vital importance to the safety of the seceding States on the Gulf of Mexico. No other place on the Gulf was safe while the Federal troops held Fort Pickens, an almost impregnable stronghold, which could be taken only by an effective force and by bold and skillful movement.
The importance of Pensacola to Alabama in a military point of view rendered it an imperative duty of that State to aid in its defense, and 225 gallant Alabamians under Colonel Lomax were immediately ordered to Pensacola. At the same time the governor of Mississippi, at the suggestion of the governor of Alabama, ordered troops to repair at once to Mobile and there await orders to Pensacola. In the course of a few weeks these troops, also forces from Georgia, were encamped at Pensacola in readiness for action whenever it was deemed advisable by the commanding general to make an attack on Fort Pickens, or on such troops as would be eventually landed on Santa Rosa island to act in concert with the garrison. It was necessary that a strong military force should be concentrated to prevent a great Federal depot being established at this point, from which none of the gulf ports would have been free from annoyance or danger, especially Mobile and New Orleans. If confined to Fort Pickens the Federals could not concentrate any considerable body of troops there, and even though the other forts and the navy yard might be commanded by it, still they could not venture to occupy them while our forces were present in sufficient numbers, nor could they fit out an expedition for operations on other points. Though these demonstrations were apparently hostile, they were a necessary precaution for protection to the people of the Gulf States; and the unanimous feeling prevailed that no blood should be shed in the present state of affairs; that a Southern Confederacy must first be organized. During these exciting events telegrams were received by Col. William H. Chase, whom the governor appointed major-general commanding State troops, and by A. E. Maxwell, R. C. Campbell and C. C. Jouge of Pensacola, from Senator S. R. Mallory, "that a collision should be avoided; that Fort Pickens was not worth a drop of blood." Governor Perry, to co-operate with the troops from Alabama and other States, had ordered a force to Pensacola, consisting of two volunteer companies of infantry, one from Leon county, under Capt. Perry A. Amaker, the other from Jefferson county, commanded by Capt. James Patton Anderson. On arriving in Tallahassee en route for Pensacola, a request had been made by the latter company and acceded to by Captain Anderson, who was at the time a member of the convention, that he would command the company on this expedition. The troops failing to get steamboat transportation at St. Marks, returned to Tallahassee and started overland via Quincy and Chattahoo-chee. By urgent request of Captain Amaker, seconded by Governor Perry, Captain Anderson assumed command of both companies. On their arrival at Chattahoochee arsenal a dispatch was received from the governor directing them to remain there until further orders, but within about ten days they were disbanded by order of the governor, it having been decided not to attack Fort Pickens at that time.
Before the disbandment of these companies the convention of Florida, still in session, determined to send delegates to the Southern convention to be held at Montgomery, in February, for the purpose of forming a provisional government. On the 17th day of January the Hons. Jackson Morton of Santa Rosa county, James B. Owens of Marion, and James Patton Anderson of Jefferson, were appointed such delegates.
A resolution was passed that the delegates from this State to the convention "be instructed to oppose any attempt on the part of said convention to legislate or transact any business whatever other than the adoption of a provisional government to be substantially on the basis of the constitution of the late United States, and a permanent constitution for the Southern Confederacy upon the same basis, and that in the event of the said convention undertaking on any pretext whatever to exercise any powers other than that above enumerated, that our delegates are instructed to protest against the same and to declare in behalf of the State of Florida that such acts will not be deemed binding."
Select committees having been appointed for the discussion of the adoption of proper methods in the formation of rules and regulations governing the judiciary, civil, military and naval departments of the State, and having satisfactorily accomplished this important work, on the 21st of January, 1861, a committee of three was appointed to wait on the governor and inform him that the convention was ready to adjourn and to learn if he had further communications to make. On the return of the committee with report that the governor had no further communications to make, resolutions of thanks were tendered to the Hon. John C. McGehee, president of the convention, for the impartial and dignified manner in which he had discharged the duties of the position. The convention also adopted resolutions expressing "their approval and high appreciation of the acts of Major-General Chase," as the same had been communicated by Colonels Holland and Gee, aides to the governor, and thanks were tendered to these officers, to the troops, and to Governor Moore for" his promptness and patriotism." It is worthy of note that General Chase, in accepting the appointment of military commander, informed Governor Perry that he would serve without pay or any personal expense to the State.
On the 4th of February, 1861, the delegates from the seceding States met at Montgomery, Ala., and prepared a provisional constitution for the new Confederacy. This constitution was discussed in detail and was adopted on the 8th of February, 1861. All the principal measures of that body passed or proposed during its session, met the approval and support of our delegates. The day following the adoption of the constitution, on February 9th, an election was held for the selection of chief executive officers. Mr. Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, was elected president, and Mr. Alexander H. Stephens, of Georgia, vice-president.
In assuming the grave responsibility of the laborious work of chief executive of the provisional government, Mr. Davis was sustained by the consciousness that the South was justified by the absence of wrong-doing on her part and by the wanton aggression on the part of the North. His farewell speech before the United States Senate possesses especial significance and historical interest. He said, "If I had not believed there was justifiable cause, if I had thought Mississippi was acting without provocation, I should still have been bound by her action." While many of our prominent leaders believed that our right to secede would not be questioned Mr. Davis felt assured that the North would not let the South go; that she would endeavor to enforce by the sword the obligations that she had broken in the political conditions of peace. In entering upon his new duties, as soldier and war minister he knew what war meant and was satisfied that the South could achieve her independence only through a long and sanguinary conflict. Thus wisely forecasting results he could not be an ardent, uncompromising secessionist until assured that the honor, the right, the freedom and the interests of the South could no longer be defended within the Union.
The first and second sessions of the provisional government were held in Montgomery, Ala., from February 4, 1861, to May 21, 1861; the third, fourth and fifth at Richmond, Va., from July 20 to November 18, 1861. On the 19th of February, 1862, a permanent organization of the Confederate States was effected, the electoral vote for president and vice-president cast by the several States being 109. The entire vote was cast for Jefferson Davis, of Mississippi, for the office of president, and for Alexander Stephens, of Georgia, for vice-president.
During the period of the Confederate government, Florida's representatives in the Senate were James M. Baker and Augustus E. Maxwell, and the members of Congress successively elected during provisional and later rule were J.P. Anderson, James B. Dawkins, Robert B. Hilton, Jackson Morton, J. M. Martin, J. B. Owens, St. George Rogers, G. T. Ward and J.P. Sanderson. Florida's governors during the civil war were Madison S. Perry to November, 1851, John.Milton from November, 1861, to April, 1865. The latter dying before the expiration of his term, A. K. Allison was acting governor until the close of the war, when he was arrested with other prominent officials, by military order, and imprisoned in Fort Pulaski.
War having been begun against the seceded States soon after the inauguration of President Lincoln, the governor of Florida engaged in active preparations for the coming conflict, now inevitable. This first movement was to issue orders to the volunteer companies to organize into battalions and regiments, and for all citizens subject to military duty to make preparations at once for war and be in readiness for such service as would be required for the defense of the State and the protection of the extensive line of seacoast that would be exposed to the enemy's gunboats and transports, which would very soon be sent to blockade our ports. A prompt response was made to the call, and companies were rapidly formed throughout the State, and organized into battalions of infantry and cavalry, resulting before many months in the formation of regimental organizations composed of the finest material in the State. Four artillery companies were also formed, nobly officered and well equipped, and under such admirable discipline that when called into service they soon won a proud name by the splendid management of their guns, and their coolness and heroism. In many instances they displayed a dauntless intrepidity on the battlefield, not only in the State, but while in the army of Tennessee. These magnificent batteries are recorded on the muster-roll of Florida's defenders as Abel's, Gamble's, Dunham's, and Martin's.
Revolutions develop the high qualities of the good and the great, and Florida's loyal citizens proved their greatness when the alarm of war was given and the clash of arms resounded throughout the land. Never has there been recorded a more prompt and unselfish spirit on the part of any people. Although the State was sparsely settled and the highest vote ever cast was 12,898, yet in proportion to her population she furnished as large a quota to the Confederate army as her sister States. The South has no prouder record of heroism and patriotic bearing of citizens and soldiers than the beautiful Land of Flowers. In the camps of instruction were gathered all the elements of a chivalrous and dauntless soldiery--brave men and beardless boys who were destined to stand in the front during the four years' terrible struggle, and come forth covered with scars, the soldier's badge of honor; others destined to be stricken down by disease and in distant lands find premature graves; and thousands who were to meet death at the cannon's mouth or in loathsome Northern prisons---whose names will be handed down, a glorious heritage of loyalty and patriotism, to be ever honored by a proud and grateful people. Many of the survivors of the cause, made glorious by its baptism of fire and blood and held in sacred loving remembrance, began their career as privates, rose by meritorious conduct to high rank and now occupy prominent places in the history of our State and country.
In obedience to the governor's call for troops for immediate service, to be in readiness for action whenever the commanding general at Pensacola should deem it advisable to make an attack, ten volunteer companies reported for duty, two from Alachua county and eight from middle and west Florida. They were ordered to the military rendezvous at Chattahoochee arsenal, which was in possession of the State, and reorganized into a regiment to be mustered into the Confederate service as the" First Florida infantry regiment." These companies were respectively commanded by Captains Anderson, Amaker, Cropp, Powell, Hilton, Baker, Bradford, Gee, Myers, Lamar and Bright.
The organization of the regiment was effected and field officers chosen. Capt. J. Patton Anderson was elected colonel; William Beard of Tallahassee, lieutenant-colonel; and Thaddeus A. McDonell of Gainesville, major. They were ordered to report at Pensacola to General Bragg, who on the 8th of March, 1861, had been appointed brigadier-general in the provisional army and assigned to duty in Florida, with headquarters at Pensacola. On the 5th of April, 1861, they began their march, a dispatch being forwarded by Theodore W. Brevard, adjutant-general of Florida, that about 580 men belonging to the counties east of the Chattahoochee river would take steamers at that point for Columbus, where transportation and subsistence would be expected. The companies on the west side of the river would march through.
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