The following post is part of an ongoing series entitled Civil War Voices from Florida. Each day in October 2014, Florida Memory will post a document from the collections of the State Archives of Florida written exactly 150 years before that date, in October 1864.
Today’s post takes us to northwestern Georgia and into the diary of William McLeod, a young Confederate soldier from Manatee County, Florida who had been a member of Company B of the 7th Florida Infantry since his enlistment in March 1862. McLeod kept a small pocket diary, in which he describes his experiences. The diary begins in June 1864 during the Confederates’ unsuccessful campaign to stop General William Tecumseh Sherman’s march to Atlanta, and concludes in January 1865, following several defeats near Nashville.
McLeod tended to blend several days’ worth of activity together in his diary entries, so this entry will cover a bit more than just what happened on October 8, 1864.
[left side] on the [6th] we were ordered to leave at day light & it was raining & we marched 7 or 8 miles through the rain & [right side] it was as bad a days march as I ever made I think & we camped all night & on the [7th] was a fair day & we marched 18 or 20 miles & camped & it turned cool & on the [8th] we marched about 10 or 12 miles & went over the mountain & into Cedar Valley & went to Cedar town that day & camped all night & on the 8 [9th?] we left that camp about 1 or 2 oclock & marched that evening & night
Mcleod’s entry describes the movements of his regiment as they made their way north to join the Tennessee Campaign of late 1864. General William Tecumseh Sherman had already burned Atlanta at this point and was preparing to begin his infamous march southeast across Georgia to Savannah. Confederate General John Bell Hood, meanwhile, headed north with plans to invade Tennessee and Kentucky with a force that included the 7th Florida Infantry and McLeod.
We’ll hear more from William McLeod later in the month. For now, have a look at the related resources below, and don’t forget to check out tomorrow’s entry on Civil War Voices. We’ll be back in Elmira, New York to check on Floridian prisoner of war Wilbur Wightman Gramling.
Related Resources on Florida Memory:
- William McLeod Diary (full version)
- William McLeod’s Confederate Pension Application
- Florida Memory Learning Unit: Florida in the Civil War
- Florida Memory Exhibit: Distant Storm: Florida’s Role in the Civil War
Related Resources at the State Archives of Florida:
Related Resources in Print:
- Biographical Rosters of Florida’s Confederate and Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 (find in a library near you!)
- Florida in the Civil War, by Nicholas Wynne and Robert Taylor (find in a library near you!)