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.
When we last checked in on William McLeod of Manatee County, he and his unit were moving north to join the forces of Confederate General John Bell Hood for an invasion of Tennessee. In today’s diary entry from McLeod, we see they have shifted a bit to the west:
[Text from previous page] on the 29 we were on picket outside [begin left page] town where we could see lots of Yankees & their forts & they would shoot at us & we at them & about one hour later we left our picket post one at a time until we all left & the Yanks a looking at us & we marched 7 or 8 miles & camped all night
McLeod’s unit, the 7th Florida Infantry, part of the “Florida Brigade,” would eventually turn north and participate in the Battle of Franklin and the punishing Nashville campaign of late 1864 and early 1865. The survivors would later hurry east to help check William Tecumseh Sherman’s northward march through the Carolinas. Further losses forced the Florida Brigade to surrender at Durham Station, North Carolina on April 26, 1865. William McLeod received his parole a few days later on May 1st.
McLeod returned to Manatee, Florida after the war to make his home with his wife, Susan Arnold McLeod. He had married Susan in 1864, probably while on leave. He and Susan had ten children together. William McLeod died at Ona in DeSoto County on March 7, 1925.
For more information about Florida and Floridians during the Civil War, check out the resources below. Also, check back with us tomorrow for a diary entry from Union soldier William Stebbins, stationed at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas.
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!)