Florida in the Civil War


M76 - 134 Collection Description

Record Group:


Call Number:

M76- 134


Frier, Joshua Hoyet, 1847-1903




ca. 1895-1903


0.25 cubic ft.



Biographical / Historical Note:

Joshua Hoyet Frier was born in Lowndes County, Georgia. He lived with his family near the Florida border. Frier's father and brothers were opposed to secession. One brother eventually enlisted in the Eighth Florida Infantry Regiment and was killed by Confederate authorities after he deserted. On his seventeenth birthday, May 20, 1864, Joshua Frier enrolled in a Florida militia company that eventually became the First Florida Reserves, Company B. The unit remained in north Florida throughout its service.

Summary Scope Note:

The collection contains a photocopy of a journal of reminiscences written by Joshua Hoyet Frier from 1895 to 1903. It is entitled "Reminiscences of the War Between the States by a Boy in the Far South at Home and in the Rank of the Confederate Militia." Frier's memoirs vividly describe the period immediately before and during the Civil War. It documents his service in the First Florida Reserves from 1864 to 1865.

He discusses the prewar debate over secession; the early enthusiasm of some volunteers and the reluctance of others; and the shortages of food, salt, and other materials as the war progressed. One chapter is devoted to "The Negro as a Slave" and includes a description of a slave hunt. In another portion of his manuscript, Frier describes his acquaintance with Lewis Thornton Powell (Lewis Payne) of Hamilton County, who later gained notoriety as one of the John Wilkes Booth conspirators.

Frier's often humorous memoirs display his antipathy and near contempt for the war. His company saw little combat, but Frier portrays the everyday life of the common Confederate soldier. Foremost on his mind was the continual search for food to supplement his meager rations. Also described are his decisions to twice be away without leave from his unit and his eventual return; his participation in an expedition to capture deserters; his work taking up rails; a duel fought between two officers; and his relationship with the other men in his unit.

Among the locations mentioned in the narrative are Lake City (Columbia County), Baldwin (Duval County), Callahan (Nassau County), Bronson (Levy County), Station No 4 (near Cedar Key), Sanderson (Baker County), Darbyville (Baker County), and Madison (Madison County).

Frier's narrative includes a vivid description of the Battle of Natural Bridge, March 1865, in which his unit participated. He also describes the execution of two Confederate deserters captured in Union uniforms. His narrative closes shortly before the Confederate surrender in May 1865.

Reproduction Note:


Location of Originals:

In possession of donor