Guide to Military Records and the Wartime Experience
at the State Archives of Florida
Civil War, 1861-1864
Florida joined the United States as a state in 1845, but in April 1861, Florida became the third of 10 Southern states to secede from the Union. For years, differences between North and South over slavery and the federal government's right to regulate it had divided the country. Political leaders in Florida and throughout the South considered Lincoln's election the breaking point. If slavery were to survive, the South would have to leave the Union.
At the time, Florida had the smallest population of the Confederate States and nearly half the population were enslaved Blacks, so Florida only sent 15,000 troops to the Confederate States Army. The state's incredibly long coastline made it an easy target for invading Union forces, especially since the Union maintained control of Key West, Fort Jefferson and Fort Pickens. Furthermore, Florida's meager industrial resources made the state of little strategic importance to either side. However, it was a vital source of beef and salt for the Confederacy and supported the blockade runners that evaded Union blockade ships along Florida's coastline.
There was little fighting in Florida, the only major conflict being the Battle of Olustee, near Lake City in February 1864. However, there were pockets of anti-Confederate feeling across the state. As the war dragged on, allegiance to the Confederate cause began to fracture under the weight of deaths, hardships and disagreeable policies put into place by state and Confederate leaders, such as conscription and impressment. Wartime conditions also made it easier for enslaved people to escape, and many of them became useful informers to Union commanders.
The last significant battle of the Civil War in Florida occurred at Natural Bridge, near St. Marks in March 1865. It was a key Confederate victory; but the war ended two months later, and Union troops re-established federal control.
The State Archives has a variety of records that document Florida's involvement in the Civil War and the experiences of Florida's citizens at the time. The records include traditional military records such as compiled service records and pension applications as well as maps, diaries, letters and other personal papers.
State Board of Pensions
Confederate Pension Application Files, 1885-1954
113 cubic feet
The series contains files documenting pension claims that include the original application, any supplemental applications, proof of service and residency, and occasional correspondence between the applicant and the Board. Veterans' application files generally include name, date and place of birth, unit dates and places of enlistment and discharge, brief description of service, wounds received, sworn statements on proof of service by comrades, War Department service abstracts, and place and length of Florida residency. Widows' application files generally include, in addition to the above, her full name, date and place of marriage to the veteran, and date and place of the veteran's death.
Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Florida, 1861-1865
11 microfilm reels
These records consist of a jacket-envelope for each Union soldier with his name, rank and unit in which he served, and typically containing card abstracts of entries relating to the soldier as found in documents such as muster rolls, returns, hospital rolls, descriptive books, and lists of deserters; as well as the originals of any papers relating solely to the soldier. Preceding the jacket-envelopes are records of event cards giving the stations, movements, or activities of the unit or a part of it, and sometimes information relating to its organization or composition. Series S977 (1 microfilm reel) contains an alphabetical card index to the compiled records in this series.
Records Relating to Confederate Naval and Marine Personnel, 1861-1865
7 microfilm reels
This microfilm publication contains records relating to persons serving in the Confederate Navy and Marine Corps, arranged in three series: compiled hospital and prison records of naval and marine personnel; reference cards and papers relating to naval personnel; and reference cards and papers relating to marine personnel. The first series consists of card abstracts of entries relating to each individual in Union and Confederate hospital registers, prescription books, Union prison and parole rolls, and other papers relating to each individual. The second and third series consist of reference cards and any papers relating solely to an individual sailor or marine. The reference cards indicate rank and contain references to vessel papers, payrolls, muster rolls and volumes in the War Department Collection of Confederate Records.
Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Florida, 1861-1865
111 microfilm reels
These records consist of a jacket-envelope for each Confederate soldier with his name, rank, unit in which he served, and often a statement concerning the origin or background of that unit. The jacket-envelopes typically contain card abstracts of entries relating to the soldier as found in documents such as muster rolls, returns, rosters, payrolls, appointment books, hospital registers, Union prison registers and rolls, parole rolls and inspection reports; as well as the originals of any papers relating to the soldier. Also included in the series are records relating to soldiers from Florida selected from the "Unfiled and Unfileable" series of the War Department Collection of Confederate Records. Series S1504 (9 microfilm reels) contains an alphabetical card index to the compiled records in this series.
Compiled Military Service Records of General and Staff Officers from the State of Florida, 1861-1865
5 microfilm reels
This microfilm publication contains the military records of Florida’s general and staff officers who served in the Confederacy. These records include correspondence, receipts, registers of appointments, payroll records and other related documentation.
Confederate States of America Army, Florida Infantry 8th Regiment
Pay Vouchers, 1862-1863
.25 cubic foot
The series contains pay vouchers for some members of the Confederate 8th Florida Infantry Regiment. Most of the documents record payments issued for service during a specified period. Some items, issued at the time of a soldier's discharge, give information such as birthplace, occupation, age, height and complexion.
Florida Military Department
Confederate Marine Corps and Navy Personnel Card Roster of Floridians, 1925
.25 cubic foot
This series is a typescript card roster of Confederate Marine Corps and Navy personnel who had connections with the State of Florida. The cards generally contain the place of birth, appointment, ranks, promotions and military career.
Office of the Adjutant General
Original Florida Confederate Muster Rolls, 1861-1865
1 microfilm reel
These records document individuals from Florida serving in Confederate military units, including units mustered into Confederate service and those that remained in state service during the war. The muster rolls generally include the name and rank of the soldier, when and where they enrolled, payroll information and remarks. At the end of the series are non-unit rolls from the Chattahoochee Arsenal and the Warrington Naval Yard (Pensacola).
Office of the Adjutant General
Florida Confederate Muster Rolls, 1861-1865
37 volumes (8 microfilm reels)
The volumes contain photostatic copies of muster in rolls; muster out rolls; descriptive rolls; annual, monthly and quarterly returns; and special orders for Florida Confederate soldiers. The muster rolls may contain the name and rank of a soldier; when, where and by whom they mustered or enrolled into service; last paid and remarks. In addition, the descriptive rolls include city and county of birth, age, occupation, hair and eye color, complexion and height.
Office of the Adjutant General
Florida Cavalry Regiments of the Union Army Muster Rolls, 1863-1865
10 volumes (2 microfilm reels)
The volumes contain photostatic copies of muster in and muster out rolls, descriptive rolls, some annual, monthly and quarterly returns, and special orders of federal Florida cavalry regiments. The muster rolls may contain the name and rank of a soldier; when, where and by whom they were mustered or enrolled into service; last paid and remarks. In addition to the above information, the descriptive rolls also include city and county of birth, age, occupation, and information about hair and eye color, complexion and height.
Letters Sent by the Department of Florida and Successor Commands, 1861-1869
2 microfilm reels
This microfilm publication contains letters and reports dispatched by the commanding officers and their adjutants from department and district headquarters. The letters reveal the vacuum in military authority experienced in Florida at the commencement of the Civil War, and the problems with communication delays, discipline and duties throughout the war. The reports describe the movements of the enemy and provide intelligence gleaned from behind Confederate lines, and some letters include battle action reports. Matters relating to protecting the civil and political rights of Blacks and Union sympathizers are prominent.
Case Files of Applications from Former Confederates for Presidential Pardons: Amnesty Papers, 1865-1867
1 microfilm reel
This microfilm publication consists of applications for pardon to President Andrew Johnson from former Florida Confederates who were excluded from the provisions of his amnesty proclamation of May 29, 1865. Included with each application is a signed oath of allegiance and, in many cases, recommendations from prominent citizens for clemency or letters from relatives or friends with pleas for compassion. The individual files often contain considerable information on a pardon applicant's background, his activities during the war years and his attitude in defeat.
Consolidated Index to Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865
535 microfilm reels
This microfilm publication contains the master index of all the names of Confederate soldiers found in the records used in compiling the service records for each soldier, regardless of whether the service was with a unit furnished by a state, with a unit raised directly by the Confederate government, or as a staff officer. Each card gives the name of the soldier, his rank, the unit in which he served, and often a statement concerning the origin or background of that unit.
Compiled Service Records of Confederate General and Staff Officers and Non-Regimental Enlisted Men, 1861-1865
275 microfilm reels
This series contains the compiled service records of Confederate officers and enlisted men who did not belong to any single regiment, separate company or comparable unit, or special corps. This class of military personnel included general officers; officers and enlisted men of the so-called staff departments; members of army corps, division and brigade staffs; and various appointees with special status such as aides-de-camp, military judges, chaplains, agents and drillmasters. The staff departments were those of the Adjutant and Inspector General, the Quartermaster General, the Commissary General, the Medical Department, and the Ordnance Department.
Confederate States Army Casualties Lists and Narrative Reports, 1861-1865
7 microfilm reels
This microfilm publication reproduces part of the unbound lists and narrative reports of casualties that the Confederate States Army submitted to the Confederate War Department during the Civil War. The records are generally nominal lists of casualties that were not published in the official records as a matter of policy, statistical lists from which abstracts were compiled and published, and narrative reports that were not published for such reasons as the relative unimportance of the reporting unit.
Civil War Recollections of S.M. Hankins, 1861-1865
.10 cubic foot
This series consists of a typescript entitled "My Recollections of the Confederate War," transcribed from the original. The recollections begin with Florida's secession in 1861, when Hankins was 14 years old. They recall Floridians' initial reactions to the threat of war; the raising of military units; the death of a cousin resulting from combat wounds and imprisonment; the imprisonment of women and children and the burning of their homes if their husbands, fathers or brothers were suspected of deserting; the shooting of deserters; the wartime treatment of Black Americans; Hankins' enlistment at age 16; escorting prisoners to Andersonville; the Battle of Natural Bridge; and other wartime events.
Register of Confederate Soldiers, Sailors, and Citizens Who Died in Federal Prisons and Military Hospitals in the North, 1861-1865
1 microfilm reel
This microfilm publication reproduces a register that provides the names of individuals, their rank, company, regiment, date of death, number and location of grave, and the prison camp or other location of death.
Personal and Family Papers
Albert S. Chalker Letters, 1864-1865
This collection contains letters between Albert Chalker and his sweetheart, Martha Ann Bardin, written while Chalker served in the Confederate Army. The correspondence mainly concerns Chalker's wartime experience at Baldwin in Duval County, his involvement in the Battle of Natural Bridge, and his affections for Bardin. Also included are two letters from Bardin to Chalker, and a certification of enlistment of William Sims Bardin, Martha's father, into Colonel Arthur Roberts' Company of Lake City.
West Family Papers, 1827-1881
1 microfilm reel
Dr. Theophilus West enlisted in the 8th Florida Infantry of the Confederate States Army and was appointed assistant surgeon. He accompanied his regiment to Northern Virginia, where he served out the war. This collection contains various papers of the West family of Jackson County, including deeds, land grants, tax notices, seizure of property notices and a confederate bond. Of interest is an 1863 Civil War letter from Dr. Theophilius West, at a camp near Brandy Station in Virginia, to his sister in Marianna.
Green A. Chaires Papers, 1865-1866
This collection contains the 1865 pardon and amnesty for Green A. Chaires’ participation in the Civil War, signed by President Andrew Johnson. It also includes an 1866 letter to Chaires from Jefferson Davis, in prison at Fort Monroe, Virginia, thanking Chaires for his offer to send Davis money for his comfort.
Randolph Family Papers, 1820-1978
2 cubic feet
The collection contains papers of the Randolph family of Leon County, Florida. The correspondence includes letters from Thomas Easton and William Duval Randolph to their family while serving in Pensacola during the Civil War. There is also a transcript of Dr. Arthur Moray Randolph’s diary describing his journey to Virginia from Florida to tend to his dying son in a Civil War hospital, as well as some genealogical materials.
George W. Messer Papers, 1861-1908
George W. Messer of Dellwood, Florida, served in Company D of the 17th Regiment of the Georgia Volunteers (Decatur Guards) during the Civil War. This collection contains Messer’s personal papers, most of which relate to his service in the Civil War. Included is a certification of his membership in the Decatur Guards, a muster roll of the Decatur Guards, and a copy of his parole from the Army of Northern Virginia.
United Daughters of the Confederacy. Anna Jackson Chapter No. 224 (Tallahassee, Fla.)
Records, 1862-1865, 1898-2016
25.75 cubic feet
Records of the Anna Jackson Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy Tallahassee, Florida, include correspondence, minutes, organizational papers, subject files, programs, membership lists and yearbooks. The original Civil War material includes an 1862 diary of David E. Coombs describing operations around Charleston, South Carolina; various letters; and a journal by John David Cay while he was a prisoner at Point Lookout in Delaware. The records also include post-war correspondence and reports regarding wartime actions.
Joshua Hoyet Frier Memoirs, 1895-1903
.25 cubic foot
In 1864, Joshua Hoyet Frier enrolled in a Florida militia company that eventually became the 1st Florida Reserves, Company B. The collection contains a photocopy of Frier’s journal of reminiscences 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 and document his service in the 1st Florida Reserves, portraying the everyday life of the common Confederate soldier. His narrative closes shortly before the Confederate surrender in May 1865.
Robert Watson Diary, 1861-1865
.25 cubic foot
In September 1861, Robert Watson enrolled in a Florida "Coast Guard" company at Cedar Key, which mustered into Confederate service as Company K, 7th Florida Infantry Regiment in 1862. Watson's company remained along Florida's west coast until late June, when it joined the Confederate Army in Tennessee. Watson continued to serve in various places throughout the south until the end of the war. This collection contains Watson’s Civil War diary, which documents his service in the 7th Florida Infantry Regiment and in the Confederate Navy. It is arguably the most detailed and complete diary kept by a Floridian during the Civil War, and it is certainly unique in documenting the activities of a Floridian who served in the Confederate States Navy.
Matthews Family Papers, 1856-1910
.25 cubic foot
David Matthews served in several Confederate military organizations during the Civil War. The collection consists primarily of the correspondence of David and Nancy Matthews and other correspondence relating to them by family and friends. The letters present a detailed picture of life during the war, on the front and at home. Also included are military records, newspaper clippings, receipts, agreements and photographs. Of interest is Nancy's correspondence with the Internal Improvement Fund of Florida to which she applied for a pension on behalf of her deceased husband.
Duncan Galleries, Confederate Soldiers Photographs, 1861
This collection contains two photographs of Company B of the 9th Mississippi of New Orleans in a camp at the Warrington Navy Yard at Big Bayou in Pensacola, Florida, on April 21, 1861. The photographs are some of the earliest known Confederate subjects in Florida.
Albert W. Peck Papers, 1861-1865
.25 cubic foot
Albert W. Peck served as an enlisted man and officer in Company D, 17th Connecticut Infantry Regiment from 1862 to 1865. This collection includes a diary, which is a retrospective account of Peck’s Civil War service that details military and civilian life during the war. The collection also contains letters to family members while Peck was stationed in Picolata, Florida that document his life as a soldier. Other materials include an article on the history of the 17th Infantry Regiment that recounts the regiment's involvement in several skirmishes including Welaka, Saunders and Dunn's Lake, Florida, and a copy of the muster roll of Peck’s unit.
Washington Waters Letters, 1863-1864
In 1863, Washington Waters enlisted in the Confederate Army, where he served in Company C, 4th Florida Battalion of Infantry. The 4th Florida fought in Virginia in 1864, and on August 4 of that year, Waters was hospitalized in Richmond, where he died a few days later. The collection contains transcripts of two of Waters’ letters to his wife that he wrote while in Marianna, Florida. Waters writes of his health and diet, poor medical attention, hopes for a furlough, and the treatment he received after being absent without leave. He devotes much of the letters to advising his wife on running the farm and selling goods.
Map of Pensacola Bay, 1861
This Civil War map depicts the city of Pensacola, the Navy Yard and Santa Rosa Island, showing the location of fortifications and the station of the blockading squadron. G. C. Rickman sketched the map for Captain B. W. Powell of Company C, 1st Florida Infantry Regiment.
Roderick Gospero Shaw Letters, 1861-1864
Roderick and his brother James Shaw served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. This collection contains letters that the brothers wrote, primarily to their sister in Quincy, Florida, during their service. The correspondence begins with the service of Roderick around Pensacola in 1861. Included throughout is information on military activities and family matters. The last letter in the collection is an unfinished one that Roderick started on the eve of his death in battle. Other materials describe Roderick’s death and burial, while a single letter from James in Winchester (Virginia?) describes regional military affairs and camp news.
Thomas Benton Brooks Correspondence, 1864
.25 cubic foot
Thomas Benton Brooks joined the Union Army in 1861 as a First Lieutenant in the 1st New York Engineers. In 1864, he went to Florida to aid in a major Union expedition to establish a loyal Florida government and to interdict Confederate supplies in Jacksonville. The materials in this collection deal primarily with operations in Florida relating to that expedition and include correspondence from naval and army leaders, reports from commanders, a newspaper account of the movements and a pamphlet. Also included is Brooks’ letterbook that contains copies of Brooks’ outgoing letters. These materials give a relatively complete account of operations around Fernandina in early 1864.
Patrick Augustus McGriff Letters, 1861-1864
.25 cubic foot
Patrick Augustus McGriff served in the 5th and 12th Regiments of the Georgia Militia from March 1864 to the end of the war. The collection contains McGriff’s letters written while he was serving in the Georgia Militia that detail military, social and economic matters. The collection also contains an undated speech in which McGriff discusses the course of the war against "an arrogant and self-reliant foe" and calls for increased aid for soldiers' families. In addition, there are letters from two other Confederate soldiers, including one that contains some information about military activities in Florida during the period.
Confederate States of America Army. Kilcrease Light Artillery Records, 1863-1864
The Kilcrease Light Artillery mustered at Camp Leon, Florida in 1863 and it remained in north Florida until the end of the war. These records include a Company Descriptive Roll that lists commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers and enlisted men of the unit, as well as registers of men transferred, discharged, died and deserted. Entries usually include name, age, height, complexion, color of eyes, color of hair, town and state of birth, occupation, place and date of enlistment, name of enrolling officers, length of enlistment and additional remarks. Also included is a Morning Report Book that gives a detailed, daily unit status account including the number of officers and men present for duty, sick, on special duty, in arrest, absent sick, absent with leave, absent without leave and men on special service. Also included is a remarks column with information on personnel changes, conditions of the battery's horses, etc.
George Washington Scott Papers, 1850-1904
.25 cubic foot
In 1860, George Washington Scott enlisted in the Tallahassee Guards, a Leon County militia organization. Upon the formation of the Confederacy he was appointed captain of Company D, 2nd Florida Cavalry. In 1863, Scott organized and was elected lieutenant-colonel of the 5th Florida Cavalry Battalion, which served throughout middle and east Florida. These papers document Scott’s life, representing most heavily the Civil War period. The collection contains personal and official military correspondence, Civil War reports and hand-drawn maps, a partial muster roll of the 5th Florida Cavalry, an account of the Battle of Natural Bridge and other related items.
Council A. Bryan Papers, 1862-1902
.25 cubic foot, 1 volume
In February 1862, Council A. Bryan, the Clerk of Court of Leon County, enrolled in the Trapier Guards, which eventually became Company C of the 5th Florida Infantry. The materials in this collection deal primarily with Bryan’s Confederate service. In correspondence with his wife, he often comments on the condition of the men in his company and his concern for his brother and his wife. He also writes of military activities and campaigns. The collection also includes a casualty list of the Florida Brigade for the 1864 Wilderness Campaign and a Confederate Veterans pamphlet.
Palmer Family Letters, 1856-1915
.25 cubic foot
In 1862, Samuel Augustus Palmer enlisted in Company H, 3rd Florida Infantry Regiment, and spent much of his military career either on the sick list or serving as a clerk or nurse. Union troops captured him in 1864 near Nashville and imprisoned him until the end of the war, when he returned to Monticello. The Palmer family papers contain correspondence from pre-Civil War, Civil War and post-war eras. In the Civil War letters, Palmer writes about his own health, his concern for his family and business, his desire to return home, and the military situation in the area.
Hanna Family Papers, 1856-1875
.25 cubic foot
The Hanna family lived in Gadsden County, Florida. Brothers Calvin and Hamilton were both Confederate soldiers in Company B, 8th Florida Infantry Regiment. Hamilton died in August 1862 at the Second Battle of Manassas while Calvin remained in service until the end of the war. This collection documents the Hanna family primarily through letters to and from Calvin and Hamilton. The correspondence contains information on local activities, farm and family news, and military matters. In addition, there are some legal and military documents.
Stone Family Papers, 1827-1959
3 cubic feet
The Stone family lived in Calhoun County, Florida. This collection contains materials related to the Stone, Compton and Godwin families and other families in Jackson and Calhoun counties. The records include correspondence, diaries, photographs, financial papers and land records. The collection also contains Civil War materials relating to Daniel Hall of the 6th Florida Infantry and Thomas A. Godwin of Company H, 1st Florida Infantry, including correspondence and a receipt for Confederate tax. The correspondence relates to furloughs and several deaths during the Civil War.
Francis Rinaldo Nicks Letters, 1863-1864
Francis Rinaldo Nicks served in Company C, 3rd Florida Infantry Regiment throughout the war, although he was often absent from his unit due to illness. This collection contains two letters of Francis Nicks. The first letter, written in Tullahoma, Tennessee, on March 9, 1863, describes the weather, living conditions, military activities, Nicks’ hopes for a furlough and his thoughts on the outcome of the war. Nicks wrote the second letter in Brooksville, Florida, in July 1864 to Captain Walter Terry Saxon. In this letter, Nicks describes his recent illness and inability to return to his unit until he is well.
David Lang Letters, 1862-1864
.25 cubic foot
At the outbreak of the Civil War, David Lang joined the 1st Florida Infantry Regiment. He organized and was elected captain of a new company that became Company C of the 8th Florida Infantry Regiment. Upon the illness of Edward A. Perry, Lang temporarily commanded the entire Florida Brigade. He served with the Brigade until the end of the war, surrendering at Appomattox in April 1865. This collection consists of 14 letters Lang wrote during the Civil War to his cousin, Elizabeth Atkinson, of Marietta, which describe his experiences in camp and battle.
William Tennent Stockton Papers, 1845-1869
1.25 cubic feet
Originally from Pennsylvania, William Stockton served in Florida during the Second Seminole War, then settled in Quincy. In January 1861, Stockton offered his services and those of a Quincy cavalry company, the Gadsden Dragoons, to the state. In July 1861, Stockton received a commission as a major in the 1st Florida Cavalry, with which he served in the western theater of the war from 1862 to 1863. While in Chattanooga, Stockton was captured by Union forces and spent the remainder of the war in Johnson Island Prison, Ohio. Released in July 1865, Stockton returned to Quincy. This collection consists of letters, primarily between Stockton and his wife, newspaper clippings relating to the family, Stockton's military commission and other records.
Joseph C. Shaw Papers, 1863-1910
3 cubic feet
Born in Ohio in 1840, Joseph C. Shaw initially enlisted in the 6th Michigan Infantry Regiment before accepting a commission in the 15th Regiment Corps d'Afrique. This unit, consisting of Black enlisted men with white officers, campaigned in Louisiana until late in the war, when it transferred to Florida for the remainder of the war. This collection contains Shaw’s private papers including letters, post-war legal records and official papers primarily regarding his actions as Regimental Quartermaster and courts-martial board member. The legal records include letters, reports, requisitions, circulars and orders. This collection provides information on the administration of a Black Union military organization along with details concerning conditions in the Civil War and in the immediate post-Civil War period in Florida.
Washington Ives Diary, 1860-1862
.25 cubic foot
Washington Mackey Ives enlisted into the 4th Florida Infantry Regiment in the spring of 1862 and served in that unit for the rest of the Civil War, rising to the rank of Regimental Sergeant Major. The collection contains a photocopy of Ives’ personal diary that details his activities from March 1860 until May 1862. The entries contain information on his hunting, fishing, schooling in Jacksonville, local activities of vigilantes, militia duties, movements of troops and formation of various units for service in the Confederate Army, and early engagements between Northern and Southern forces near Jacksonville.
Thomas J. Clark Papers, 1862-1864
Thomas J. Clark enlisted in the Confederate Army in 1862 in Company H, 5th Florida Infantry Regiment. At the Battle of Antietam, Clark was severely wounded and evacuated to a nearby military hospital, where Union forces captured and later paroled him, but he died there in mid-November. This collection consists of photocopies of Clark’s letters to his wife between June and September 1862, sharing general camp news, comments about his concern and affection for his wife, a brief description of the Second Battle of Manassas and the beginning of the Confederate invasion of Maryland. There is also a later letter to Martha describing Thomas' death. The collection also contains a poem written by Thomas Clark, entitled "A Soldier's Life," and an 1864 letter from Thomas' brother to Martha in which he describes activities in Florida following the Battle of Olustee.
Wilbur Wightman Gramling Diary, 1864-1865
.25 cubic foot
Wilbur Wightman Gramling enlisted with his brother, Irvin, in Company K of the 5th Florida Regiment at Tallahassee on February 20, 1862. Gramling missed several months' service during the winter of 1862 to 1863 due to illness but otherwise was present for several major battles including Antietam, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. At the May 1864 Battle of the Wilderness, Union troops wounded and captured Gramling, and he remained imprisoned until June 1865. This collection comprises one of the very few surviving diaries written by a Florida soldier in the Civil War. It is even rarer in that it documents the experiences of a Florida serviceman incarcerated in a Union prisoner-of-war camp. The entries concentrate on topics such as food, weather, living conditions, illnesses among the prisoners, war news, condition of family and friends, and the hope for exchange.
United Confederate Veterans, Florida Division Records, 1861-1865, 1887-1928
.50 cubic foot
The Florida Division of the United Confederate Veterans formed in 1891 as a social, literary, historical and benevolent organization. This collection consists of records pertaining to the No. 1 Brigade of the Florida Division and Camp Ward No. 10 in Pensacola. The collection also includes several photocopied Civil War letters: 11 letters by Samuel House, who served in a Tennessee artillery unit, and 30 letters from Thomas T. Bigbie of the 33rd Alabama Infantry Regiment.
Chapman Family Papers, 1858-1883
In May 1862, Giles P. Chapman enlisted in the Marion Dragoons, which later became Company C, 2nd Florida Cavalry Regiment. He was discharged for disability in December of that year and died in November 1863 from measles complications. This collection contains photocopies of 10 letters of the Chapman family, including pre-war letters between Giles Chapman and his parents, wartime letters from Chapman to his wife, and several letters written after Giles' death between his widow and his father. The collection also includes a copy of a special order for Giles, dated 1865. The wartime letters document military activities in east Florida, including the areas of Jacksonville and Palatka.
William D. Rogers Letters, 1862-1865
William D. Rogers of Milton, Florida, enrolled in Company K of the 1st Florida Infantry on May 31, 1861, and served in various other Florida units until November 17, 1864, when federal forces captured him and his brother John at Pine Barren, Florida. They were imprisoned at Ship Island, Mississippi, where William died on March 8, 1865. This collection contains photocopies of 12 letters written by William D. Rogers during the Civil War that document camp life and military operations. Rogers describes the retreat from Corinth, Mississippi following the April 1862 Battle of Shiloh, and the Battle of Murfreesboro, Tennessee (December 1862-January 1863). One of the letters is from Ship Island shortly before Rogers’ death. Also included are two photographs of the brothers in their military uniforms.
Confederate States of America Army, Florida Reserve Letterbook, 1864-1865
The Florida Reserve functioned as a home guard and adjunct to Confederate troops in repelling Union coastal raids and interior incursions into Florida. It was comprised of local companies of men and boys exempted from conscription into Confederate forces. Brigadier General William Miller commanded the Florida Reserve, and Major William G. Poole served as Assistant Adjutant General. The collection contains a photocopy of a letterbook of the orders and communications of the Headquarters, Florida Reserve and Headquarters, Military District of Florida, from October 13, 1864, to April 24, 1865. They concern troop recruiting, troop movements, railroads, salt works and hospitals.
R.H. Tate Letters, 1864
Robert Henry Tate was from Hall County, Georgia. Shortly after his marriage to Mary Elizabeth "Lizzie" Cantrell on February 14, 1864, Tate left to serve as a member of the E Company, 2nd Florida Infantry. This collection consists of photocopies of eight letters that Tate wrote to his wife. The letters, written between March 29, 1864, and September 3, 1864, document Tate's wartime experiences and seem to indicate that Tate was in action around the Wilderness, Petersburg, and Richmond.
Lewis G. Schmidt Research Files
6 cubic feet
Lewis G. Schmidt was a Civil War historian and author. This collection consists of his research materials and includes photocopies of newspaper clippings; Civil War soldiers' diaries, memoirs and letters; and maps and illustrations. These records document military operations throughout the state, including those at Pensacola, Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Fernandina, Key West and Ft. Jefferson. There is also information on the naval blockade of Florida and on the battles of Santa Rosa Island, Olustee, Marianna and Natural Bridge.
Call and Brevard Family Papers, 1788-1925
6 cubic feet (27 microfilm reels; 33 compact disks)
This collection contains various records of Richard Keith Call and his family, and Theodore Washington Brevard and his family in Leon County, Florida. The records provide documentation of Florida's territorial, early statehood and Civil War history, issues and attitudes concerning slavery and race, and the effects of the Civil War on the lives of planters of the Old South. Notable among the Call papers are Call's writings regarding slavery and race, secession, the Union and the Civil War, and Ellen Call Long’s Civil War diary in which she discusses the progress and conclusion of the war and the assassination of President Lincoln. In the Brevard Family Papers, there is correspondence during and after the Civil War, including many letters from T. W. Brevard written from Confederate camps and the battlefield.
J.T. (Jesse Talbot) Bernard Papers, 1842-1949
.25 cubic foot
In 1861, Jesse Talbot Bernard entered the Provisional Army of the Confederacy and was later appointed Captain and Assistant Quartermaster for the 8th Florida Infantry Regiment. He served in that capacity until his assignment to General Robert E. Lee's staff, where he remained until the end of the war. This collection contains journals, letters, photographs and reminiscences of Bernard and his family. Most of the letters are from Bernard to his family and wife in Florida and give some account of the nature of Bernard's service during the war and conditions in the theater of operations in Virginia and Maryland. There is also a transcription of Bernard’s "Journal Six" that covers 1856-1861, 1883-1884 and 1891.
Andrew Denham Civil War Pardon 1865
At the close of the Civil War, President Andrew Johnson issued a Reconstruction Proclamation on May 29, 1865. Among the subjects included was the dispensing, upon petition, of personal pardons to former Confederate military and civil officers. Andrew Denham received this pardon for his activities as a civil officer of the Confederate States. This is the original document granting a personal pardon to Andrew Denham. It sets forth the conditions of issuance and acceptance as well as the date of issue.
A.B. Noyes Letterbook, 1864-1867
Prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, A.B. Noyes served as the United States customs officer at St. Mark's in Wakulla County, Florida. When Florida seceded, he joined the Confederate Coast Guard. He subsequently took a commission as a major in the Confederate Army and was assigned as the chief subsistence officer of the Second District of the Military District of Florida. This letterbook documents the communications between Noyes in Tallahassee and the officers under his command, the other subsistence officers in Florida, as well as his superiors. The last third of the volume contains some of Noyes's correspondence following the war and is mostly from St. Marks.
United Daughters of the Confederacy, Florida Division Scrapbooks, 1900-1935
United Daughters of the Confederacy members collected information regarding the activities of the people of the South during the Civil War as soldiers, families, enslaved people, civilian war workers and as victims of the effects of total war. Some of the early volumes of this collection contain veterans’ accounts from all the theaters where Florida troops fought. As the years advance there are retellings of these accounts by historians as well as second-hand accounts by descendants of those who experienced the war. Also included are many essays on the history, myths, politics, symbols and other facets of the entire experience of the southern wartime experience.
William McLeod Civil War Pocket Diary, 1864-1865
In March 1862, William McLeod enlisted as a private in Company B of the 7th Florida Infantry Regiment that served in Florida until mid-1862, when it was sent to Chattanooga, Tennessee. McLeod's diary describes his experiences as a Confederate soldier. The diary begins during the Atlanta Campaign and describes day-to-day siege warfare and the various engagements in which he was involved, including the Battles of Peachtree Creek, Atlanta and Jonesboro. The diary concludes in the aftermath of the Confederate defeat at Nashville, documenting the withdrawal into Mississippi, McLeod's furlough on January 23, 1865, and his subsequent railroad trip into Alabama and Georgia.
McKeown and Mayo Family Letters, 1853-1863
.25 cubic foot
The McKeown and Mayo families were wealthy labor farm owners and prominent figures in Hernando County in the early 1850s. This collection contains letters by various members of the McKeown and Mayo families. The last four letters give some detail of McKeown brothers' service in the Civil War.
Louis James M. Boyd Civil War-Era Letters, 1862-1871
.25 cubic foot
Louis James M. Boyd served as 3rd Assistant Engineer aboard the U.S. gunboat Albatross from March 6, 1862, to August 26, 1863. During his service, Boyd witnessed many Union naval operations carried out along the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi River. The Albatross remained on the Gulf Coast after the surrender of Port Hudson on July 9, 1863, and assisted in the blockade of Mobile Bay until the end of the Civil War. This collection includes letters from Boyd to his wife. While the correspondence is personal, most of it focuses on various aspects of the Navy's blockade of Southern ports, and there is mention of campaigns along Florida's Gulf Coast and up the Mississippi River. The letters also relate contemporary opinions of Blacks serving in the Union army, the status of Maryland during the war, and the Southern response to the presence of the Union navy.
Seaborn D. Harris Civil War Records, 1861-1862
Seaborn Harris joined the 4th Florida Infantry, Company I on September 25, 1861. He served first as sergeant and later as First Lieutenant. He was killed in action at the Battle of Stones River/Murfreesboro on January 2, 1862. This series contains Harris’s military records including requisitions, muster roll cards and a letter to his brother on May 3, 1862 describing conditions in Jacksonville, Florida. There are also some excerpts from the Harris family history and a photograph portrait of Harris.
Old Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Home Admission Application Records, 1908-1929
1 cubic foot
The Florida Old Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Home began in April 1893 to support aging Confederate veterans, and it remained in operation until 1938 when the last resident died. This collection consists of applications for admission to the Home, including a small amount of supporting documentation attesting to the veracity of the applicant's claim. Applications provide information about each applicant's current residence, medical condition and their Civil War service, including such information as unit, dates served and wounds incurred/cause of disability.
United States Dept. of the Interior, Civil War Veterans Medical Journal, 1896-1903
.3 cubic foot
This medical journal of Dr. Thomas H. Hammond of Oxford, Florida, details medical examinations of Civil War veterans required for approval of pension applications or for an increase in an existing pension allowance. The United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Pensions required the examinations as part of the application process. For each individual examined, the reports include such information as type of pension claim (original, increase or restoration); pension claim number; claimant's name, rank, company and regiment; post office address of examining surgeon and claimant; cause of disability; current pension amount; claimant's statement as to reason for claim; and the physician's examination report, including pulse rate, respiration, temperature, height, weight, age and a detailed narrative description of wounds, condition and disabilities.
David W. Hartman Correspondence and Research Materials, 1861-1994
1 cubic foot
This collection contains correspondence and research materials sent to David W. Hartman from descendants of Florida's Confederate and Union veterans for a published compilation. The correspondence generally discusses the name of the ancestor, date of service, rank, names of units, birth and death dates, and if the ancestor was wounded or a prisoner of war. Background materials that are sometimes included with the correspondence include compiled service records, pension records, diaries, family histories, local histories, family group sheets, lineage charts, newspaper clippings and magazine articles.
Joseph P. Barco Civil War Letters, 1863-1864
.10 cubic foot
Joseph Pottle Barco moved to Marion County, Florida, in 1852 with his wife, Caroline. During the Civil War, Barco served as First Lieutenant with Company G, 9th Regiment, Florida Infantry. Union troops captured him near Baldwin, Florida, in February 1864, and he moved through several Union prisons until he died at Fort Delaware, Delaware, in late July 1864. This collection consists primarily of transcripts of letters from Barco to his wife during his Civil War service. Barco's letters date April 26, 1863, through April 27, 1864, and a few subsequent letters from others notify Caroline of Joseph's illness and death. The letters discuss domestic issues, the war, camp life, and Lt. Barco's capture, illness and death.
Marion Anne Jewett Porter Family Papers, 1826-1948, 1988
.5 cubic foot
This collection consists of letters and two photographs compiled by Mrs. Porter from the Ferguson, Atkinson and Weathers families that document the daily lives of the families, who predominately resided in Scotland and in Marion County, Florida. The letters record local conditions as well as perspectives regarding state, national and even world events including the cattle plague and Fenian Rising of 1867 in the United Kingdom, the American Civil War and post-Civil War Reconstruction.
Hackley and Randolph Family Papers, ca. 1849-1868, 1909-1915
.25 cubic foot
The Randolph and Hackley families settled in Tallahassee in 1829, becoming active in the city's civic and social life. This collection consists of 10 mid-19th century letters between members of the Hackley and Randolph families. The letters primarily discuss family matters such as health, marriages, births, deaths, children and employment, but also touch on other issues and events such as national politics and the impact of the Civil War on family members
Richard Joseph Adams Papers, 1855-1872
.25 cubic foot
Richard Joseph Adams served as a wagon master for the Quartermaster Department of the Confederate Army in Waldo, Gainesville, Archer and Jacksonville. After the Civil War, he returned to Palatka, Florida, to continue his work on steamboats until his death on November 22, 1912. Adams was prominent in Palatka’s development, having served on the city council and in other positions in local government. This collection consists of the personal and business papers of Richard Joseph Adams, including family letters, Civil War records, business records and a diary. The letters include discussions on family affairs and the hardships caused by the Civil War. Adams' Civil War service papers include orders for conveyance of supplies for the Confederate Army quartermaster.
Joseph P. Barco Letters, 1863-1864, 1966
.25 cubic foot
Joseph Pottle Barco moved to Marion County, Florida, in 1852 with his wife, Caroline. During the Civil War, Barco served as First Lieutenant with Company G, 9th Regiment, Florida Infantry. Union troops captured him near Baldwin, Florida, in February 1864, and he moved through several Union prisons until he died at Fort Delaware, Delaware, in late July 1864. This collection includes letters Barco wrote during his service as a Confederate soldier. These letters discuss domestic issues, the war and life as a soldier.
Joseph P. Barco Letters, 1863-1864
.25 cubic foot
This collection includes letters Joseph Pottle Barco wrote during his service as a Confederate soldier. These letters discuss domestic issues, the war and life as a soldier. Also included are some letters to Barco’s wife from various soldiers giving news of Joseph's death and offering their sympathy and condolences.
John T. Bryan Papers, 1822, 1864-1865
.25 cubic foot
John T. Bryan was a Confederate soldier who served from July 1862, through May 4, 1865, when he was discharged through a parole order. This collection includes records related to Bryan's service in the Confederate Army, 1st Georgia Regiment. Also included is a bill of sale for three enslaved people to the Bryan family in Laurens County, Georgia, in 1822.
Sarah "Sallie" Jane Galphin Burroughs Letters 1857-1858, 1861, 1865
.25 cubic foot
Sarah "Sallie" Jane Burroughs was a member of the prominent Galphin family from Tallahassee. They owned the Belair Plantation in Leon County. This collection includes letters sent to Sarah J. Galphin Burroughs by her family members discussing family matters and local affairs. Of interest are the letters from her husband, Benjamin Burroughs, regarding his service in the Confederate Army.
Fort Barrancas Papers, 1864-1865
Fort Barrancas was a military fortification in Escambia County. Construction started in 1840, and Union forces occupied it during the Civil War. This collection includes papers from Fort Barrancas, including special orders, quartermaster property reports and letters from the Office of the Engineer in Charge.
Washington Ives Papers, 1859-1869, 1893-1903
1 cubic foot
Washington Mackey Ives enlisted in the 4th Florida Infantry Regiment in the spring of 1862 and served in that unit for the rest of the Civil War, rising to the rank of regimental sergeant major. This collection consists of Ives’ letters that detail his activities during the Civil War such as militia duties, movements of troops and formation of various units for service in the Confederate Army. The letters also include his thoughts regarding his activities at the time.
William Letford Special Order, ca. 1861-1865
William Letford was a Confederate soldier from Fernandina, Florida. He enlisted on September 12, 1861, in the Florida 2nd Cavalry Regiment. This collection includes the Confederate Special Order No. 100 from Madison, Florida, for Letford to secure clothing from Columbus, Georgia.
Roderick McLennan Papers, 1864, 1887
This collection includes photostats of records relating to Roderick McLennan's experience as a wrongfully captured prisoner of war in Florida. Records included are his release papers from Key West, Florida; a letter explaining the circumstances behind his imprisonment; and a letter detailing the entire situation, his losses due to his wrongful imprisonment and the claims he has against the United States for his losses.
B.L. Rice Letters, 1862 1 folder
B.L. Rice served as a Confederate soldier during the Civil War. This collection includes two letters from Rice to his mother during his service. The first letter is from Chattahoochee, Florida, on June 8, 1862. Rice discusses the Chattahoochee River and the health of the soldiers. The second letter is addressed from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on December 14, 1862.
Leon County Amnesty Oaths, 1865
.25 cubic foot
On May 29, 1865, President Andrew Johnson issued his Amnesty Proclamation to former Confederate soldiers and individuals who aided in the rebellion. His proclamation granted the restoration of all rights of property, excluding enslaved people, on the condition of swearing loyalty to the United States. This collection includes oaths of allegiance for citizens of North Florida, taken by the Provost Marshal of Tallahassee, Florida. These oaths list the signer's name, county of residence, occupation and the date they swore allegiance. Some entries also include the individual's complexion, height, hair color and eye color.
Civil War papers, 1843,1861-1867
.25 cubic foot
This collection consists of letters, oaths, residency forms and other records related to the United States Civil War. Most of these records are from Confederate soldiers and officials, including Judah P. Benjamin and Josiah Gorgas.
Civil War Report, 1862
This collection includes a report conducted in District 4 of Hamilton County, Florida that details the families of soldiers fighting in the Civil War, including their names, ages and additional remarks. Remarks include information on supplies, such as clothing or food, needed by the families and details about the health of the family members.
Civil War Poems, 1864
This collection includes three poems. The first, "Respectfully dedicated to my comrades of the Huntsville," is a handwritten poem by "Ravelin" dated October 1864 detailing a sea battle on Mobile Bay. The two other poems, "The Sentinel's Dream of Home" by Colonel A. M. Hobby and "The Light of God," are newspaper clippings.
Calvin L. Robinson Memoirs, 1914, 1962
Calvin Lewis Robinson was a successful businessman in Jacksonville prior to the Civil War. He was loyal to the Union during the war and faced harsh treatment after Florida seceded from the Union. This collection includes a copy of "The Memoirs of Calvin L. Robinson: Concerning the Experiences of the Robinson Family in Jacksonville During the Civil War," dated 1914. The memoirs detail Robinson's experience as a Union sympathizer. This includes losing his businesses, being chased out of his home with his family, being threatened by fellow Southerners and related experiences and struggles.
Thomas Benton Ellis Papers, 1913
.25 cubic foot
Thomas Benton Ellis was a Confederate veteran from Alachua County, Florida. This collection includes his memoir, written on September 30, 1913, that outlines his experience serving as a Confederate soldier during the Civil War, including where he was stationed, the battles he took part in, his duties and other soldiers he knew. Also included are notes taken on the memoir providing additional context and information.