STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
PRINTED FOR THE SUSTAINING MEMBERS OF THE SOCIETY
publication% of tbetloriba btate Rittoriktal
FROM THE TREATY OF 1763
TO OUR OWN TIMES
CAROLINE MAYS BREVARD
JAMES ALEXANDER ROBERTSON
A 'POSTHUMOUS WORK IN TWO VOLUMES
"PUBLISHED IN MEMORIAL OF
AS A STATE
THE FLORIDA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
COPYRIGHT, 191.5, BY
THE FLORIDA STATE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
PRINTED UNDER THE DIRECTION OP MITCHELL KENNERLBY
BY WILLIAM DWIN RUDOE, MOUNT VERNON, N.Y.
I The State of Florida
II The Nation of Florida
The Earlier Days of the War
Perplexities of Warfare
Eastern Fields of Battle
The Last Fight
After th War
Under Civil Rule
A Fight for Home Rule
A New Era: Home Rule
Our Own Times
Governors of Florida
United States Senators for Florida
Representatives from Florida
Call for Secession Convention by Governor Perry
Members of the Secession Convention
Letter from Richard Keith Call to Mr. Hart
Letter from Richard Keith Call to John S. Littell, and Reply
Meeting of Union Sympathizers at Jacksonville, i86z
Authorities to Volume II
List of Sustaining Members of The Florida State Historical Society
General Richard Keith Call
Reproduced from a photograph of the original
painting in the Capitol,
Map of Present Day Florida
&tween pages 19Z and '93
FLORIDA AS A STATE
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
The constitution adopted by the St. Joseph convention had
been for six years before the people of Florida, so there had been
opportunity to become familiar with every article and every section.
Moreover, there was not only desire for statehood, but, from the
measure of self-government enjoyed during the latter years of terri-
torial existence, and from the long looking forward to statehood,
there was both readiness and preparation for the responsibilities to
To avoid all inconveniences that might possibly arise from change
in the system of government, it was provided that all laws in force
in the territory and not conflicting with the express provisions of
the new instrument, were to continue in force until ceasing by opera-
tion of their provisions or limitations, or until altered or repealed by
the general assembly of the state.' All actions, judgments, or con-
tracts, were to continue unimpaired, and all processes issued in the
name of the territory at any time before the last day of the general
assembly were to be valid, as if issued in the name of the state. All
fines, forfeitures, obligations, and escheats, accruing to the territory,
must accrue to the state.3 Recognizances taken before the organiza-
tion of the judicial department of the state were to remain valid, and
might be prosecuted in the name of the state; bonds executed to any
officer of the territory, in his official capacity, were to pass over to
the proper state authorities; all penal actions and prosecutions that
arose before the organization of the judicial department of the state,
might be prosecuted to judgment and execution in the name of the
state. All officers of the territory, civil and military, were to remain
in office until superseded under the constitution; and all proceedings
'See Volume I. of this work, last chapter.--ED.
Sec the constitution, art. XVII., sec. i. The constitution was published in the Jomal of thl Precu-
ingS of a Cosio of Dkegat to esfo fanaCostitutaie fr tlh Pople o Florida ild aSt. Joseph, Decembe, r:l
(St. Joseph, x839); in Acts and Rsolutions of th first General Assembly of th State of Florida, passed a its
first Session, bpm and held at the Capitol is the City of Tallahassee, on Monday, Jane ed, j:, ad ended
July ,6th, S4fj (Tallahassee, 1845); and in various other publications.-En.
Ibid., art. XVII., sec. 2.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
pending in the courts of the territory might
proper courts of the state.4 Thus, the newly
upon their duties immediately after election,;
place to the new.
be transferred to the
elected officers entered
and the old order gave
Taxation for the support of the state government was a matter
regarded by many with great anxiety. Taxation is ever a problem of
difficulty, and especially so with new governments; and there were
those who feared that the sparseness of the population of Florida
would render the burden very heavy, while the inexperience of the
newly organized government would increase evils and create discon-
tent. Arguments of economy had their weight with the lawmakers;
and the first revenue laws enacted by the state did not provide an
income equal to the disbursements. The next assembly increased the
taxes, and public opinion justified the measure.s
The continuity of history must have been borne in upon those
members of the assembly during the state's early days, as it is borne
in upon us of the present time. For, however different the form of
government, Florida, whether territory or state, was still Florida;
4 id., at. XVII., sec. 3.
s An act approved July 24, s845, "to raise a Revenue for the State of Florida, and defining the Duties
of the Assessors and Collectors thereof' (State Acts and Rnsolutim, ist sess., 1845, pp. 11-31) provided
for a state tax of three-fourths of a cent per acre on first-rate land, one-half cent per acre on second-rate
land, and one-fourth cent per acre on third-rate land. Unimproved lots within the limits of any town,
ville, or city, were to be taxed ten cents per each $100 valuation, and improved lots, ten cents per each
$Soo valuation, including value of improvements. On wharves rented out, or for which fees were re-
ceived for wharfage, the tax was twenty cents per each $oo valuation. A tax of thirty-seven and one-
half cents was to be paid for each slave, while every free man of color was assessed three dollars. Twenty
cents per each $Soo valuation was to be collected from dealers in materials not the growth or manu-
facture of the state, the value being reckoned as of January i of each year. Tavern and inn keepers were
to be assessed ten dollars per annum; retail vendors of alcoholic beverages, and kepers of all bars and
restaurants, each thirty dollars. Billiard tables were each taxed twenty-five dollars, all bowling alleys
ten dollars, and all public shows and exhibitions, five dollars. Hawkers and peddlers were to pay a
tax of twenty dollars for each county in which they operated, but vendors of books and charts were
exempted from this tax; and itinerant traders, one hundred dollars for each county in which they
offered their goods for sale. A commission of two per cent was to be collected on sales made at public
auction, and of one-half of one per cent on actual commissions received by all commission merchants.
A tax of twenty cents was to be paid on each $xoo loaned or kept at interest; and the same on all bank
stock and shares in incorporated companies. Bank agencies and insurance companies were assessed
one hundred and fifty dollars annually, while practicing lawyers and physicians were to pay fifty cents
on each $1io of their professional income. Four-wheel pleasure carriages and sulkies were to pay a tax
of fifty cents on each $zoo valuation. For each one hundred head of cattle or fraction thereof, a tax of
fifty cents was assessed, whether owned by residents or driven in from outside the state for grazing
purposes. A law of December 17, 1845 (Acts aud Resolauions, adjourned session, 1845, pp. 63-65) in-
creased the land taxes, instituted a male poll tax, added taxes on sawmills, gold and silver watches,
and altered some of the other taxes of the earlier law. In succeeding sessions of the general assembly,
other laws for the raising of revenue were enacted.-ED.
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
its interests and standards had not so greatly changed; many of the
men who had helped to make the history of the territory were now
helping to make the history of the state; the threads of political and
institutional life which we have traced through the territory we
trace still through the record of the sovereign state.
Thus we find that old question of the boundary line between
Florida and its neighbors on the north, Georgia and Alabama,
presented to the first legislature of the state of Florida. On Decem-
ber 24, 1845, it was resolved that the governor be authorized to
appoint "a fit and competent person" to confer with persons ap-
pointed by the governors of Georgia and Alabama to act as com-
missioners to run and mark the boundary line, according to the
treaty of 1795 between the United States and Spain; that the general
government be requested to send a commissioner on the part of the
United States to confer with the commissioners of the three states,
and to act as umpire in case of disagreement; and that an appropria-
tion be asked for from congress to pay the expenses of the commission.'
Georgia accepted the terms of the proposal,7 except the provision
for a federal representative. Governor Crawford gave as his reasons
for objecting to that provision, that the federal government was to
some extent concerned in the decision of the boundary; that the two
states had exclusive authority over the question, and might be pre-
sumed not only capable but willing to decide it, and that a delay
might arise in the execution of the work from want of congressional
action. Joel Crawford and James Couper were appointed on the part
of Georgia, and William P. Duval8 on the part of Florida, with
William Whitner as surveyor. Commissioners were also appointed
~ See State Acts and Rcsolutions, ist sess., 1845, pp. 145-146. A resolution of July 18, 1845 ibidd.,
pp. 51-52) provided for a report on the boundaries to be made by the attorney general, and for the
opening of communications regarding this matter with the governors of Alabama and Georgia. See
House Journal (State, ist sess.), 1845, pp. 13-18, for the correspondence between the governors; and
pp. 16-36, for the report of the attorney general. The same material is also in the Senate Jral (State),
1845. See also the House and SeatcJournals, Appendix, for extended correspondence between the gover-
norsof Florida and Georgiarelative to the boundaries; and Sen. Doc., No. 96, st sess.,z9thcong.-ED.
7 See Sen. Doc., No. 133, xst sess., g9th cong., for a letter of January 26, x846, from Governor Craw-
ford of Georgia, to Governor Moscley of Florida, and one of February t, 1846, from the latter to the
former. Governor Crawford requested that the work might be begun in April, 1846.-ED.
s About May, x843, ex-Governor Duval moved to St. Augustine, where he began the practice of
law. Somewhat later he moved to Texas, where he died in x854.-ED.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
With regard to Alabama, the commissioners came to an agreement
without difficulty, and their conclusions were approved by their
respective states. But Georgia contended that the true head or
source of the St. Marys had not been designated by Ellicott and
Minor, that the head of the river must be first ascertained and the
line run from that poi
Florida, on the other h
had been properly fixed
int to the point agreed upon in the west.
land, maintained that the head of the river
by authority, and that all that remained was
to run the line from one terminus to the other. So the matter re-
mained unsettled until 1859, when commissioners were again ap-
pointed to arrange the long disputed question. Their report agreeing
upon the line as run by the surveyors, Orr and Whitner, was accepted
by Florida in 1861, and by Georgia in 1866. This fixed the boundary
as given in the codes of the two states.'
Though the services of the hardy pioneer and bold Indian fighter
were no longer needed as they had been, and the picturesque figures
of those old leaders were already passing from the stage of events,
the Indian question was still present. The federal government had
not altogether ceased its supervision of the Florida Indians. In 1841,
General Worth had made a "convention" with them.?" Seven years
See Rerick, Mt irs, I. 13x. A resolution of the Florida general assembly,January 4, 1849, directed
the attorney general to file a bill in the supreme court of the UnitedStatcs,"to confirm and quiet the
boundary line between the State of Florida and the State of Georgia" (Acts and Rsltions, 848-1849,
p. x xz). An act of January x5,185 5, provided "for the expenses of Florida in the settlement of Boundary
with the State of Georgia" (Arts ad Rnelatiss, 1854-1855, p. 63). Another act of January 15, 1859,
"more effectually to protect our citizens residing on State Lands along the State Line", provided for
notification by gubernatorial proclamation of the settlement of the Florida-Georgia boundary con-
troversy, as soon as the question should be settled (Acts and RueatinwM, z858-1859, p. 18). A resolution
of January a1, 1859, ratified "the action of the last Executive of this State in accepting the proposition
of the Governor of Georgia to adopt the terminal points of the present recognized line as the true
terminal points of the boundary line, and will regard, adopt, and act upon the present line as run and
recognized between those points as the settled boundary of the two States, or will so recognize and
adopt any other line between those points which may be ascertained and established on a re-survey
and re-marking of the boundary: Preided said boundary correction is made by virtue of law and by the
joint action of the States aforesaid". The resolution authorized a re-survey if considered advisable
(seeibid.,pp. 161-z63).TheOrr-Whimacr Line was adopted in Florida by resolution of February 8, i86x
(Acts and Rurltirs, 186o0-861,pp.x37-138). Another resolution of December x, 861, authorizedthe
governor of Florida"to appoint two Commissioners toconfer with similar Commissioners appointed
by the State of Georgia in relation to the Boundary Line between the States of Georgia and Florida",
in order to arrive at a final understanding of the matter (Acts and Rselationm, 186z, p. 64). Sec Acts of
tbh Geral Assebly of the S.taf of Guia, November and December, 866, for the resolution adopted by
the legislature of that state, on December 13, 866, pp. u.x-ai. In x885, the supreme courtof the United
States rendered a decision settling the disputesin regard to the titles to lands in favor of Florida.-ED.
Sec Sprague, Tb Origin, Progrus, and Cwusion of tbs Flrid We (New York, 1848), pp. 4x4-500oo,
for events of 1841; and Sen. Ex. Doc., No. I, ist sess., 3xst cong., p. 131. With regard to the war, see
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
later, General Twiggs wrote to the secretary of war that every stipu-
lation of that agreement had been strictly kept by every individual
of the nation, not a murder having been committed on a frontier of
about three hundred miles."
In July, 1849,
however, three white
men were murdered; consequently, General Twiggs was sent with
several companies of regulars to investigate the trouble and take
measures to prevent a recurrence of the outrages.'
chief of the Seminoles remaining in Florida, had
a talk with the
general and offered to give up the offenders, five men whom he knew
to be at their homes on the Kissimmee. The chief was as good as his
, and the next day he came, bringing with him three of the
criminals and the hand of another, as proof of death; the fifth,
, had escaped.
He was accompanied by twenty young warriors,
whom he said he had brought with him,
that they might take the
lesson of the punishment of the offenders to heart.
He was assured
that he and his tribe had made all possible reparation, and had given
evidence of good faith.
The general, in reporting the matter, said
that since the deed had been disclaimed by the Indians and the
guilty had been brought to justice, he trusted that
press too hardly on their people./i
But before this the Indians
justice would not
, who had learned to look upon the
land agent as their enemy, had been alarmed by the news of land
, and the coming in of settlers. During the year 1845, there was
offered for sale more than a million acres of public land on the
Atlantic coast south of Mosquito Inlet, on the Withlacoochee River,
and on Tampa Bay." But settlement was slow, and the settlers, few
and scattered in those regions,
were dissatisfied on account of the
presence of the remaining Indians, and complained that they did not
confine themselves to the limits assigned them.
The Indians in small
also House Rept., Nos. 458 and 903, 2d sess., z7th cong.; House Rept., Nos. 82, x84, and 2.53, 1st sess.,
z8th cong.; House Rept., No. 76, Ist sess., g9th cong.; and Sen. Doc., Nos. ix, 51, and go, zd sess.,
See Sen. Ex. Doc., No. x, Pt. i, ist sess., 3rst cong., pp. 116-137, and No. 49, Pt. I, ibid., for
operations in Florida in 1849; and No. I, Pt. i, ibid., pp. 96x-961, for instructions of September 17,
1849, to General Twiggs relative to the removal to the west of the remaining Florida Indians.-ED.
See Sen. Ex. Doc., No. 49, xst sess., 3xst cong., pp. 3-4, letters from the secretary of war to David
L. Yulce; p. 9g, letter from the secretary to Major General D. E. Twiggs; and pa im.-En.
" Sec Sen. Ex. Dec., No. i, Pt. I,
3ist cong., pp. 12.5-137.-ED.
"' See Sen. Er. Doc., No. 16, ist sess., g9th cong., p. 4.-En.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
parties occasionally ventured near the settlements, their appearance
always arousing suspicion, though no depredation, other than the
driving off of cattle,
was as yet attributed to them.
the white settlers urged that,
as the two races could not live at peace
together and the settlement of the country was retarded,
must be removed's
Accordingly, renewed efforts were made to induce the Seminoles
oin their brethren in the west
, and a delegation of the tribe from
the west was brought to add the force of its arguments.
Very few of
the Florida Seminoles, however, could be persuaded to leave their
homes, and Billy Bowlegs came to Fort Brooke to tell the agent that
he would not go to the western lands nor could he prevail upon his
people to go. They wished to live at peace; but they would not con-
sent to removal.
He would make no trouble, and he would give up
any of his people who violated their pledge to the government. The
agent, impressed by his determination,
wrote to Washington that
he had now no hope of inducing the Seminoles to go west in a body
"by any pecuniary temptation
Here he referred to the recent offer
by the war department of the sum of $zi 5,ooo to the tribe if they
would remove to the west.'6
On the ground that the act of congress admitting Florida to state-
hood declared its jurisdiction to extend over all the territory within
its boundary, except certain reservations for military purposes, yet
the power of jurisdiction
was rendered inoperative by the
presence of the
the state; furthermore,
Indians by frequently going out of the territory assigned to them
spread alarm throughout the frontier settlements: the assembly, in
, passed an act empowering the governor to urge upon the Presi-
dent the necessity of speedily removing the Indians, and authorizing
the governor to raise and equip a regiment of mounted volunteers to
co-operate with the federal troops, or to act as an independent body.
Should the federal government not proclaim war, the governor of
Florida was authorized to effect the removal for the sum of two
'I Sec arnt, notes 0o
, the United States providing transportation to the
and i .-ED.
6 See Sen. Ex. Doc.,No. 49, 1st sss., 3xst cong.; and No. x,Pt. z, dscss., 3stcong.,pp. 83-g.--ED.
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
west.17 The secretary of war declared it his opinion also that the
speedy removal of the Indians was necessary, and that,
voluntary or forcible,
it should be effected.:8 He stated
that if the removal of the Indians should cost two millions of dollars,
'presumed that the Legislature was well informed on this
, it would be better to accomplish the purpose by peaceful
measures, and that war would retard rather than hasten the end
On January it, 1853, the assembly passed another act20 providing
"for the final removal of the Indians of this State, and for other pur-
, in which it was declared that after the passage of the act
it shall be unlawful for any Indian or Indians to remain within the limits of this
State, and any Indian or Indians that remain or may be found within the limits of
this State, shall be captured and sent West of the Mississippi: Provided, that the
Indians and half-breeds residing among the whites, shall not be included in the
provisions of this section.
The act required the governor to raise a brigade consisting of one
regiment of mounted volunteers and one of infantry.
and as many more as it might be necessary to raise-were to be
offered to the federal government for operations in Florida. Should
the federal authorities refuse this help, the men were to be used by
the state in securing the frontiers and in carrying out the provisions
of the act. A sum of $5oo,ooo was to be borrowed at six per cent for
the maintenance of the force.
All accounts were to
audited and presented to the federal government, so that the state
7 Acts andResolutions, 185o-x85x, pp. 149-SzI. The act is entitled "An Act to provide for the removal
of the Indians now remaining in Florida beyond the limits of the State". It was passed by the lower
house on December 9g, x85o, and by the upper house on January 19, 1851.-ED.
"' See various letters in Sen. Ex. Doc., No. 49, zst
cong., and No. I, Pt. z, zd
'9 In his letter to the secretary of war, February 13, x851, in accordance with the directions of the
act of January to. 1851, Governor Thomas Brown said: "If the Indians are left to their own choice,
they never will remove, and, so long as any of them are allowed to remain, all that the United States
government has done and expended accomplishes nothing for Florida, .
Whilst the most inter-
testing and valuable part of our State-the only portion of the United States capable of yielding to any
degree of perfection the tropical productions-is cut off from any benefit to her citizens." The governor
proposed that the best way to accomplish the emigration of the Indians was the immediate surveying
of the entire state, which should be done under an efficient guard of a volunteer regiment of border
reply of the secretary, March zi, 851, in
* J- -
as Cattle minders"
* Acts and Resolntios, 185t-1853, pp. 133-136. This act was passed over the governor's veto.-ED.
(called "Cow Boys" in other documents). See this letter and the
Sen. Doc., No. i, ist
sess., t.d cong., pp. 154-158.-ED.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
might be reimbursed for all outlay. State operations were not to be
commenced until May 4, 1853, or until the governor should be satis-
fied of the inactivity of the federal government.
That the removal must be accomplished none except the Indians
themselves seemed to question. In 1848, the governor had expressed
the view generally held in the state when he declared to the assembly
that urgent reasons prevailed for a speedy removal. Referring to the
Indians, he said:
They have not-at least, all of them have not-confined themselves within
their prescribed limits. Their frequent excursions into the neighboring country,
sometimes a hundred miles within the settlements, occasion much fear and sus-
picion among the whites. And the occasional disappearance of stock belonging
to the latter, is immediately, and may be properly, attributed to roving bands of
Indians. If such be facts, unless they are removed or restrained within their
appointed precincts, we have no guaranty that another bloody war may not be
begun at any moment. -We have abundant reason to fear that through some
indiscretion of one party or the other, hostilities may be renewed. These, in my
judgment, are urgent reasons for calling the prompt attention of the authorities
at Washington to the subject, and would seem to be sufficient motives to impel
them to act upon it without delay.
Any measure, however, which shall be adopted with the view of inducing the
Indians to migrate, may terminate in war; and hence, before any steps are taken
towards negotiation, a large and efficient military force should be thrown upon
the line, dividing the white settlements and the Indian reservation. This should
be a force adequate to the protection of our citizens, and to the intimidation of
the savages so far, if possible, as to secure their peaceable removal. And should
the General Government not immediately attend to our urgent request for their
removal, it is believed such a force is now demanded to restrain the Indians within
their prescribed boundary and from all acts of violence, and to afford quiet to the
alarms of our citizens and security to their property.
Information has been recently received at this department, from a reliable
source, of the number of Indians still remaining in our State. There are supposed
to be as many as nine hundred of all conditions, ages and sexes. Of this number,
one hundred and fifty, at least, are capable of bearing arms and doing efficient
service. Although this is a small band as to numbers, the Indian mode of warfare
invests it with adequate power to desolate our frontier settlements. For, it will
be remembered, much of the damage of the late bloody war, even in the heart of
the country, and when our forces were actively engaged in the field, was done by
marauding parties of twenty-five or thirty Indians. And this fact may be taken as
conclusive evidence of the entire defencelessness of the sparse white population
adjacent to the "Indian Reservation". '
21 See Joaral of ths Prwuedisgs of tb Hose of Rer rsetativs of th General Assembly of thi State of
Fklida, 1848, pp. 15-16.-ED.
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Such was the condition of Indian affairs during the first decade of
statehood. The logic of the message was unquestioned, apparently,
by the people; the evidence that the white population of the frontier
needed a large and efficient military force to protect them from the
one hundred and fifty
and this force must be not only
strong enough to protect the settlers but strong enough to intimi-
and thereby secure a peaceable removal.
to be expected that the Indians would fight rather than leave their
In short, whatever they did, or whatever they refused to do,
they were in the wrong,
Then in the spring of i85 i,
A certain Luther Blake, of Ala
and they must leave their lands to the
the government tried another plan.
tbama, who had been engaged in the
removal of the Creeks the preceding year, undertook to remove the
He went among them,
with the idea of winning their
by personal influence, persuading them to consider
favorably the question of removal.
The governor approved,
dared himself ready to co-operate with Blake in carrying out the
plans of the Washington authorities. By way of impressing the
Seminoles with the strength of the United States and the uselessness
of further resistance, Blake took Billy
Bowlegs and three other
chiefs to Washington and other northern cities. They looked upon
the wonders of civilization with a grave indifference, and returned
to their swamps and forests better pleased than ever with them, and
more determined than ever to remain in them. So, after two years,
Blake reported that his efforts had failed.
During the two years he
had persuaded only thirty-six Indians, seven of whom died on the
passage, to remove to the west.
Besides the expense of transporta-
, the experiment had cost the government more than $48,000.
The next summer a delegation from the reservations in the west
was brought to Florida under Lieutenant Gibbon, and, through the
Major General D. E. Twiggs, like other military commanders engaged in operations against the
Florida Indians, however, expressed sympathy with the Indians in numerous letters. In one of
October 6, 1849, he said: "They are devoted to the soil on which they live, for which they have
fought, . In July, 1849, three murders were committed; the deed disclaimed by the nation, and
the offenders offered to our justice. Will this justice now press hardly on a nation so acting? No one
sympathizes more than myself with the people of Florida, nor feels more deeply for their sufferings;
but their circumstances are not peculiar for a border people, unless in having better fortune than their
fellow-citizens in other States." See Sen. Ex. Doc., No. x, Pt. I, ist sess., 31st cong., p. 31.--ED.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
influence of this delegation,
a very small party of Seminoles was
induced to emigrate.
Meanwhile, the state government was taking part in the settle-
ment of affairs. For reports had been received of depredations, and
Indians were said to have appeared on the St.
Johns River below
The governor authorized Captain Aaron Jernigan to
raise a company in order to examine the country and protect the
This force operated under General Benjamin
Some Indians had been taken near Lake Hamey and some
other points north
of the reservation, and a few had
For a while longer the Indians lived in their fastnesses,
state or federal troops.
They built their lodges, cleared and culti-
vated the land about them, and believed themselves secure.
raised large supplies of corn, peas, and rice, which they hid in store-
houses in the swamps, the trails being carefully concealed.
and pumpkins were hidden in the fields where they had grown
game was plenty
swamps seemed impenetrable, and the Seminole
considered himself safe at last, in spite of the white man
demands for his removal.
Still federal troops were engaged in exploration of the southern
portion of the state and in making roads. For the navigation of Lake
Okeechobee and other waters of the section, a small steamboat and
nine small metallic boats were provided.
Better knowledge of the
See documents referring to the Blake and Hopkins negotiations and operations, in Florida State
Senate Joarsal, 1851, Appendix, pp. z7-95; Sen. Ex. Doc., No. 13, id sess., 3td cong.; and Sen. Doc.,
33d cong. The management of Indian affairs in Florida was transferred from the de-
apartment of war to the department of the interior in 1851. General Luther Blake was appointed special
Indian agent in Florida, April i8, 185x, superseding Captain John Casey in that office. The commis-
sioner of the Indian office, in appointing him, said: "There is but one other humane course, which,
after the most mature consideration, the Department can devise or think of, that seems to hold out
any promise of success. It is to engage some reliable and proper person willing to encounter the toil
and peril incident to the service-who will go among them, and by personal association, secure their
confidence-gain an influence over the leading and more prominent individuals, and thus gradually
incline them to consider the subject of removal more favorably, and to acquiesce in the wishes of the
Expenses of removal were not to exceed $800 for each warrior and $450 for each
woman or child who should emigrate, these amounts being paid to Blake. In case persuasion failed
to effect the desired removal, Blake was of the opinion that force should be used. He held frequent
communication with General Hopkins, who headed the Florida volunteer force operating against the
Indians. He was finally superseded by Captain Casey, much to the satisfaction of the people of
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
country would further the hunting out of the people now almost at
bay. It would also further the cutting off of their trade, it having
been reported that there was reason to believe that an illicit trade
was kept up by the Seminoles with the people of the Bahamas.
At any rate, the Indians must be hunted out.
In pursuance of this
policy, Lieutenant Hartsoff was ordered (December, i855) to leave
Fort Myers in order to examine the country southeast of Lake Okee-
He found no sign of hostilities,
and met but one Indian
man, and a boy driving hogs. Nor in the two or three days spent in
examining the country did he find traces of Indians; even the foot-
paths were thickly overgrown with grass. Accordingly
orders for an early start to Fort Myers next morning.
Now the garden of Billy Bowlegs, the pride of the old chief'
heart, was about two miles from Hartsoff'
There were grow-
ing all kinds of vegetables in a perfection that may furnish an argu-
ment for the present-day Florida land agent.
nothing else to do,
Hartsoff's men, having
visited the garden, and amused themselves in
shooting the pumpkins from the trees, up which
the vines had
by the way, seems to have been a favorite sport with
our soldiers during the Indian wars.
Wearying of this sport after a
while, the men were attracted by the fine banana plants,
fifteen feet high.
After cutting or breaking some of these down, and
tearing the leaves of others to shreds,
the soldiers returned to camp.
When Bowlegs visited his garden, he knew where to place the blame,
and going direct to the camp accused the soldiers of the mischief.
They coolly admitted what they had done, giving, as the reason for
the outrage, that they
see how old Billy would cut up
They showed no intention of making the loss good, and Bowlegs re-
turned to the swamp.
Soon after this
There he called his men together; and,
s party was fired upon next day, several being
the home of Dr. Braden
River, was attacked. The governor, upon this, ordered to the front
company, and in rapid succession, twenty other
companies.'4 These state troops continued in service for some time,
the last being mustered out in August,
SThese were the companies of F. M. Durace, M. H. Kendrick, Abner D.Johnson, ILroy C.
ILtey, A.J. T. Wright, Asa Stewart, Robert Youngblood, Enoch Daniel, W. B. Hardcc, Alexander
on the Manatee
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
Unfortunately, the Seminoles of the west had not received lands
of their own, but had been placed with the Creeks, and thus de-
nationalized."s The position was humiliating and, being known to
the Seminoles of Florida, did not make for voluntary removal. The
Cherokees were so generous as to offer the Seminoles a tract of land
on which to live until the government should make provision for
carrying out its obligations. About one thousand, under the leader-
ship of Alligator and Coacoochee, took advantage of this offer, and
lived on Cherokee lands until I845,26 when they were persuaded to
settle in a body on a part of the Creek lands, with liberty to make
their town regulations and control their pecuniary interests, though
under control of the Creek council, in which they had representation.
This compromise was no more satisfactory than compromises usu-
ally are; for the Seminoles refused to give up their nationality or
become a part of the Creek nation. Agents n
depression of the chief men, and correctly a
the fact that the Seminoles were a people
not even these agents dreamed that the u
seek a country, with the liberty they long
diction of the United States.27
This episode, not strictly belonging to I
be without interest to those who have foll
Seminoles. In i85o, several hundred, with s
loted the restlessness and
Attributed the trouble to
without a country. But
happy people were to
ed for, beyond the juris-
:lorida history, may not
owed the fortunes of the
iome maroons, under the
Bell, Thomas Hewett, Edward T. Kendrick, John Addison, John Parker, John McNeill, S. L. Spark-
man, R. B. Sullivan, D. Dyckes, Aaron Perrigon, and James O. Dcvall.
as Sec the governor's m ages for November 1, 1851, November 14, 3854, November 14, 1856, and
November a, 1858, for material relating to operations against the Indians, in the Florida Senate
Jeuwls for those years, pp. 11-13, 11-13, 7-14, and 31-39, respectively. See also House Misc. Doc.,
No. :x3, ist and id sess., 34th cong., "Estimates for paying three companies of Florida Volunteers
recruited for one month's service in 1855", and other documents of a similar nature in the same and
other reports of congress; and Sen. Ex. Doc., No. i, td sess., 35th cong., Pt. I, pp. .13-147 (military
operations against the Indians). During the Indian attack of December to, 1855, Lieutenant Hartsoff
was severely wounded and four of his men wounded or killed. In her description of this affair, Miss
Brevard follows quite closely the account as given by Andrew P. Canova, Lifi a Ada Msww i Sestb
Flwrid (Palatka, Fla., 1885), pp. 1-13. Sec also Charles H .Coe, Rid Pariews: the StIy of the Saiswks
(Cincinnati, 1898), pp. x-zz-11.-ED.
'6 See House Doe., No. x85, ad sess., i5th cong., for the 'Memorial of the Cherokee Mediators",
March 16, 1838. Sec also Vol. I. of this work, p. x48.-ED.
2t Sec the report of the agent of the western Seminoles, J. W. Washburne, of August 15, 855, who
expresses the feelings of the emigrants. The Seminoles desire land for themselves and will never be
reconciled to living among the Creeks, whose laws they wantonly break as occasion offers. See PRrsp
of the Scretay of4 t Isterir, 855, pp. 490-493; and the accounts of the western Seminoles as published
in other reports of the same department.-ED.
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
leadership of Coacoochee, appeared in the district of Rio Grande in
the state of Coahuila, Mexico, applying for lands on which to settle,
giving as a reason for the application that the Americans had taken
their lands. In July of the next year, they received lands on the San
Rodrigo and San Antonio rivers, in the northern part of Mexico. In
return, they pledged their services against the hostile Indians of the
region. But on account of the nearness to the border of the lands
assigned, the Seminoles were persuaded to remove to the Santa Rosa
mountains, ninety miles to the southwest. Later, additional reser-
vations were given in recognition of the good service they had al-
ready begun to render against the hostile Indians. Formal thanks
were given by the Mexican officials for a campaign well waged
against the Comanches.
In 1858, however, agents from the Indian Territory prevailed upon
the Seminoles to return to the United States, to the general regret, it
was reported, of the people of Santa Rosa. Coacoochee, brave old
chief that he was, and a number of those whom he had led into
Mexico, had died of smallpox two years before; so their influence
was no longer to be
Things had not
mained in Indian T
belief, they told the
gone well with the Seminoles who
territory. In 1856, a delegation of the
to ask for a separate reservation. It
: Indian commissioner, that if the just
the nation were settled, there would be little difficulty in persuad-
ing the Florida Indians to emigrate and become industrious citizens
of the western country. "But", they said,
while those already west are discontented, and destitution stares them in the
face, it is idle to attempt to induce those now in arms to emigrate.
The secretary of war, seeing the justice of the argument, gave it as
his opinion that a distinct organization with separate chiefs and
village laws would be insisted upon by the Florida Indians; and that
until this was secured all inducements to them to emigrate volun-
tarily would be useless. It was finally agreed to assign the Seminoles
a tract of land of their own, and the treaty of cession was made at
Washington, July 7, i856."9
See Coe, nu sFra, pp. 164-171.--ED.
9 Ibid., pp. 171-176, and z~o-ix.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
But the Florida Indians were still unwilling to emigrate; and, as
has been stated, the state troops were engaged in the southern por-
tion of the peninsula.
Still another effort was made to bring about
The superintendent of the western Seminoles, with two
assistants and forty-six Indians, arrived in Florida in January, 1858,
and persuaded Billy Bowlegs and his followers to emigrate.
niary inducements were offered to the chief and his people. May 4
was the day fixed for the emigration. On that day the Indians came
in from their homes in the glades,
slowly and quietly made their
way to the wharf, and silently took their places on the steamer that
was to bear them from the home they
One hundred and
twenty-three had come in voluntarily with their chief; forty-one
had been captured.
A remnant of the tribe, about a hundred,
said, remained hidden in the everglades.
They were so few that
neither state nor national government made further efforts to re-
So there in the everglades and the Big Cypress Swamp
they remained undisturbed, enjoying liberty and peace and plenty,
and giving no trouble to their white brethren.3"
Citizens of the territory used to say that the Indian war and the
Union Bank were the two great enemies of prosperity in Florida,
and that one of these enemies had done as much harm as the other.
It was to be expected that the first assembly of the state should deal
the subject of banks and corporations and make clear the
The senate committee, referring to several reports
and resolutions of the territorial legislature and to the action of the
declared that the question of the moral and
legal responsibility of the government and people of the state for the
faith bonds and guarantees had been definitely settled in Florida,
and that the grounds on which such responsibility was denied, ex-
cept that on the part of the stockholders of the corporations, had
been made plain. For the sake of repelling the charge of dishonor,
and maintaining that the constitutional rights of the people had
the committee cited passages from the reports of the
judiciary committees of 1840 and 184z to the effect that the people of
Florida were not bound by the acts of the territorial government,
r Iid., pp.
In -fl 7.
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
since that government had no right to pledge their faith for the
benefit of the banks and corporations. These faith bonds and guaran-
tees were then held to be null and void, so far as the responsibility of
the people of Florida was in question. But they were still held to be
binding on the persons who had obtained the proceeds of them.
Therefore, the only duty yet unfulfilled in the matter by the people
of Florida was to
see that the banks and corporations did justice to
their creditors, wound up their affairs, and ceased to exist.3,
The house committee, reaching practically the same conclusions,
different lines in dealing with
"the three creatures of
domestic ingenuity and foreign cupidity
the Union Bank
Southern Life Insurance and Trust Company, and the Bank of Pensa-
cola. No euphemism, surely,could be expected from this committee.
No good citizen, ran the report, but must wish to preserve the state
wholly untarnished by any contact with these institutions.
count of them, some held the state
"to have been born ruined in
purse, and blasted in character, and wedded indissolubly to corrup-
.tion and disgrace
". But the people of Florida were now for the first
time acting for themselves,
by their own conduct only
and their reputation must be established
The one question for the assembly was
how most speedily to sever the state from the corrupting mass, so as
to save the sound parts and protect the interests of those persons
Congress had received Florida from Spain with the bonafide inten-
tion of making Florida a state as soon as possible, and on an equal
footing with other states.
It assumed the government ad interim
from necessity, not for the purpose of exercising functions of exalted
sovereignty or of passing acts that could last beyond its temporary
That temporary government, the acts of congress establish-
ing it, and the acts of that temporary government, to all intents and
purposes, had ceased to exist when Florida was admitted into the
Union, except so far as those acts or laws were preserved in force by
"3 See the senate committee report of July 14, 1845, in Senate Journal (State, ist
32 Seethiscommittcereport inHousejoraWl(State, ist scss.),1 845,pp. 83-9t (especially, p. 83).--ED.
" Ibid., pp. 83, 87.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
Some corporations were supposed still to exist; but, stated the
report, their charters were not looked upon as contracts, but as laws.
This must be, as the power was given to restrain, regulate, and con-
, if they were contracts, could not be without the
consent of the other party
They were to be controlled so as to
protect, and secure the interests of the people of the state.
As the state had made no contracts, power of control was given the
legislature to secure the protection of the people from the future
exercise of any inordinate or unreasonable powers: while, at the
same time, all contracts made with individuals or other corporations
by such associations, and all rights vested by their action prior to
statehood must be preserved inviolate.34
It was further held that another limitation with regard to corpo-
rations had been preserved in the state constitution by implication.
Any act of a corporation, or those having the control or manage-
ment thereof, inconsistent with, or in violation of, the provisions of
the constitution of St.
Joseph or its charter, should cause forfeiture.
the state constitution declared that
all laws, or parts of laws, now in force, or which may be hereafter passed by the
Governor and Legislative Council of Florida,not repugnant to the provisions of this
Constitution, .shall continue in force until, by operation of their provisions or
limitations, the same shall cease to be in force, or until the General Assembly
shall alter or repeal the same.
Therefore, the laws repugnant to the constitution were not saved,
the paramount and fundamental law being substituted.
as remained in force, remained so, not because they were enacted by
the territorial government, but because they were adopted and sanc-
tioned by the new fundamental law
The franchises, powers,
privileges vested during the temporary government created by con-
gress, ceased and were divested by the termination of the power that
created them and which was temporary and not sovereign.
being without sovereign powers, could not grant them.
The only inquiry then remaining to the committee,
lating to the debts, contracts, rights,
institutions in question, and, in accol
was that re-
and property belonging to the
rdance with its findings,
' ibid., p. 88.
's Ibid., pp. 88-9o0.
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
under obligation to lay before the legislature that body
's duty of
providing by law for the preservation of that property for the bene-
fit of those interested."6 So the opinions generally held during the
days of the territory were almost universally held now; for many
who had believed that the territorial government had the full right
to pledge the faith of the people of Florida, yielded to the argument
that the state was now acting for itself, and could not be bound by
acts of the territory inconsistent with the adopted constitution. Yet,
here and there, especially among the older men, were a few whose
views had not changed,
and who used plainly in their discussions
such unpleasant terms as repudiation,
bad faith, dishonor.3
The state constitution, so often and respectfully quoted, had pro-
vided for the encouragement of internal improvements, as necessary
to the development of the resources of the commonwealth
cared that it should be the duty of the assembly, as soon as it should
be practicable, to ascertain proper objects of improvements, as re-
canals, or navigable streams, and
to provide for a
suitable application of funds that might be appropriated for such
From time to time, various plans were suggested as to the best
utilization of the generous gifts of congress and the funds proceeding
therefrom. On January 24, I85 1,
was approved an act
"to secure the
Swamp and Overflowed lands lately granted to the State, and for
" .9 This act established a board of internal improve-
ment, consisting of the governor, attorney general, treasurer, comp-
troller, and register of public lands, ex officio,
and one member from
each judicial district, to be elected for two years by the general as-
Settlers on these lands were to be entitled to the benefit of
the pre-emption laws then in force with respect to other lands."3 The
I' Ibid., pp. 9091.
"7 See Vol. I. of this work, Chapter XVII. Ex-Governor Call was probably the most violent in the
expression of his feelings.-Eo.
" See art.
XI. of the constitution,
"Public Domain and Internal Improvements
See Acts and Resolutio, 1851. pp. 93-94. This act authorized the governor "to take such measures
as to him may seem expedient and most to the interests of this State, in securing and classifying the
lands lately granted to this State, designated as "swamp or overflowed lands'.
" As soon as these lands
were secured, they were to be placed under the register of the state, and were to be subject to the same
rules, regulations, and restrictions as those in force or to be imposed later with regard to the seminary
lands. See the act of congress, of September 18, i85o, granting swamp and overflowed lands to those
states possessing within their borders lands of that nature, in 9 U. S. Statutes at Large, 519-2o0.-ED.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
assembly that met in November, 1854, passed the Internal Improve-
ment Act.40 This act provided that the internal improvement lands,4'
not then sold, and the proceeds of such as had been sold but not ap-
propriated, and all the swamp lands with the proceeds that had
accrued or might accrue to the state from their sale, should be vested
in the governor, comptroller, treasurer, register of state lands, and
attorney general, and their successors in office, as the trustees of a
fund to be called the "Internal Improvement Fund of the State of
". All funds were to be spent in accordance with the provi-
sons of the act.
The improvements to be aided were designated as
a line of Railroad from the St. Johns River at Jacksonville, and the waters of
Pensacola Bay, with an extension from suitable points on said line to St. Marks
River, or Crooked River, at White Bluff on Apalachicola Bay, in Middle Florida,
and to the waters of St. Andrew
's Bay, in West Florida, and a line from Amelia
, on the Atlantic, to the waters of Tampa Bay, in South Florida, with an
extension to Cedar Key in East Florida; also a Canal from the waters of St. Johns
River on Lake Harney to the waters of the Indian River.4
The act provided further that the companies undertaking the con-
struction of any part of the designated railroads were authorized
after the satisfactory completion of the grading and the furnishing
of the cross ties of twenty miles continuously, and for each addi-
tional ten miles, to issue coupon bonds to the amount of $8,000 per
mile for the purchase and delivery of the iron rails,
and chairs; and after the rails had been laid, an additional $z,ooo per
mile, for the purchase of the necessary equipment. Authorization
was also granted to issue bonds to the amount of $1oo,ooo each for
the construction of bridges over the Choctawhatchee and Apalachi-
cola rivers, from the west side of the Nassau River to Amelia Island,
and $50,000 for the construction of a bridge across the Suwannee
River. Interest on the bonds
, which were to run for a period not
exceeding thirty-five years, was not to be over seven per cent and
was payable semi-annually. The act provided for the certifying and
recording of bonds by the comptroller of public accounts and the
state treasurer; and after all conditions were met, the bonds were to
SActs ad Reslafliess, 1854-1855, pp. 9-I9. The act entitled "An Act to provide and encourage a
liberal System of Internal Improvements in this State" was approved January 6, 1855.-ED.
4' Congress had granted to Florida upon its admission into the Union, 5o0,0o0 acres of public land,
the proceeds from which were to be used for public improvements.-En.
42 Section 4 of the act.
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
be signed by the trustees of the Internal Improvement Fund and de-
livered to the railroad. The proceeds of the bonds were to be ex-
pended only for the purchase of rails and other supplies; and before
additional supplies could be issued, the rails were to be laid for that
part of the road for which bonds had been issued.4
While the railroad was under construction, semi-annual reports
were to be made to the Internal Improvement Fund trustees. Half
the net receipts for
tees of the Internal
toward the payment
tion of any railroad
tees of the Internal
each six months was to be delivered to
Improvement Fund, who were to apply t
it of interest due on the bonds. After the
I, the company was obligated to pay to
Improvement Fund each six months, as a
fund, at least one
(that is, on the bor
vested by the trust
or in the bonds pr
sion. On complete
earnings be less thW
the bonded debt, t]
paid in and bonde
sinking fund; and
pay any deficiency
be in excess of six 1
and sinking fund,
est account of the 1
* of one per cent on the amount of indebtedness
that had been issued). Such sums were to be in-
in stocks of the United States, state securities,
)vided by the act-this last a questionable provi-
on of any of the lines noted above, should the net
an six per cent on the capital stock paid in and on
hey were to be divided between the stock account
d debt, after the deduction of the money for the
the Internal Improvement Fund was obligated to
in interest on the bonds. Should t
per cent of the capital stock paid ii
it was provided that the amount di
bonded debt be paid to the trustees
he net earnings
a, bonded debt,
ue on the inter-
of the Internal
Improvement Fund. The latter
stock of any railroad equal in a
they were compelled to meet.44
cities and counties in the build
and they were authorized to i
How bold the request had se
Railroad had applied to congre
Yet, in this act, twenty-two
43 See sections 3, 7-10, and 3! of the act.
4 Sections i, 11-14 of the act.
45 Sections 11 and 6 of the act.
were to receive shares of the capital
mount to any interest deficiency that
The act provided for participation by
ing of the railroads, as stockholders;
Issue city and county bonds for this
:emed when, in 1834, the Tallahassee
ss for one hundred acres at St. Marks!
years later, besides a right of way
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
I the state lands of two hundred feet in width, it was pro-
Iso that the alternate sections of the swamp and overflowed
ir six miles on each side might be granted by the general as-
to the railroad.46
to the s
ct is said to have been drawn up by Senator Yulee, who was
time interested in railroad promotion."4 The importance of
Road, the second in the state, giving direct connection be-
he Atlantic seaboard and the gulf coast, can readily be seen.
keen mentality is shown by every provision of the bill. Note
isions, with the double relationship of the board of trustees
tate and to the people. The interests of the commonwealth
feguarded by the fact that the board consisted of certain
icers, ex officio members, with no elected members. The sov-
tate cannot be sued by individuals; but the board of trustees,
ng of state officers, can be sued by individuals-a matter of
49 Sections 18 and 19 of the act.
4T Senator Yulec was also interested in the Florida Railroad (see Acts and Rnstiors, 1851-185,.
pp. 31-38), which was incorporated January 8, 1853. This road was to be built across the peninsula,
thus connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the gulf. During the same session of the general assembly,
various other acts were passed with respect to railroads, as follows: On January 7, 1853, was amended
the act incorporating the Florida, Atlantic, and Gulf Central Rail Road Company (Acts ad Rsolus-
tins, 18s1-853., pp. 11-31); on January 8 (iid., pp. 38-43) an act authorized the Alabama and
Florida Rail Road Company to extend its road into the state of Florida and to construct branch roads
with chartered privileges; on the same day were incorporated the Pensacola and Georgia Rail Road
Company ibidd., pp. 43-48) and the Pensacola and Mobile Bay Rail Road Company (iid., pp. 48-51);
on the 7th was incorporated the Pensacola Rail Road Company ibidd., pp. 51-56), and on December 19,
x851, had been incorporated the Escambia Rail Road Company (ibid., pp. 57-61); an act of January 8,
1853 ibidd., pp. 61-61), granted to railroad companies lands granted orthereafter to be granted to the
state by the general government, for the purpose of aiding in the construction of railroads within the
state; and on the z3d of December, x851, the act was repealed by which there had been granted to the
Alabama and Florida Railroad Company land granted or thereafter to be granted to the state by the
general government for the purpose of aiding in the construction of a railroad between Pensacola and
Montgomery. Prior to the session of 1851-1853, railroad acts had been passed since the admission of
Florida to statehood as follows: An act of January nI, 1849, incorporating the Atlantic and Gulf
Railroad Company (Acts and Rsolstinsm, 1848-1849, pp. 49-53); and on the same day, another act
supplementary to and explanatory of the above act and of other acts of the same session contemplating
or authorizing the construction of a railroad ibidd., p. 54); on January n, an act incorporating the
Florida and Georgia Railroad Company ibidd., pp. 54-59); on the xzth, an act encouraging and facili-
tating the construction of a railroad from some point on the St. Marys River, or waters adjacent there-
to, to Pensacola, and authorizing and regulating partnerships for that purpose ibidd., pp. 59-63). On
December ig, 185o, an act was passed over the governor's veto, amending and altering the charter of
the Atlantic and Gulf Rail Road Company (Acts ad luseltias, i85o-1851, pp. 45-46); on January 7,
x85i, the Alabama and Florida Rail Road Company was authorized to extend its line into the state of
Florida, with chartered privileges ibidd., pp. 46-50); and on the z4th, were passed acts incorporating
the Florida, Atlantic, and Gulf Central Rail Road Company ibidd., pp. 37-44), and granting to the
Alabama and Florida Rail Road Company land granted or thereafter to be granted to the state by the
general government for the purpose of aiding in the construction of a railroad between Pensacola and
Montgomery ibidd., pp. 5o-5z).-En.
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
satisfaction to many as guarantee of legal protection anc
of the validity of contracts.
Bonds were issued by various companies in consequence
and endorsed by the trustees to the amount of $3,597,ooo,
interest guaranteed being $z251,79o.4" But bonds must be 1
for ironing and equipment. To aid in preparing the roadb<
ing ties on the ground from Jacksonville to Quincy, the ci
sonville, with the counties of Columbia, Madison, Jeff
Leon, issued bonds, which, with those issued by the city
cola to aid the road from Pensacola to the Alabama line,
to half a million dollars.
Until now, the only completed road i
Tallahassee to St. Marks. In the year 18E
ville to Quincy, and from Fernandina to
while three other roads had been graded a
:of the act
:d and lay-
r of Pensa-
he state was that from
the roads from Jackson-
dar Keys were finished,
partly laid with rails.49
48 Bonds were issued by the following roads: Pensacola and Georgia Rail Road Company, on the
line from Lake City to Quincy, to the amount of $x,2.o,ooo; the Tallahassee Rail Road Company, on
the line from Tallahassee to St. Marks, to the amount of $zo6,om; the Florida Rail Road Company,
on the line from Fernandina to Cedar Keys, to the amount of$x ,6i6,ooo; and the Florida, Atlantic, and
Gulf Central Rail Road Company, on the line from Jacksonville to Lake City, to the amount of
4' By x860, Florida had about 400 miles of railway in operation, which Had been constructed at a
cost of approximately $8,618,ooo. The growth from 850o had been about 380 miles. See Reort of the
Eighth Censrs. During the sessions from 1854 to i860, the assembly passed acts as follows with
respect to the railroads: the act of January 6, z855 (q.v., ate); an act of December 13, z856, granting
to trustees for the benefit of the Alabama Railroad Company, lands granted to the state of Florida by
the congress of the United States for the purpose of aiding in the construction of a railroad between
Pensacola and the state line of Alabama in the direction of Montgomery (Acts amd Resolatins, 1856-
2857, p. 17); an act of December 24, authorizing the county commissioners of Escambia County to
subscribe for stock in the Alabama and Florida Railroad Company ibidd., pp. 43-44); an act of Decem-
ber 16, incorporating the Perdido Railroad Company ibidd., pp. 44-48); an act of December 17, to
accept the grant and to carry into execution the trust conferred upon the state of Florida by an act of
congress entitled "An act granting Public Lands in alternate sections to the States of Florida and
Alabama, to aid in the construction of certain Rail Roads in said States, approved May 17th, x856"
ibidd., pp. 9-ro); an act of December 3i, x858, incorporating a company and facilitating the construc-
tion of a railroad from the St. Johns River to St. Augustine, under the title of the Sc. Johns Railroad
Company (Acts ad Resoltions, 1858-1859, pp. 91-98); an act ofJanuary 10o, 859, incorporating a com-
pany to construct a railroad from a point on the Florida Railroad in East Florida to Tampa Bay, under
the name of the Florida Peninsula Railroad Company ibidd., pp. 61-69); and acts ofJanuary 15, grant-
ing to the Alabama and Florida Railroad Company alternate sections of the swamp and overflowed
lands ibidd., p. 31), incorporating the New Port-and Gulf Rail Road Company ibidd., pp. 69-75), incor-
porating the Gulf City and Interior Railroad Company ibidd., pp. o03-o07), and amending the charter
of the Pensacola and Georgia Railroad Company ibidd., p. 1zo). Sec the governor's several messages
after 1845 for information relative to internal improvements, especially that for x856, in which the
governor said (Senate Joral, 1856-1857, p. x6): '"The Tallahassee road, connecting the Capital with
the Gulf at St. Marks, has been completed, equipped, and is in daily use, at large profits. Iron for
fifty miles of the Florida Road has been purchased and is nearly all within the jurisdiction of the State.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
The canal designated in the act of 1856 had been undertaken,
carried to completion.
The heavy old stage coach had not yet been dispensed with on
The traveler still knew it, and to many a settlement
and town, it meant communication with the outer world.
a tavern or postoffice, crowds would gather to see who had arrived
or to get the news.
Large, slowly-moving family carriages were still
for there was little need for hurry, and it was pleasant to
stop for visits at the homes of friends along the way. As freight
must be borne over roads, as yet far from any railroad,
long trains of
wagons still bore plantation produce to the seaports over the old
or, as they were still called
s roads of Eng-
The lines of party politics had been drawn long before statehood
was conferred, and the election of the first state governor,
Moseley, showed the power of the democrats in Florida.
years of his administration coincided with eventful
.s In 1846,
years of our
the President sent a special message to
congress declaring that Mexican troops had shed the blood of Amer-
ican citizens on American soil and asking for A declaration of war.51
A bill was passed recognizing the existence of war and appropriat-
ing means for its prosecution. The sentiment in Florida,
ment throughout the south
defense of the nation's hon<
as the senti-
, was that the war was necessary for the
or; and Florida sent its quota of men for
Nearly fifty miles of that road have been graded, ten miles finished, and the line through from Fernan-
dina to Cedar Key under contract to parties of capital and character, and will be pressed forward with
energy." A rosy picture for the future was painted by the governor.-ED.
s William D. Moseley, a native of North Carolina, was born in 1795. After graduating from the
University of North Carolina, he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1810o. Entering politics
in his native state, he became state senator, serving in that capacity from 1819 to 1836. In 1834 he was
the democratic candidate for governor of North Carolina, but was defeated. In 1839, he moved to
Florida, where he became a planter. The following year, however, he was elected to the legislative
council, being re-elected in z844. In 1845, he was elected first governor of the state of Florida, al-
though his opponent, General Call, ran away ahead of the rest of the whig ticket. Governor Moseley
was sincere and outspoken in his advocacy of the states' rights doctrine. In 1855 he established him-
self in Palatka. His death occurred January 4, 1863. See Rerick, Mn.uirs, I. Itn.-ED.
s, Message of May xx. Congress took action on May 13.-ED.
s5 In his message of November 14, 1846, Governor Moseley referred only briefly to the Mexican War,
"such measures as will effect a prompt and thorough organization of the Militia of
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
In August of the same year, the President sent a special message to
congress asking for money to purchase territory from Mexico, in
-/~- c t *4*
$z,ooo,ooo for the purpose brought up the question of slavery in the
territory thus to be acquired.
vania, offered an amendment,
It was then that Wilmot
, of Pennsyl-
or addition, applying to any newly
acquired territory the provision of the ordinance of 1787, forever
excluding slavery or involuntary servitude from any part of the terri-
tory, except for crime,
whereof the person should be duly convicted.
Northern democrats joined with the whigs in favor of the proviso,
and it passed the house, but was sent to the senate too late for action
and did not become a law. Yet the passage of the proviso by the
house was significant, and men realized that the slavery question
was not to be ignored.s4 The adoption of the proviso as the law for
all newly acquired territory must reduce the southern states to a
position of political inequality with the northern states, as sov-
ereign parties to the compact of the federal Union.
ley touched upon the matter in his last message to the assembly
"Inequality of political rights
"'', he said,
implies inferiority, and can never be submitted to as long as we retain the power
to be free, and that rightful appreciation of liberty, which is the richest jewel
in our heritage
has hitherto submitted to much; and,
erve the Union, so dear to us, the South
I doubt not, is ready to submit to much
more, when the sacrifice involves anything short of national degradation.
who appreciates as he ought his privileges and duties
cherishes in the deepest recesses of his heart, an undying devotion to something
dearer to him even than the Union, which he loves so much.ss
Nor were the respective claims of the Union and the states even
now presented for the first time. There had been men of influence in
this State" (see Senate Jornal, 1846-1847, p. 14). In his message of November
., i847, the same
governor noted that three requisitions for volunteers for the war had been made and promptly met
(see Senate Jmrnal, 1847-1848, pp. 14-16).-ED.
Message of August 8, q. v. in Richardson, Messages and Papers of the Presidents, I. 1309-1-3o, and
in other compilations.-En.
In this connection, see the resolutions adopted by Vermont, November 3, 1846, House Rept., No.
81, zd sess., zgth cong.; Rhode Island, January, 1847, House Rept., No. 85, id.; Illinois, February,
1847, House Rcept., No. 93, id.: Virginia, February 13, x847, House Rept., No. 97, id.; New Jersey,
February z6, 2847, House Rept., No. zox, id. See Acts and Resoletions, 1848-1849, pp. ixi-iz., for the
resolutions (January 13, 849) of the general assembly of Florida "relative to the question in a con-
troversy between the North and South". The matter may be followed in various reports of congress.
See also the messages of the governors of Florida for various years.-ED.
- Sec Senate
Jeural, 1848-1849, pp. 16-17.-ED.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
the territory who were union men, and had so declared themselves
in opposing the doctrines of nullification and secession, even so early
advocated. Yet, through all, the strongest union men held firmly to
the doctrine of states' rights, and the nullifiers believed nullification
the best means of preserving the Union. Many of the arguments used
were abstract, and the shades of difference were exceedingly fine-
not to say, fantastically so; especially in view of the later time when
the momentous question presented itself for decision, and differences
and shades of opinion were merged, that all strength might be
brought to the main issue.
Florida's first United States senators were James D. Westcott and
David L. Levy (later Yulee), democrats. But Jackson Morton,
elected two years later to succeed Westcott, was a whig. Also in the
house of representatives, Brockenbrough, a democrat, was succeeded
by E. Carrington Cabell, a whig. Moreover, Florida now elected a
whig governor, Thomas Brown.S6 The change of political sentiment
shown by the general success of the whigs in 1848 was largely,
though not wholly, due to the enthusiasm aroused by the personal
prestige of General Taylor. The strong argument for the whigs was
given by Cabell when he said in 1847:
The whig party, North and South, is characterized by a spirit of conservatism.
It embraces in its comprehensive view the whole country. It is not influenced by a
narrow, contracted, sectional policy.s"
But party lines were changing. The national democratic party had
lost many members who opposed any extension of slavery to the
territories; but it had gained as many pro-slavery whigs, while the
whigs had no compensating gains. The free soil democrats, as they
were called, were not drawn to the whig party, since it had not
favored the Wilmot Proviso. The free soil party had in 1848 adopted
an uncompromising anti-slavery platform. The discovery of gold in
California precipitated the struggle between the advocates of popu-
lar sovereignty and the advocates of the Wilmot Proviso. However,
the whigs found themselves in power, both in national and in state
6 For information regarding these men, see Rcrick,Memirs,I., passim. Brockenbrough and Cabell
had been opponents in the election of 1845 and the election was contested, the former being seated by
a decision of congress. Colonel Jackson Morton was the single whig senator elected in Florida.-ED.
s" Nati al Isalligarn, January x3, x848.
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
There had been some confusion as to when Governor Moseley's
term of office should end. The constitution had declared that
the Governor, Representative in Congress, and Members of the General Assembly,
shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices immediately after their
election, under the provisions of this Constitution, and shall continue in office in
the same manner, and during the same period, they would have done, had they
been elected on the first Monday in October.""
election had taken place on the t6th of May,
a serious doubt whether the governor's term si
first Monday of the preceding or of the follow
finally decided by the committee that Governor
expired on the first Monday of October, 1848;
e of the committee's report, December, 1848,
holding over until his successor, already
This report not being satisfactory to all m<
was finally agreed that the term should exp
October. I84a. It was further decided, the
embly would not be in sessi
and it was fitting that the
n the presence of both hou
i, already declared elected,
: on Januarv it. 184q. that
enter upon his duties on the expiratio
This arrangement, however, was
members of the senate who had oppc
still protested. The reasons they gav
lowing: that Governor Moseley's term of
the resolution of the senate relating to th
to the governor for approval or rejection
no power to settle questions as to term or
created under the state constitution, which did
legislative departments of the government; and
been asserted that the governor elect could not
presence of the legislature. The first governor
the presence of the legislature while in session.
I845; and there
lould date from
that at the
>ire on the first Monday of
)ugh not without opposi-
on on the first Monday of
: oath of office should be
ses of the assembly, that
should be inaugurated at
he might be prepared to
governor Moseley's term.
;atisfactory to all. A few
the plan, when discussed,
disapproval were the fol-
office had not yet expired;
.e matter had not been sent
i; the legislature possessed
tenure of office of any post
not appertain to the
, finally, that it had
qualify unless in the
had not qualified in
Nor did the protest-
ing members believe that the legislature possessed the power to
" In art. XVII., sec. 5.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
decide that the oath should be administered before it
, in so doing, an unwholesome precedent was being established
for all time to come. They therefore, for these and other reasons, made
not from any disrespect to Governor Brown or the
whig party, but upon conscientious, constitutional grounds
would take no part in that which they considered contrary to their
they would withdraw without aiding in the inauguration;
and would immediately return to their places when matters strictly
of a legislative character should be brought before the senate.
The hour of the inauguration was changed from 12 M. to ten P.M.
of the same date.
At that hour, then,
the governor elect, who was
not to enter upon his duties for nine months to come, was inaugu-
The ceremony, however impressive, could not have required a
great deal of time; for at half past ten the senate resumed its session.
But this session was the last; for it had been planned that the gov-
's inauguration should take place just before the adjournment.
a gentle and
and widely known for the charity and hospitality he
has been called an
era of good feeling
". The state was
enjoying a reasonable measure of prosperity, life was pleasant-for
the planters and professional men and their families-the Indians
were far in the everglades,
and Florida was a good land to live in.
But in I85z, the democrats returned to full power, both in na-
tional and in state affairs.
Broome, then elected governor,
was a South Carolinian
, schooled in the Calhoun principles of gov-
vernment, and determined in maintaining his views. His contempo-
raries spoke of him as the
". for he exercised his veto
privilege freely and prevented many bills that he deemed unwise
from becoming laws-for instance, he vetoed a bill to abolish the
He was equally firm in maintaining his views of per-
, as is shown in his attitude toward temperance.
was in public life during a time of great extravagance in entertain-
ment, and he, as well as others, exercised a most generous hospitality.
5 of art. I. of an act of December 19, 1845, declares:
"'That on the first Monday in October,
eighteen hundred and forty-eight, and every four years thereafter, there shall be held at each election
precinct in each county in this State, an election for Governor" (Acts and RTsolstiws, s845, p. 77).
Sec also the record of the debates with respect to Governor Brown in Senate J]asal, 1848-1849, pp.
148, 249, 151; and in House Je/nul, 1848-1849, pp. o05, 1s1-1z3, 114.-ED.
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
But, strictly temperate, he would
whose the example, be persuaded t
beverages at his table. No bowls
Christmas-no wine need be expei
ners and parties,
everything else gi
such a time requil
In i856, the An
larly known as t
never, whatever the fashion or
o serve wine or any intoxicating
of punch, no eggnog-even at
cted at Governor Broome's din-
though-his tables are said to have groaned with
ood He never violated his rule Such a course at
dence, and condemn
a moral courage of no common order.60
can party, formed four years earlier, and popu-
"Know Nothings", adopted a platform that
I be granted only after twenty-one years' resi-
Led the repeal of the Missouri Compromise.
Their convention nominated for President, Millard Fillmore, of
New York, and for Vice President, Andrew Jackson Donaldson, of
Tennessee. This party, when organized, had been joined by a large
number of old southern whigs, who could not yet bring themselves
to vote with the democrats. These men now accepted the nomina-
tions, though not the platform, of the party. This new party and the
whigs denounced the "geographical parties", the republicans and
the democrats; yet their very denunciation showed that the influ-
ence of sectionalism was felt. The republicans, the "anti-Nebraska"
men, having taken that name, adopted a loose construction plat-
form; favored internal improvements; and declared it the right and
duty of congress to prohibit slavery and polygamy in the territories
and to admit Kansas as a free state. They opposed the repeal of the
Missouri Compromise, the extension of slavery, and the general
policy of the administration. They nominated Fr6mont, of California,
and Dayton, of Ohio. The democrats adopted a platform consistent
with the strict construction principles declared in former years. The
Kansas-Nebraska Bill and popular sovereignty were approved. The
party nominees were James Buchanan, of Pennsylvania, and John C.
Breckenridge, of Kentucky.6'
Governor Broome received 4,618 votes as against 4,336 votes cast for the whig candidate, Major
George T. Ward. Augustus E. Maxwell, the democratic candidate for representative to congress,
defeated E. Carrington Cabell by only 45 votes in a poll of over 9,aoo. In x854, Maxwell was re-
elected by a vote of 5,641 to 4,583 cast for ex-Governor Brown. Governor Broome was educated by
private tutors in his native state, and came to Florida in i837, settling in Tallahassee. He was ap-
pointed judge of the probate court in Lcon County and held that office until his election as governor.
See Rerick, Murs, I. .115, 741-ED.
The national political history of the decade, x85o-z86o, is treated by many authors. Among
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
In view of the questions at issue and Florida
s political record,
was a foregone conclusion that in the national and in the state elec-
tions Florida would vote with the democrats.
ernor of the state, Madison Starke Perry, who,
Thus the next gov-
like his predecessor,
was a native of South Carolina, came into office as the champion of
What personality had those early governors!
see them so plainly, and know them so well.
unbending determination, yet
pride and dignity of manner,
Perry was a man of
: of infinite tact; noted for unusual
but able to influence any political
when men of less reserve and of more popular manners
could not do so.
The story is told that once at a church meeting
which he attended with his wife, a friend, more zealous than tactful,
grasped his hand saying,
How is it with your soul ?"
"I am glad to
"I did not come here to be interroj
"Madam, your carriage is waiting
see you here, my dear Sir.
replied the governor, very sternly,
gated." Then, turning to his wife,
g". To those who told the story
the wonder was that any person should have presumed to
gate" the dignified and reserved gentleman, the last of our ante-
Fifteen years-a short period truly in history, yet full of signifi-
cance! The young commonwealth had learned adjustment to the in-
stitutions of self government. Many of the problems and conditions
of a later time we find in rudimentary form here; and,
at the same
, we find here the development of the rudimentary problems of
an earlier period.
Agriculture, however simple the methods,
Florida a land of plenty, so that few,
,need beg their bread.
others, ice James Ford Rhodes, Hisws rf the United Srtaru frm tib C m prai of .4, II. (New York,
1so); Eaoch Walter Sikes and William Mme Keener, Th Grnwth af th Natile, ity7 t gl8r (Phila-
delphia, [90o5]); Theodore Clarke Smith, ParNk ad Slary (New York, 1906); and Carl Russell
Fish, Thk Delvmut rf AmrikaM Naimdity (New York, Boston, [etc.], [z9gg]). See also for the
development in Florida, Rerick, emkrs, I., and the messages of the governors.-ED.
'* Madisoa Starke Perry was born in South Carolina in 1814, and had been one of the most promi-
neat planters and public men of Alachua County, Florida, since 847. He was elected a member of
the house of representatives of Florida in 1849, and of the senate in x85o. In the election of 1856, he
polled 5,407 votes as against 5,o.7 votes cast for David S. Walker, of the know-nothing party. Of him,
Rerick, Mamirs, I. 13o, says further: "It was his fortune to preside over the Executive department of
the State government in one of the most important crises of its history, and in this emergency he met
his great responsibilities with dignity and ability. He survived his term of office but a few years,
going from the chief magistracy into the military service of the State. He had the rank of colonel of
the Seventh Florida regiment until compelled to resign by ill health, which led to his death in March,
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
The products of the fertile plantations sold in n<
productive of considerable wealth. On the pi
manors of the middle ages, were spinners and
and blacksmiths; so that every plantation was,:
independent of the rest of the world. But polio
and socially, Florida, like the older states, was
under American rule, of the ancien regime; f
northern markets were
antations, as on the
in a way, industrially
with all its progress
or the pioneers and
r i 1 i
younger men wno naa brougnt tneir traditions ot a settle civiliza-
tion with them, held to that regime as the one rule for government
One fact we must note, namely, that those early statesmen, mind-
ful of material wealth and of political life, were not unmindful of a
wealth other than material. They realized that a state must care for
its records and preserve its history. Consequently, among the first
laws was one providing for the state library, to which the legisla-
tors were as liberal as it was possible to be considering the poverty
of the new state.6'
Nor must we suppose that the people of the state were altogether
forgetful of public education. Steps were taken by the earlier as-
semblies to ascertain the number of children in the state and to pro-
vide for a system of public instruction. In 1849, it was provided that
to the proceeds from the school lands should be added five per cent
of the proceeds from other public lands, from escheated property and
from property situated along the coasts, for the support of the com-
mon schools.64 Congress having authorized the sale of school lands,
'* Miss Brevard probably refers to the act of July x8, 1845, entitled "An act respecting the Books
and Maps belonging to this State", q. u., in Act aad esoluaiers, 1845, pp. 34-35. The act provided for
three libraries, namely, a Legislative Library, an Executive Library, and a State Judicial Library; for
the proper cataloguing of materials; and appropriated $xSo for bookcases and necessary binding. By
an act ofJanuary zi, z855 (Act rrr dtsoltin 1854-1855, p. 34), the three libraries were consolidated
into one library under the care of the secretary of state, who was to act ex ofci. as the librarian of the
state of Florida. The sum of $zoo was set aside as an appropriation to meet expenses, and a salary of
$zno per annum to be paid quarterly. Another act of February I3, z86z (Acts nd lsoatiorn, z86-86x,
P. 7i), placed the judicial part of the library directly under the supreme court. The present Supreme
Court Library is an excellent one, but Florida,unfortunately,has no statelibrary at the present time.-En.
c4 An act to provide for the increase, investment, safe-keeping, and disbursement of the Common
School Fund, approved January 9, 1849 (see Acts ad Resolutinu, 1848-1849, pp. 35-36). Much of the
legislative action concerning schools during the period of statehood up to the Civil War centered
about the school lands and the establishment of the two seminaries of learning. Among these are the
following: An Act to provide for the ascertaining, securing, and increasing the funds applicable to
purposes of education in this State, July 15, 1845 (Acts and Eslumtins, ist sess., 1845, p. 40); An Act
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
the state register of p
of common schools.'
David S. Walker, a n
to confer the highest i
was deeply interested
S'When we consider"
publicc lands was made ex offiio superintendent
s The double duties of office were accepted by
ian upon whom in years to come Florida was
honors. To the work of education, in which he
i, he gave faithful and conscientious service.
, he wrote in one of his reports,
the great attention that is being paid to education at this time throughout
Christendom, we must feel that our children will be compelled to blush for our
neglect of them, unless we afford them better means of instruction than we have
hitherto done. . The wealth we may bequeath our children in lands, slaves,
or money, will be comparatively but a worthless boon if it be not accompanied
by the far richer legacy of intellectual treasures, and high moral cultivation. In a
free country "Knowledge is Power", and I will add, where the child has been
properly instructed, knowledge is virtue and wealth also.66
Note that he does not deem the public schools to be maintained for
the "poor children" only, or the "poor orphans".
One practical result of Mr. Walker's influence was the establish-
ment of a free school in Tallahassee supported by a city tax. Some
to provide for the sale of the sixteenth sections granted by Congress to the State, for the support of
Public Schools and for consolidating the School Fund, December 18, 1848 (Acts ad RIlatriessu, 1848-
1849, PP- 34-35); An Act to provide for the increase, investment, safe-keeping, and disbursement of
the Common School Fund, January 9, 1849 (ibid.,pp. 35-36); An Act to prevent trespass on the School,
Seminary, and Internal Improvement Lands, and to recover damages for the use and occupation of the
same (heid., pp. 36-38); An Act to provide for the establishment of two Seminaries of Learning, Janu-
ary 14, 1851 (Acts and Rssl/tnw, z85o-1851, pp. 97-so); An Act to provide for the Location of the
two Seminaries of Learning to be established in this State, January 6, 1853 (Acts ad RIselatinu, 1852.-
S853, PP- 87-88); An Act to require the Register of State Lands to have all the School Lands of [various
counties named in the act] that have not been offered for sale appraised and offered, January z, 1857
(Acts and R sleiams, 1856-1857, p. 56); An Act to enable Joseph M. Taylor, of Hernando County, to
enter and pay for certain portions of the Common School Lands, December 1, 1856 (ibid., p. 65); An
Act amending the act of January 24, 1851 (q. s., atr), February z4, i861 (Acts and Rselssins, 86o-
I86z, p. 70).-ED.
's By act of January 1o, 1849 (1. ., Acts and Rsolutiau, 1848-1849, pp. 15-34). This act, an important
and basic one, provided for an annual report by the superintendent, containing a "statement of the
condition of the schools of the state, the situation and expenditure of school moneys, plans for the
management and improvement of the common school fund, and for ameliorating the condition of the
common schools; an exhibit showing the number of children in each school district between the ages
of five and eighteen years, attending school in each district, and the number of schools in each county,
according to the reports made to him by the several county superintendents throughout the state; and
also, all other matters relating to his office, as he may deem expedient to communicate". Probate
judges were to serve also as county superintendents. The school funds which were discussed at length
in this act, also form the subject of several other acts. In connection with this act, see especially the
act of January x, 1853 (Acts ad Rsetlutise, 1852-1853, pp. 88-92), "An Act to establish Schools, and
to repeal certain Acts in relation thereto"; and that of January x5, 1859 (Acts and Rsolutions, 858-
1859, p. 18), amending section two of the preceding act.-ED.
Sec this report, dated November i, 1854, in Appendix to Senate and House Jworals, 1854-1855.
Concerning Walker's influence on education, see Rerick, Memoirs, I., passim.-En.
THE STATE OP FLORIDA
counties organized public school systems, conducting schools for
three months of the year. For the year commencing July i,
statistics showed the number of white children of school age in
Florida to be 16,
i ,o3o" 67
the appropriation for their education being
was appropriated and the number of children reported was 20,885. 68
The assembly of I85' had provided for the establishment of two
seminaries of learning; one east and
one west of the Suwannee
River.69 The first purpose of these institutions should be
the instruction of persons, both male and female, in the art of teaching all the
various branches that pertain to a good common school education; and next to
give instruction in the mechanic arts, in husbandry and agricultural chemistry,
in the fundamental laws, and in what regards the rights and duties of citizens.
The seminaries were located, one at Ocala,
and one at Tallahassee;
the former was afterward
removed to Gainesville.
seminaries, we see the institutions from which afterward developed
the higher institutions of learning in Florida."7
However, it was still the day of the private school,
Few were the towns where there could not be found a school-
master, well educated, even scholarly, training boys for college or
professional schools in the older states. Sometimes girls as well as
boys attended these schools.
Usually, however, the girls and the
little boys were taught by women. The women teachers were often
from the north.
"I never knew a lady teacher before the war who
was not a
, says a woman who remembers the old days.
And she further testifies to the conscientiousness of these
, and to the thoroughness of their work. There were, how-
numbers of southern women teaching, some in small private
schools, others as governesses.
English tutors and governesses were
well thought of.
," As given in Walker's report (see preceding note).-ED.
" See Senate and House Journals, 858, the register's report for the year beginning July i, 1857.-En.
"'See the act of January 24, 185 in Acts and Resolutions, 18Zo-851, pp.
institutions, so broad in scope, occurs in the first section of the act.-ED.
The purpose of the
70 See George Gary Bush, Histry of Edcatiofn i Florida (Washington, i889), pp. 14-16; and Thomas
Everette Cochran, History of Pshlic School Educatin iM Flrida (Lancaster, Pa., 191), pp. 15-1.7, for
accounts of the history of education in Florida for the period 1845-1860. See also Acts and Relsoltiuns
for the various laws affecting education not cited in the preceding notes.-ED.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
It was an English governess in the family of Governor Milton in
186i, who wrote of the laisseqfaire spirit and the difficulty she found
in carrying out plans for systematic instruction
charming, amiable young people in her charge. Th
the Jackson County plantation was a large room
to the talented,
te schoolhouse on
across the yard".
There were seven windows and two doors, all without fastenings of
any kind. Books, slates, and pencils would frequently disappear, to
the distress of the governess-the loss, however, being calmly borne
by her pupils and their mother.
had arranged on the old piano'
long row of books that I
, writes Miss Jones,
was one morning missing entirely; no one knew what had become of them, no
one had touched them or seen them, but they were gone!
"I bet a dollar that Jim (a negro boy) has carried them off into the woods,"
"Why should he do that?"
"Oh, just for mischief. I left my violin here one evening, and the next day it
was gone. A long time afterwards, when I was hunting in the woods, I found it
smashed up under the trees; and I know Jim broke it for mischief." Thus the row
of books vanished, their loss borne amiably and unconcernedly, without an
effort to recover them.
I tried hard to get locks or some kind of fastenings put upon the doors, which
"should certainly be done
"; but every time any one went into town, the locks
Necessarily immense patience and some very grave faces required to be sum-
moned over all these baneful habits. The pleasantest smiles and readiest promises
responded to my expostulations, and there the responsibilities of the young
ladies ceased. . Always perfectly happy, contented, and smiling, accus-
tomed to gratify every wish, with no thought of care or sorrow, and no sense of
Between school hours,
the governess undertook to lay out an
" she says,
the head and front, as well as the chief head of the domestic establishment, was
required by his Excellency at Tallahassee; and as for Jim and any of the other
mischievous children one could never secure them when wanted.
negroes were too busy planting or ploughing, or chopping wood, or doing some-
thing else to render any assistance. When the weather permitted, I worked
harder on those garden beds than the united labor of any three slaves on the
place, while Johnny and the girls stood and watched me in astonishment, en-
treating me not to take so much trouble. I endeavored in vain to persuade them
to come and help, and that it was a delightful amusement.
It was in the late forties that John Newton, of Massachusetts, a
graduate of Amherst, found his way to the Scotch Presbyterians of
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
the Euchee country, and opened a school at Knox Hill.
There and in
the near neighborhood he lived and worked for half a century, re-
spected and beloved beyond the lot of most. His fame spread, and
pupils came to him from the adjoining counties and from southern
The schoolhouse ot two large
Alabama to be prepared for college.
, painted and ceiled, well furnished,
maps, and a small but carefully selected library
the valley and
of West Florida.
The loghouse r
was the pride of
iear by that had
formerly served as a schoolhouse, was fitted up as a laboratory for
experiments in physics and chemistry
It was a Presbyterian school
and all pupils were required to learn the shorter catechism. To this
rule some not of the Presbyterian faith objected, but to no purpose;
for Newton would calmly reply that every pupil of his must know
Nor was his teaching all within the walls of his schoolroom. He
taught his pupils to love animals and birds, and they remembered in
after years that he had said he could not call his friend a man who
would pitilessly tread on a worm.
They remembered that it was
Newton who had taught them that he who plants a tree is a bene-
factor to the human race; and that he reproved the boy who idly
stuck a knife into a young tree, for the tree might feel.
Tradition tells that he was the first man in Walton County who
ever milked a cow, and that he taught the men to milk, saying that
milking was for them, not for women. And so he won the women's
Then, to encourage taste in dressing, he subscribed to a
fashion magazine for the benefit of the women,
conned its pages with diligence.
who, no doubt,
Where indeed was the limit to the
s activities? Whether with his pupils on week days, at the
teaching Sunday school,
or conducting the
, if there were no minister, in the debating clubs or literary
that he organized,
Fourth of July or Washington
at the patriotic celebrations on the
's Birthday-he was always the leader,
always the real teacher.
He was an abolitionist, expressing his views with the utmost
frankness, even insisting that certain books advocating abolition
should have their place in his school library, and that his pupils
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
should be free to read them. Yet there was no abatement of the
affectionate and cordial relations existing between himself and the
people with whom he had come into such close relations-a people
who would hardly have tolerated the expression of such views from
any other man than John Newton. Devoted to the Union, he incul-
cated a similar devotion in the minds of others; and so strong was
his influence here that many attributed the strong union sentiment
of West Florida mainly to his teachings.
Agreeing or disagreeing with his political holdings, there was but
one opinion regarding the man himself, great morally and intellec-
tually, "wise as the serpent, harmless as the dove", full of love to
God and man, and with the courage of his convictions. And when
his eyes were closed in death, and he was laid to rest by his old
pupils and friends near by the school where he had worked so nobly,
they felt that his own life had been after all the greatest of the many
great lessons he had given them. 7
It was natural that in Florida, as elsewhere in the south, thought
being especially directed to politics, political ambition being that
form of ambition most strongly attracting representative men, the
bulk of writing should have been political. There were long articles
in the papers of the day, and many pamphlets, whose tone revealed
little less bitterness than we find in political articles of our own time.
But there was a difference; for the tone of those older writings was
stately-pompous, an unfriendly critic might even aver. Classic quo-
tations adorn the pages, and political rivals stab each other with the
punctilious politeness of Spanish grandees. Still there were some
then, as now, who wielded the hammer-the bludgeon, rather-
instead of the rapier.
While most men were busy in the making of history, rather than
in the preservation of it, one man at least in Florida realized the im-
portance of securing and preserving historical records. Buckingham
Smith, a native of Georgia, after graduating from Harvard, and
practicing law for a while in Maine, made his home in Florida. He
became deeply interested in Florida's colonial history, and made a
71 See John L. McKinnon, Hintry ,f Walcm Cesuy (Atlanta, igx1), pp. 181-138, for comments on
this remarkable man.-En.
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
valuable collection of manuscripts relating to that history
drid he studied his subject with care, searching the archives for
information bearing on Florida and Louisiana. He translated a num-
ber of documents and narratives, and made other contributions to
His work commands the respect of students, who must
appreciate the value of patient research,
the carefully guarded ac-
curacy, and the sense of historical value that inspired his work. 7
George Rainsford Fairbanks was a neighbor and friend of Smith in
Augustine, and like Smith,
was attracted to the study of Florida
He wrote a History of St. Augustine, in which he embodied
some of the original narratives of the Spanish and French who
shared in the dramatic events of the settlement of the old town. He
used also other interesting sources in the later history of the struggle
between the Spaniards and their English neighbors, all contributing
to make a
volume of value and interest.
He wrote his History of
, and in more recent years, a school history.
He was a
I2 Buckingham Smith has been of much service to later students of Spanish documents. He was one
of the earliest of the scholars of the United States to become interested in the great mass of documents
stored away in the Spanish and Mexican archives, which scholars of today are exploiting so eagerly.
Smith became a member of the state legislature of Florida after his removal to that state from Maine.
In 185o-x85z, he acted as secretary of legation in Mexico (as charge d'affaires in 181I); and in z855-
i858, as secretary of legation in Madrid. Upon his return to Florida in 1859, he was appointed judge
and later became a member of the state senate. He died in 1871. He was consistently in favor of the
Union. Among the writings, translations, and edited materials left by him are the following:
Report to accompany senate bill No.
State of Florida, by said State" ['
"To authorize the drainage of the Ever Glades, in the
Com. Kept., No. 141,
ISt s ss.,
The Narrative of Alvar Nufiez Cabega de
Washington, x851. Translation.
Letter of Hernando de Soto, and Memoir of Hernando de Escalante Fontaneda. Washington, 1854.
Documentos para la Historia de la Florida y Ticrras
Londr6s, . (No other volume
Documents in the Spanish and two of the early Tongues of Florida (Apalachian and Timuquan).
A Grammatical Sketch of the Heve Language. New York,
1861. Translated from an unpublished
Arte de la Lengua NCvone, que se dice pima, propia de Sonora, con la Doctrina Christiana y Con-
fesionario afiadidos. San Agustdn de la Florida, x861.
Rudo Ensayo, tentative de una provencional Descripcibo geographic de la Provincia de Sonora.
San Agusdn de la Florida, 1863. Edited from the copy of a manuscript by an unknown Jesuit,
An Inquiry into the Authenticity of Documents concerning a Discovery in North America claimed
to have been made by Verrazano. New York, 1864.
Narrative of the Career of Hernando de Soto in the Conquest of Florida, as told by a Knight of Elvas
and in a Relation by Luys Hernandez de Biedma, Factor of the Expedition. New York,
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
native of New
York State, removing to Florida early in life, and
engaging in the practice of law."7
One is struck by the very large proportion of men in the legal pro-
Florida lawyers were men of trained,
as well as brilliant, intellect.
The production of literature on their part was a pastime, not a seri-
There were hours of social enjoyment; and at such
times the gentlemen of the day who could so wittily pun,
them, as easily write verse.
Little of the verse has been preserved
and one finds it
if at all
, in old scrapbooks, or in privately printed
pamphlets, or in manuscript copies. Most of it possesses harmony
and grace, and a delicate sentiment; the writers would themselves
have made no higher claim.
Lucien Duval wrote several society
satires full of wit and a charm of easy flowing rhythm.
and quoted them; and even the subjects of the satire
too hardly toward
A long poem,
was of a different kind, and a seri-
ous effort to present in fitting strain the story, tragical enough, of
the destruction of the old fort on the hills west of Tallahassee.
Alfred Hobby was also a writer of verse.
His writings were col-
elected and published in two volumes, namely, Frontier from the Saddle
and The Sentinel's Dream of Home, after he had left Florida to make
his home in
Still another writer of occasional poems was
" is known to many.
were other writers of verse, but too little care was taken to preserve
their poems. The list closes with the name of a woman, Miss Helen
, whose poem,
, is striking and force-
ful, the expression of deep feeling and earnest thought,
work found in print bearing the name of this author.
yet the only
3 Among his writings arc the following:
The early History of Florida.
St. Augustine, Florida Historical Society, 1857.
The History and Antiquities of the City of St. Augustine, Florida, founded, A.D. I565. New York,
The Spaniards in Florida. Jacksonville, z866.
History of Florida, from its discovery by Ponce de Lcon, in x15 I, to the Close of the Florida War,
in 1841. Jacksonville, 1871.
Florida, its History and its Romance. Jacksonville, x898.
History of the University of the South, at Sewanec, Tennessee. Jacksonville, 1gos.-ED.
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
Few employed themselves in the writing of fiction. Caroline Lee
Hentz spent the latter years of her life in Marianna, where she wrote
several of her best known books.
The fashions of literature change
with the times and not many now read Mrs.
there was a time when they were very widely read and welcomed.
They reflect the spirit of the old time south, and picture the life of
the gentlefolk of the day, their manners and customs, their standards
of conduct, in delicate drawing, in which we note refinement, rather
Of the author herself many memories have been pre-
Her writings reveal the delicate refinement of her nature;
friends have told of the unselfish and lovable character, the sweet
and gracious presence that made the woman beloved by those who
knew her. Since the greater part of Mrs.
s work was done
after her removal to Florida, we may with justice place her among
Florida writers as the first author in the state who relied upon the
pen for support.74
In the town of Quincy lived Colonel William Stockton, prominent
in social and political life.
He wrote sketches and tales of hunting
, which were printed in Forest and Stream, and afterward
collected in book form, under the title of Dog and Gun. Sportsmen
found delight in these
sketches, written by a man who was himself
a noted sportsman; and whatever was written by
"Cor de Chasse
(the pen name of Colonel Stockton) was eagerly read.
During-the years of political argument and party strife, during the
years of material advancement and the gathering of wealth, during
the transitional years from territorial to state life, a gentle physician
in a Florida town was busy with an invention that has been great in
its results for the comfort and well-being of man.
native of South Carolina, came to Apalachicola in the later terri-
and practiced his profession there. Apalachicola was
74 In addition to her many novels, Mrs. Hentz was the author of The Flower of Elautian; a Class Book
(Philadelphia, x855). She wrote a number of her novels in the house at St. Andrews now occupied by
G. M. West, who has made so many valuable researches into the local history of that region.-ED.
7s Experiments had been made with ice-making machines before those of Dr. Gorrie. In 1834, for
instance, an Englishman had made ice by the compression method. But the invention of the cold-air
machine is associated with Dr. Gorrie, who is said to have designed the first machine of that type.
See Norman Selfe, Machinery for Refrigeration (Chicago, rgoo), p. 9; and J. Wallis-Tayler, Refrigeraion,
Cold Storage and Ice-Maing (London, 1915), p. zI4.-ED.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
then a port of importance, the large cotton crop of the Chattahoo-
chee lands finding its way to market through that seaport.
Dr. Gorrie was not only a successful practitioner, but a contributor
to medical literature. We are told that
, being a man who thought for
himself, his practice was decidedly in advance of his time; and that
in all cases, he was less bound by tradition than by science. The most
difficult problem he found was in the treatment of fever cases during
the long summers. The result of his thought was the evolution of the
theory that fever might be controlled by external means of cooling
the sufferer, which theory he set forth in the professional publications,
receiving in consequence full meed of ridicule or neglect.
who argued that fever patients should be kept cool, instead of warm,
was entitled to scant respect, in the opinion of his brother physicians.
In his experiments to cool the air of the sick room, Dr. Gorrie suc-
ceeded in making blocks of ice about as large as an ordinary brick;
and his process was the forerunner of the modern ice-making ma-
chine. He did not
, however, use the ice made by him for commercial
purposes, but for the requirements of his practice.
It must be re-
membered that all ice used in those days in the far south had to be
brought from the more northern states at great expense. Ice was a
luxury that might be enjoyed by the well-to-do.
be considered by the poor.
Its use might not
But not even the people of wealth could
get ice with any certainty or regularity; for there were few railroads
-none came to Apalachicola,
for instance-and freight must
brought on vessels whose speed was none too fast, or, sometimes, by
In process of time, the inventor secured a patent for his ice-making
and refrigerating machine; but the invention was ridiculed by the
especially by the press of New England and New York.
inventor was a crank
, his plan absurd.
Gorrie was himself without
means, and no one to whom he applied could be induced to risk
capital in helping him.
Consequently, not one of his machines was
ever made for commercial use; and the inventor never received any
money from the invention.
, nevertheless, making ice,
and using it for his patients-continued, too, treating fever accord-
ing to his own conclusions.
[ 4 ]
THE STATE OF FLORIDA
As early as 1845 the first ice-making machine was made and used.
Five years later, M. Rosan,
a French cotton buyer, was in Apalachi-
cola, saw the machine, and was deeply interested in it.
Gorrie to show and explain it to the men of the place at
the principal hotel of the town.
Accordingly, the citizens of Apala-
chicola had an opportunity of seeing the machine in operation, of
hearing Dr. Gorrie'
their eyes. No dou
interest passed awa
had received no aid
s explanations, and of eating the ice made before
ibt, they were interested at the time; but the
When Gorrie died
and no recognition except from a few grateful
M. Rosan returned to France.
He was an associate and intimate
friend of Edmond Carr6, who afterward perfected the first machine
for the manufacture of ice that was commercially successful; yet,
that Carr6 was aided in the work by reports of Gorrie's experiments,
should not be asserted without definite evidence.
The contrast is sad
between Carr6, honored and rewarded,
recognized, and unremembered.
It is a pleasing instance of justice,
not too common, that the first effort to redeem Gorrie
s name from
oblivion should have come from that place whose people he had
benefited by the best years of noble personal service; and the erection
of the simple monument at Apalachicola speaks to the world of that
service so simply rendered, yet so great in results.
THE NATION OF FLORIDA
A4s we have seen, the question of federal relations had, from
very early times, been recognized as one of great importance. Even
in territorial days, opinion had voiced itself, discussion being often
heated. At the first session of the state assembly, resolutions re-
ceived from the legislature of Connecticut pertaining to the con-
troversy between Massachusetts and South Carolina,76 led to the
expression of the sense of the assembly. The joint select committee
to whom the subject was referred prefaced its resolutions by stat-
ing that Florida desired to maintain cordial relations with its sister
states, and would
been pressed for a
was increased by
bonds of union be
prefer maintaining a neutral position,
declaration. This reluctance to discuss
the fact that a topic calculated to v
tween the states should be agitated w
that the country should be united, an
had it not
'hen it was
d when all
should be ready to sustain
The committee held t
ment of limited powers;
tween the states for general and
federal constitution; that it was
was invested with no authority
other powers remaining with the
Nowhere in the constitution had
ment and control of their affairs
in the rights and maintain the honor of the
hat the general government was a govern-
that the federal Union was a compact be-
specific purposes, mentioned in the
the creature, not the creator, and
beyond the delegated powers, all
states respectively, and the people.
the states surrendered the manage-
, so far as any laws or enactments
necessary to the preservation and protection of life and property
were concerned. The constitution had guaranteed each state against
insurrection and domestic violence. But the co-operation of the gen-
7' The controversy between Massachusetts and South Carolina arose over the passage by the legisla-
ture of the latter state of the Negro Scaman Act, under which negro citizens of the former state serving
on board coasting vessels entering the port of Charleston had been seized and deprived of liberty. The
state of Massachusetts sent an agent, one Samuel Hoar, to Charleston to look into this matter, but he
was forced by the irate citizens to leave South Carolina. The same difficulty was had with Louisiana,
and an agent was appointed by Massachusetts for New Orleans. The southern states generally sup-
ported South Carolina. See John Bach McMastcrs, A Histry of tht Amerkn Peqk, VII. 59-6x.6.-ED.
THE NATION OP FLORIDA
eral government in behalf of the pretensions of Massachusetts as
against South Carolina,
would be an intervention of policy creating
that violence from which the federal government was bound to pro-
tect the states, rather than the assurance of domestic tranquillity.
Then followed discussion of the interpretation of that clause of the
constitution which says,
"The citizens of each State shall be entitled
to all the privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States".
The Connecticut resolutions had suggested a legal adjudication by
the supreme court of the United States.
The Florida report, how-
acknowledged no such right of adjudication; for the acknowl-
edgment of that right would be the abandonment of the position
that among the reserved rights of the states was the inherent prin-
ciple of protection and self-preservation and the power to pass such
laws as were necessary to carry out that principle.
The whole tone of
this report, as the tone of other serious discussions about this time,
was clear and positive, certainly, but in n
Abide by the constitution, and let us alone,
o sense revolutionary.
was the conclusion of
It is unnecessary to trace the steps by which opinion was being
shaped north and south.
No part of our history is more familiar.
The critical year, i85o, passed, and there was peace for a while. Yet
it was long clear to many that if a President should ever be elected
by a sectional vote, such election would be the signal for definite
almost imperceptibly, unrest increased, even in
, considered so remote from the great busy world of affairs.
Like a knell came the news of John Brown
's raid; and the doors of
7t See this committee report in Senate Jomnnal,
Ist sC .,
pp. 98-1oo. See also Senate Jorna, pp. 47-51, and House Jo
1845, PP- 74-76, and House Jorenal, 1845,
urtca, pp. 52-56, for the resolutions of the
state of Connecticut and other documents leading to the Florida committee report. The resolutions
adopted by the joint committee were as follows:
Resolved, That self preservation is a natural right alike to a body political or an individual; that the
object of free government is the preservation of life, liberty, and property, and it is inherent in the
Sovereignty of any State in the United States to preserve the one and protect the other.
Resolwd, That in the municipal and police laws of South Carolina, we are aware of no enactment
which goes beyond this object; we believe that such laws are called for by necessity; that those laws
are not aggressions upon the rights of Massachusetts, or those of any other State, but purely a defence
of the rights of South Carolina.
Resolved, That the committee deems this a favorable opportunity to recommend similar police laws
as those of South Carolina, for adoption by the General Assembly of the State of Florida..
See also Sen. Doc., No.
zoo, ist sess., 19th cong., for the resolutions of the legislature of Georgia
of December 29, 1845, concerning the same matter.-ED.
HISTORY OP FLORIDA
many plantation homes that had never before been locked, were
locked at night now, though the need for locks was no greater than
The general assembly of 1859 was memorable. During its session
of twenty-four days, not only were laws of importance enacted, but
there is a special claim to attention in the fact that action was
unanimously taken by both houses regarding federal relations, this
action being preliminary to the approaching secession of the state.
A house resolution requesting an expression of the sentiment of
the assembly as to the condition of national affairs, and suggestion
of proper action by the people
of a "Black Republican" as
referred to a select committee
of the views held by the maj
southern people generally at
of Florida in the event .of the election
President of the United States, was
'whose report79 is a plain declaration
ority of the people of Florida, as of
the time. This report set forth the
the Union of the States of this Confederacy and the
ion" was the "offspring of the Constitution of the
, dependent on it for vitality and continued existence,
wilful violation or disregard of the Constitution"
destruction of the Union and the dissolution of the
into its original elements.
It affirmed the doc-
trine of state sovereignty, and the right of every state to establish in
its own limits such domestic institutions as it approved, not incon-
sistent with the constitution. The institution of slavery had been
recognized by the
carrying into effec
supreme court had
political creed hos'
constitution,8" congress had provided by law fbr
t constitutional provisions regarding it, and the
declared those laws constitutional.
then, was drawn that since no state holding a
tile to the constitution could be admitted into the
Union, so, when any state already in the Union, or the majority of
the people of such state, should adopt principles of political action
repugnant to the constitution, such state or people must be regarded
as faithless to their allegiance and enemies to the constitution. Also,
SThis committee consisted of Thcodore W. Brevard, Jr., chairman, Fred C. Barrett, George Whit-
field, James Gettis, and Isaac C. Robinson.
7" House Jnal, December i9, pp. 188-192. The committee report was read by its chairman (see
ants, note 78).
'* Art. I., sec. 2, and art. II., sec. t.
THE NATION OF FLORIDA
any state that should, in the exercise of the elective franchise, resist
the laws of congress, the provisions of the constitution, and the
decisions of the supreme court, must be regarded as in rebellion
against the government of the United States, and as having dissolved
the political and national connection with those states still main-
taining loyalty to the constitution and the Union. It was shown
that the union of the states, having been formed by mutual conces-
sions among the people of the different sections, could be main-
tained only by the cultivation of the same feeling and sympathy
from which it sprang. Rehearsing recent political events, showing
the systematic efforts to force the south from its position of equality,
the committee recommended the passage of the following resolu-
tions, truly a very definite utterance of sentiment:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Florida in General
Assembly convened, That in view of our national affairs, the time for argument has
passed, the time for action arrived, and that Florida, as one of the Southern
States, abides the destiny of her sisters, [and] extends her warmest assurance and
co-operation in any course their united wisdom may devise.
Resolved, That in the event of the election of a President by a Northern party,
opposed to slavery as it exists in the Southern States, it will be the duty of the
Southern States to prevent his inauguration or to take some measures in common
to protect themselves, and, as one of the Southern States, Florida hereby pledges
herself to do her duty.
Resolved, That, to give effect to this assured co-operation, the Governor be and
he is hereby authorized, upon the call of any of our sister slave-holding States,
and particularly of those bordering upon the free States, to take any and all steps
necessary for the maintenance of their rights, and to convene the Legislature in
extraordinary session should the necessity occur.
Resolved, That the Governor be requested to forward a copy of this report and
these resolutions to our Senators and Representatives in Congress, as also to the
Governors of the several States of the United States.8s
Whether these resolutions were based upon the underlying prin-
ciples of nullification, of secession, or of revolution, Florida stood
pledged by their unanimous adoption to unite with other southern
states in such action as the wisdom of all might direct.
Matters were brought to a crisis by the election of Lincoln to the
presidency. When the Florida assembly met on the 26th of Novem-
ber, 1860, Governor Perry recommended that a convention be called
of the people of the state, in order that action might be taken "to
t' House Jousral, 1859, pp. 191-191.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
preserve the rights,
honor, safety, of the people of Florida
call for the convention was issued on
the thirtieth day of that
Opinion in the state was not unanimous, nor was there absence of
need for argument.
Certain, though comparatively few, statesmen,
who by years of devotion and service had proved loyalty to both
state and nation
, men of ability and integrity
now with all the
power that was in them opposed the policy of secession.
were giants in those days
, and there was a battle of the giants.
it was soon plain that secession had won the day.
Among those who still stood for the Union was General Call,
who held that resistance to wrongs no longer endurable should be by
In a letter to the
zz, x860, he wrote:
I do most sincerely hope, Sir, that the Convention so suddenly called, so pre-
cipitately, so hastily chosen, whatever may be its political complexion, will
weigh well and deliberately consider the great responsibilities so inconsiderately
and rashly thrown upon them. I do sincerely hope that reason may not be de-
throned by passion-that no attempt will be made rashly to strike the American
flag-that no attempt will be made to declare Florida a Nation alien and foreign
to the American people until Georgia shall have gone out of the Union,-and
until the ordinance for the Secession of Florida shall have been for a reasonable
time submitted to the people for their sovereign approval or condemnation. .
[Postscript] The eighth of January will be celebrated at Lake Jackson. .
A portrait of General Jackson taken 3 5 years ago will be displayed under a banner
bearing a star for every State of the Union that has not nullified the Fugitive
Slave Law, and denied the supreme jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the
One not of his political creed declared that he spoke and wrote like
one of the prophets.
But he stood almost alone. 8
9s See Governor Perry's message of November 16, 86o, in Senate Jwsl, 186o-186x, pp. 10-14, and
House Je]rsl, pp. 8-n. In his message, the governor, meeting the objections of those who were
opposed to secession, said: "But some Southern men,
. . object to secession until some overt act of
constitutional power shall have been committed by the Genral Gerw mt; that we ought not to
secede until the President and Congress unite in passing an act unequivocally hostile to our institu-
tions and fraught with immediate danger to our rights of property and to our domestic safety. My
countrymen If we wait for such an overt act, our face will be that of the white inhabitants of St.
s* On December i, 860, General Call wrote in a pamphlet: "My fellow citizens, on Monday last
your legislature met. Secession was the watchword, and reply, and on Thursday before the hour of I1
was consummated an act amid rapt applause which may produce the most fatal consequences. This
act provides for a convention of the people to be chosen with the same rushing haste to assemble in
your capital on January 3rd next. And for what purpose? Secession of the Statr of Florida from the Unien.
THE NATION OF FLORIDA
On the 3d of January, 1861, the convention met in the hall of the
house of representatives at Tallahassee, being opened with prayer by
Bishop Rutledge. Two days later the permanent organization was
effected, when Judge John McGehee was elected president of the con-
vention.84 Crowds of eager people filled the hall at every session; and
on the Monday after organization there was scarcely standing room,
when the convention was addressed by the commissioners, E. C.
Bullock, of Alabama, L. W. Spratt, of South Carolina, and Edmund
Ruffin, of Virginia. Mr. Spratt is said to have made a remarkable
impression. He said that he felt a delicacy in speaking at such a
time, as he came from a foreign power; but he trusted that he would
not be deemed presumptuous. He spoke strongly for secession, and
concluded his speech with expressions of love and goodwill for
Florida. His remarks aroused wild enthusiasm, and on the next day
nearly every member of the convention wore a rosette of palmetto,
as indicating determination to stand by South Carolina.
But no palmetto rosette was needed now to evince that determina-
tion; for after the commissioners' speeches, a resolution, previously
offered by McQueen McIntosh, was adopted. The resolution de-
clared the right of the several states of the Union to withdraw from
the Union at such time and for such causes as in the opinion of the
people of each state, acting in their sovereign capacity, might be
just and proper; and that in the opinion of the convention, the
existing causes were now such as to compel the state of Florida to
exercise that right.
Not without argument had the resolution passed. George T.
Ward, for one, had eloquently pleaded for patience yet a little while,
I proclaim that when that deed shall be done it will be treason, high treason against our constitutional
government. Is the election of a sectional president by a sectional party consisting of less than ooc-
third of the political strength of the Nation sufficient cause for justifying rebellion and revolution
against your government? Is it not a fact that the present disunion movement in Florida is not because
of the election of Mr. Lincoln but from a long-cherished hatred of the Union by the leading politicians
of the State? Wait, then, I-pray you, wait." See William Watson Davis, The Civil Wa ad Rcmsutruc-
tions is Ftlrida (New York, 13), p. 50 So.-En.
14 In his opening address on January 5, Judge McGhee said: "No reasonable doubt can be enater-
tained 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 slave States will withdraw their
political connection from the non-slave-holding States, unite themselves in a common destiny and
establish another Confederation." See Janal of khe Prcedigs of tth Cwventiun of stk Plepk of Flrida,
bg.sr and kl at she Capital i sti City f Tallasss [sic], on Thsrsday,Janury j, A.D. zir (Tallahanee
1861), p. 7. For an account of the secession convention, see also Davis, at sapra, pp. 47-68.-En.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
for the endurance of present ills, rather than flying to those un-
He quoted history and poetry, and exercised all of his arts
of persuasion. But all was to no avail; for once, the people listened
to him with deaf ears. A few other members opposed secession, and
some urged delay; but their words were without effect; secession
was a foregone conclusion."s
A committee of thirteen"6 was appointed to prepare ordinances for
the consideration of the convention.
appointed on federal relations, the ji
Standing committees were also
idiciary, the militia and internal
, foreign relations, commerce and
public lands, taxation and revenue, printing,
Later a committee on postal affairs was announced.
On Wednesday, the 9th of January, the committee on ordinances
reported an ordinance of secession as follows:
We, the people of the State of Florida in Convention assembled,
ordain, publish, and decree,
That the Constitution of the United States, the treaties and the laws hereto-
fore made in pursuance thereof and in force in the State of Florida at the date of
this ordinance, so far as the same can be applicable to a single State, shall remain
and continue in full force in this State, until the same shall be altered or repealed
under the authority of this Convention.
The convention then went into committee of the whole for the
consideration of the ordinance, the result being that the report was
referred to the committee of the judiciary with instructions to report
in one hour. At the end of the given time, the following ordinance
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 the said States; and that all political connection between
her and the Government of the said States ought to be, and the same is hereby
and said Union of States dissolved; and the State of Florida is
hereby declared a Sovereign and Independent Nation; and that all Ordinances
's J] el of it PrtdisMgs, pp. 13-14, 7-1g9-ED.
s* This committee consisted of the following men: Sanderson, of Duval County; Allison, of Gadsden
County; Mcintosh, of Franklin County; Gettis, of Hillsborough County; Tift, of Monroe County;
Owen, of Marion County; Dawkins, of Alachua County; Wright, of Escambia County; Morton, of
Sant Rosa County; Ward, of Leon County; Anderoon, of Jcffcrson County; Ladd, of Wakulla County;
and dBat, of Calhoun County. See the members of this and other committees, in Journal .f the Pro-
THE NATION OF FLORIDA
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 recognized or
assented to said Union, be and they are hereby repealed.s
Amendments were offered for postponement of action until the
decision of Alabama and Georgia could be learned
ments were lost.
but all amend-
The convention adjourned until ten o'clock next
Every member of the convention was present the next day, and the
ordinance was made the special business of the day.
Of the sixty-
nine votes cast, sixty-two were for, and seven against its adoption.
The seven negative votes represented districts where the union senti-
ment was very strong.88 At twenty-two minutes past twelve o'clock
the ordinance was
epochal instrument should be enrolled under the direction of the
justices of the supreme court, and should be signed at one o'clock
the next day, by the members of the convention in the presence of
the governor, by the members of the assembly, and by the justices
of the supreme court.
So large a number of persons gathered in the hall of the house of
representatives next day to witness the signing, that the convention
marched from the hall to the east porch of the capitol.
, Governor Perry could not be present, and was represented
by the governor-elect, John Milton. Bishop Rutledge offered a
prayer, after which the ordinance was signed. The president then
declared Florida a free and independent nation, all political con-
The occasion was impressive. First was the silence, such as often
attends a great crisis, then the air was rent with cheers.
friends were closely clasped, and congratulations passed from lip
to lip; men embraced each other.
How often has the scene been
described to us, so that now we seem to see it "
with the mind'
The groups of older men, they who had so faithfully borne their
"' Ibid., pp. 17-18.
u The negative votes were cast by Baker, of Jackson County; Gregory, of Liberty County; Head-
ricks, of Clay County; McCaskill and Morrison, both of Walton County; Rutland, of the igth sen-
atorial district; and Woodruff, of Orange County. See ibid., pp. 31-31.
8 Ibid., pp. 33-41.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
part in the old days of the territory, clearing land, settling the
hitherto waste spaces, driving out the wild beasts, sharing in the
dangers of Indian warfare, and building up the commonwealth by
the arts and occupations of peace-these now joined with their sons
in hailing the new era. There were men who had come into public
life afterward-it might be at the time of statehood and later-and
whose years of manhood had fallen within the period of political
strain and party bitterness.
With them stood still younger men but
just assuming the responsibilities of man
s estate. For some who
stood that day in the winter sunshine, glory and honor were wait-
ing; some were to attest their faith by their death
living through long, hard,
some, by as brave
bitter years. We seem to see John Milton
-not yet the magistrate upon whose shoulders rested responsibili-
ties and cares all but crushing-strong in hope for the new nation,
and full of sympathy for its founders; and near him the bishop, in
whose mind the cause was invested with a beauty almost religious,
the ineffable attribute of liberty.
The scene had its shadows. Among those present were some who,
loving their state with unquestioned loyalty, had loved the Union
also, and had served their country from their early years under the
old flag that was still dear.
The ties of a lifetime are not easily
broken. A member of the committee that framed the ordinance, and
who had been a member of the convention that had framed the first
wept now as he signed the ordinance.
men of the state had weighed well their opinions.
they were firm. So we entered on a new era of our history. 9
No liberty bell proclaimed the deed; but a cannon was to thunder
forth the news.
Madame Murat, great-niece of Washington, and
niece by marriage of Napoleon, was invited to fire the cannon that
announced the independence of the nation of Florida.
On the whole
, Florida rejoiced madly,
In the towns of
the state that night were torchlight processions, mass meetings,
whatever evidence of political satisfaction suggested itself.
where there were men proclaiming loudly that
"the Yankees would
* In connection with the whole question of secession and slavery, see Lttr fran Gowem R. K. Call,
of Flrida, to Job S. Little, of Gmrnts, Pamuuylamsi (Philadelphia, x86x). It is headed "Union.-
Slavery.-Secession." This is reproduced in Appendix VII., post.-ED.
THE NATION OF FLORIDA
, and offering to drink every drop of blood that should be
, they did not seem averse to accepting a substi-
tute beverage. At the capital, Governor-elect Milton
and others addressed the crowd that gathered in front of the old City
, men who had gathered from the country districts, from their
nearer homes, as well as the representatives of the people of the
, shouts, ringing of bells, and various expressions
of hilarity and conviviality continued through the night.
we have done it"
, said one triumphantly to General Call,
the next day.
", he replied,
his eye flashing.
"You have opened
the gates of Hell."9
president of the convention, had telegraphed the
news to his home, Madison; and a lady who was there at the time9"
tells us that from the moment the news was received until midnight
the citizens gave full vent to their enthusiasm. She writes:
The streets were lighted up with bonfires, bells were rung and cannon fired.
Stirring speeches were made and Southern songs were sung, making it an event
remembered to this day. This place was settled by natives of South Carolina, and
no doubt we imbibed our fire eating propensities from that State. We believed in
the doctrines of John C. Calhoun, and in the days of nullification we wore the
blue cockade as an emblem of state's rights.
That night prominent men predicted that the war would not last sixty days,
and some men offered to drink all of the blood that was spilt. The young men
were eager to enlist and go forward at once, for fear the fighting would be over
before they arrived.
The convention did not adjourn without taking steps necessary to
secure the defense of Florida and provide for its future government."3
The governor was authorized to appoint four counselors of state,
with whom to confer on all matters of importance. The counselors
appointed were Ju
Major John Beard,
and Colonel Joseph Finegan.94 The appointment
of delegates to the southern convention to be held at Montgomery,
fell to the governor, as the convention could not agree upon the
These delegates were General Jackson Morton, Colonel
PattonAnderson. and Colonel Owens. Florida
's United States senators,
"' See Flraida Breges, pp. 302o-308.-ED.
*" Mrs. M. L. Vann.
" See Jonal of the Procadirs of the CoGnmtion, pp. 5z, 53-54. 6-61.
" IMid., p. 65.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
Mr.Mallory and Mr.Yulee,and its representative,Mr.Hawkins, were
appointed commissioners from the state of Florida to negotiate with
the federal authorities for the transfer to Florida of all navy yards,
forts, arsenals, and other public property of the general government. 9
The delegates to the Montgomery convention were instructed to
oppose any attempt that might be made to legislate or transact any
business other than the adoption of a government based on the con-
stitution of 1787
and a permanent constitution on the same basis.
Should the convention attempt to exercise any other powers, the
delegates were to protest, declaring in behalf of the state of Florida,
that such acts would not be held binding upon Florida."9 Having
made these provisions for government, and having passed certain
the convention adjourned to meet at the call of the
president, or governor, in case of the president
Until now, our representatives in congress had not withdrawn.
On the ztst of January, Mr.
Yulee arose in the senate, and made his
speech of farewell to that body.'7 He was followed by Mr. Mallory
, in his speech,
gave reasons for withdrawal.
Mr. Hawkins was
the first member of the house of representatives to withdraw from
Events were moving rapidly.
On the 4th of February the Mont-
gomery convention met.98 A constitution for the government of the
Confederate States was adopted.
Jefferson Davis was chosen Presi-
and Alexander H.
inaugurated on the i8th of February
permanent constitution was adopted,
inaugural address, Mr. Davis said: 99
On the iith of March the
based on that of 1787.
We have changed the constituent parts, but not the system of government. The
Constitution framed by our fathers is that of these Confederate States. In their
n Ibid., pp. 65-7.
Ibid., p. 68.
See C. Wickliffe, Seator Ya k of Fwrida,Rjprinted from Flrid. Histikal Saicy eQtnrl/,July,
19o9, pp. zz-n; and Tbh War of tb RMI fll: a Cmpilafiue of th Offial Rcrads of tsh Usia aid Co-
fedwrat Armis, Scr. I., Vol. I. (Washington, i880), pp. 441-444.-Eo.
See Amal Reprt of sh AmerkicM Histwc l Assrceiei g910, pp. 179-87, 'The Inception of the
Montgomery Convention", by Armand J. Gcrson.-ED.
Seec James D. Richardson, A Cmpilahih of sbh Mussags ad Papers of the Cnfidwaey (Nashville,
1905), I. 36; also pp. 19-1 for the records of the Montgomery convention relating to the election of a
president and vice president for provisional government, February 9, i861.--ED.
THE NATION OF FLORIDA
exposition of it, and in the judicial construction it has received, we have a light
which reveals its true meaning.
The Florida convention met at the call of the president in Talla-
hassee on the z6th of February. It adopted the provisional govern-
ment, and concurred in the election of President and Vice President
of the Confederate States.'* On the i8th of April, it again met.at the
call of the president, to hear a communication from the president of
the confederate congress, transmitting the constitution of the Con-
The constitution was adopted unanimously, though
certain amendments were proposed. At this meeting, the convention
divided the state into two congressional districts, and transacted
business relating to public lands, fortifications, railroads, and educa-
tion. Such amendments to the constitution as the change in political
relations made necessary were made, the amended constitution to
be referred to the people.
The convention then adjourned sine die,
unless called by the president on or before the z5th of December.Y*"
On the i3th of January, i86z, the convention was again called to-
gether for the discussion of the state
its last session. 12
's financial condition.
The primary object and purpose of the Convention was to decide whether or not
Florida should secede from the United States-and if she did, whether or not she
would do so alone, or co-operate with other States in dissolving the Union.
I have no reason to believe that any other questions were discussed by the
people. Upon the issues incidental to these questions alone, parties were arrayed
and delegates to the Convention elected.
The people certainly did not intend to invest the Convention with the ordinary
In my judgment,
very erroneous opinions have prevailed on two subjects.
First, that when the State seceded its own organic government ceased. Second,
that the people of the State are indebted to the Convention for the present Con-
stitution of the State.
If the first proposition were true, Florida was not an Independent Sovereign
See Preceedings of the Csontion of the Peopk of Flaida at Called Sesions, egs ad held at the Capitol
in Tallabassee, a Tuesday, Febrary 6thb, ad Thrsdy, April zltbh, rz ([Tallahassee, I86I]), pp. 3-13.
The session called on February 16, met on four separate days, adjourning on March 1.-ED.
'" Ibid., pp. 14-70. This session held meetings on nine separate days, adjourning on April
'"* See Jeurnl of the Comtien of the Peple of Flrida, at a Called Session, begun andd dt the Capitl,.
in the City of Tallabasse, o Tuesday, Jaary Z4, z62 ([Tallahassce, i861]). This session met on twelve
separate days, adjourning on January 27.-ED.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
State, but a mere appendage of the United States Government, and had no right
to secede in a political character, although her people as individuals had the
right, with the right of rebellion and revolution.
If the second proposition were true, it would be the incident of the first, and if
Florida had no Constitution for the Government and protection of the people
until the Convention adopted the Constitution, there are no statutes or laws of
force in the State, except such as have been enacted, or adopted, since the adop-
tion and publication of the Constitution by the Convention.
The facts are, the Convention did no more than have republished the Constitu-
tion of the State which authorized Florida, as a free, sovereign, and Independent
State, by the will of her people, through a Convention, to secede. The Conven-
tion was authorized to make such amendments to the Constitution as the cessa-
tion of political relations demanded, and for the amendments made by them, the
people are indebted to their wisdom."3
The constitution had provided for the division of government into
three departments, legislative, judicial, and executive, each confided
to a separate body of magistrates
and the encroachment of one
department upon the rights of another was forbidden, except in
provided for by the constitution.
"The Convention did not possess Executive, Legislative, or Judicial
continued the governor, referring to the division of powers,
but simply delegated authority to
the power of the people, in severing
the relations of the State, with the United
to the Constitution,
as were necessary to Florida
separated from the other
and making such amendments
as a free, sovereign, and indc-
rithout detriment to the Com-
The Convention had no right to destroy the Government of the State as estab-
lished by the Constitution, and thus hurl the people into a state of anarchy and
The Convention had no right therefore, to create an Executive Council and
invest'04 the Council with supreme power over the liberty, lives, and property of
,'" See Governor Milton's message to the general assembly, November 17, 1861, in S
1861, pp. 43-44, and House Jrnal, 1861, pp. 38-40. In the constitution, adopted as
amended" on January zo, z86z, the words "Confederate States" were substituted for "U
and there were a few other changes. At sessions of the convention held in February and April, 1861,
and January, :861, other amendments were adopted, but these latter were not submitted to the people.
See Conamsftion or Feow f Gwrme r t she People of Flwidn as raised ad ended at a Cawnmtim e f the
People ks and didU. a ts City of TAllasMs ts Third Day of Jauwy, A.D. xS6s, toptbr with the
Ordinances adopted by said Canwie (Tallahassee, x86I); and Cstintitnie Fern of Gonrmnt for tsh
People of Florida, as risedd ad umeded ae CCaacnn of the Popkle bep and hldes at sh City of Tlka-
basser on the d Dey of Jauay, A.D. sI ad at Called Session thereof bgs and held Janary ib, A.D.
St 62, together wish the Ordisanes adopted by said Conatina at said Called Sissies ([Tallahassee, 186t]).
"04 Ordinance No.
5z, passed January 17, 186z, is as follows: "RusoWd, That the President of this
be, and he hereby is empowered and requested to give certificates of election to the mem-
THE NATION OF FLORIDA
If the opinions I have entertained and expressed are erroneous, and the Conven-
tion possessed the powers it claimed, then in Florida there
are three Legislative
bodies-the Convention-the Executive Council-and the General Assembly-
the last, the only one subject to Constitutional restraint. os
Thus it will be seen that Florida
s problems of government were
by no means simple.
bears of the Executive Council." The members of the executive council elected on the above date were
James A. Wiggins, of Marion County, M. D. Papy, of Leon County, Smith Simkins, of Jefferson
County, and W. D. Barnes, of Jackson County. See Constition . A.D. zS62, p. 47, and Jornad ef
te CSenatio . .J
"s Senate Journal,
Ja]nwy 4, zIS6, pp.
z861, p. 46, and House Joaral, 862., p. 41.
THE EARLIER DAY
early as the 5th of January, I8
OF THE WAR
61, the governor had author-
ized the enlistment of a company in Quincy, which was to proceed
to Chattahoochee, and seize the arsenal,
with the arms, ammuni-
tion, and stores of the United States, holding the same subject to
The officer in command was requested to act with
discretion, and was
, if necessary,
Regiment, Florida Militia, would be called out to aid in holding the
This order was executed without difficulty, and on the 6th
of January the state troops were in possession of the arsenal with its
stores and munitions."6 On the following day, a volunteer company
at St. Augustine, by order of the governor, marched to the barracks
there. and secured
of the fort and magazine.
The uncompleted work,
, on Amelia Island,
The occupation of the government forts and defenses by the
state troops, was in accord with the policy of other southern states;
and the success at Chattahoochee and St. Augustine was hailed with
The strategic value of Pensacola was recognized from the begin-
ning by both federal and state authorities,
for it was known to be
one of the best harbors on the gulf coast, with a depth of water at its
mouth that allowed the largest vessels to enter, and with enough
deep water within to afford safe anchorage to a large number. Santa
, low and sandy,
in width from two hundred yards to a
mile, stretches along eastward from the harbor mouth for about
forty miles. The entrance to the harbor, between the mainland and
the western end of the island, is rather more than a mile in width.
About ten miles from the harbor entrance, is located the city of
O6* Among them were 500oo,ooo musket cartridges, 300,000 rifle cartridges, and 50,ooo pounds of
powder. See documents relating to this seizure in The War of the Rebllitne A Cmpilartin of tih Official
Records of the Union and Confedwtr Armies, Scr. I., Vol. I. (Washington, i880), pp. 331-333.
*7 "One thing certain, with the exception of the guns composing the armament of the water bat-
tery, the property seized is of no great value." See Report of Henry Douglas, Ordnance Sergeant,
U. S. Army, to Colonel H. K. Craig, Chief of Ordnance, U. S. Army, of January 7, i861, in which the
manner of the seizure is related, ibid., p. 333.
THE EARLIER DAYS OF THE WAR
whose wonderful harbor was once the cause of conflict
between France and Spain.
The real positions of the harbor are
Forts Pickens and McRee are on the low-lying beach on
either side of the entrance, the first on Santa Rosa Island,
on a point that is almost an island.
Facing the entrance on the high
mainland is Fort Barrancas, with the navy yard to the east of it on
the right angle formed by the abrupt turn of the coast as one goes
The federal officers decided that but one fort could be held by
them, and that one should be Fort Pickens.
The reason for their
choice was that Fort Pickens commanded the harbor, the other forts,
and the navy yard, presented the best means of defense, and could be
more easily reinforced than could the other forts.
the ioth ofJanuary, the troops at Barrancas, about eighty men, were
removed to Fort Pickens.
The guns at Barrancas bearing on the bay
there being neither time nor means for dismounting
Meanwhile, volunteers from Alabama, under command of Colonel
Lomax, with volunteers from Mississippi, were joining
the Florida troops at Pensacola.
command of General William H.
All these troops were under the
who as an officer of the
United States army had superintended the construction of Fort Tay-
, at Key West,
and the defenses of Pensacola Bay.
On the i2th of
January, in the name of the governor of Florida,
the surrender of the
navy yard was demanded.
flag was lowered, and th
No resistance was made
e state flag was raised.
:. The United States
The marines at the
barracks were paroled and allowed to return home on the store ship,
But when the surrender of Fort Pickens was demanded
, Lieutenant A. J. Slemmer, refused to admit the right of
the state to make such demand.
The surrender was demanded a
second and a third time, but was still refused.
There is little doubt that the fort might easily have been taken at
"Had we been attacked during those days
izth to the z6th of January),
the commander reported,
would have been the havoc.
" But the southern states still hoped to
secure peaceable possession of the forts within their territory.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
the izth of January, this telegram was received by the governor of
Florida and by the commander of the troops at Pensacola:
We think no assault should be made. The possession of the fort is not worth
one drop of blood to us. Measures pending unite us in this opinion. Bloodshed
now may be fatal to our cause.
This despatch was signed by Senators Slidell, Benjamin, Iverson,
Hemphill, Wigfall, Clay, Fitzpatrick, Davis, and Mallory. On the
next day the Alabama senators sent this despatch to the governor of
Telegraph not to attack Fort Pickens. Florida Senators and friends think it
And again, on the z8th, the Florida senators telegraphed Governor
The Southern Senators all agree that no assault on Fort Pickens should be
made; that the fort is not worth one drop of blood at this time, and [they] desire
us to invoke you to prevent bloodshed. First get the Southern Government in
operation. The same advice has been given as to Charleston, and will, no doubt,
be adopted there.
About the latter part of January, it was learned at Pensacola that
the ship Brooklyn had brought supplies and reinforcements from Fort
Taylor, at Key West, to Fort Pickens. S. R. Mallory telegraphed to
Washington that the attempt to reinforce Fort Pickens would be
regarded as a hostile act, the consequence of which would be instant
war. Word was given that no attack on the fort would be made
unless the Federals attempted to augment its force. Therefore the
company on the Brooklyn was not landed, and the commander of the
fort was directed to act strictly upon the defensive. Thus began the
armed truce of Pensacola Bay, which was to continue for two months.
On March 1, General Braxton Bragg assumed command of all
confederate forces at Pensacola, and at once set to work strengthen-
ing fortifications and erecting batteries. The armistice, which had
been so far observed, was violated by the reinforcement of Fort
Pickens on the night of April 13, and again on the 17th. At this
time, five thousand Confederates were under General Bragg, and two
thousand more were expected. Martial law was declared over all
territory within five miles of the army, and all intercourse with Fort
Pickens, Santa Rosa Island, and the United States fleet, was strictly
THE EARLIER DAYS OF THE WAR
libited. General Bragg considered the defense of his position of
importance; then, if practicable, the reduction of the fort. But
the fort was now more than twice as strong as it had been, the
approaches became more difficult every day, and the United States
forces were extending their fortifications on Santa Rosa Island. On
May 6, a federal blockade was established, and later, other Florida
ports were closed by federal vessels.
As before stated, General Bragg had employed himself in strength-
ening the defenses of Pensacola. In order to prevent the passage of
ships, a large naval dock had been towed out into the channel and
partly sunk by the Confederates. Later it was raised, to be moved to
a narrower part of the channel in front of Fort McRee. But before
the removal was completed, a party from Fort Pickens rowed out,
on the night of September z, and having placed inflammable material
in different parts of the dock, set fire to it. The flames spread rap-
idly,'"8 and the next day only a few charred timbers remained at the
moorings. The Federals then resolved upon the destruction of the
Judah, at the navy yard.
On the night of the i3th, therefore, one
hundred marines set out in a cutter and two launches from the federal
flagship, Coronado. Despite the resistance of the guard on the Judah,
the vessel was fired, the marines making their escape with the loss
of three killed and thirteen wounded.
General Bragg now decided to assume the offensive, and made
ready for a night attack on Santa Rosa Island, where, for the greater
protection of Fort Pickens, the Federals had erected two batteries,
one on the gulf, and one on the harbor side. It is estimated that about
iO Colonel W. S. Lovell, Palmyra, Mississippi, writing in the Vicksbng Herald, in z899, says: "In
i86I, I obstructed the channel of Pensacola harbor between Fort Pickens, on Santa Rosa Island, Fla.,
and Fort McRee by sinking four vessels chained together. The distance between the forts was about
three-quarters of a mile. I towed the vessels out with two steamers on a dark night, and passed nearly
one hundred guns on the battery along the beach on Santa Rosa Island. It was so close we distinctly
heard the sentinel sing out: Two o'clock, and all's well.' Gen. Bragg, in command of the army at
Pensacola, and other offAcers said it was impossible to obstruct the channel without being discovered.
I said: 'General, I think I can do it.' He said: 'Go ahead.' I did obstruct the channel without a shot
at me, and all got back to the Pensacola navy yard. I refer to Maj. Gen. Joseph Wheeler, U.S.A., who
was on the head steamer with him, and Capt. Lyman Aldrich, of Natchcz, who was in command of
the guard I took out. Gen. Chambers also accompanied me. I invited a number of other officers to go
out as my guests. There is no doubt that, had we been discovered by the enemy, we should have been
blown out of the water with grape and canister." For the participation of the naval forces in the cam-
paign at and near Fort Pickens, see Official Records of the Union and Confederate Naries, Set. I., Vol. IV.,
passim (Washington, 1896).
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
one thousand men, including Wilson's "Zouaves", a force of three
hundred men of the 6th New York Volunteers, were on the island.
Four United States ships of war that might be called on if necessary,
were near at hand. The Confederates had made a careful reconnais-
sance of the federal position there on the long, narrow, windswept
island, with its ridges of sand, its salt marshes, its waving sea oats,
and here and there, clumps of shrubbery and pines.
The attacking force of about eleven hundred men was commanded
by General R. H.Anderson, a veteran of the Mexican War. The First
Battalion, composed of men from the 9th, ioth, and I ith Mississippi
Regiments, and the ist Alabama Regiment, was commanded by
Colonel James R. Chalmers of the 9th Mississippi Volunteers. The
Second Battalion, composed of three companies of the 7th Alabama
Volunteers, two companies of Louisiana Infantry, and two com-
panies of the Ist Florida Volunteers, was commanded by Colonel
James Patton Anderson, who afterward rose to the rank of brigadier
general. The Third Battalion was made up of detachments from the
5th Georgia Volunteers and the Georgia Battalion. In addition,
there were fifty-three men from the 5th Georgia Regiment, and a
company of artillery, lightly armed, and carrying material to be
used in spiking the cannon and destroying the camp. There was also
a medical detachment, with a detail of twenty men. Some citizen
volunteers accompanied the expedition, but just how many cannot
In choosing the men for the attacking party, a small number were
detached from as many regiments as possible, so that a number of
regiments might be represented in the fighting. Whole companies
volunteering, the captains were required to pick the men who were
to go. These picked men were placed in companies under officers
strange to them, and these companies, again, under officers unknown
to them. There seems to have been no dread of the confusion that
might arise from such a plan.
The expedition left Pensacola at midnight, and about two o'clock
on the morning of the 9th of October, i86x, effected a landing on the
island, disembarked in silence and good order, and formed in bat-
talions on the beach. Colonel Chalmers was ordered to advance
THE EARLIER DAYS OF THE WAR
along the north, and Colonel Anderson along the south beach;
while Colonel Jackson was to push his battalion to the middle of
the island, deploying it as soon as he should hear firing from the
other battalions, or perceive that the federal camp was approached
or attacked. The artillery company was to follow in the rear.
After a fatiguing march of three or four miles, Colonel Chalmers's
men came upon a sentinel who fired, but
Thus the alarm was given, and the Federals \
could no longer be concealed. Accordingly
forward as rapidly as possible, the guards
was himself shot down.
aroused. Further advance
the attacking party went
and sentinels were soon
passed, and the camp was quickly reached by one of the battalions.
The campwas almost deserted. Colonel Wilson's "Zouaves", or "Pet
Lambs''-for they were called by both titles-had been so completely
surprised and routed that they had nearly all retreated to the batteries
or fort. The Confederates lost no time in setting fire to the tents and
storehouses, Colonel Chalmers's men being joined by other com-
panies coming up. The work of destruction being completed, the
signal for retiring was given; and the men set out on their return,
well satisfied with what had been accomplished.
On the way to the boats, two federal companies were met, and a
skirmish took place, after which the Confederates resumed their
march. The re-embarkation was effected; but a hawser became en-
tangled in the pr<
delay. This steame
steamer Ewing; bui
helm. Before the 1
the federal forces,
opeller of one of the
:r, the Neaffle, and her
t the latter, thus encui
men now crow
massed upon t
r, and the wonc
s propeller could
behind the nea
rded upon the 1
the decks, were
ier is that their
and thirty taken prisoners.
steamers, and thus caused
barges, were fastened to the
mbered, would not obey her
ld be freed from the hawser,
ir-by sand hills, were firing
boats and barges. The Con-
: not able to return the fire
loss was not greater than it
all eighteen killed,
The federal loss was fourteen
**' Colonel Anderson's report, q. .., in C4fedurat Militay Histry: A Likre .f Cefdra Stars
History, . . writt by distimsisbcd Mne of the Sotr, ad edited by Gan. Clemet A. Eva, of GregiS
XI. "Military History of Florida", by Colonel J. J. Dickison (Atlanta, 1899), pp. 17-32.
Although the object of the expedition,
the destruction of the
was fully gained, few persons felt that the success
compensated for the loss of the brave men who fell.
was plainly expressed
by Colonel Anderson in his report to the
governor, in which he said:
The object of the expedition was fully and completely accomplished, though the
loss of such men as Captain Bradford of Florida; Lieutenant Nelms, of Georgia;
Sergeant Routh, of Tallahassee; Private Tillinghast, etc., would not be compen-
sated for, in my opinion, by the total annihilation of Billy Wilson and his whole
band of thieves and cut-throats. . I deeply regret that such men as Lieuten-
ants Parley, Parker and Finley, should have fallen into the enemy's hands.
However, they write to us that they are well treated, but destiny unknown. By
any civilized nation in the world most of these prisoners would be promptly
delivered up, for they were taken while standing as a safeguard over the enemy's
hospital to prevent it from sharing the fate of the balance of the camp. They pro-
tected it from flame and sword most scrupulously; but, failing to hear the signal
to retire, only remained too faithful to their trust, and have fallen into the hands
of the enemy by so doing."0
the one hundred Florida men in this expedition,
, eight wounded, and twelve made prisoners. Those who were
killed were Captain Richard Bradford, Sergeant Routh, and Privates
Thompson, and Smith.
Their loss made Florida
realize that the war had begun.
Other states, too, paid their tribute
of brave and useful lives in this first battle of the war fought on
No further demonstrations occurred until the zzd of November,
when the cannon of Fort Pickens opened on the confederate fortifi-
cations; and the federal men-of-war Richmond and Niagara moved up,
so as to use their guns. The Confederates promptly returned the fire,
and the battle lasted more than eight hours. The chief damage done
was to Fort McRee.
This fort had been used for defense only,
number of women and children had taken refuge there.
mond retired early in the action, and the Niagara at dusk.
latter vessel returned to the fight next day, and it was prevented by
the low tide from coming within good range.
No great injury was
suffered by either side until late in the evening, when the villages of
Warrington and Woolsey were set on fire by the hot shot of the
The navy yard also was set on fire three times, but the
"0 See letter from Colonel Anderson to Governor Milton, ibid., pp. 31-33.
THE EARLIER DAYS OF THE WAR
flames were extinguished.
There was small loss of life by either side;
and the only decisive result of the affair was to show that the coast
batteries could do no more than defend themselves against attack.
There was quiet after this until New Year
's Day, when the Fed-
erals fired upon a small steamer that had run to the navy yard. The
fire was returned from the confederate batteries, the cannonading
continuing until night.
A storehouse at the navy yard and some
houses at Woolsey were burned."1
Far to the south
, indeed far from the mainland of Florida, lies Key
Taylor here and Fort
handed the Gulf of Mexico.
The importance of such a position had
long been known. Corsairs and pirates had sailed these waters often,
committing depredations and causing frequent alarms; and many a
Spanish treasure ship had met its fate on the coast of the Florida
sought a safe passage between the Tortugas and the keys. American
foresight had recognized that from these islets might be controlled
not only the southern part of Florida but even the Gulf of Mexico.
Key West, about sixty miles from the mainland (at Cape Sable), is
seven miles long and two wide. A visitor to the island in i86o,
Through a channel at the eastern end, the tide rapidly flowed into a salt pond
covering nearly one-third the island. The western part is almost covered with
thick forests, whose tropical luxuriance shows the richness of the soil under
which lies the limestone rock. In the beautiful gardens grow stately cocoanut
palms, pineapples, bananas, and other tropical plants. The harbor on the west is
though exposed to the winds from the north and west. Spanish
Harbor, as it is called, is at the northeastern end, and this harbor is safe for small
vessels. Good anchorage is on the east side. From the south side of the island
stretches a shoal, covered with marine plants of great variety.
No wonder that such a position was thought worth holding, and
n1 For the operations at Fort Pickens and vicinity, see The War of the Re&blli, Scr. I., Vol. I. 333-
442., passim, for northern correspondence, and pp. 444-473, passim, for southern correspondence
(including the telegrams reproduced in the text). See also Cofederate Militar History, at supra, pp.
13-15, z2.-4, 16-4l. The various episodes are more or less fully treated in the best histories that cover
the period of the Civil War. For an account of "Billy Wilson's Zouaves", see Gouverncur Morris, The
History of a Volunteer Reginent an Accoat . of the Sixth Regiment, Nw York Volnteers . .
known as Wilsons Zosaves (New York, 1891), pp. 57-64, 119-xzo. Fort McRee (often called Fort
McRea) has never been rebuilt and is now little more than a location. Fort Pickens is still used, but
was badly damaged some
years ago by fire and an explosion.--ED.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
that the United States garrisoned Fort Taylor on the i4th ofJanuary,
i861. Fort Jefferson at Tortugas was garrisoned on the i8th of the
Major William H.
French, at Fort Taylor, was authorized to use
the forces at his command to protect officers and citizens of the
, to prevent any persons exercising any office inconsist-
ent with the constitution of the United States, and to suspend the
writ of habeas corpus should
"rebellion or insurrection
federate flags flying from buildings proclaimed the sentiments of the
people; militia companies were already being organized and drilled;
the Key of the Gulf, the town newspaper, appealed to the states' rights
sentiment. Therefore Major French concluded that "rebellion and
to act accordingly
the confederate flags taken down,
companies, and suppressed the newspaper.
writ of habeas corpus was suspended. In hi
On the 6th of May,
is report of May 8,
Major French said:
The district attorney, marshal, and clerk, are performing all duties which do
not require a jury. There is no grand jury, therefore no presentments. In conse-
quence, it has devolved upon me to use my own judgment in the summary proc-
esses I have previously mentioned, and afterwards received the approval and
support of Judge Marvin and Mr. Boynton, district attorney."'
The second Monday of May was the date set for the opening of
the session of the district court.
On the preceding day, Judge Mc-
by the confederate
arrived at Key West to hold court.
But he was not allowed to exer-
cise his office, and was forced to leave the island.
About the same
the collection of taxes, levies,
by any one
acting under authority of the state of Florida, was prohibited."3
Those persons in open sympathy with the government and the
Confederacy were told they must leave the island. Among the first
sent away with scant ceremony were Judge Samuel Douglas and his
family, Mr. Asa Tift, and Mr. Crusoe.
The union citizens remaining
placed themselves under command of Major French, that officer taking
great satisfaction in the increase of
"the sentiment of loyalty
"* Thn War of ts Rgkllie, ut sapra, p. 41z.-ED.
"1 Ibid., p. 45, in Major French's report of May 16, x86x.-ED.
THE EARLIER DAYS OF THE WAR
unteer company of seventy-five citizens was now organized, and seventy
of the workmen on the fortifications volunteered for the United States
service. Thus the Florida strongholds, Fort Pickens, Fort Taylor, and
Fort Jefferson remained in the hands of the United States."4
"4 For operations at Key West, sec ibid., passim Davis, Civil Wa and Rnctractin i Flidw,
passinm; and Jefferson B. Browne, Key West, the Old and the New (St. Augustine, 91z1), passim.
PERPLEXITIES OF WARFARE
n the first Monday of October, 186i
without realization of the seriousness of the problems before him,
He wrote to Mr. Mallory on the zd of October:
In the present deranged state of affairs I shall be inaugurated and enter upon the
duties of governor on next Monday with a heavy heart and a fearful apprehension
of my inability to perform the duties of the office creditably and very usefully;
but to the best of my judgment I will encounter surrounding difficulties, resolved
to place the State upon the best war footing, and rely upon the Army Regulations
and the laws of the State and the efficient aid of the officers sent here by the
President to correct existing evils."s
Already the state militia had been broken up by its men volunteer-
ing for the Confederacy,
governor felt that while
Florida should do its full share in the Confederacy, its own military
organization should still be maintained.
we are not
surprised to find him complaining in a special message of November
that the service was being disorganized
organizing volunteers under the authority of the secretary of war-a
power inconsistent with the rights of a free, independent, and sover-
The men of Florida had
volunteered with such eagerness
when the confederate congress passed its first conscript act,nearly all
men of the state capable of bearing arms had already enlisted.
on the first day of April,
, that the ist Regiment, Florida In-
fantry, was mustered into the service of the Confederate States, with
James Patton Anderson as colonel.
This regiment proceeded at once
taking part in the affairs there.
, mustered in on July 13, with George
The id Regiment,
. Ward as colonel,
this letter written from Marianna, October z, in Tin Wa of tir IRiltlin,
Scr. I., Vol. VI.
(Washington, 1881), pp. 187-188. In this letter, the governor-elect said also: "The fact is, our State
is in a most deplorable condition. The regiment at Fernandina is said to be demoralized by habitual
intemperance of the colonel and lieutenant-colonel, and I am informed even the cannon have not been
mounted, and dissipation and disorder prevail. . The officers of the regiment mustered into the
Confederate service in the State imagine that they are entirely independent of State authority."-ED.
1i6 See this message in House Journal, i86x, pp. 85-90o. See also Governor Milton's letter to S. R.
Mallory, of November z, x86i, ibid., appendix, p. 31.-ED.
PERPLEXITIES OF WARFARE
proceeded at once to Virginia. The 3d Regiment, of which Richard
Dilworth was colonel, was mustered in on August Io, and served for
some months in East Florida
while the 4th
colonel, mustered in on July i, was first stationed on the
and later became a part of Bragg
s command. All these
regiments enlisted for a term of twelve months.
cavalry regiment under Colonel W
SG. M. Davis,
In August of this year,
General John B.
Grayson, of the confed-
assigned to the command
of the department of
Middle and East Florida.
In feeble health at the time of his appoint-
, he died two months later,'s8 being succeeded in command by
General James H. Trapier."9 But in the early part of November, the
coasts of South Carolina
, Georgia, and Florida,
confederate authority a department, and were placed under com-
mand of General Robert E. Lee.'"0 Later,
when General Lee was
called to assume charge of the confederate army, the department was
assigned to General John C.
"- Governor Milton was averse to having cavalry raised in Florida. In a letter to President Davis,
October 18, i86x ibidd., appendix, pp. 23-15), he said: "The recent authority to W. G. M. Davis, Esq.,
to raise a Cavalry Regiment, has raised a perfect furor on the subject. The large majority of those who
were willing to serve as soldiers of Infantry, are now in favor of riding into service; and I assure you,
Sir, that a battle will never be fought in Florida by Cavalry, unless the want of proper coast defences,
Artillery and Infantry, shall induce invasion, and will then be fought at great disadvantage. I enter-
tain no feeling or thought personally unkind to Mr. Davis. He is a gentleman of fine legal abilities,
but I do regret that the material for the judicious defence of the State has been so much interfered with
by the disposition excited in favor of Cavalry service. Independent of the Companies raised for Col.
Davis Regiment, I have refused commissions to ten
last two days."'-En.
associations for Cavalry Companies
I" Notice of Colonel Grayson's appointment was sent to Governor Milton by L. P.
tary of war of the Confederacy, on August 30, i86i (See The War of the Rebellion, Ser. I., Vol. I., p. 473);
but his orders to take that command
Scr. I., Vol. VI., p. 267).
issued by John Withe
Governor Milton, in
adjutant general, on
his letter of October 2, x86x
ante, note 115), says: "By the by, General Grayson and myself are old personal acquaintances and
friends, though twenty years have elapsed since we parted, and met a day or two ago in Tallahassee.
General Grayson's health is very bad. He is nearly spent with consumption. I thought he would die
last Wednesday night, and I fear will not have physical strength to discharge
necessary duties in
" See a letter from General Grayson to the confederate secretary of war, September x3,
Vol. VI., p.
276; and a letter to him from W. L.
reporting the capture of two schooners from Key West, pp.
tory, ut sfpra, pp. 25-26; and Davis, at sapra, p. 141.-ED.
Bowen, Tampa Bay, of October x6, x86r,
z194-2.95. See also Confederate Military His-
"' Confederate Military History, at supra, p. 15; and The War of the Rebellion, Ser. I., Vol. VI., pp.
413. Sec also Journal of the Convention, x86z, pp. 44, 57-58, 63.-ED.
"* On November 5, I86x. See Confederate Military
Ser. I., Vol. VI., pp. 309, 313.-ED.
p. 15; The War of the
SeTheWar of te Rebllion, Ser. I.,Vol.VI., passim, forcorrespondenccof General Pemberton.-ED.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
Before tracing further the course of military events, we may con-
sider again the work of the convention, especially in regard to its
military provisions. A special session of the convention was called,
it will be remembered
, in January, i861,
"' to discuss remedies for
the danger threatening the finances of the state.
remained in session two weeks, and passed some important ordi-
One of these, strongly opposed by the governor, required
the transfer, on or before the xoth of March,
I862, to the confederate
service of all troops in the service of the state. Any troops failing or
refusing to go into the service of the Confederacy were to be dis-
It was the sense of the convention that in military opera-
tions confusion and weakness were engendered by a divided power;
and that in prosecuting the war of defense, the several states were a
, represented by the confederate government, to which belonged
of right the sole power and management of the war.'23
The ordinance went into effect, and the state troops not entering
the confederate service were disbanded.
In the following November,
the governor, who had a way of speaking his mind plainly, reported
to the assembly that the militia laws of the state were worse than
a tissue of absurdities
, and he urged their repeal, and
the enactment of a law by which every man and boy between the
ages of sixteen and sixty capable of bearing arms, might be formed
into an effective body of militia, and prepared for immediate service.
All thoughtful men recognized the difficulty in harmonizing the
interests of state and Confederacy,
yet the majority felt that the
well-being, and even existence, of the state depended upon the well-
being and continuance of the Confederacy."4
"a See ante, note rox.
"s3 This ordinance, introduced on January 17, is as follows:
& it wrdmind by te people of the State of Floride in Comntion assembled, That, whereas, it is the sense
of this Convention, that in all Military operations a divided power engenders confusion and weak-
ness; that in prosecuting this war of defence, the several States are a unit, represented by the Confede-
rate Government, to which the sole power and management of such war by right belongs:
& it therefore ordained, That the Governor be, and he is herebyrequired,on or before the xoth day of
March next, to transfer into the Confederate service all troops now in the service of the State; and,
if they fail, or refuse to go into the Confederate service, said troops shall be disbanded. See J]rnal of
the Conventisn, 1861, p. xo3; also quoted in Governor Milton's message of November x7, r861 (see
Senate Journal, x86z, 19-30, and House Journal, 861, p. 1z).-ED.
"4 See the governor's message of November 17, 1862 (see preceding note
). The governor, who was
perhaps as consistent a believer in the states' rights doctrine as any man in the Confederacy, said in
his message: "The troops, which were in the service of the State, were well armed and finely dis-
PERPLEXITIES OF WARFARE
On account of disasters in Tennessee, the confederate government
found it necessary to concentrate its troops, in order the better to
meet the overpowering numbers of the Federals. Accordingly, an
order was issued on December 24, that all troops employed in de-
fending the Florida seaboard should be withdrawn and sent forward
to Tennessee to be placed under command of General Albert Sidney
Johnston. The only troops retained in Florida were those necessary
to defend the mouth of the Apalachicola, some independent com-
panies of cavalry, and a regiment to remain temporarily in observa-
tion before Jacksonville. All arms and munitions were to be secured,
and cotton was to be conveyed to places of safety-all to be destroyed,
rather than to be allowed to fall into the hands of the Federals.
General James H. Trapier was ordered to Alabama, and General
Joseph Finegan received the command 11
to orders, Fernandina was evacuated on
confederate troops were withdrawn also
Federal occupied Fernandina on the 4t1
the Confederates had evacuated it, and J
the 3d of M
from St. Ai
i of March,
h, and the
he i3th of
The confederate government had been obliged to relinquish the
hope of holding both seacoast and northern frontier, and had sor-
rowfully enough abandoned the coast defenses. On the other hand,
the federal navy, in the summer of i86i, had planned a movement
from Fortress Monroe down the Atlantic coast, Fernandina answer-
ing at one end of the line to Hampton Roads at the other. When
Port Royal, South Carolina, was occupied by the Federals, Du Pont
ciplined; had rendered and were rendering efficient service. They had protected from invasion the
portion of the State which they were intended to protect; prevented slaves from escaping to the
enemy; and had effectually cut off communication between the enemy and disloyal persons near the
coast. . The effect of their Ordinance was, in spite of every effort I could make, to disband the
State forces, and thus create the necessity of abandoning Apalachicola, and other important portions
to the mercy of the enemy." For other expressions of the governor, see his letters to President Davis
and the secretary of war, in Tih War of the Rdellion, Set. I., Vol. VI., October i8, x86x, p. 2.9, October
18, pp. 297-299, October 29, pp. 300-30o, November g19, pp. 325-356, December 9, pp. 341-343, Decem-
ber 26, pp. 354-355, March 5, x862, pp. 401-4053, March 19, p. 412, and April 7, pp. 416-417. See also
Secretary Benjamin's letter of November 4, i86x, to General Bragg, relative to the attitude of the
governors of certain states, pp. 761-763. For the troops raised in Florida, see Dickison, in Confederse
Military History, st spra, pp. 41-55.-ED.
2s5 The War of the Rebedlion, Ser. I., Vol. VI., pp. 430, 431.
t"6 See ibid., pp. 1oo, z5-Ix3, 777, 814-815, 88, 835-836; Dickison, in Cosfederate Military Hi ay,
at supra, pp. 41, 54; and Davis, ut supra, pp. 153-160.-ED.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
declared himself "
ready for Fernandina
", but the navy was not yet
About the middle of January,
tected, owing to the reduction of the coast guard,
suffered from a
naval raid. Marines from the federal ship Hatteras went ashore,
spiked three cannon found on Sea Horse Key, burned several schooners
and sloops loaded with cotton and turpentine, the railroad depot,
several freight cars, and a warehouse,
and pulled down the tele-
A few weeks passed, and the federal expedition for the occupation
of Fernandina and other towns of East Florida sailed from Port
With eighteen gunboats or armed transports and fifteen other
the fleet under command of Commodore Du Pont cast anchor
Andrews Sound, on the morning of March
infantry under General Horatio
Wright was aboa
z. A brigade of
rd. News being
brought by a negro that the confederate garrison was evacuating
several gunboats were sent on to Fernandina at once. The news was
The confederate garrison on learning of the sailing of the
fleet from Port Royal
had begun to remove guns and ammunition
and had notified the inhabitants that the place must be abandoned.
Some of the inhabitants set to work at once to pack up their most
valued possessions, to send
leave while transportation
I their servants to the interior, and to
leave their homes, and hoping against hope that the warning might
be unnecessary, lingered, until the last train pulled out from the
station, with its crowded cars, as the gunboats were coming into the
bay. As the train was beginning the passage of the trestle connecting
the mainland, a shot from one of the gunboats
struck the last car, killing two young boys who were in it.
withstanding the firing from the boats, the wrecked car was detached,
and the train moved on, leaving an all but deserted town to the
"7 Captain S. F. Du Pont was appointed to command the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron,
September 18, i861 (Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies, Ser. I., Vol. XII., pp. .08-o09).
The War of the Rebellion, Scr. I., Vol. VI., pp. 33-38, 44-75.-En.
's The War of the Rebellion,
Scr. I., Vol. VI., pp.
PERPLEXITIES OF WARFARE
The next morning, the invaders landed. Notice was given that
the persons and property of the "loyal" would not be molested. But
the property of those who had left the town, and of those remaining,
who objected to taking the oath of allegiance to the federal govern-
ment, was appropriated by the federal commissary department.
Despite declarations of loyalty on the part of persons remaining, the
general in command seems to have been of the opinion that most of
them were really confederate sympathizers."9
On the afternoon of March 8, a federal squadron of four gunboats,
two armed launches, and a transport with a regiment of infantry,
sailed fromFernandina for Jacksonville'ls and St. Augustine. The
vessels destined for Jacksonville crossed the bar of the St. Johns on
the afternoon of the iith, and the next day cast anchor off the
city. There they learned that during the previous night, Jackson-
ville had been visited by confederate soldiers who had burned all the
property that they thought would be of use to the Federals, includ-
ing warehouses, a foundry, machine shops, sawmills, and some
other property whose charred ruins might be seen. A deputation of
citizens came on board the flagship to surrender the town, pledge the
good conduct of the inhabitants, and ask for protection of persons
and property. Here, as at Fernandina, many people had left the
town. Some of those remaining were in sympathy with the federal
government; others had remained to try to protect their property.
Mr. Burritt. who had consistently oooosed secession, headed the
;ation of citizens
the Union. Those
; he said plainly that the pe
on the subject of the war, b
I unjust", and that they were
: who were in sympathy with
ople of Jackson-
elieving it "un-
not in sympathy
the Union were,
almost all, men who had recently come to the state to engage in
business, and who had remained to look after their own personal
2" See ants, note 1x6; and The Wa of the Rebdlion, at supra, pp. no, ..5, 138-248, and passim. For
naval operations, see Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies, at supra, passi.-ED.
SSee Ofcial Records of the Union and Confederate Navies, at supra, passim; The War of the Rebellien,
ut spra, p. 0oo; and Davis, The Civil War and Recosmarction in Florida, passim.-ED.
'1 Concerning Judge S. L. Burritt, see Official Records of the Union ad Confederate Navies, at supra,
PP- 599. 78-7T.9, 738-740; and Davis, ut supra, p. x58. Sec also the instructions issued (March 7, i86.)
by the mayor of Jacksonville, H. H. Hocg, to the citizens, in view of the occupation of the city by the
HISTORY OFP LORIDA
Augustine, fewer persons had departed and Commander
attached to the Union, many silently opposed to it, and a larger
number cared very little about it; but that he thought nearly all the
men acquiesced in the state of affairs. His complacency was somewhat
, however, when he found the flagpole at Fort Marion cut
Inquiry brought out the information that it had been done
by women; and one woman told the commander that
behaved like cowards
"the men had
but there are stout hearts in other bosoms
and here she struck her own bosom.
"They seem to mistake treason
"'Rodgers angrily reported,
and have a theatrical de-
sire to figure as heroines.
" Later all persons who refused to take an
oath of allegiance to the United States, and of enmity to
gaged in armed rebellion against the United States", we
to points on the South Carolina or Georgia coasts.132
Thus the gulf coast, as we have seen, was without defense, and at
for the most part, of the federal blockading squadron.
Apalachicola fell into the hands of the Federals in the early days of
i86z, and for this reason the lower valley of the Chattahoo-
chee was exposed to danger.I33
Pensacola was the last place on the
coast to be abandoned by the Confederates.
, Brigadier General Sam Jones had succeeded Bragg,
who was now in command of the department of Alabama and West
i86z, General Jones was ordered to aban-
All heavy shell guns,
rifle guns, and carriages,
to be sent to Montgomery, with ammunition and other supplies.
was to be done with the greatest secrecy
necessary to hold the position to the last, were to be sent as rapidly
as possible to join the army in Tennessee. All property, from Fort
McRee to the junction with the Mobile Road, was to be burned, and
, machinery, and property that might be of use to the Fed-
The railroad from Pensacola to the junction was to be destroyed.
federal forces, in which the people
were advised to pursue their usual occupations and to act pru-
' Sec Oficial Rornds of the Union and Cafedwrate Navies, t s'fa, pp.
60o; and Davis, ut
sapa, pp. 159-160.-ED.
'3 See Ofcial Records f the UniOn and COiud*erate Naies, Scr. I., Vol. XVII., pp. zox-.o5; and Davis,
c sruf, pp. x60-164.-ED.
PERPLEXITIES OF WARFARE
Considering the lack of transportation facilities and means of mov-
ing the guns, it is remarkable with what promptness the order was
obeyed. At midnight on the 9th of May, the final preparations were
completed, and Pensacola was evacuated. All day people had been
leaving the city by all available means. _Crowded trains had borne
away the families whose homes must be abandoned. Frightened
to mothers or nurses a
been short, and little
decree of war all that
At the last moment,
buildings and stores v
by their strange surroundings, clung weeping
lImost as bewildered as themselves. Notice had
was clear to any except that by the inexorable
stood for security and comfort was left behind.
the navy yard, the steamers, and the public
iere set on fire, and the beautiful bay was aglow
: federal guns at Fort Pickens had in vain en-
by a fierce cannonading to prevent the Confederates from
out their plan. All was done; the last of the troops moved
the last strong position on the Florida coast was lost.134
spring and summer of i862 new regiments were raised and
mustered into the confederate service.
fantry, with Colone
ordered to Virginia
J.J. Finley, was ord,
ville; the 7th, under
on duty at different
:l J. C
the 6th and the Ist
Of these the 5th Florida In-
2. Hateley in command, was immediately
6th Florida Infantry, whose colonel was
o report to General Kirby Smith, at Knox-
. Perry, formed of companies that had been
s in Florida, was ordered to Tennessee, and
Florida Cavalry Dismounted, was placed
command of General W. G. M. Davis. The 8th Regiment,
R. F. Floyd as colonel, was sent to Virginia. The zd Cavalry
was organized under Colonel Caraway Smith; and there were several
other cavalry companies.'3S
But how were the troops to be fed, clothed, and paid? How was
the government to be carried on? At its first session, the provisional
congress passed a tariff law, and raised by loan the sum of $i ,ooo,ooo,
providing for the redemption of the debt by a small export duty on
's4 See TIh War of the kRbellion, Scr. I., Vol. VI., pp. 658-665, 846-847, 848-850, 856-857, 858-860,
86z-86t, 868, 874-876, 890-894, Vol. XV., pp. 116-118, 569-571, 764-765; Oficial Rrds of sth UsiM
and Confednrar Navies, Ser. I., Vol. XVII., pp. zg9-1o, Vol. XVIII., pp. 480-484; and Davis, at rsspr,
'U Sec Davis, at supra, pp. 31.-324; and Rerick, Memoirs, I., passim.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
cotton. At the second session, war was declared to exist between the
the United States, and
provision was made for
borrowing $30,000,000 on bonds,
and for an issue of $oooo,ooo in
treasury notes. Revision of the tariff was made, and measures taken
to enable congress to levy internal taxation.
When congress met at Richmond in July, 1861
it was evident that
a financial plan on a large basis was needed.
devised of issuing treasury notes convertible into 8 per cent bonds,
the interest payable in coin.
The success of the system depended
upon the continued ability of the Confederacy to pay the interest
in specie, and it had been arranged that an internal tax,
", should be levied
, the proceeds of which,
with the revenue
would be sufficient for the purpose.
Of course, the
suspension of commerce with foreign nations was not anticipated.
But early in the winter indefinite suspension of that commerce was
threatened, with exhaustion of the specie reserve. The plan of internal
taxation was not acceptable to the people generally; as a matter of fact,
taxes were actually collected in but three states-the others raising
their respective quotas by issuing bonds and state treasury notes.
Neither the first nor the second congress provided for the support
of the government by taxation, but confined legislation to issues of
treasury notes and sale of bonds.
But to meet dire necessity, a law
was later framed
every resource of the
country except capital invested in slaves and real estate, and by a
tax in kind on the produce of the soil, an income tax, and licenses
on occupations and professions, to obtain resources adequate to
the needs of government. But as the greater part of these resources
could not become immediately available, in order to meet immedi-
ate exigency, again the issues of treasury notes were increased, by
the amount of $600,000,000, this increase of currency being naturally
followed by a constant increase of prices. Is it difficult to foresee
"'* For the financial history of the Confederacy, see the Jounal of th Cngruess of the Cfedrat States
of Amrica, zif-zro16 (Washington, 1904). 7 vols.; Richardson, Mmssaqs and Papers f the Cnfederacy
(Nashville, 1905), I vols.; John Christopher Schwab, The Couefedcra Stas of Amnrica, slz-zS4:
A fSancial and industrial History of th South duriw the Civil War (New York, 1gox); Ernest Ashton
Smith, Th History of the Confedwate Treasury (Harrisburg, igo); and William West Bradbcer, Confed-
era and Sthern Staur ncy (Mt. Vernon, N. Y., g915).-ED.
PERPLEXITIES OF WARFARE
With this glance at confederate finance, we may now consider the
state's financial policy.
*wv i l l I
for the supp
of the state
notes and lx
for the lance
change in government, it was necessary to raise money
ort of government. The principal basis of the expansion
's credit was on state lands, the acreage of state lands
greatly increased by the addition of the federal lands
state. These lands were pledged for the redemption of
)nds, or could be purchased with the notes. The conven-
ted the register of lands to receive gold and silver coin
Is, but the next year repealed the ordinance and again
treasury notes were accepted in payment.137
Three banks, the Bank of Fernandina, the Bank of St. Johns, and
the Bank of the State of Florida, held charters from the state at the
beginning of the war.'38 There were ten other banks-private banks,
they were called-in the state. All, without express legal authority,
suspended specie payment before the outbreak of hostilities; and in
December, 1861, the legislature provided by law for the suspension
of specie payments during the war.139 The purpose of this step in
Florida, as elsewhere in the south (for during the first winter of the
'r Procedings of the Convention of the People of Florida, at Called Sessions, be gan and dd . Febrway
26th, . and April 8ith, iz6r, p. 60 (adopted April 27). The register was also authorized to accept
payment for the lands in the bills of solvent banks. At the session of April 24, x861, the committee on
public lands reported ibidd., p. 4z) that "exclusive of all the old grants, and also of all the donations
made by the late United States government of lands lying within the limits of this State, there remain
of lands formerly belonging to that government unsold and now subject to the control and disposition
of this Convention, should the State, as your Committee ought to do, determine to retain and appro-
priate the same to its own use, about eight million five hundred thousand acres". About 8,000,000
acres of this land had already been surveyed. See also ]Joural of the Conention, x862, pp. 6-19., and
36-38; and the governor's message of November z2, 1864, in Senate Joarmal, I864, pp. a-33, and House
Journal, pp. 2.x-2.. In that message the state lands are estimated at about 13,000,000 acres, all of which
were pledged for the redemption of the state treasury notes, for which alone they could be sold. See
also Davis, at sapra, p. 177.-ED.
'31 The Bank of Fernandina was chartered by act of January I5, 1859, and the Bank of the State of
Florida by act of December 4., z855 (see Acts and Resolutions for those two years). The Bank of St.
Johns is called a private bank by Thomas (see below), but it apparently partook in part at least of the
character of a state bank. A report of this institution is given in House Joural, x860-186z, p. z38. The
bank was located in Jacksonville until the federal invasion, when it was removed to Lake City in
order to avoid capture. See also David Y. Thomas, "Florida Finance in the Civil War", in Yale
Review, November, 1907, pp. 311-318, and Davis, at sZpra, pp. 178-179.-ED.
'" On January I4, x86z, a resolution of the Convention urged the state legislature to pass an act
legalizing the suspension of specie payments by the banks of Florida until January i, 186z (see Jeral
of the Proceedings, x861, p. 44). On December 14, x861, the assembly passed an act "to authorize the
suspension of specie payments", and the banks were "authorized to suspend specie payments from the
first day ofJanuary, 1862, until twelve months after the close of the present war" (Acts and Resolstins,
November, i86x, pp. 26-.8).-ED.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
war, the banks of the south,
suspended specie payments),
was not so much from inability to protect the circulation, as to pre-
vent the drain which would have resulted from large purchases at
, in case of a prolonged embargo.
To sell the bonds was no easy matter, and
s main re-
source was the treasury notes. To issue the notes was easy enough
maintain their value less easy.
The assembly, in order to uphold their
provided that for payment of taxes,
notes of solvent
banks that received treasury notes at par,
would be received, and
that state taxation on such banks would be suspended.
did not receive treasury notes at par,
notes of denominations for less than $to.'4
Since the state notes were secured by land,
than the confederate notes.
were not permitted to issue
they were worth more
It was soon noted that people were pay-
ing their taxes and other dues in confederate currency, and that few
of the state notes came back to the treasury except in return for the
purchase of land.
Such discrimination was unpatriotic and traitor-
ous, declared the assembly, and that body provided by law that no
one guilty of such discrimination should be exempt from military
But the governor's message and the assembly
could not prevent the steady sinking of the value of the state
'4 The governor
s message, November 17
i86z, shows not
only the unsatisfactory working of financial measures but the con-
flict between the convention and the assembly
The Act of the General Assembly authorizes the purchase of Public Lands with
Treasury Notes of the State-the ordinance of the Convention forbids it. The
ordinance of the Convention also repealed the act of the General Assembly
authorizing a loan of $500,000 upon Bonds of the State, leaving in force the Act
directing the issue of $500,000ooo in Treasury Notes, and the ordinances of the Con-
vention authorizing the governor to borrow $500,000oo upon the 8 per cent. Coupon
Bonds of the State. In the practical working of these schemes of finance, it is
found the Coupon Bonds of the State authorized to be issued by the Convention,
4* See Acts adRuelalru e, 1ry860-,861, pp. 43-46, "An Act providing for the issue of Treasury notes",
approved February 14, 1861. This act provided for the issue of notes to the amount of $5co,ooo. An
act of December 13, 1861 (Acts and Rsewlssui, 1861, pp. 51s-s), provided for an additional issue of
$300,000. See also Thomas, at supra, pp. 3x1-313; and Davis, at sapEr, pp. 179-181.-ED.
'*4 See Davis, at sapra, p. 80o.
242 See Senate Jeraal, 1861, pp. 18-19, and House Jarul, pp. 13-14. This part of the message is a
citation from the address of the president of the convention,John C. McGehee, at the assembling of
the "called session", on January 14, 1861 (see PrwuidMgs /f s Camntuiu, p. 6).-ED.
PERPLEXITIES OF WARFARE
cannot be sold, and the money contemplated to be raised by this means is not
available, leaving the only resource for the supply of money for the State the
By the end of that year, bank notes had almost disappeared from
rency. Early in the first year of the war, railroads and some other
corporations began to issue their notes for small sums; and these
notes, for some time, passed as currency at a discount.
In the second
year, certain towns began to issue fractional paper currency in small
amounts.'43 We have noted the efforts of the assembly to uphold the
value of state as well as confederate notes.
On December 13, i86E, a
law was passed prohibiting any individual or corporation from issu-
ing or putting into circulation notes or exchange bills of one dollar
or any fractional part of a dollar, or any certificate of deposit or
other paper intended to pass as money or currency,
now unauthorized by law
do so. 44
, unless expressly authorized by law to
As time passed, the only currency practically in circula-
tion was state and confederate treasury notes, and both at a great
Not even war, with all that war means, could destroy the spirit of
speculation; nor does this spirit seem to have been checked by the
messages, however urgent, of the governor, nor by resolutions, how-
ever drastic, of the assembly. "Notwithstanding alleged deprecia-
tion of currency,
said the governor in 1864,
"people. of all ages and
conditions seem wild in its accumulation.
"Is There was speculation
in lands, which were purchased at the rate fixed by law, and sold at
a higher rate.
There was speculation in articles and supplies of
various kinds, such speculation increasing the difficulty of purchas-
ing supplies for the. army and for the needy families of soldiers."' In
November, x86x, the assembly forbade the export from the state of
provisions of any kind, fixed the legal price for all articles and com-
modities at 33 per cent over cost and charges, and authorized the
governor to purchase at a just price provisions and supplies for the
'4 Sec Thomas, at sura, p. 311.; and Davis, st supra, p. 18t.
'4 Acts ad Resolstiwns, x86t, pp. 51-52..
4s See Davis, nt spray, p. 183.
4" see in Governor Milton's message of November zx, 1864, in Senate JoWal, 1864, pp. :7-14; and
House Jeonal, pp. x6-,6.-ED.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
state as should
147 But again
there was conflicting
The convention of i86z repealed the act, and thus,
quote the governor,
the floodgates of villainy
nothing daunted, in December, x86z, passed another act
attempting to restrain monopoly
but they learned as time passed
that it is easier to pass laws than to enforce them.'49
The property tax rate, one sixth of one per cent, was not increased
during the war, and the assembly in December, x86i, suspended
payment of taxes for the year 1860-I86i until the next year. County
were generally increased.
'so But let us
consider a moment the taxation by the confederate government.'"
The direct tax of August 19, x86i, of one-half of one per cent on
all real and personal property in the state, the state government
met by an issue of state treasury notes to an amount not to ex-
Is2 The impressment act of March z6,
heavily upon the people.
Under this act
, boards appointed by the
confederate war department and the state governors were author-
ized to impress food products and other property needed by the army
at prices fixed by the boards.
Payment was in confederate notes. In
commissary storehouses the provisions and other property collected
and not sent at once from the state were kept.153 On April 24, 1863,
the confederate government provided for the levying of another tax.
This was the tax in kind
, or tithe, of all agricultural products; a tax
of 8 per cent on all naval stores, salt, liquors,
and all agricultural
products of the state and on money in hand; a sales tax of o10 per
cent on all profits from the sale of provisions, shoes, cotton cloth,
'7 Approved November z8. The act provided also that the operation of the act might be suspended
by the governor "'
See Acts and Resolh
as soon as in his discretion the exigencies for its continuance shall cease
tions, 186x, pp.
34s See Joarsal of the Comventia, x86z, pp. 8x-8z; and Davis, at supra, pp. x83-184.-ED.
*4 Approved December 1o.
Se Acts and Rsolations, 1861, pp. 36-37; and Davis, st spra, pp. 184-185.
'" For taxation during the war,see Governor Milton's message of November 17, 86. (Senatefournal.
x86z, pp. 35-36, and House Journal, pp. 30-31); the message of November i., 1864(Senate Jo ua, 1864,
pp. Lo-nz, and House Joa ral, pp. x9-zx); and Davis, at supro, pp. 185-188, and passim.-ED.
's' On taxation, as resorted to by the Confederacy, see Schwab, Confsderdt States, especially Chapter
XIII.; Smith, History oftb Confedeate Treasry, pp. o3-o104; and Davis, ut sspra, pp. 185-186.-ED.
"s In accordance with an act of December x6, x861, "to provide for the payment of the War
Tax to be assessed upon and collected from the citizens of this State" (Acts ad Rusolftias, x861,
5ss Sec Schwab, Confederat States, pp. 101-z07; and Davis, at supra, pp.
PERPLEXITIES OF WARFARE
and iron; and a license tax of from $o50 to $oo500 on various
trades and professions.*"
The governor stated to the assembly on November z3, 1863
shameless frauds had been practiced by impostors claiming to be
acting under the authority of the confederate government; and that
the rulings of some agents had been
"incompatible with the rights
of citizens and insulting to freemen who know their rights and have
proven their loyalty to the Government
But the Confederacy,
face to face with ruin, enforced the impressment act, and later passed
one even more stringent.
Still another form of taxation was the
impressing of negroes for work on fortifications, roads,
writes Mrs. Long,
that if the Yankees do not destroy us, our own Government will; for besides
giving to it a tithe of all we raise in provisions, we are taxed fifty dollars on
every thousand dollars worth of property, and all holders of bonds and notes are
expected to pay five out of their eight per cent. interest. It is pressure without
and pressure within. The impressing officer has become more active in seizing
pleasure horses, often detaching them from carriages in the street; but, in this, as
in other things, partiality is dispensed. I met an old lady walking, who had
three sons in the service, since the beginning of the war, and the last conscript
act included a fourth, a youth of seventeen. She said to me,
"I am trying to learn
to walk, for the officers, not satisfied with taking my last boy, have now taken
". So it is; money and property are taxed; we give a tenth of provisions,
wool, cotton, and leather; and negroes and horses are all subject to the use of the
Government, (or rather its subordinate officers, we often suspect), and absolutely
we only walk the streets by permission of this Government.'s6
While financial matters were thus going from bad to worse, de-
mands upon the people and their resources for the families of soldiers
and for refugees were steadily
abandoned, the inhabitants unwilling to appeal to federal protec-
tion, which might involve taking the oath of federal allegiance,
sought refuge in the interior of the state.
Unable to bring from their
homes any possessions except the barest necessities, and deprived of
all resources, there was much suffering among them, though aid was
given as generously as means permitted by the sympathizing people
Schwab, s sypra, pp. gz-Q.93; and Davis, nt spra, pp. 186-187.
'U See Governor Milton's message in The War of t Rehllie,
's* Fwlorid B&rmes, p. 370.
Scr. IV., Vol. II. (Washington, zgoo),
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
of the towns where they sought refuge.
Private homes were opened,
and few doors of any homes were closed to the unfortunate.
servants were sent into the interior in great numbers to keep them
from falling into the hands of the Federals.
Most of them were put
to work on the plantations and gave no trouble of any kind,
the anxiety of how they could be cared for. Moreover, the state
found itself with a large number of indigent to provide for in the
families of those working men who had volunteered or been brought
into the service under conscript law.
And it must be remembered
that these conditions were in a land where until now, it was a mat-
ter of pride that no man had begged his bread-where, certainly,
there had been little need of public provision for an indigent class.
the plantations were productive, and labor in the
interior was undisturbed
, so there was no lack of provisions.
planting of cotton was restricted, in order to ensure a continued flow
of food supplies for army and people. Still,
ished plenty of homespun cloth,
countless looms furn-
and cotton accumulated on every
The importance of the salt supply was early recognized,
makers were protected by the state.
Moreover, those who made a
certain quantity were exempted by act of congress from military
Very large quantities were transported outside the state.
One economic effect was that the laborers and
teams needed in
manufacturing and conveying away the salt consumed quantities
The question of clothing the troops was a serious matter. The
governor reported to the assembly in i862 that many of the Florida
troops had been rendered destitute of necessary clothing through the
vicissitudes of war. Contributions had been made freely by the citi-
zens of different portions of the state, and the resources authorized
by the state had been exhausted in the effort to provide what was
Here, as in other cases, the limited resources of the con-
"s Conditions arc vividly described by Mrs. Long, Flrida &sees, pp. 3z3-340. 353-388.-ED.
=s With regard to the salt supply see Governor Milton's message of November z7, i861(Senate
Jmrul, :861, pp. 13-16, and 49-51, and House Jenal, pp. 13-15, and 44-46); and Novcmber x, 1864
(Senate Jamal, 864, p. 19, and House Jeel, p. 18); Davis, t s~jrf, pp. 1o4-.og; and Fkriid sa,
PERPLEXITIES OF WARFARE
federate government need no comment.
The state government gave
all aid possible in feeding, clothing, and supporting the armies in
the field.'s9 In all this work, the women of Florida were untiring in
Many a company went to the front clad in uniforms made by
sewing societies of towns or country neighborhoods. The
material of these uniforms was usually coarse homespun cloth,
product of plantation looms, and freely contributed.
work to knit socks, and busily plied the needle. All
Women set to
did what they
One young lady managed to get some brown linen and with
her clever fingers made caps for her brother
getting some green baize, rejoiced in covering a company's canteens,
"to keep the water cool'
Many similar instances could be given.*60
The establishment of hospitals naturally became necessary
, moved by the sad condition of Florida troops in
secured there a suitable building for-a hospital.
as well as citizens of other states, contributed generously
ernor appointed Dr.
. The gov-
Palmer superintendent and director, and Dr.
Green Hunter a special agent,
and later Dr.
Sabal was assigned to
But in time the Florida Hospital in Virginia was dis-
the Florida Hospital,
:t aside for
placed under the care of Mrs.
whose name is, like Mrs.
s, held in reverence for her noble
service to the sick and wounded,
hospital for the western army.
, hospitals were provided
was made superintendent of the
1 the towns of
by the citizens,
the interior of
their personal service in the care of the sick and wounded, also
contributing from their household stores articles necessary for the
comfort of the suffering soldiers.6'
the messages cited in the preceding note-x861, pp.
27-28 and 26-27 respectively; and Florida Bkrees, pp.
and 49-50 respectively; 1864, pp.
60 See Flonida BreeCs, pp. 330, 333. The annals of Florida, as well as those of other southern states,
are filled with instances of the self-denial and sacrifices of the women, and of the aid rendered by
them, not only during the war, but during the reconstruction period.-ED.
1*6 See the governor's message of November 17, 1862, at supra, pp. 51-54 and 47-49 of the legislative
journals respectively, and that of November 2., 1864,'.t sprfa, pp. 29-30 and 18-19 of the legislative
journals respectively. See also Acts and Resolations, x861, pp. 51, 53-54, 69, 74, and i863, pp. 4x-4.;
Davis, at supra, passim; and Florida Breees, pp. 330-33I, 365.-ED.
FIELDS OF BATTLE
e have seen that in the spring of I86z, Fernandina, St.Augus-
Jacksonville were in
the hands of the Federals.
Wright, in command at the last named city, was of the
opinion that if Florida was to be held by the Federals, certain civil
offices should be filled by the appointment of federal sympathizers.
He seemed to have no doubt that not only would the city of Jackson-
ville remain in federal possession, but that before a great while, the
state of Florida would return to the allegiance of the United States.
He reported that questions were constantly arising that belonged to
civil rather than to military jurisdiction, and required a knowledge
of law that commanding officers could not be expected to possess.
Therefore, he suggested that the federal government appoint a dis-
trict judge and a marshal, to reside at Jacksonville; and also that
Certain persons at Jacksonville now declared themselves federal
sympathizers, and ready to organize a city government, and to take
part in the organization of a state government
or repugnant to the provisions of the United States
in conflict with
". On the zoth
, i86z, they held a meeting and unanimously adopted reso-
lutions declaring the ordinance of secession void, and protesting
against all the acts of the convention of the state of Florida designed
to deprive the loyal citizens of the United States of their rights.
They protested against the forced contributions of money, property,
and labor, and enlistment for military service, and against the policy
that demanded abandonment of homes and property
against the denunciation of the governor for refusal to co-operate
with the state
and they declared that from despotism and
indignities they had been released by the government of the United
2'6 Sec The War of the bkelles, Scr. I., Vol. VI., pp. 1x8-219; and Davis (at sauro, pp. 150-174), who
accompanies his narrative with full references. See also ante, note 133.-ED.
EASTERN FIELDS OF BATTLE
assured themselves that the reign of terror was past, and that law
and order prevailed.
Having made their protest and declaration of
they recommended that a convention of all loyal citizens be
called for the purpose of organizing a state government of the state
despite the assurance that the reign of
terror was past, and that law and order prevailed,
they further re-
the chief of the military
department of the
States be requested
to retain at Jacksonville a force sufficient to
maintain order and protect the people in their persons and property.I6
The convention recommended by these resolutions was called for
the z4th of March
but it was never held, for already the withdrawal
of troops from Jacksonville for the reinforcement of St. Augustine
and Fernandina was decided upon.
In view of the fact that federal
pickets and stragglers from the main army were constantly being
taken prisoners or killed,
and that it was rumored that the Confed-
rates were planning an attack on the Federals at Jacksonville,
hasty departure was not without the appearance of retreat.
of Jacksonville unwilling to remain at that place after the departure
of the federal troops,
were allowed to go under the army
tion to Fernandina or St. Augustine.'64
Notwithstanding federal control of ports, blockade runners would
occasionally land their cargoes on the coast of Florida. Mosquito
, fifty miles south of St. Augustine,
was often resorted to by
small vessels of light draught bringing arms from the British colony
Thomas W. Sherman's proclamation "To the People of East Florida", March 2o,
x861, and the protest of the loyal citizens against the Confederacy, of the same date, in The Wa of the
Rebellion, Scr. I., Vol. VI., pp. xi-zSz.. At the meeting, C. L. Robinson acted as chairman, and O. L.
Keene as secretary; and Colonel John S. Sannius, S. F. Halliday, Paran Moody, John W. Price, and
Philip Fraser, were appointed a committee to draft resolutions to be submitted to those attending the
"64 For the evacuation of Jacksonville by the Federals, see The War of the Rebellion, Set. I., Vol. VI.,
General Wright's report of April 13, i86z, and other documents, pp. z14-133. General H. W. Benham,
in ordering the evacuation of the city on April t, 186 ibidd., pp. 117-118), said: "In view of the fact
of the already too extended line of operations of our forces in this district, the Major-General com-
manding the department [Sherman] directs that you make preparations for the early withdrawal of
your forces from Jacksonville, Fla. . It is the desire of the commander of the department that
you should notify the people of Jacksonville . . that it is his intention to have all the aid and
protection afforded to the loyal inhabitants of the interior of Florida that is practicable . for
the security of their persons and property and for the punishment of outrages, and that you should
notify all persons in that vicinity that we hold them responsible for the preservation of order and
quiet, being fully determined that any outrages upon persons or property contrary to the laws and
usages of war shall be visited fourfold upon the inhabitants of disloyal or doubtful character nearest
the scenes of any such wrongs when the actual and known perpetrators cannot be discovered."-ED.
HISTORY O P FLORIDA
of Nassau, two of the most successful blockade runners being the
Kate and the Cecile.
In order to prevent such blockade running,
Officer Du Pont, commanding the South Atlantic Blockade Squad-
ron, ordered the Penguin, under
. Mather, to proceed to the inlet,
, and the Henry Andrew,
where the latter was to
cross the bar, establish an inside blockade, capture any confederate
vessels found there, and
guard large quantities of live-oak timber
which had been piled north of the lighthouse.
, together with Acting Master Mather,
organized an expeditiorr from the two vessels and,
i86z, moved southward through the inlet,
with four or five boats
carrying about forty-three men.
by New Smyrna to
some salt works several miles away,
which they destroyed,
then returned, and attempted to land near where the cargoes of the
blockade runners had been landed.'6s
But two companies of the 3d Florida Regiment of Infantry were
at New Smyrna for the purpose of taking charge of the cargoes,
arms and munitions of war, coffee, medicines,
and other precious
These were stored in a palmetto hut until they could be
taken to Enterprise, from there to be shipped to Jacksonville. The
Confederates from the banks opened fire upon the federal boats,
killing eight men and wounding six.'66 Though after this, no forces
were kept at New Smyrna, cargoes were occasionally landed at the
place, and conveyed into the interior, and frequently small schooners
would carry cotton to Nassau.
General Finegan, now in charge of the department of East and
, desired to regain control of the St.
that purpose, he succeeded with great difficulty in placing a battery
of nine guns at St.
Johns Bluff, a few miles from the mouth of the
The position was a strong one, accessible only from the ravine
s6s On the blockade and blockade running, see Governor Milton's message of November 17, x86z,
Senate Journal, x861, pp. 57-60, and House Journal, pp. 5z-55; and his message of August x8, 186z, in
Tb War of th Rebellion, Scr. IV., Vol. II., pp. 56-59. See also various other volumes of Tih War of tib
Re llion, and of Official Records of thn Union and Confedurate Navies; and Davis, ut supra, pp. 197-2.03
(with many references).-ED.
166 This skirmish took place on March 13, x86z. Captain D. B. Bird was in command of the Florida
troops. He reported casualties among the Federals as seven killed, three prisoners, and about thirty
wounded. Both Captain Mather and Lieutenant Budd were among the dead. There were no casualties
among the Florida troops. See The War of the Rebllion, Ser. I., Vol. VI., pp. r xx-III.-ED.
EASTERN FIELDS OF BATTLE
at the rear.
The fact that it commanded the entrance of the river,
made the Federals anxious to destroy it.
Twice during the month
of September, i862, their gunboats attacked the garrison, but were
repulsed each time.
On the Ist of October, General Mitchell,
federal army, arrived at the mouth of the river where he was joined
by six gunboats. Three of these steamed up to the bluff, exchanged a
few shots with the garrison and returned. On the following day, a
large body of federal forces was landed at the mouth of the river,
and several skirmishes took place. On the next morning these troops
, without any opposition,
upon the confederate works,
and entering, found everything abandoned,
the guns loaded,
plicable good fortune, the Federals destroyed the works,
making an expedition up the river, and capturing the confederate
steamer Governor Milton, took their departure. 67
Jacksonville was almost deserted.
Yet not until
the Federals again attempt to occupy it.
United States was now enlisting troops from the slave population
of the south, and the two regiments stationed at Jacksonville under
Colonels Higginson and Montgomery were composed of negroes."6"
General Finegan called upon every man who could come to his aid in
driving out the invaders.
Nor was he idle while waiting for his
reinforcements to gather, but employed his men in occasional skir-
mishes, capturing pickets, cutting off stragglers,
and even throwing
shot into the federal camp from a cannon mounted on a flat car
hauled by a locomotive. On March io, the troops he had expected
he moved against the town.
He arranged for the
troops to enter by different ways, engaging the enemy at two places
at the same time. After a few rounds
, the Confederates charged in
when the negro troops broke and fled for safety to
their gunboats and transports.
The Confederates, having no means
of attacking the boats, withdrew to their camp beyond the reach of
the federal shells.
A week passed, and then, on March
'67 See Official Records of the Union andConfederate Navies, Scr. I., Vol. XIII., pp. 354-331, 335-372; and
The War of the Rebellion, Ser. I., Vol. XIV., pp. 1I-143.--ED.
16s Sec Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Army Life in
ut supra, Chapter IX.,
"The Negro and the War
a Black Regiment (Boston,
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
artillery opened a cross fire from its entrenchments upon a small
body of Confederates at the
The Confederates held
their position for two hours, when the Federals appeared in full
force. A sharp encounter then took place, and the Federals were
Although the invading troops received reinforcements,
confederate perseverance won tl
troops evacuated Jacksonville.
disposed persons, it is said, wi
number of wooden buildings,
ie day; and on March 19, the federal
When they were leaving, some evil
thout official sanction, set fire to a
while private dwellings, churches,
and stores were sacked.
A high wind was blowing,
and the whole
city was soon in flames.169
About this time, the Federals, who had remained in possession of
Pensacola for a year, decided to withdraw their garrison from that
city, as it was not necessary to Fort Pickens or Fort Barrancas. Pen-
sacola was inhabited then by about one thousand persons. Some had
remained after the Confederates had left
others had come in from
the surrounding country to avoid conscription. Most of them,
were entirely or partly dependent upon the Federals for
subsistence, and followed the army from the city
The burning of
thirty or forty dwellings by persons actuated by love of mischief,
was regretted by the officers, who reported that they had endeavored
to prevent such destruction. 70
Though there was no federal garrison at Pensacola or Jacksonville,
the Confederates were unable to occupy either.
that at the end of 1863,
It is not surprising
Washington authorities decided that the
time was propitious for the invasion of Florida, as the state was
The year 1863 was drawing to a close when General Q.
'7T authorized to undertake such operations in his
district as he should consider necessary, decided to occupy the west
bank of the St.
depots preparatory to a
western advance. As to details, he was to use his judgment with the
means at his command. He explained by letter to General Halleck
'6' Sec The War of the Rbellien, Ser. I., Vol. XIV., pp. 116-119, 131-136; Official Rcords of tib Union
and Canfederate Navirs, Scr. I., Vol. XIII., pp. 745, 794; and Davis, t sr'a, pp. 171-174.--ED.
71 Sec TbA War of ti Rbrellie, Ser. I., Vol. XV., pp. 677-678, 698-699, o8-x zog9.-ED.
271 Assigned to temporary command of the department of the south on June 3,1863 (see Tin War of
the Rrklimon, Scr. I., Vol. XIV., p. 464). See also iid., Scr. I., Vol. XXVIII., Pr. UI., p. 3.-ED.
EASTERN FIELDS OF BATTLE
that the object of these movements was, by the occupation of the
rich lands between the St.
Johns and the Suwannee rivers, to secure
an outlet for the cotton, lumber, turpentine, and other important
products of the state; to cut off a source of confederate commissary
supplies; to obtain recruits for negro regiments; and to take prelim-
inary steps toward the restoration of Florida to the Union.
expedition was carefully planned, and the time seemed favorable to
The only confederate troops in East Florida were of
At the capital there was no defensive
, nor even an adequate guard for public property
In the report
of an officer at Tallahassee, we read of the serious condition:
There are here, I ascertain upon accurate inquiry, $6,000,000, more than
$300,000 in commissary stores, including, at least 115,ooo lbs. of bacon and pork,
large quantities of sugar and sirup, besides large and valuable amount of quarter-
master's stores. For the removal of these stores no provision has been made, and
there is no defensive force here for adequate guards for public property.
The number of desertions is alarming. Col.
Gamble, of this place, showed me a
letter from Taylor Co., in which the position of the organized deserters is repre-
as bold and dangerous. I can
see nothing that can be done at present
towards checking them. Mr. Houston and others reliable just from the neighbor-
hood of Gainesville report the conduct of the enemy as conciliating in the ex-
treme, not injuring persons or property, sending back negroes,
and urging the
continued cultivation of the farms, bidding very strongly for the Union senti-
ment of the State. They have given citizens passports out of their lines, and rep-
resent themselves in large force, with the intention of a permanent occupation of
General Beauregard at Charleston was then in command of the
learned on the 14th of January,
including an ironclad from Hilti
the day before,
and probably w
1864, that about thirty-five vessels,
on Head, had gone to sea in the fog
ith troops, as the adjacent islands
were observed to be more quiet.
He immediately notified General
Gilmer at Savannah, and directed the proper staff officers to have in
readiness means of transportation on the Charleston and Savannah
272 See Gillmore's letter to Halleck, Folly Island, S. C., December 15, 1863, in The War of th Rekl-
lion, Ser. I., Vol. XXVIII., Pt. II., pp. z2g-3o; orders to Gillmore, December a., 1863, p. '34; and the
correspondence in Ser. I., Vol. XXXV., Pt. I., pp. 276-192; and Davis, nt suprt, pp.175 ff.-En.
'" Report of John F. Lay,
C. S. A., major and assistant adjutant general to Brigadier General
Thomas Gordon, Tallahassee, Florida, February x6, 1864.
The War of the Rebellion,
Scr. I., Vol. XXXV., Pt. I., pp.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
All was quiet until the 7th of February
On that day a telegram
from General Finegan stated that five federal gunboats and two
transports had made their appearance in the St.
five miles of Jacksonville.
Johns River, within
Another telegram the next day stated
Jacksonville, and that the Federals had landed and made an imme-
General Gilmer was now directed to send to General
Finegan all the troops he had been directed to hold in readiness for
, General Gardner, in Middle Florida,
ordered to send every soldier he could spare as rapidly as possible to
the imperiled region.
's brigade with a light battery was
ordered to Savannah, thence on the I th to the field of war. General
Finegan, advised of what had been done, was directed to do what he
could to hold the enemy at bay, and prevent the capture of slaves.I7s
On the night of the 13 th, General Finegan was encamped on the
Olustee, with about 1,800 infantry, 450 cavalry
,two batteries, and
one section of artillery
With this small force
he awaited for several
days the enemy
This position was the only one between
Lake City and the south prong of the St. Marys,
Federal were established
where now the
, that offered any natural advantages.
inforcements arrived, so that finally the effective force numbered
5,ooo in all. General Finegan organized the command as follows:
the First Brigade, under General Colquitt, consisted of the 6th,
z3d, z7th, and z8th Georgia Regiments of Infantry, and the 6th
Florida Battalion with the four-gun Chatham Artillery attached;
Colonel George P.
Harrison commanded the Second Brigade,
sisting of the Ist Georgia Regulars,
the 3zd and 64th Georgia Vol-
the Ist Florida Battalion
, and the Florida Light Artillery-this last being held
in reserve; Colonel R.
B. Thomas was assigned to duty as chief of
artillery; the cavalry was organized into a brigade under Colonel
Caraway Smith, of the 2d Florida Cavalry
The whole effective force
consisted only of 4,600 infantry, less than 600 cavalry, and three
batteries of artillery of but twelve guns.
The defense of the camp had not been neglected.
'7 Ibid., pp. 311-311.
FIELDS OF BATTLE
had caused breastworks to be thrown up of logs covered with earth.
The parapet to these works was about
was four feet six inches. On the I7t1
six feet wide, and the relief
i, Lieutenant M. B.
C. S. Engineers, arrived from Savannah, and undertook the direction
of the works.
There had been no engineer officer in General Fine-
's command, and consequently no organization of that depart-
Finding no laboring force or tools, Lieutenant Grant was
authorized to collect from the plantations near by such tools as he
might, and a detail of soldiers was assigned for the work. A day
later, this force set to work with the tools collected, one dozen axes
and two dozen spades.
The plan was to make of Olustee an en-
with the view to the further advance of the con-
federate troops; thus, also,
a depot of supplies,
and a position upon
which to retire if necessary.
Somewhat modified, according to the suggestions of Major Clarke,
Corps of Engineers, the work was pushed forward. We have Lieu-
's description of the field:
The left of the line as laid out rested upon Ocean Pond, a sheet of water some
4 miles long by z to z% miles wide, this furnishing a secure protection on that
flank. In front of this line and to the left qf the railroad an open pond, averaging
zSo yards in width, extended to within 300 yards of Ocean Pond. This ground
was entirely impracticable, adding greatly to the strength of this portion of the
line. To the right of the railroad, and at an average distance of 400 yards in ad-
vance of our line, there extended a thick bay, impassable except within zoo yards
on the right of the railroad. This bay continued . with but one crossing
at the road between bay and pond. Intervening between this bay and our line
was an open field over which the enemy would have to advance in approaching
the works. The right of the line, though not so well covered as the left, wasstill
very much strengthened by the large pond which continued some z miles on the
right, for which distance it was only practicable for infantry at a few points, and
these crossings exceedingly difficult. This line of works, had they been completed,
would have proven very strong against a direct attack, but was liable to the
same difficulty which presents itself in the occupation of any position in this
country, viz., the practicability of turning it by a detour of a few miles.'76
While preparations were still making for the defense of Olustee,
the battle was unexpectedly brought on more than
two miles in
advance of the works on ground affording no advantage to either
It was on the night of the 8th that the federal advance had
'76 See Lieutenant Grant's complete report, ibid., pp. 338-341.-ED.
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
begun under command of General Seymour,
the cavalry in advance,
the infantry and artillery following, in three heavy columns.
pressed on with rapidity to Baldwin, capturing on their way five
was reached at daylight.
After a few
At the bridge over the south prong of the St.
they were met
two companies of
under Major Robert Harrison,
zd Florida Cavalry, and their prog-
ress was checked for several hours. About this time, by order of
Finegan, all the stores at Sanderson (except a quantity of
corn) were removed. The next day (the I1th) after the Confederates
engaged in this duty had left Sanderson,
a federal force consisting of
1,4oo infantrymen and five pieces of artillery approached,
ing within three miles of Lake City.177
A confederate force about six
hundred strong with two pieces of artillery, hastily collected, prin-
cipally from the district of Middle Florida, met them, and there was
some heavy skirmishing.
The result was that the Federals retreated
to Sanderson, thence to Barbers on the east shore of the St.
constructed fieldworks and concentrated
force for a movement on Lake City.
The final advance was made on the zoth.
The Federals left Barbers
at seven in the morning, in three columns. There were twelve regi-
ments, three being composed of negroes and nine of white troops.
General Seymour was in command,
and Colonel Guy V
. Henry was
with the cavalry
By noon they were within three miles of Olustee.
It was now plain to the confederate commander that the time for
action had arrived. The cavalry, supported by the 64th Georgia and
two companies of the 3zd Georgia, was ordered to advance, and, by
skirmishing with the enemy, draw them toward the confederate
'77 In his report (March 7, 1864) of the Olustee operations, General Q. A. Gillmore said: "On that
day [the I xth],I telegraphed to General Seymour not torisk a repulse in advancingon LakeCity, but to
hold Sanderson unless there were reasons for falling back which I did not know, and also in case his
advance met with serious opposition, to concentrate at Sanderson and the South Fork of the Sainct Mary' s
and, if necessary, to bring back Colonel Henry (commanding the mounted force) to the latter place.
"'On the izth, General Seymour informed me from Sanderson that he should fall back to the South
Fork of the Saint Mary's as soon as Colonel Henry, whom he had ordered back from the front, had
returned. On the same day I telegraphed General Seymour that I wanted his command at and beyond
Baldwin without delay,for reasons which I gave him.
"General Seymour joined me at Jacksonville on the i4th, the main body of the command being at
that time at Baldwin
as directed. He had, however, sent Colonel Henry toward the left to capture
some railroad trains at Gainesvillc,on the Fernandina and Cedar Keys Rail Road.
EASTERN FIELDS OF BATTLE
The remaining forces were placed
arms and made
ready for action. General Colquitt with three of his regiments and a
section of Gamble
artillery, was then ordered to advance and take
command of the entire force at the front.
strength by skirmishing and, if that str<
to his own, to press him heavily. Wor
He was to feel the enemy's
length were not too unequal
d had been brought to the
Confederates that the Federals had but three regiments of infantry,
with some cavalry and artillery.
Within an hour'
s time, the whole confederate command as a sup-
porting force was moved to the front,
and Finegan himself came on
Reinforcements reached the field none too soon; for the
advance line was greatly pressed.
When they were still a mile from
the front, a message from General Colquitt directed them to move
Scarcely were they put in double quick before the
report of artillery at the front told that the fight had opened.
Harrison commanding the reinforcements moved on to within a few
yards of the place where the road crossed the
There he halted for a few moments, but observing General Colquitt
forming his line, and seeing the enemy
s position across the rail-
, with a battery in position near the crossroads,
moved to the
left in double quick,
crossed the railroad, and formed his line of
battle on the left of that established by General Colquitt.
gagement now became general.
The invading army was in heavy force.
in three supporting lines,
the flanks and rear. The
Its infantry was drawn up
with artillery in position, and cavalry on
confederate commander pressed the enemy
within nearly two hundred yards of the Federals,
"After arranging with General Seymour for the construction of certain defenses at Jacksqnville,.
Baldwin, and the South Fork of the Saint Mary's, I started for Hilton Head on the i5th, leaving
behind me Captain Reese, of the Engineers, to give the necessary instructions for the defenses referred
to. I considered it well understood at that time between General Seymour and myself that no advance
would be made without further instructions from me, not until the defenses
were well advanced.
"On the z8th, I was greatly surprised at receiving a letter from General Seymour, dated the i7th,
stating that he intended to advance without supplies in order to destroy the railroad near the Suwan-
nee River, 1oo miles from Jacksonville. I at once despatched General Turner (my chief of staff) to
Jacksonville to stop the movement. He was the bearer of a letter to General Seymour. Upon arriving
at Jacksonville, after considerable delay, due to the inclemency of the weather, he learned that Geo-
eral Seymour was engaged with the enemy in front, near Olusteec.
Vol. XXXV., Pt. I., pp.
" See The War of the Rl lliew, Scr. I.,
HISTORY OF FLORIDA
stood their ground resolutely for about an hour, when they slowly
gave way before the close pressure.
But in a short time they formed
a new line and hotly contested their position for about twenty min-
utes, then slowly gave back a little, as if to seek a better position,
yet still checking the confederate advance.
At this time
, results might well have seemed doubtful, and the
more so that it began to be whispered down the gray line, especially
in the 6th and 3zd Georgia regiments, that ammunition was failing,
and no ordnance train was in sight.
This condition was reported to
"Let the men hold their ground'
he said. Ammu-
nition would reach them. And they did hold their ground, standing,
some for twenty minutes,
without a round of ammunition. Staff
officers and couriers were employed in conveying ammunition from
a train of cars half a mile away, until the line was sufficiently sup-
plied to enable the reopening of a rapid fire. A third time the Fed-
erals began slowly to retire, still firing.
Just at this time,
Florida Battalion under command of Lieutenant Colonel Hopkins,
s Battery, arrived on the field from the entrenchments.
The former was ordered to the support of the 64th Georgia Regi-
, whose ammunition was failing; the battery was ordered to
take position near the left center.
Upon the arrival of these reinforcements,
with some upon the
the Federals, according to the words of their commander,
"decided to retire
". They gave way entirely
, and were pressed until
nightfall, when firing ceased.
They made a hasty retreat to Sander-
son, evacuating in quick succession, Sanderson,
win, and falling back to Jacksonville. On the second day after the
, General Finegan,
having repaired a portion of the railroad,
in order to enable him to secure supplies, moved his command to
Barbers and Baldwin to a position twelve
miles from Jacksonville.
The confederate victory had been decisive.
killed and wounded was large.
on the field
The federal loss in
Nearly four hundred were left dead
, while four hundred and eighteen wounded men were
taken to the hospitals at Lake City and Tallahassee, and cared for.
A considerate offer was made by the Federals to relieve the Confed-