Group Title: Thompson, J.J. to Capt. David E. Maxwell - Oct. 24, 1893
Title: Thompson, J.J. to Capt. David E. Maxwell - Oct. 24, 1893 - Transcript
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Title: Thompson, J.J. to Capt. David E. Maxwell - Oct. 24, 1893 - Transcript
Physical Description: Archival
Creator: Maxwell, David E.
Publication Date: October 24, 1893
Copyright Date: 1893
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Bibliographic ID: UF00093600
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Arredondo, Florida, Oct. 24th 1893

Cap. D.E. Maxwell

Dear Captain,
I am curious to know when your company and our company left Fernandina for
Jacksonville- the order of march, the date, and what date the election was held for
Regimental officers and the day we were mustered into the Confederate army by Capt.
Stockton. His first name I have forgotten, please give me that also, with the answers to
the first questions. Friday the 12th of July was a day of some particular occurrence, but
what it was I cannot recall- i.e. whether it was the election or the mustering into the
Confederate army.

It is my recolection [recollection] your company and our company left Fernandina the
same day. I do not mean the same train; yet we may have gone over the same day and
same train, I do not recall which went first or what day it was.

What day (date) did your company get to Fernandina; did you get there before our
companies? Capt. Calls company from Fernandina was there, can you recolect [recollect]
any other company at Fort Clinch, about the time we were ordered to Jacksonville, some
other companies camped at Old Town? I do not know that any companies took our place
at Fort Clinch.

I believe one of the companies was Capt. Dillworth from Monticello came and camped at
Old Town, and if I recolect [recollect] correctly Capt. Arthur J. Wright from Lake City
camped at Old Town- and I now recolect [recollect] that Capt. Dan Bird with Lt. Pickens
Bird with their company was with was us at Fort Clinch. I do not remember whether they
got to Fort Clinch before our company did (Capt. Dillworth and I believe Capt. Bird's
companies were put in the 3rd Regiment and each became field officers, Capt. Wright was
put into the 4th Regiment and became a field officer.[)]

Capt. Stark's company reached Jacksonville Sunday July the 7th 1861 and went into camp
that night at the "Old Brick Church," which was some distance from the town on a small
branch yet a deep and wide depression. The RR was trestled here where it crossed. This
was on the old or first line of the R.R. that went into Jacksonville. Capt. Pillans and
Capt. Stewarts companies had gone into camp a few hours before. I got this from Capt.

My recolection [recollection] that when the election took place, we were on the edge of
the town, and where there was a grove of Oak trees- as it was shady where the men of all
companies mingled, and the day that Adjantant [Adjutant] General Holland mustered us
and Capt. Stockton received us, we were out in an open place on the East or North of the
Rail Road. I also got from Capt. F.P. Fleming (F.P) that on Wednesday July the 10th
there was Battallion [Battalion] inspection by Adjt. Genl. Holland. Who opposed Col.
Rogers for Lt. Col., and who opposed Capt. Pyles for Major?

The second Florida Infantry left Jacksonville for Virginia on Monday July the 15th 1861
at 6 o'clock a.m. and reached Monticello that night at 930 p.m. (I went to see Miss Lizzie
Wict whom I knew. She gave me a very pretty pin cushion in the shape of a shield.)
Broke camp the next morning 16th and left Monticello at 745 a.m. for Inoverville [sic]
Geo, where we camped that night. The morning of the 17th Wednesday we got on a train
of the Gulf R.R. that took use to Savannah. When we got to Waltonville Station, the train
was stopped [stopped] and the citizens gave us a reception on the platform of the Depot.
One of the gentlemen made an address, which was happily responded to by one Col.
George T. Ward. In Savannah we camped near the Gulf Depot. Supper and breakfast
was furnished to us by the citizens [citizens]. We broke camp Thursday the 18th, formed
by fours and marched through Savannah escorted by a cavalry company (do you
remember what company it was?)

Left Savannah 845 a.m. thursday the 18th arrived opposite Charleston 430 p.m. and crossed
over the city and waited on the causeway, and about 930 p.m. marched to the A.E. Depot.
We drew rations of Ham and bread.

Left Charleston friday July the 19th at 2 a.m. for Florence, and thence to Wilmington -
arriving at 430 a.m. After 20th Saturday, we all breakfasted at the Depot, for the want of
sufficient transportation, the Regiment was divided. 5 companies including your
company left at 830 a.m., got to Weldon a little after dark, had supper and left about 11
p.m. and reached Petersburg about daylight sunday morning July 21st, where you got
breakfast and dinner served by the citizens, and left Petersburg 6 p.m. reached Richmond
at 730 p.m. Three of the companies were quartered in the Old stone Tobacco Warehouse,
one of which was Capt. Stark's. Yours may have been one of the others. There were two
tobacco inspectors one of whom was Mr. J.W. Powell a cousin of Capt. Dick Parkhil of

The other half (5 companies) of the regiment left Wilmington that night. We got to
Weldon about noon on sunday the 21st of July. We got dinner here, some of the men
while in Jacksonville got a quantity of the notes of the bank of Jacksonville, large sheets
of it that had not been cut apart. They passed it at the Hotel for their dinner. After
dinner, or sufficient time for the Railroad managers to get us off, we left Weldon. It was
between Weldon and Petersburg that afternoon we first heard of the battle of Manassas.

We reached Petersburg that night, got supper on the side of the river next to Richmond,
the long table extending up the hill along the fence. The food furnished by the citizens of
Petersburg. We continued that night reaching Richmond in the night or about daylight;
and were quartered (our company) in the old stone tobacco warehouse, and that day the
22nd were marched to one camp near the reservoir, we marched up Cary Street. The
sidewalks, the doors, the windows were filled with people. The women many of them at
sight of us bringing to them memories of their soldier relations, were so overcome with
the battle of the day before, that they could not restrain their feelings and many of them
were crying- perhaps they had friends in the army, and had heard ill news from them or
feared it. Our quartermaster Capt. L. Ingle had tents for us and they were soon put in

When we came through Savannah the Georgia regulars were getting ready to come on
and two or three days after our regiment went into camp. They came and camped on our
left. President Davis came out the evening before the day they left for Manassas to
review them. It was a new and grand sight for us who had never witnessed a military
display before, and to see our President was another great gratification. It was the first
and only time that the members of our company had seen him except myself. I was in
Washington the entire first session of President James Buccannons [Buchanan's] first
Congress, remained until the adjournment, when I was appointed by the secretary of war
Genl. Edward F. Beale to California. We left Philadelphia in Sept 1858 by way of Fort
Smith Arkansas, across the Llaio Estacado or staked plains now Oklahoma and New
Mexico and Arizona. I there saw Mr. Jefferson Davis as a great member of the senate.
He was a great man, and a man of great ability. After the review, the regiment was put in
line and brought to a rest. The President in position in front of the centre sitting on his
horse- a magnificent bay, full of fire and spirit- at the command. The regimental band
with a sudden blast from all of their horns began the music, stepped [stepped] out, wheeled
to the left, marched down hill and back in view, at the full sound of the music, and the
march of the gaily dressed musicians (this was the beginning of the war and our
musicians had bright uniforms then.) The powerful horse with eyes ablaze, ears erect,
neck arched and nostrils distended swerved to the right with a rush of fright but it did
not disturb the equipoise of the President his tall and symmetrical figure erect and firm
in the saddle, his hands with a firm but gentle grasp of the reins, his knowledge of a horse
and his skill as a perfect rider gave him that supreme command that he had learned as a
boy on his father's farm, and perfected as a soldier in the campaigns of his earlier life,
made him a picture to admire and a man to revere. Gracefully he sat him and swerved
with the motion of his horse, soon brought him around to his position in front of the

The review over: the President taking off his silk hat and with an elegant swoop of his
arms made the numbers of the regiment a graceful bow and rode away, accompanied by
his escort back to the President's house in Richmond.

I never saw him again after that review. He was a noble, a great and a good man, and we
love him.

I am very truly & Co Captain
J.J. Thompson
[2nd Florida, Company B, Alachua Guards]

Transcribed by Christopher A. Baker, University of Florida, 2008.

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