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By the Noble Daring of Her Sons

The Florida Brigade of the Army of Tennessee

Jonathan C. Sheppard

Publication Year: 2012

By the Noble Daring of Her Sons is a tale of ordinary Florida citizens who, during extraordinary times, were called to battle against their fellow countrymen.
Over the past twenty years, historians have worked diligently to explore Florida’s role in the Civil War. Works describing the state’s women and its wartime economy have contributed to this effort, yet until recently the story of Florida’s soldiers in the Confederate armies has been little studied.
This volume explores the story of schoolmates going to war and of families left behind, of a people fighting to maintain a society built on slavery and of a state torn by political and regional strife. Florida in 1860 was very much divided between radical democrats and conservatives.
Before the war the state’s inhabitants engaged in bitter political rivalries, and Sheppard argues that prior to secession Florida citizens maintained regional loyalties rather than considering themselves “Floridians.” He shows that service in Confederate armies helped to ease tensions between various political factions and worked to reduce the state’s regional divisions.
Sheppard also addresses the practices of prisoner parole and exchange, unit consolidation and its effects on morale and unit identity, politics within the Army of Tennessee, and conscription and desertion in the Southern armies. These issues come together to demonstrate the connection between the front lines and the home front.

Published by: The University of Alabama Press

Cover Page

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p. 1-1

Title Page

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

List of Maps

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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xiv

Somewhere in an unmarked grave on the Murfreesboro battlefield lie the remains of George Hartsfield. A soldier in the 3rd Florida infantry regiment, Hartsfield had already endured his share of suffering in the service, having been wounded at Perryville that october. Sufficiently recuperated, he rejoined his company in time for what would be his last battle. ...

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1. Therefore Let Us Unite: Florida’s Secession

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pp. 1-9

The Florida that attracted Americans between 1790 and the early 1800s was a land of natural beauty and promise. Americans probably first arrived in this alluring territory during the 1790s when the Spanish government “invited foreigners to settle in Florida by offering homestead grants.” Thereafter, they kept coming, by both legal and illegal means. ...

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2. Like Achilles He Has Girded on His Armor: April–September 1861

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pp. 10-23

Throughout the spring and summer of 1861, Florida armed her sons for war. The basis of the Florida Brigade, the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Florida infantry regiments, mustered into service during this initial wave of patriotic fervor. These three regiments, the bulk of their companies from middle Florida counties, began serving together in Tennessee in 1862 ...

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3. The War Trumpet is Sounding its Blasts in Every Direction around Us: October–December 1861

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pp. 24-35

Throughout the fall months, Florida’s soldiers remained in their tents, attempting to ward off the boredom that threatened to conquer their spirits long before they had a chance to fight the Yankees. During this relatively dull period, the troops experienced only spurts of excitement. Disease claimed its first victims during these months, ...

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4. Its Flag Will Show Where the Fight Was Hottest: January–April 1862, West Florida and Shiloh

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pp. 36-45

As the Yankee and Rebel armies in the East spent the winter of 1861–62 in relative inactivity, the fighting continued elsewhere. Union offensives, mainly in the form of joint operations, carried the war to the Confederate coastline. Crucial gains were made on the Atlantic and in the Gulf of mexico, but the most important coordinated attack occurred inland. ...

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5. To Maintain Inviolate the Sacred Honor of Florida: January–May 1862, East Florida

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pp. 46-56

In march, as the 1st Florida infantry regiment departed Pensacola for Corinth and the troubled situation in the west, a malaise descended upon Florida. The strike on the state’s coast that John Milton had long feared came to fruition that month as a joint Federal army-navy operation moved on Fernandina. ...

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6. Our Cause is Just and We Need Not Fear Defeat: Floridians’ Rationales for Fighting the Civil War

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pp. 57-62

By late spring 1862, more than 10,000 Floridians had enlisted in the Confederate Army. Each newly minted soldier had his own reasons for participating in a rebellion against the federal government. The historian Chandra manning has asserted that the war’s combatants were willing to fight because they “recognized slavery as the main reason for the war.” ...

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7. I Am Now As you Know in the Enemys Country: June–August 1862

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pp. 63-73

Major General Henry Halleck’s arrival at Pittsburg landing signaled the completion of the Federal concentration there. On April 29 more than ninety thousand Union soldiers began the twenty-mile march toward the important rail junction of Corinth. Halleck, unwilling to suffer a surprise Confederate attack like Grant had experienced at Shiloh, ...

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8. Another Luminous Page to the History of Florida: September–October 8, 1862

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pp. 74-91

The Kentucky Campaign, waged during the late summer and early fall of 1862, was designed to liberate middle Tennessee, but a poor command structure and unbounded ambition carried the Confederates into the Bluegrass. While their fellow Floridians earned laurels fighting in Virginia, the soldiers of the Western Theater regiments viewed this as their chance ...

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9. Our Company and Regiments Mourns the Loss of Their Very Best: October 9, 1862–January 10, 1863

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pp. 92-108

The fall months of 1862 witnessed the Confederate tide recede from Kentucky, culminating with the Battle of Murfreesboro. This time might have been one of recovery and wisely used to recoup the losses suffered in the Kentucky Campaign; indeed, Colonel W.G.M. Davis’s Floridians in east Tennessee did earn a respite during December. ...

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10. I Expect We Will Stay Here All Winter: Winter–Spring 1863, Tennessee

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pp. 109-121

In the week following the Murfreesboro battle, Braxton Bragg shepherded his battered Army of Tennessee southeastward, away from the scene of carnage. William Rosecrans’s Army of the Cumberland, occupied with burying the dead and tending to the wounded of both armies, was in no condition to pursue. ...

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11. This Seems to Be Our Darkest Times: May 26–July 15, 1863, Mississippi

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pp. 122-133

In 1863, as the eastern armies clashed at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, western forces of both nations dueled in Mississippi. The Confederates could not underestimate the importance of Vicksburg, Mississippi, for as long as the rebels held the river town, foodstuffs and other war material passed from Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas to the east bank of the Mississippi. ...

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12. Napoleon’s “Old Guard” Never Fought Harder: July 16–September 21, 1863

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pp. 134-148

During the first full week of the summer of 1863, a season that proved invaluable to the Federal war effort, the Army of the Cumberland swept Braxton Bragg’s force from its Tullahoma encampment in middle Tennessee in a series of brilliant maneuvers. General William rosecrans followed this campaign several weeks later with another movement ...


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pp. 149-153

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13. I Have Never Known Them to Fail in the Hour of Trial: September 21–December 2, 1863

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pp. 154-166

In the two months that followed the Chickamauga victory, the Army of Tennessee tried unsuccessfully to starve the Army of the Cumberland, which held on precariously at Chattanooga, into submission. During this time, General Braxton Bragg, as a part of a series of moves meant to rid his army of dissent and to reward his supporters, ...

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14. The Old Soldiers Are Much Better Satisfied: December 1863–May 5, 1864

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pp. 167-177

Only days after the missionary ridge debacle, the Army of Tennessee halted its retreat at Dalton, a small railroad town situated on the Western and Atlantic railroad in the mountains of northern Georgia. While the army remained encamped about the town for the next six months, the troops certainly did not remain idle. ...

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15. The Company and Entire Brigade Suffered Immensely and Accomplished Nothing: May 7–September 3, 1864

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pp. 178-198

During the first week of May 1864, Federal generals Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman put their armies in northern Virginia and Georgia, respectively, in motion against their Confederate opponents. While both generals endeavored to destroy the rebel field armies, they also looked toward Richmond and Atlanta and sought to wage a “war of exhaustion”; ...

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16. This is a Kind of Curious Management to Me: September 4, 1864–January 1, 1865

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pp. 199-219

In the waning months of 1864, General John Bell Hood led the Army of Tennessee on a fateful crusade to liberate Tennessee and Kentucky from Federal occupation. The November and December 1864 campaign resulted in the battles of Franklin and Nashville and in actions fought on the outskirts of Murfreesboro. ...

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Epilogue: It Is the Duty of Everyman to Obey the Powers That Be: January–May 1865

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pp. 220-228

On February 1, 1865, the Florida Brigade undertook its fourth and final rail movement of the war when its small regiments embarked at West Point, mississippi, for the journey east. During February’s first ten days, the brigade, with the corps of Generals Benjamin Cheatham (led by General William Bate) and Alexander Stewart (commanded by William Loring), ...


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pp. 229-232


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pp. 233-288


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pp. 289-302


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pp. 303-319

E-ISBN-13: 9780817386030
E-ISBN-10: 0817386033
Print-ISBN-13: 9780817317072
Print-ISBN-10: 0817317074

Page Count: 335
Illustrations: 18 illus
Publication Year: 2012