Field & Staff
The 3rd Florida Regiment was organized in July, 1861, and mustered into the Confederate service August 10, 1861, on Amelia Island and was composed of the following companies: Jacksonville Light Infantry, Duval county (Co. A), Capt. Holmes Steele: St. Augustine Blues, St. Johns county (Co B), Capt. John Lott Philips; Hernando Guards (Wild Cats), Hernando county (Co. C), Capt. Walter Terry Saxon; Wakulla Guards, Wakulla county (Co. D), Capt. Daniel L. Frierson; Jefferson Beauregards, Jefferson county (Co E), Capt. Daniel E. Bird; Cow Boys, Duval county (Co. F), Capt. Lucius A. Hardee; Madison Grey Eagles, Madison county (Co. G), Capt. Thomas Langford; Jefferson Rifles, Jefferson county (Co. H) Capt. William O. Girardeau; Dixie Stars, Columbia county (Co. I), Capt. Jesse B. Wood; Columbia and Suwannee Guards (Co. K), Capt. William Parker. An election of officers was held July 25, 1861. William S. Dilworth was elected Colonel; Arthur J. T. Wright, Lieutenant-Colonel; Lucius A. Church, Major. They were all members of the Regiment. Colonel Dilworth had enlisted as a private in the Jefferson Beauregards. Lieutenant-Colonel Wright was in command of the Columbia and Suwanee Guards, and Major Church was Lieutenant of the Madison Grey Eagles.
The Regimental Staff was as follows: Capt. Henry R. Teasdale as Quartermaster; he was afterward promoted Major and made District Quartermaster for Florida with his station at Lake City; Capt. E. Yulee, Commissary; Hill, Surgeon; Dr. D. Carn, Assistant Surgeon; Lieut. J. O. A Gerry, Adjutant; David Lewis, Sergeant Major; W. T. Moseley, Jr., Quartermaster Sergeant; P. E. Lowe, Commissary Sergeant.
The Blues, Captain Phiips, and the Jefferson Beauregards, Captain Bird, were stationed at St. Augustine; the Jacksonville Light Infantry, Captain Steele, and the Cow Boys, Captain Hardee, were stationed at the Bluff, near the mouth of the St. Johns; the other six companies of the Regiment were stationed at Fort Clinch, on Amelia Island near Fernandina. The Regiment saw but little active service during the first year of its organization, but did a great deal of hard work throwing up sand batteries on Amelia and Tolbert Islands and the defenses in the eastern part of the State.
Companies E and H, under Captain Bird, were sent during the winter to New Smyrna to protect Government stores brought in from Nassau. In March, 1862, a detachment under Capt. Mathew H. Strain, who had succeeded Girardeau, engaged a number of launches from the Federal blockading vessels, which were attempting to land and destroy the stores; nearly all the occupants of the launches were killed, wounded or captured.
Early in 1862 the Confederate Government determined to shorten its lines of defense and abandon its works at the mouth of the St. Johns River and Amelia Island, and these last were occupied by the Federals about March 12.
On the night of March 24th Lieut. Thomas E. Strange of Co. K, and Lieut. Charles H. Ross and Frank Ross of Co. 1, 3rd Florida, with ten volunteers, attacked the Federal picket at the “Brick Church,” which stood where LaVilla Junction now stands , killing 4 and capturing 3 of the Federals; in this skirmish Lieutenant Strange was mortally wounded. After the evacuation of Fernandina and St. John’s Bluff, the companies now engaged in the Smyrna expedition were stationed at Cedar Keys.
In May the entire Regiment for the first time was brought together in camp at Midway, Gadsden county, preparatory to taking up its march for the Western Army, then in northern Mississippi. Many of the companies had already re-enlisted for the war and under the laws enacted for the reorganization of the Confederate army the term of all was extended and it was deemed best to have a re-election of officers to serve permanently with the company.
The election resulted in the choice of the following Field Officers, Staff appointments and Captains; Colonel, W. S. Dilworth; Lieutenant-Colonel, Lucius A. Church; Major, Edward Mashburn; Quartermaster, Captain Hickman; Commissary, Capt. D. Lewis; Surgeon, Doctor Carn; Assistant Surgeon, Dr. M. C. W. Jordan; Adjutant, H. Steele; Sergeant Major, C. H. Stebbins; Commissary Sergeant, P. E. Lowe; Ordnance Sergeant, Theodore Bridier; Quartermaster Sergeant, William P. Moseley; Hospital Steward, B. Frank Moseley. Co. A. Captain, John B. Oliveres; Co. B, John Lotts Philips; Co. C. Walter Terry Saxon; Co. D, Daniel L. Freirson; Co. E. Daniel B. Bird; Co. F, Albert Drisdale; Co. G, Thomas L. Langford; Co. H, Mathew H. Strain; Co. I, Charles H. Ross; Co. K, William G. Parker.
The Regiment remained in camp about three weeks. During this time a beautiful silk banner with the motto “We Yield but in Death,” was presented to the Regimen t by one of the ladies of Jefferson county.
Shortly after the middle of the month of May the Regiment broke camp, marched to the Chattahoochee River and went by steamers to Columbus, then by rail to Montgomery; and after a short detention there was sent to Mobile, where the orders to proceed to Bragg’ s army in Mississippi were countermanded and the Regiment put on duty to guard and patrol the city, where they remained for several months.
Early in August of 1862 the Regiment was ordered to Chattanooga and went into camp at the foot of Lookout Mountain, near the Tennessee and was assigned to the brigade of Gen. John C. Brown of Tennessee, Gen. Patton Anderson’s division. The regiments composing Brown’s Brigade were the 1st and 3rd Florida and 41st Mississippi.
The Army of Tennessee encamped for a few days in the beautiful Sequatchee Valley; then it took up its line of march across the Cumberland Mountains into middle Tennessee and northward toward the Kentucky line, crossing the Cumberland River above Nashville and entered Kentucky in Monroe county. Then proceeded directly to Green River, near which a brigade of 4,000 Federal troops were captured. After a few days’ delay, anticipating the approach of Buell’s Army, the Army of Tennessee on September 20 th moved toward Louisville, Kentucky, and for two weeks were camped at different points; part of the time a few miles from Bardstown. The movements of the Federal forces caused General Bragg to shift his position and on October 8 th the two armies confronted each other at Perryville, where the 3rd lost heavily. Capt. D. B. Bird, who commanded the Regiment during most of the time after it left Chattanooga, fell mortally wounded, late on the afternoon of the 8th.
From Perryville the army fell back until it again reached Chattanooga in December, where the decimated ranks of the 1 st and 3rd Regiments were consolidated, the 3rd forming the right wing of the consolidated regiment, and this it continued through all its subsequent history. The consolidated Regiment shared in all the subsequent movements of Bragg’s Army back to east and forward to middle Tennessee, where, as a part of Breckenridge’s Division it took part in the battle of Murfreesboro, where, out of its 531 men it lost 138 killed, wounded and missing, and the other engagements of that campaign. Early in the summer of 1863 the Regiment, under Breckenridge, was ordered to Mississippi and was on the Big Black when Vicksburg was surrendered; afterward was engaged in the siege at Jackson, Miss. After the close of the Mississippi campaign the consolidated regiment returned to Northern Georgia in time to take in the battle of Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge. The Regiment was in all the subsequent movements with the Army in Northern Georgia, which opened early in the spring of 1864 and extended from Chattanooga to Atlanta, thence onward to Middle Tennessee under Hood, and finally back through Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina to Durham Station, near Greensboro, N. C., April 26, 1865.
Source of rosters and background of units: Soldiers of Florida in the Seminole Indian-Civil and Spanish-American Wars. Fred L. Robertson, Compiler. Prepared and published under the supervision of the Board of State Institutions, As authorized by Chapter 2203 Laws of Florida, approved May 14, 1903.