Field & Staff
Early in May 1864, General Patton
Anderson, commanding the District of Florida, received from the War
Department an order to send a good brigade to Richmond with all possible
expedition. General Joseph Finnegan was ordered to immediately proceed
to Virginia with his brigade, consisting of 1st Battalion, Lieutenant
Colonel Charles Hopkins; 2nd Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Theodore
Brevard; 4th Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel McClellan; and 6th Battalion,
Lieutenant Colonel John H. Martin. The order was obeyed immediately and
the Brigade arrived at Richmond May 25, 1864, and joined Anderson's
Division, of which Holmes was then commander, and Hill's Corps at
Hanover Junction May 28, 1864. On June 8, the troops were organized into
two regiments as follows: The 1st Florida Battalion, six companies, and
the companies of Captains Mays, Stewart, Clark, and Powers of the 2nd
Battalion, formed the 10th Regiment, Colonel Hopkins commanding. The 4th
Florida Battalion, seven companies, the companies of Captains Ochus and
Robinson, of the 2nd Battalion, and Captain Cullens' unattached Company
formed the 11th Regiment, Colonel Theodore Brevard commanding. The 6th
Florida Battalion, seven companies that formed the 6th Battalion before
organizing as such had served as independent volunteer companies in
different parts of the State; they were commanded by Captains John C.
Chambers, John W. Pearson, Samuel Hope, James Tucker, A. A. Stewart, J.
C. DuPree, S. M. G. Gary. At the battle of Olustee these companies were
formed into a battalion commanded by Major Pickens Bird. In
concentrating the troops between Waldo and Jacksonville, after the
battle of Olustee, Lieutenant Colonel Martin was placed in command of
the Battalion, and upon the arrival of the Battalion in Virginia the
Regiment was formed and the companies named, became A, B, C, D, E, F and
G, under their respective Captains. To these companies were added the
company of B. L. Reynolds, which became Co. H; John McNeil, Co. I; Jacob
Eichelberger, Co. K; John M. Martin was promoted to Colonel, John W.
Pearson to Lieutenant Colonel, and Pickens B. Bird became Major. Major
Bird was killed at Cold Harbor June 3, 1864, as was Captain Reynolds of
Co. H and Lieutenant Ben B. Lane of Co. I. Regimental Adjutant Owens,
Captain Tucker, of Co. D, and Lieutenant R. D. Harrison, commanding Co.
B, were seriously wounded. After the battle of Cold Harbor Finnegan's
Brigade, which now consisted of the 2nd, 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th
Regiments, took up the line of march for Petersburg. On June 23 they
moved from the breastworks, under a heavy fire of shells and canister,
and marched down the Weldon Road, six miles below, and drove back the
enemy, who were tearing up the road. On June 30 the battle of Ream's
Station was fought. A Florida Brigade marched, reached the battlefield
at daybreak and attacked the enemy, driving him back in a running fight
four miles, capturing seven pieces of artillery, many horses, a few
prisoners, and 1,300 Negroes. On the morning of the 21st August the
Florida brigade advanced within one hundred yards of the Federal
breastworks on the Weldon Railroad, where the enemy were strongly
entrenched. Repeated charges were made to dislodge them, but failed. The
loss in killed and wounded was very severe. Lieutenant Colonel John W.
Pearson, of the 9th Regiment, was so severely wounded that he died in
Augusta, Georgia, while on his way home.
The death of Colonel Pearson left the 9th Regiment with no Field Officers, except the Colonel. An attempt was made to have outsiders appointed to these positions, but Colonel Martin objected on the ground that Captains in his Regiment had earned promotion and were entitled to the offices; but for some reason the War Department failed to make these deserved promotions and the 9th Regiment served to the close of the war without either Lieutenant Colonel or Major. On December 7, 1864, the Florida Brigade, of which the 9th was a part, made a forced march of 50 miles and struck the enemy at the Bellfield on the 9th; but the enemy numbering 20,000, who had been on a raid declined to accept the gage of battle and retreated, and the Brigade returned to camp foot-sore, having marched over frozen roads, and through sleet and snow more than one hundred miles. Early in February 1865, the 9th was engaged at Hatcher's Run, opposing the Federal attempt to extend their line of battle. In this engagement S. W. Crowson was seriously wounded. The Brigade was now ordered to winter quarters; but before reaching them received orders to return to reinforce General Gordon south of Hatcher's Run. In this engagement the Brigade numbered but 3,500 effective men. After a charge the enemy fled in confusion and night ended the battle. On the morning of April 2 General Lee's lines were broken and retreat began. The 9th Regiment retreated by way of High Bridge and marched to Farmville; being crowded it halted and fortified for an attack, which was repulsed with heavy loss to the enemy. This was the last battle in which the 9th was engaged. The Regiment surrendered at Appomattox, 15 officers and 109 men
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.