Richard Ferdinand Floyd

Richard Ferdinand Floyd, brigadier general of Florida state forces, was born on July 7, 1810, at Fairfield plantation in Camden County, Georgia, the son of John and Isabella (Hazard) Floyd. His father was a major general in the War of 1812, a prosperous planter, and U.S. congressman. Young Floyd grew up on the family plantation in Camden County. He in turn became a planter and slave-owner, serving also as county sheriff. During the Second Seminole War Floyd commanded, as captain, a company of Georgia volunteers battling Indians in Florida. Sometime before 1850 he relocated in St. Augustine, Florida, working first as a draftsman and later running a plantation in rural St. John's County.

Floyd's first war service was as colonel and aide-de-camp to Governor John Milton of Florida, of whom he was a great favorite. Milton praised his aide as "a skilful officer, and a brave and honorable man, with a reputation as a gentleman and an officer above reproach." In the fall of 1861 the governor put Floyd in command of Florida state troops stationed at Apalachicola. On November 29,1861, the governor appointed Colonel Floyd as brigadier general and commander-in-chief of Florida state forces, consisting of militia and volunteer companies not yet in Confederate service. Floyd's only active service was in leading a brigade of Florida troops stationed at Apalachicola in the fall and winter of 1861 and 1862. Floyd's forces, little more than a regiment in strength, guarded against any Union thrust against Apalachicola and western Florida. They also suppressed the burgeoning trade between Florida planters and the Union blockading fleet by erecting batteries and blocking the Apalachicola River to outgoing vessels. Floyd was as busy keeping Floridians in Florida as he was keeping Yankees out. On March 10, 1862, the brigade disbanded. Later that same month Floyd was employed in raising guerilla forces in eastern Florida. Governor Milton, in his dispatches to Richmond, repeatedly urged that Floyd, "an accomplished gentleman and competent officer... of strict sobriety ... of excellent sense and unquestioned courage," be appointed by President Davis as brigadier general of the PACS to command the District of Florida. For some reason, others less favored by the governor (notably, Joseph Fine-gan, Florida's adjutant general) were appointed instead. Commissioned colonel of the newly organized 8th Florida Infantry on July 15, 1862, Floyd resigned his commission because of "severe illness" on October 2, 1862. The 8th served in Lee's army under other officers, and Floyd saw no further active service. Floyd lost his entire property in the war; his family became refugees.

After the war Floyd was an impecunious insurance agent in Clay County, Florida, until his death in Green Cove Springs on June 27, 1870. He is buried in Hickory Grove Cemetery, Green Cove Springs.

General Floyd's command of a brigade of militia that served in a campaign qualifies him to be considered a Confederate general.

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Reference:  More Generals in Gray.  Bruce S. Allardice.  A companion volume to Generals in Gray.  Louisiana State University Press. Baton Rouge. LA.