Florida became a state in 1845; at that time, the population of the state was estimated at 140,000 of which 63,000 were African Americans. Even though Florida was considered a slave state, and slavery was practiced, not all African Americans residing in Florida at that time were slaves. Some were Creoles, descendants of Spanish citizens of African ancestry… some were part Native Americans, intermarried into the various Creek and Seminole tribes.
Florida joined the southern secession in 1861 when it voted to secede from the United States. While the majority of the battles were fought elsewhere, a couple battles and several skirmishes took place inside Florida’s limits, or off its coast. Over 35,000 Floridians fought in the war. Most were in the Confederacy, but approximately 2,000 joined the Union army. Some Floridians didn’t want to fight for either side, so they hid out in the woods and swamps to avoid being drafted. The Floridian soldiers were organized into eleven regiments of infantry, two cavalry, and numerous small units.
By the summer of 1862 Florida had raised, equipped, and sent out of state the 1st through 8th regiments of infantry, the 1st Florida Calvary Regiment, and various smaller commands. The only forces remaining in the state were a variety of independent companies, several infantry battalions, and the newly-organized 2nd Florida Cavalry Regiment. Over the next year and a half, these units fended off a series of minor raids along the coast, as well as the temporary Union re-occupations of Jacksonville in the fall of 1862 and the spring of 1863.
Anti-war sentiment grew in Florida during the latter stages of the war. The state became a haven for Confederate deserters and draft evaders and by late 1864 Confederate control over the state was effectively reduced to portions of northern and central Florida.
The following search for soldiers who enlisted in either the Union or Confederate Armies during the Civil War from the state of Florida only. Our appreciation is given to C. W. Barnum who compiled and donated the database to AccessGenealogy.