A Brief History of the First Florida Volunteer Infantry

by Patrick McSherry
Click here for a roster of the 1st Florida Volunteer Infantry

Click here for a roster of the 1st Florida Volunteer Infantry, Co. C
Click here for a Chronology of the travels of the 1st Florida Volunteer Infantry, Co. C

An image believed to be of members of Company H, of the 1st Florida Volunteer Infantry. Seated in the center is John A. Power.
Power was born on December 29 December 1874. He was a merchant after the war. Power married Hattie Broughton
Cummings on August 3, 1903  and the couple had ten children. Power died on April 4, 1934.


General:

The First Florida Volunteer Infantry served its term of service in the continental United States.

Unit History:

The First Florida Volunteer Infantry was mustered into service at Tampa, Florida between May 20 and 25, 1898. At the time of its mustering in, the regiment consisted of forty-eight officers and 956 enlisted men.

The regiment initially served in its home state, and was stationed at Tampa as part of the Second Brigade, First Division of Major General Fitzhugh Leeís Seventh Corps. The Corps was being trained to take part in the invasion of Havana, Cuba, but the invasion would never occur.

The First Florida and its division ended up spending very little time with the Seventh Corps. By the beginning of June, the men of the division of which the 1st Florida was a part were re-assigned to the Fourth Corps, commanded by Major General Coppinger, becoming the Third Division of the Fourth Army Corps. In fact, the change meant little to the men of the First Florida. The unit remained in Tampa.

By mid-July, conditions in the camp had deteriorated significantly, and the number of men on the sick list grew. General Coppinger recommended that the men be relocated from their present camp to a healthier location. Initially, the unit was relocated to Fernandina, on July 21. On August 11, the camps, including that of the First Florida, began to be relocated to Huntsville, Alabama. The move would take almost a month, with the First Florida actually making the move on. The men of the First Florida Volunteer would remain at Huntsville until mid-October when they were again transferred, this time to Tallahassee, Florida.

The unit was mustered out of service sometime between December 3, 1898 and January 27, 1899 (date varies depending on source) at Tallahassee, Florida, seven days before the war officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. At the time of mustering out, the regiment consisted of forty-eight officers and 1,135 enlisted men. During its term of service, the regiment had one officer and twenty-seven enlisted men die of disease. Two enlisted men were murdered, one man was court-martialed, and nineteen men deserted. In addition, thirty-one men were discharged on disability.



Bibliography:

Bacon, Eve, Orlando: A Centennial History (Chuluota, FL: The Mickler House Publishers, 1975) Pages 211-213.

Clerk of Joint Comittee on Printing, The Abridgement of Message from the President of the United States to the Two Houses of Congress. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899). Vol. 3, 207, 209, 212, 218.

Cosmas, Graham A., An Army for Empire : The United States Army in the Spanish American War. (Shippensburg, PA: White Mane Publishing Co., 1993).

Power, Guy  - Photo of Company H and data on John Power.

Statistical Exhibit of Strength of Volunteer Forces Called into Service During the War with Spain; with Losses from All Causes. (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899).


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