Florida 1st Cavalry Regiment
The companies forming the First Florida cavalry, commanded by Col. G. W. M. Davis at its first organization, were encamped for several months at Camp Davis, about six miles from Tallahassee, performing all the duties necessary for military training, by which discipline they were admirably fitted for the perilous services assigned to them in the army of Tennessee, where they were distinguished for their intrepid gallantry and fortitude in the battles of Richmond, Perryville, Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge. After the abandonment of the coast defenses early in 1862, several gunboats passed the fortifications at the mouth of the St. John's river and Yellow bluff, anchored in front of Jacksonville and landed a considerable force. Colonel Davis was ordered to send a detachment of his cavalry to Camp Langford, near the city, to aid in meeting this emergency. He sent Lieut.-Col. George Troupe Maxwell, with the greater part of the regiment, to take part in the anticipated conflict. They were soon on the line of march for the first time to meet the invaders of Florida soil. On their arrival scouts were sent out to reconnoiter, who reported that a strong picket-guard was stationed at the "Brick church." A small command under Lieutenant Strange of the Third Florida was ordered to capture the guard, if possible without bloodshed. Thus began the first encounter in which this regiment engaged. The Federal picket guard, though about half our number, wounded several of our men before they gave up the post. It was in this engagement that Lieutenant Strange was mortally wounded. Soon after the enemy retired to the gunboats and Jacksonville was evacuated. It would have been of no advantage to the Confederates to occupy the town, as the gunboats could have at any time shelled the place and destroyed many homes of helpless citizens who were unable to leave. The regiment soon returned to its encampment near Tallahassee, remaining there a short time, when it was ordered to Chattanooga to join the army of Tennessee under Gen. Braxton Bragg.
The First regiment Florida cavalry was composed of companies commanded by Captains Haddock, Roberts, Coxe, Cone, Summerlin, Clarke, Hughes, Footman, Hull, Harvey and Cobb, mustered in at different times and places from the 12th of May to the 1st of July, 1861.
About the middle of August the regiment was stationed at Camp Davis, 6 miles south of Tallahassee, in camp of instruction. . In the spring of 1862 they were ordered to Chattanooga, where Colonel Davis resigned and Lieutenant-Colonel Maxwell became colonel, Major Stockton, lieutenant-colonel, and Captain Footman, acting major.
Seven of the companies voluntarily dismounted on leaving Florida and went through the war as infantry. The three companies that remained mounted were Company A, Captain Roberts, afterward Capt. M. I. Coxe; Company E, Captain Cone, and Company F, Captain Footman. They served as scouts under Captain Footman until April, 1863, when being dismounted they joined the other seven companies in Gen. Robert C. Trigg's brigade, formerly commanded by Gen. William Preston.
Davis, W. G. M. - Colonel
Maxwell, George Troup - Colonel
Stockton, William T. - Lieut. Colonel
Bradford, Henry - Major
The composite rosters of this regiment contains the names of 1648 men.
Field Staff and Band
Crute - Units of the Confederate States Army
Dickison - Confederate Military History