Wednesday, September 17, 2014

#58 Marianna Home Guard (100 Great Things about Jackson County, Florida)

Battle of Marianna Monument
The Marianna Home Guard, which bore the brunt of the fighting at the Battle of Marianna 150 years ago next week, is #58 on my list of 100 Great Things about Jackson County, Florida.

Please click here to see the complete list as it is unveiled.

After the St. Andrew Bay Raid came within 30 miles of Marianna in July 1864, Governor John Milton ordered every male citizen of Florida over the age of 15 to join militia companies to help repel future such invasions. The Marianna Home Guard was among the companies that formed in response to his order.

Robert Daffin portrays Capt. Norwood in
the new Battle of Marianna documentary.
Organized by the governor himself during a meeting at the Jackson County Courthouse in Marianna, the unit originally mustered 44-men and officers. It was doubled in size by the addition of volunteers as Union troops approached the city on the morning of September 27, 1864.

The new company elected its own officers, as was the custom in those days. Jesse J. Norwood, a local attorney who had served in the 5th Florida Cavalry, was named captain. Dr. A.F. Blount and Christian J. Staley were elected as lieutenants and Edwin W. Mooring became adjutant.

The men had no uniforms and carried their own weapons - mostly shotguns, pistols and antique firearms - because they were in essence "minutemen" who continued to pursue their daily occupations but would turn out on a moment's notice in the event of a pending attack. When the bells of the city rang on the morning of September 27, 1864, the company had drilled only once.

I will post more on the courageous stand of the Marianna Home Guard at the Battle of Marianna next week. Here is the list of all known members:

Marianna Home Guard

Commanding Officer       

Captain Jesse J. Norwood
Dr. A.F. Blount, Lieutenant
Christian J. Staley, Lieutenant
Edwin W. Mooring, Adjutant
Members and Volunteers
B.G. Alderman                                       
Isaac Anderson                                    
William E. Anderson       
Lawrence T. Armistead       
Robert Armistead       
J. Austin       
Franklin Baltzell      
Richard Baltzell       
Thomas W. Baltzell       
Henry O. Bassett       
John Blaney       
James H. Brett       
Albert G. Bush       
Allen Henry Bush       
Rev. Richard Bush       
John C. Carter       
John Chason       
Ellis Davis       
John Davis, Sr.       
Marmaduke Dickson       
Dr. Horace Ely       
Miles Everett       
Francis M. Farley       
Samuel B. Gammon       
Thomas N. Gautier       
Peyton Gwin       
Samuel (William) Harrison       
John W. Hartsfield       
Dr. Thaddeus W. Hentz       
W.H. Hinson       
J.B. Justiss       
W.O. Kincey       
Rev. R.C.B. Lawrence       
Arthur Lewis (Sr.)       
Felix H.G. Long
Dr. Nicholas A. Long
Israel McBright
W.L. McKinley
Adam McNealy
Alex Merritt
C.R. Moore
Nicholas Morgan
Milton Mosley (Mosely)
John T. Myrick, Sr.
John T. "Jack" Myrick, Jr.
Charles Nickels
Woodbury "Woody" Nickels
Rev. E.B. Norton
James (Daniel) O'Neal
Frederick R. Pittman
Walter J. Robinson
H. Sewell
Henry Stephens (Stevens)

Isaac Hugh Stone (Private from 5th Florida Cavalry in hospital at Marianna)
Solomon Sullivan
Peter Taylor
Charles Tucker
Charles Tucker (from Quincy)
Hinton J. Watson
O.M. Watson
John B. Whitehurst
Dr. W.S. Wilson
William B. Wynn

If you have an ancestor who served in the Marianna Home Guard and do not see them listed here, please let me know by leaving a comment. We are trying to identify every possible member in time for the Battle of Marianna 150th Commemoration on September 27, 2014.

To learn more about the Battle of Marianna, please visit


Anonymous said...

How about a update on the wasteful taxpayer dollars the state of Florida is wasting on the Dozier students exhumed? Really pathetic how easily people buy into sensationalized stories.

Dale Cox said...

Thanks for the note. I have done many many stories on the waste of money and "political archaeology" taking place out there. I've moved most of my writing about Dozier to Stop by and take a look!