Monday, September 15, 2014

#60 The Campbellton Cavalry (100 Great Things about Jackson County, Florida)

William J. Daniel was a member of the Cambellton Cavalry
He is buried at Campbellton Baptist Church.
With the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Marianna approaching, the next few articles in our list of 100 Great Things about Jackson County, Florida, will focus on the men and boys that defended the county on September 26-27, 1864. The countdown continues with #60 the Campbellton Cavalry (sometimes called the Campbellton Home Guard).

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

Soldiers and officers from both North and South enlisted and fought for a variety of reasons in 1861-1865, but the men and boys of the Campbellton Cavalry fought for one reason and one reason only - to defend their homes and families.

Spring Hill United Methodist Church
Established in 1897 at Spring Hill near Campbellton.
Most of the regular Confederate forces were withdrawn from Florida during the months following the Battle of Olustee in early 1864. The result was that homes and communities across vast regions of the state were left utterly defenseless.

At Spring Hill, just southwest of Campbellton, a group of around 30 local men and boys gathered in May 1864 to form a volunteer unit that they dubbed the Campbellton Cavalry. They came from as far south as present-day Cottondale and as far east as modern Malone, although most lived in the area from Campbellton to Holmes Creek.

F.B. Callaway served with the Campbellton Cavalry
He is buried at Campbellton Baptist Church
The citizen soldiers were comparable to the "Minutemen" of an earlier time. They continued their daily occupations, but were prepared to respond and fight in the event their homes were threated by Union troops or one of the deserter gangs that roamed the area. Like most such units of the time they elected their own captain.

That distinction went to a plantation owner named A.R. Godwin. A well-known resident of Jackson County, he was respected and trusted by his friends and neighbors, had served as a justice of the peace and was a member of the county grand jury on at least one occasion.

A reenactor armed with a shotgun prepares to fire.
From the documentary The Battle of Marianna, Florida to be released 9/27.
The company was in essence an irregular cavalry formed by civilians and disabled Confederate veterans. Its men had neither uniforms nor government arms.

Most of them carried the percussion lock shotguns that were so common in Jackson County homes of that age. While designed for hunting, these smoothbore guns were easy to load and could be fired accurately from horseback.

For the first few months of its existence, the Campbellton Cavalry did not do much actual duty. Some of the men wrote later in their pension applications that they guarded creek crossings and occasionally responded to reports of deserter activity. There is no indication that they came under fire prior to the Marianna Raid.

Interpretive kiosk at Campbellton Baptist Church
includes information on the Campbellton Cavalry.
The company was independent until August 1864 when troops in Northwest Florida were reorganized following the St. Andrew Bay Raid. Godwin's unit and Captain W.B. Jones' Vernon Scouts of Washington County were attached to Captain Wilson W. Poe's Company C, 1st Florida Infantry Reserves (Mounted). Together they formed a battalion for home defense with Poe as overall commander. Godwin and Jones retained company command of their individual units.

All three companies would fight against the Union troops that attacked Jackson and Washington Counties on September 26-28, 1864. The role of the Campbellton men in defending Jackson County during Marianna Raid will be discussed in future articles of this series.

No original roster of the Campbellton Cavalry has been found and only a partial list of its members can be reassembled from original accounts and later pension records:

Men of the Campbellton Cavalry

Alexander R. Godwin, Captain
William A. Abercrombie
George Ball
Samuel Bosworth
William Clayton
Cullen Curl
William Daniel
Mark Elmore
F.B. Haywood
Spencer Lamb (also given as Lamb Spencer)
William Mathews
A.J. McNeal
Charles Tipton
Ezekial Register
J.W. Rouse
Jasper Newton Williams
J.W. Williamson

If you had an ancestor that served in the Campbellton Cavalry and do not see them listed here, please let me know by leaving a comment.  I hope to identify as many of the men as possible before the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Marianna on September 27, 2014.


Anonymous said...

I grew up at Spring Hill. Thank you for this tie to the past. My friends and I once got the worst whipping of our lives when we decided to bury our beloved dog in the Spring Hill Cemetery.

Matt Basford

Sarafina said...

I am researching the Miles surname for a client and found this list of names

First Name Last Name Rank_In Rank_Out
R. W. Abercombie Private Private
James W. Alford Private Private
Noah Beaman Private Private
Ben. Bradberry Private Private
H.A. Bright Private Private
James Brunet Private Private
James A. Buie First Lieutenant First Lieutenant
P. Council Bush Junior Second Lieutenant Junior Second Lieutenant
R. Bush Private Private
Henry Christmas Private Private
Watson Cochran Private Private
G.W. Connelly Private Private
Henry Connelly Private Private
B.B. Cook Private Private
Samuel Daniel Private Private
F.M. Davis Private Private
John Douglas Private Private
William Douglas Private Private
William Duncan Private Private
Joseph Gilbert Private Private
Thomas G. Gilbert Private Private
James Goodwin Private Private
Henry B. Grace Captain Captain
W.W. Grace Private Private
Robert Hawthorn Private Private
Andrew Hinson Private Private
Frank M. Holman Private Private
Emanuel Jenckins Private Private
Syney Kirkland Private Private
Wilson Kirkland Private Private
A.M. Lambeth Private Private
J.J. Lambeth Private Private
John J. Lassiter Private Private
Alexander Levins Private Private
Aley Lewis Private Private
Joel Lolly Private Private
David Mathews Private Private
John McDaniel Private Private
Silas McDaniel Private Private
John A. McLendon Private Private
J.F. McNeil Private Private
Daniel Miles Private Private
William Miles Private Private
Willoughby Miles Private Private
Ephraim Mims Private Private
Green W. Moore Private Private
Jesse T. Moore Private Private
James Parker Private Private
Burwell Register Private Private
Ezekiel A. Register Senior Second Lieutenant Senior Second Lieutenant

David T. Richards Private Private
James Roebuck Private Private
Asa Shiver Private Private
John Shiver Private Private
Charles Slater Private Private
Sandham Slater Private Private
W.H. Smith Private Private
Isaac Spence Private Private
Richard Spence Private Private
James Still Private Private
William Still Private Private
John B. Stone Private Private
Asa Taylor Private Private
William Taylor Private Private
John Tindall Private Private
Calvin J. Toole Private Private
Hezekiah J.J. Toole Private Private
Irving L. Toole Private Private
J.M. Toole Private Private
James Turner Private Private
James L. Vickers Private Private
John J.B. Warren Private Private
Jasper N. Webb Private Private
W.N. Webb Private Private
John Whitefield Private Private
W.W.J. Whitefield Private Private
Owen Williams Private Private
Martin York Private Private

Dale Cox said...

Hi there, the list you posted is for the Campbellton Boys unit, Captain Henry B. Grace. Also from the Campbellton area, the Campbellton Boys was a regular unit with men of military age. The Campbellton Cavalry was a separate unit filled by elderly men, younger boys and disabled soldiers sent home for medical reasons.