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Civil War Officers who served in Florida
during the Seminole Wars

Many of the Civil War’s senior officers of the Union and Confederate armies learned to fight in Florida during the Second and Third Seminole Wars (1835-1842, 1855-1858). Here are just a few who served in Florida:

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Major Robert Anderson.

Courtesy Library of Congress.

Major Robert Anderson, USA (1805-1871)
Anderson graduated West Point in 1825; Served in Black Hawk War of 1832; Fought at the Battle of Loxahatchee January 24, 1838, Second Seminole War (1835-1842); helped construct a military trail from Fort Jupiter to the NEw River and establish Fort Lauderdale; taught at West Point; commanded Union forces at Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina when South Carolina batteries fired on the fort starting the Civil War on April 12, 1861; Surrendered Fort Sumter on April 14, 1861; Retires from army with rank of brigadier general in 1863; Returned to Fort Sumter in 1865 to raise the U.S. flag over the old fort on April 14, 1865, the same day President Lincoln is shot.

 

 

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Major General Abner Doublday.

Courtesy Library of Congress.

Major General Abner Doubleday, USA (1819-1893)
A West Point graduate (1842), Doubleday serves in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848); promoted to captain and serves at Fort Dallas (Miami, FL) during Third Seminole War (1855-1858); Stationed at Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina under Major Robert Anderson; is said to have fired the first salvo in response the Confederate bombardment of the fort on April 12, 1861. In 1870, while station in San Francisco, Doubleday and several partners, are granted a franchise by the city for the first cable car system. He is wrongly credited as the father of baseball.

 

 

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Major General Jubal Early.

Courtesy Library of Congress.

Major General Jubal Early, CSA (1816-1894)
He is a graduate of West Point (1837); serves in an artillery unit during Second Seminole War; resigns but joins a Virginia Volunteer unit during the Mexican-American War (1847-1848); during the Civil War, he serves under Robert E. Lee and rises to the rank of lieutenant general and participated at the Battle of Gettysburg; at the end of the war, he escapes to Canada but retuned in 1868 when President Andrew Johnson pardons him.

 

 

 

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Brigadier General William Harney.

Courtesy National Archives.

Brigadier General William S. Harney, USA (1800-1889)
Commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army in 1818; served in the First Seminole War; During the Second Seminole War, he was a lieutenant colonel leading the Second Dragoons; participated in the Mexican-American War; in the 1850s fought the Sioux defeating them at the Battle of Blue Water; at the beginning of the Civil War, he was commander of the Department of the West, St. Louis, Missouri, and one of only four generals in the regular army; relieved of his command in 1861 because of close Confederate “attachments”; he retired in 1863 and died in Orlando in 1889.

 

 

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General Joseph Johnston.

Courtesy Library of Congress.

General Joseph E. Johnston, CSA (1807-1891)
Johnston graduated from West Point in 1829 and was in the same class as Robert E. Lee. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the artillery, participated in the Black Hawk War of 1832, and served in Florida during the Second Seminole War. He resigned in 1837 and became civilian topographical engineer. Johnston accompanied a joint army and navy reconnaissance of the Loxahatchee River under the command of Navy Lieutenant Levin Powell. On January 15, 1838, the force of 80 men clashed with a large force of Seminole warriors on the Loxahatchee River. The Seminoles routed the soldiers and sailors. Johnston took charge fighting a rear guard action saving the engagement from becoming a massacre. He received a head wound that left a scar and it was said that he had “no less than 30 bullet holes in the clothes.” He rejoined the army as a first lieutenant in the Corps of Topographic Engineers. During the Mexican-American War, he was wounded twice. He was promoted to brigadier general in 1860. Johnston resigned joining the Confederate Army as a brigadier general and a year later he was promoted to full general. He was the highest-ranking U.S. regular army officer to leave the U.S. Army. Johnston was wounded at Seven Pines, commanded the Army of Tennessee fighting Sherman, was relieved of duty, and then placed back in command finally surrendering to Sherman in April 1865 in North Carolina. He was a pallbearer at Sherman’s funeral and did not wear a hat out of respect. Johnston got pneumonia and died within a few weeks.

 

 

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Major General George Meade.

Courtesy Library of Congress.

Major General George G. Meade, USA (1815-1872)
Meade graduated West Point in 1835 and served at Fort Brooke, Tampa, Florida, during Second Seminole War (1835-1842); resigns and works as a civilian with Corps of Topographical Engineers; later receives commission in the Corps as a lieutenant; serves in Mexican-American War (1846-1848); designed the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse; during Civil War, he is severely wounded at the Battle of Glendale; and he is most remembered for defeating General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg.

 

 

 

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Lieutenant General

John Pemberton.

Courtesy Library of Congress.

Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton, CSA (1814-1881)
Pemberton graduated West Point in 1837 and was commissioned an officer in the artillery; he served fought at the Battle of Loxahatchee in January 1838 during the Second Seminole War (1835-1842); fought against the Cherokees and participated in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848); he once again returned to Florida during the Third Seminole War (1855-1858); Joined the Confederate army and is most remembered as the commander of Vicksburg when General Ulysses S. Grant’s Union troops laid siege to the city; he was branded a traitor by southerners for surrendering the city; he as inspector general of ordinance in Richmond when the South surrendered.

 

 

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Brigadier General Truman

Seymour.

Courtesy Library of Congress.

Brigadier General Truman Seymour, USA (1824-1891)
A West Point graduate (1846), Seymour serves in the Mexican-American War (1846-1848); is an instructor at West Point and serves in Florida during the Third Seminole War; he is stationed at Fort Sumter under the command of Major Robert Anderson when Civil War starts; is the ill-fated commander who attacked Fort Wagner, South Carolina, sending in the all black 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment; he is wounded during the attack; defeated by Confederate forces at the Battle of Olustee, Florida, on February 20, 1864; he is present at the surrender of General Robert E. Lee on April 9, 1865.

 

 

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General William Sherman.

Courtesy Library of Congress.

General William T. Sherman, USA (1820-1891)
A West Point graduate (1840), Sherman serves at Fort Pierce, Florida, during Second Seminole War (1835-1842), captures Seminole War leader Coacoochee and serves briefly at Fort Lauderdale; resigns commission in 1850s but returns to army in 1861 with the rank of colonel; during Civil War, he rises to the rank of major general; leads the “March to the Sea” through Georgia and Carolinas; receives surrender of Confederate forces under command of General Joseph E. Johnston; serves as commanding general of the U.S. Army (1869-1883); and is credited with saying “War is hell.”

 

 

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Major General George Thomas.

Courtesy Library of Congress.

Major General George H. Thomas, USA (1816-1870)
West Point graduate (1840), served in Florida during Second Seminole War; Union general who became known as the “Rock of Chickamauga” because he stood his ground during the Battle of Chickamauga preventing a total route of the Union army. He died while serving in San Francisco.

 

 

 

 

 

Others who served in Florida during
the Seminole Wars:

Braxton Bragg-CSA; Joseph Hooker-USA; Edward Ord-USA; Samuel Heintzelman-USA; William H. T. Walker-CSA; Ambrose Hill-CSA: John Magruder-CSA.

 

 

 

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