Monday, October 1, 2007

Return of the Flag of the 4th Florida Infantry

This photograph, taken during the United Confederate Veterans reunion in Marianna on September 27, 1927, shows the return to Florida of the regimental flag of the 4th Florida Infantry. The colors were captured by the 111th Ohio at the Battle of Franklin, Tennessee, on November 30, 1864. The three men in the center of the photograph were Union veterans from Ohio. The identity of the man on the left is not known, but he appears to be a Florida Confederate veteran.

The 4th Florida could only be described as a "fighting" regiment. When formed in 1862, the regiment included 926 men and 47 officers. When it surrendered in North Carolina at the end of the war, only 23 were left. At Stones River, the 4th carried 458 men into battle and in two days of fighting lost 163 killed and wounded and 31 missing. By the time of the Battle of Chattanooga, only 172 men were left. After the battle, there were only 18. The entire rest of the regiment was either killed, wounded or captured.
During the Atlanta campaign, the 4th was consolidated with the 1st Florida Cavalry (dismounted) and the two regiments fought combined during the rest of the Atlanta and during the Franklin and Nashville Campaign. During Hood's ill-fated charge against the Union forces at Franklin, the consolidated 1st and 4th Regiments were severely mauled and the 4th lost its regimental colors.

For many years after the war, Confederate veterans gathered in Marianna on the anniversary of the 1864 Battle of Marianna. The 1927 observance was marked by the return of the colors of the 4th Florida to their rightful home.

1 comment:

Cliff Hall said...

Today I was at Stones River Battle field park near Murfreesboro Tn and looked and read in the museum with tears in my eyes as the reality of the battle and the sacrifice made by so many southern men and our Florida fathers went to engage the enemy on the battle field, I read this on the wall !
"Ambulances were crossing with the wounded, one man walking with his are shot off inquired what reg't, as our beautiful flag passed him- being told 4th Fla.he said y'all do it up right,pay them for my arm"
Washington Ives,4th Florida Infantry,CSA,1863

No matter how history may get twisted by the liberal anti Southern writers of the future these men were heros who defended their way of life and that of there neighbors and were willing to give all for there country. I truly believe the only difference between a Confederate soldier and a Revolutionary War soldier is being on the winning side when the smoke cleared.
Cliff Hall