Monday, December 21, 2009

Florida troops at the Battle of Shiloh

Among the troops that took part in the massive bloodletting at the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee, on April 6-7, 1862, was the 1st Florida Infantry Battalion.

Often confused for the 1st Florida Infantry Regiment that served at Pensacola in 1861 and early 1862, this was actually a battalion of infantry organized in early 1862 under the command of Major T.A. McDonnell. The battalion remained an independent unit until late summer of 1862. Many of its men had earlier served in the 1st Florida Infantry Regiment and most went on to serve in other regiments, including yet another 1st Florida Infantry Regiment that was organized in August of 1862.

It is a bit confusion but basically there was a 1st Florida Regiment in 1861, followed by a 1st Florida Battalion in early 1862 followed by another 1st Florida Regiment in late summer of 1862.
At the Battle of Shiloh, the 1st Florida Battalion was part of Patton Anderson's 2nd Brigade of General Daniel Ruggles' 1st Division of General Braxton Bragg's Second Corps. As it pressed forward with the rest of Bragg's Corps, the 1st Florida came under heavy fire. Major McDonnell fell mortally wounded early in the fighting and Captain W.G. Poole assumed command.

In the fighting that followed, the battalion pushed forward into the Union camps at Shiloh, fell back and reformed, then reinforced pushed forward again. Ultimately the regiment advanced to within range of the heavy naval guns of the U.S. gunboats Tyler and Lexington, coming under heavy fire. By nightfall on the 6th, the battalion had fallen back to the captured Union camps. It retreated from there with the full Confederate army the next day.

Among the casualties sustained were Major T.A. McDonnell, killed; 1st Lieutenant L.M. Anderson, killed; 2nd Lieutenant E.C. Stevens, severely wounded; Captain T.S. Means, wounded; 1st Lieutenant J.T. Miller, wounded, and Lieutenant O.P. Hull mortally wounded.

To learn more about the Battle of Shiloh, please visit

1 comment:

danbracewell said...

Thanks for your post on this! I've been looking for more information on the Floridians who participated at Shiloh, so this is a great help. Do you have any more information on the First Florida Battalion? I am also interested in knowing if any Florida cavalry (scouts or detachments)also saw action at Shiloh.