In 1863, along the southern periphery of the American Civil War, a Union Brigadier General began recruiting Southern white men into a Union cavalry regiment known as the First Florida Cavalry (US). This study investigates the regiment and those who enlisted in it to show the fluidity of Southern loyalty during the Civil War and the conditions of the Deep South Homefront that existed on the periphery of Union occupation and continue to exist on the periphery of Civil War historiography. While scholars have recently addressed many aspects of Southern dissent in the Civil War, significantly less attention has been given to those who fought in the Union ranks. Utilizing previously unused archival materials paired with geospatial mapping, this study reveals the lives of Southerners who enlisted and their homeland. It examines both those who formed the regiment and those who enlisted in it. This analysis illuminates common soldier experience in the Sectional Conflict's Southern borderland. This study concludes that the volatile nature of loyalty and the needs of the homefront in the Deep South encouraged both Union generals to form the First Florida Cavalry and Southerners to enlist in it. While this assessment analyzes only several hundred men, it provides insights into the larger populations of Southern Union soldiers throughout the Deep South and their competing loyalties to nation and community.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Campbell, Tyler, "The First Florida Cavalry (US): Union Enlistment in the Civil War's Southern Periphery" (2018). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 5819.