Zack C. Waters


Secession and the approach of hostilities in 1861 found Florida unprepared for civil war. The state’s militia had disintegrated at the end of the Third Seminole War in 1858, and the attempts of Governor Madison Starke Perry to remedy its disorganized condition proved ineffectual. Perry warned Floridians that the political situation called for military preparedness, but his pleas led to little improvement. An 1859 report indicated that the state possessed only one battery of light artillery and fewer than 1,000 muskets and rifles, including more than 250 antiquated flint and steel muskets.