its organization, but a great deal of hard labor was performed by them and other volunteer troops in throwing up sand batteries on Amelia
and Talbot islands
, and thus strengthening the eastern part of the State
But one skirmish was had with the enemy in that section, which resulted in the loss of their noble lieutenant, Thomas Strange, a veteran of the Mexican
war and a gallant and efficient officer.
He had been sent with a small reconnoitering party to the vicinity of Jacksonville
, and was killed after capturing a Federal post.
The two Jefferson
companies, under Capt. D. B. Bird
, were ordered during the winter of 1861-62 to New Smyrna, to protect the government stores which were brought into Halifax river
On March 26, 1862, a detachment made up mostly from these two companies, while on duty at the beach on Amelia island
, under Captain Strain
, who had succeeded Captain Girardeau
in command of Company H, attacked some launches which were attempting to land from the blockading fleet to destroy our stores.
The fight resulted in the loss of several of the boats, and most of the occupants were killed, wounded or captured.
After the evacuation of Fernandina
the companies not engaged in the Smyrna expedition were stationed at Cedar Keys
, where, by their experience in the hardships and discipline of camp life, they were prepared for the arduous service which awaited them later in the war when assigned to duty in the army of Tennessee.
During the operations of this command in Florida
, the field officers were Wm. S. Dilworth
, colonel; Arthur T. Wright
; and Lucius S. Church, major.
had enlisted as a private in the Jefferson Beauregards
, Lieutenant Colonel Wright
had been in command of the Columbia
and Suwannee Guards, and Major Church was a lieutenant in the Madison Grey Eagles
Early in the spring of 1861 ten more companies of volunteers were organized as the Fourth Florida regiment