great skill and sagacity in the disposition of our military forces at or near these exposed points and great activity in the troops, and for this purpose our cavalry was especially fitted, as they could bear up better under long marches through forests and swamps than the infantry.
During the latter part of the terrible conflict they were a great bulwark of protection to our homes from large invading forces that would attempt to march into the interior.
Constantly were they on the alert, continuously engaged in scouting and skirmishing, bearing a valuable part in the defense of the most important sections of the State
, moving with a rapidity and accuracy which seemed incredible to the enemy.
Many of their brilliant exploits are vividly remembered with a thrill of pride: such as their defeat and capture of large bodies of infantry, cavalry and artillery, and their occasional capture of posts on the east side of the St. John's river
, which portion of the State
had been in possession of the Federals
since our evacuation of Fernandina
and St. John's bluff.
The companies forming the First Florida cavalry, commanded by Col. G. W. M. Davis
at its first organization, were encamped for several months at Camp Davis, about six miles from Tallahassee
, performing all the duties necessary for military training, by which discipline they were admirably fitted for the perilous services assigned to them in the army of Tennessee, where they were distinguished for their intrepid gallantry and fortitude in the battles of Richmond
and Missionary Ridge
After the abandonment of the coast defenses early in 1862, several gunboats passed the fortifications at the mouth of the St. John's river
and Yellow bluff
, anchored in front of Jacksonville
and landed a considerable force.
was ordered to send a detachment of his cavalry to Camp Langford, near the city, to aid in meeting this emergency.
He sent Lieut.-Col. George Troupe Maxwell
, with the greater part of the regiment, to take part in the anticipated conflict.