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[49] company of cavalry in Marion county, known as the Marion Dragoons, composed of material not surpassed in any part of the Confederate States. Their personnel was so superb, their horsemanship so splendid, and their equipments of such superior quality, that Gen. R. E. Lee, while on a visit of inspection to the troops and fortifications on the island of Fernandina, paid them a high compliment, saying that ‘they were the finest looking and most superbly mounted company he had seen, not excepting the Black Horse cavalry of Virginia.’ This command was enrolled in the Confederate States army and assigned to duty in the summer of 1861 at Fernandina. The officers in command were Wm. A. Owens, captain; Wm. C. Chambers, first lieutenant; Samuel Ross, second lieutenant; and A. McCormick, third lieutenant. The company remained on duty until the evacuation of the island. Owing to impaired health Captain Owens resigned the command and retired to his plantation home to begin another work essential to the well-being of a community: devoting his time and energies to the material support of the cause, the protection of the neighborhoods around, and caring for the helpless families whose protectors were in the field. His nobly generous soul ever cherished a patriotic pride in the career of the gallant men who had once formed his military family, and who were greatly endeared to him by the warm friendship existing and their high estimate of him as a true patriot and noble gentleman. The Dragoons, after the resignation of their beloved commander, were divided into two companies, Lieutenant Chambers being appointed captain of one command and Lieutenant Rou captain of the other. By this arrangement there were nine independent companies of cavalry, and the tenth was formed by special order of General Finegan, authorizing Capt. J. J. Dickison to raise a company of cavalry to make up the complement for a regiment to be mustered into the Confederate

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Fernandina, Fla. (Florida, United States) (2)
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