1st Florida Special Cavalry Battalion

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1st Special Cavalry Battalion
ActiveApril, 1864 - 1865
Country Confederate States of America
Allegiance Florida
Branch Confederate States Army
Nickname(s)Cow Cavalry
EngagementsAmerican Civil War
C. J. Munnerlyn
John T. Lesley
W. B. Henderson

The 1st Florida Special Cavalry Battalion, nicknamed Cow Cavalry, was a Confederate States Army cavalry unit from Florida during the American Civil War. Commanded by Charles James Munnerlyn; it was organized to protect herds of cattle from Union raiders.[1][2] The hides and meat from Florida cattle was a critical supply item for the Confederacy.

James McKay wrote to the state of the need to protect Florida cattle after the Battle of Olustee, and a group of Florida crackers was organized near Plant City,[3] and were based out of Fort Myers,[4] taking part in the Battle of Fort Myers. They would drive cattle to Baldwin.[5] John T. Lesley, Francis A. Hendry, and W. B. Henderson were all in the Cow Cavalry.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Taylor, Robert A. (1986). "Cow Cavalry: Munnerlyn's Battalion in Florida, 1864-1865". The Florida Historical Quarterly. 65 (2): 196–214. JSTOR 30146741.
  2. ^ "Jacob Summerlin: The cowman who was king of crackers". TBNweekly.
  3. ^ "Cow Cavalry Historical Marker". www.hmdb.org.
  4. ^ "Raid on Gopher Ridge". www.explorenaples.com.
  5. ^ "Whats New at the Bell Research Center". www.bellresearchcenter.com.

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