Saint Augustine Blues
The Saint Augustine Blues were a militia unit formed on May 12, 1860 in St. Augustine, Florida during the period of political instability in the United States preceding the outbreak of the American Civil War. The Blues officially entered the Confederate Army at Ft. Marion on August 5, 1861 and were designated Company B of the recently organized Third Florida Infantry.
The Blues sustained heavy casualties in the Battle of Murfreesboro in Tennessee. The following year they marched to Mississippi in an effort to relieve the Siege of Vicksburg and in the fall of 1863, they fought in the battles of Chickamauga and Chattanooga. In the spring of 1865 the unit was in the Carolinas trying to slow the advance of General William Tecumseh Sherman after Sherman's 'March to the Sea'.
The Saint Augustine Blues service in the Civil War ended on April 26, 1865 one month after their participation in the Battle of Bentonville after General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered to General Sherman at Bennett Place, in Durham, North Carolina, the site of the largest surrender of Confederate soldiers which ended the war.
Many of the members of the Saint Augustine Blues were descendants of settlers from Minorca and a smaller group of Italians and Greeks from Italy and Greece collectively referred to in this instance as the Minorcans, that fled Andrew Turnbull's failed colony at New Smyrna and were granted sanctuary in St. Augustine by the governor of then British East Florida Patrick Tonyn. Some former members of the Blues as well as other Confederate veterans are buried in the Tolomato Cemetery a historic Catholic cemetery in Saint Augustine.
- Lane, p.298.
- Beeson, p.76