Saint Augustine Blues
The Saint Augustine Blues were a militia unit that fought for the Confederacy during the American Civil War. On May 12, 1860, as political instability increased throughout the United States, a group of about 70 citizens from St. Augustine, Florida met in the town's city hall to discuss formation of the unit.
Officers were elected including the captain, a prominent town official named John Lott Philips. Philips was born on the island of Saint Helena, and had met General Napoleon Bonaparte. Philips was also a veteran of the Second Seminole War, during which he commanded a unit that included future pro-slavery Florida senator David Yulee.
During a mustering in November of 1860, the unit was described in a report as an "elegant and gallant corps" and, the following month, offered to serve as a "minute men" company for the town of St. Augustine. 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.
Some members of the Saint Augustine Blues were of Menorcan descent as well a smaller group of Italians and Greeks. The average age of the company at mustering was 24 years old. 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.
- Coles, David J. (1988). Fretwell, Jacqueline K. (ed.). Civil War times in St. Augustine. Port Salerno, Fla.: Florida Classics Library. p. 65. ISBN 0912451238.
- Bittle, George (October 1972). "Florida Prepares for War, 1860-1861" (PDF). The Florida Historical Quarterly. 51 (2): 144. Retrieved 16 July 2022.
- Lane, Shannon (2010). Civil War Sites in the South (4th ed.). Guilford, Conn.: Globe Pequot. p. 298. ISBN 9780762755226.
- Redd, Robert (2014). St. Augustine and the Civil War (e-book ed.). Charleston, SC: The History Press. p. 58. ISBN 9781625846570.
- Sheppard, Jonathan C. (2012). By the noble daring of her sons : the Florida Brigade of the Army of Tennessee. Tuscaloosa, Ala.: University of Alabama Press. p. 60. ISBN 9780817317072.
- Redd, p. 58
- Beeson, Kenneth Henry. Fromajadas and indigo: the Minorcan colony in Florida. History Press, 2006. ISBN 978-1-59629-113-3
- Bittle, George (October 1972). "Florida Prepares for War, 1860-1861." The Florida Historical Quarterly. 51(2): 144.
- Lane, Shannon Hurst. Insiders' Guide to Civil War Sites in the South, 4th edition. Insiders' Guide, 2010. ISBN 978-0-7627-5522-6
- Redd, Robert (2014). St. Augustine and the Civil War (e-book ed.). Charleston, SC: The History Press. ISBN 9781625846570.
- Sheppard, Jonathan C. (2012). By the noble daring of her sons : the Florida Brigade of the Army of Tennessee. Tuscaloosa, Ala.: University of Alabama Press. ISBN 9780817317072.