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Record Group Number: 001025
Series/Collection Number: .S 1300
Creator: National Archives Microfilm Publications.
Title, Dates: Letters sent by the Department of Florida and successor commands, 1861-1869.
Amount: 2.00 microfilm reel 35 mm.
Medium Included:
Organization/Arrangement: Chronological.
Terms Governing Use:
Summary:     This microfilm publication contains seven volumes of letters sent by the Department of Florida and its successor commands from April 1861 to January 1869.  The letters and reports were dispatched by the commanding officers and their adjutants from department and district headquarters.

    The kinds of problems facing the Department of Florida and its successor commands are clear from the letters sent reproduced in this publication.  The letters reveal the vacuum in military authority experienced in Florida at the commencement of the Civil War, as the commanding officer of Union Forces in the State attempted to deal with the suspension of habeas corpus, the premature confiscation of the property of enslaved persons, and the suspension of State courts whose loyalty to the Union was in doubt.  The problems of communication delays, discipline, and duties are clearly outlined in the letters throughout the war years.  The reports describe the movements of the enemy and provide intelligence gleaned from behind Confederate lines.  Battle action reports of the few skirmishes are included in the letters to higher authority.

    After the war a particularly virulent outbreak of fever, which plagued the whole State for a year or more, took up much of the time of the officer in command.  Matters relating to protecting the civil and political rights of Black people and Union sympathizers were prominent.  The letters also discuss the enforcement of labor contracts, the location and establishment of Black residents on their own property (even the establishment of a few colonies made up of out-of-State Black transplants, such as at New Smyrna), the prevention of schemes to kidnap and smuggle Black citizens to Cuba, the status of those enslaved by the few remaining Seminoles in the State, and the very sensitive matter of the use of Black troops against white civilians.

    Some overlapping of dates between volumes 6 and 7 exists.  But there is no duplication of letters.  A few of the letters bear nonconsecutive identifying numbers.

Finding Aids: Microfilm listing available.  A name index to each volume, keyed to page numbers, has been filmed before the appropriate volume of letters sent.
Additional Physical Form:
Reproduction Note: Microfilm.
Location of Originals/Duplicates: National Archives, Washington, D.C., from the Records of the U.S. Army Continental Commands, 1921-1920, Record Group 393.
Associated Materials:
Language Notes:
Ownership/Custodial History:
Publication Note: National Archives Microfilm Publication M1096.
General Note:
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields: Reconstruction Florida
African American soldiers.
African Americans History 1863-1877. Florida
Florida History Civil War, 1861-1865
United States History Civil War, 1861-1865
Added Entries