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Council A. Bryan was born in Washington County, Florida on January 17, 1830. The Bryan family came to Leon County in 1832. Council was educated in private schools and attended the Cokesbury Institute in South Carolina for two years. He served as the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Leon County from 1855 to 1861. In February, 1862, Bryan enrolled in the Trapier Guards, which eventually became Company C of the Fifth Florida Infantry. The company was commanded by future Florida Governor William Dunnington Bloxham. In April of the same year the unit was mustered into Confederate service and sent to Virginia, where it became part of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Along with the Second and Eighth Florida Regiments, the Fifth was eventually organized into a Florida Brigade under the command of another future Florida Governor, Edward Aylsworth Perry. The Florida Brigade participated in all the major campaigns of Lee's Army. In particular, the Floridians were heavily engaged at Gettysburg. Council Bryan served in the Fifth Florida as a Lieutenant and then as Captain of Company C. His brother, Joseph L. Bryan, was a Sergeant in the same company.
Following the war, Bryan was again elected to the position of Clerk of Circuit Court of Leon County. He died in 1907 and is buried in the Old City Cemetery in Tallahassee.
The Council A. Bryan papers deal primarily with his Confederate service. Of particular interest is his correspondence with his wife, Cornelia Archer Bryan, from 1862 to 1864. Bryan often commented on the condition of the men in his company; his concern for his brother, Joe; and his concern for his wife. He also wrote of military activities and campaigns. The July 22-25, 1863 letter describes the Confederate retreat from Gettysburg. A casualty list of the Florida Brigade for the 1864 Wilderness Campaign is also in the collection, as is a Confederate Veterans pamphlet and two letters written to Mrs. Mary Archer in thanks for her preservation of Florida's Civil War battle flags. One of the letters is written by Florida Adjutant General and Civil War hero Captain J. J. Dickison.
The collection also includes original material. This material consists of a small folder of loose material and an account book. Both are antebellum and both contain merchant accounts. The book also contains what appears to be a partial Chancery Court index. The original material is not affected by the restrictions on the rest of this collection.
Folder listing available.
Additional Physical Form:
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
Originals in possession of donor.
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields:
Confederate States of America. Army. --Florida Infantry Regiment, 5th.
Gettysburg (Pa.), Battle of, 1863. Wilderness, Battle of the, Va., 1864.
Florida History Civil War, 1861-1865 United States History Civil War, 1861-1865
Bryan, Cornelia Archer, d. 1907
Dickison, John Jackson, 1816-1902