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The Florida Naval Militia existed during three separate periods; 1897-1903, 1911-1917, and 1934-1941. It was formed to assist in the protection and defense of Florida's extensive coastline. The first Naval Militia, organized in 1897, consisted of one battalion of four divisions, located at Jacksonville, Pensacola, Port Tampa, and Tampa. Upon the outbreak in 1898 of the Spanish-American War, the militiamen were placed under Federal control, with many serving in the Navy or Coast Guard. Following the war only the Jacksonville Division was reorganized, existing until its disbandment in 1903. During the second period of its existence (1911-1917), the Naval Militia operated divisions at Key West, Jacksonville, and Sarasota. When the United States entered the World War the Naval Militia, as it had during the Spanish-American War, came under direct control of the Federal military. Following the war the organization was not reconstituted. From 1934 to 1941 Florida again attempted to maintain a state naval force. The interest and support of Governor David Sholtz, himself an officer in the Naval Reserve, was largely responsible for this third incarnation of the Florida Naval Militia. In 1941, with the threat of United States involvement in the Second World War increasing, the personnel of the Florida Naval Militia were inducted into Federal service. When the war was over in 1945 no attempt was made to reorganize the Naval Militia.
The series contains some information on each of the three periods of the Florida Naval Militia's existence. Included are reports, muster and pay rolls, enlistment and discharge records, correspondence, budget information, and variety of other records. The majority of the material covers the period of the third Naval Militia, 1934-1941. Also included are some correspondence and records of commission in the Florida Volunteer Naval Force. These were complimentary commissions issued by Governor Sholtz to honor those Floridians holding commissions as U.S. Naval officers.
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United States. Navy.
Military administration. Spanish-American War, 1898 Florida World War, 1914-1918 Florida World War, 1939-1945 Florida
Military records. aat Muster rolls. aat