Thursday, October 7, 2010
"We Yield but in Death" - The Grave of Col. W.S. Dilworth, 3rd Florida Infantry
The Third Florida has always fascinated me, as has Col. Dilworth. Elected to command the officer in 1861, he served in that role throughout the entire War Between the States, a remarkable accomplishment when it is remembered that so many regimental commanders were shot down in fierce fighting.
The regiment was formed of companies from across North Florida in 1861 and served in the state at Fernandina, Cedar Key and elsewhere before assembling in full in Gadsden County in 1862 for redeployment to the Army of Tennessee. While waiting to head north, the regiment was presented a battle flag emblazoned with the motto "We Yield but in Death" by the ladies of Jefferson County.
The Third Florida became part of Brown's Brigade of Patton Anderson's Divison in the Army of Tennessee and fought at Perryville, Stones River (Murfreesborough), Jackson, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge (Chattanooga), the Atlanta Campaign, Franklin, Nashville and the Carolina Campaign before being surrendered at Durham Station, North Carolina, on April 26, 1865. By that time the Third had lost so many men that it had been consolidated with the First Florida Infantry, both serving together under Dilworth's command.
The survivors came home after the war, Dilworth among them, and tried to rebuild their lives. But on every battlefield that it fought, the Third Florida Infantry left heroes behind.