Until this work, no comprehensive study of the Florida units that served in Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia (ANV) had been attempted, and problems attend the few studies of particular Florida units that have appeared. Based on more than two decades of research, Waters and Edmonds have produced a study that covers all units from Florida in the ANV, and does so in an objective and reliable fashion. Drawn from what was then a turbulent and thinly settled frontier region, the Florida troops serving in the Confederacy were never numerous, but they had the good or bad luck of finding themselves at crucial points in several significant battles such as Gettysburg where their conduct continues to be a source of contention. Additionally, the study of these units and their service permits an examination of important topics affecting the Civil War soldier: lack of supplies, the status of folks at home, dissension over civilian control of soldiers and units from the various Confederate states, and widespread and understandable problems of morale. Despite the appalling conditions of combat, these soldiers were capable of the highest courage in combat.
This work is an important contribution to the record of Lee's troops, ever a subject of intense interest.
Zack C. Waters is Adjunct Professor of History at Georgia Highlands College. He has published articles on Florida's CSA history in Florida Historical Quarterly, Civil War Regiments, Apalachee Review, and El Escribano. James C. Edmonds lives in Port Royal, South Carolina.