July 21, 2024

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Civil war vocation of colonel GEORGE WASHINGTON SCOTT by MARION B. LUCAS

6 min read

Submitted by Phil Calandra

This article offers a substantially a lot more extensive and harrowing telling of George Washington Scott’s career in CSA cavalry and a excellent search into his individual and company lifetime.
George’s brother, John, stayed in Pennsylvania when George moved to the South for wellbeing good reasons (1852). The brothers held extreme reverse positions relating to the war. This is a popular tale of how the morality of war and its motivations split household bonds.
After the war, the northern and southern wings of the Scott family by no means regained closeness. John grew to become Republican senator in 1869 for two phrases. George resumed his small business and farming, turned energetic in politics and ran for governor in 1868, remaining defeated by a 2 to 1 vote. In 1870, Scott moved to Savannah, Ga, wherever he hoped to extend into cotton and other company passions. In 1877 following fiscal reverses, Scott moved to Decatur, Ga, just outside the house Atlanta, wherever he amassed a fortune in phosphate fertilizer, cotton producing, and authentic estate. By 1887, the Gossypium Phospo manufactured by the George W. Scott Company experienced become 1 of the most mentioned fertilizers in the south.
Scott was a strong lifelong supporter of the Presbyterian Church. He was a person of the founders of Agnes Scott Institute, that afterwards grew to become Agnes Scott Higher education, a women’s liberal arts university still in procedure these days. It was named for his mother. At seventy-four a long time old, he died (Oct 3, 1903) and the Tallahassee paper described him in an editorial as “one of Florida’s noblest sons.”
Scott joined the Tallahassee Guard as a sergeant in 1860. On March 5, 1861, a month prior to Confederate troops fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor beginning the Civil War, the Tallahassee Guards were mustered into Accomplice services. Scott grew to become captain in Organization D, 2nd Florida Cavalry. By 1863 Scott had risen to the rank of lieutenant colonel and commanded “Scott’s Cavalry” of the 5th Battalion Florida Cavalry, just one of the couple of units that operated in the backwaters and marshes of the center and jap districts of Florida. He is an excellent instance of the small officer, the unsung hero, who endured hardships in out-of-the-way destinations of the Confederacy.
By 1860, Florida’s populace was 140,500, and 61,750 of the full were being Negro slaves. The cotton belt was the most densely populated area of the state, and Negro slaves in this location considerably outnumbered whites. (Source: United States Census, 1830-60). The Scott plantation was two miles south of Tallahassee consisting of 1036 acres and 60 slaves. At the stop of the war, Scott and all slave holders’ prosperity was drastically reduced when the slaves were freed. Close to 1884 or 1885 the plantation was marketed to J. P. Castleman.
In an energy to raise provides to the southern troops, Scott greater his labor pressure. His plantation documents expose the obtain of 10 slaves through 1862, some of whom had been small children, for $6,100. In early 1863, he compensated $1,000 for a feminine slave and her boy or girl. Because of to the intermittent armed service threats from Union forces and his closeness to Tallahassee, he tried to oversee planting and output.
When safeguarding the salt-is effective, Scott recognized salt’s company likely. Scott and a fellow officer, Captain P. B. Brokaw, chose to invest nearer dwelling in the Newport location, about 5 miles north of St. Marks. They procured significant sugar boilers and various steam boilers normally used on ships. Salt-operates have been highly rewarding but were being also in continuous threat from efficient strike-and-operate attacks by Union forces. In early 1864, Scott estimated his share to be worthy of amongst six and 8 thousand dollars.
Fewer than a thirty day period right after Olustee, Scott wrote his wife Bettie two intensive letters. “For panic something could come about to me I have considered it greatest that I need to give you a statement of how my affairs are organized.” The meticulous two-webpages lined his indebtedness and a total accounting of his numerous business pursuits, their benefit and revenue owed to him. The next letter, dated March 19, was an action plan should the Union army invade the Middle District. He reported “quietly” and “without attracting notice,” be geared up to flee at a moment’s detect to South Ga. It even detailed which horse teams were being to be hitched to unique wagons, how hundreds were being to be arranged, and how a great deal food items ought to be taken. Only “Aunt Gina” was to be left powering with more than enough foodstuff and revenue to enjoy around points even though the Federals had been there.
Scott’s letters are a lesson in character as they diligently pointed out to his wife the will need of having to pay the ten per cent tax on agriculture products to the Accomplice governing administration just before departing Tallahassee. His thoughts had been patriotic, simple and without having remorse. Obligation compelled him to spend his share.
He also wrote Bettie what to do if there was no invasion. He instructed that the spring planting need to be finished, specifically the corn crop. It was important, he wrote, that the slaves “push early and late” to make sure a excellent crop, and not to allow the field palms “lay off for just about every very little complaint” through the future three month cultivating season.
The subsequent many months were being very tricky for Scott and the Accomplice military services as their supplies, ammunition, horses and numbers ended up thin against the Union forces. Scott’s dissatisfaction in his lack of ability to critically interact the Union forces was no greater than the Union commander’s, as they ended up constrained to raid and retreat. There was no Federal “invasion” as on Aug. 15 Union forces returned to the East following burning properties and supplies. The Union general said this was “a record of raiding and not of preventing.”
As the Confederate toughness started to spiral down in the final months of 1864, Common Beauregard and Governor Milton agreed on a new approach to defend Florida. The ways had been for Accomplice forces to retreat, following a scorched earth policy, lure the Federals into the interior and stretch out their traces. Throughout this, a newly-structured militia power would strengthen the retreating Confederate troops and counter attack.
This new approach contributed to the Accomplice victory at Natural Bridge as delaying skirmishes authorized reinforcements to get there. Scott’s part in the battle was vital to victory and he was hailed as a local hero. (See M. B. Lusas’s short article for whole fight facts) The pleasure of the victory was short lived as a month later on, Common Lee surrendered his remaining forces to Standard Grant. Colonel Scott surrendered his troops on Might 13, and was paroled ten days later when he was reunited with his household.
The difficulties Scott had throughout the Civil War were typical of those people of a thousand other officers of the Confederacy. His lines ended up usually stretched further than the breaking point and he seldom obtained satisfactory munitions or commissary provides to get ready them for struggle. Colonel Scott and his guys fought loyally and diligently towards too much to handle odds. Scott’s capacity, lousy Federal officers and the failure of the northern higher command to see Florida as an important military front prevented Union accomplishment in northern Florida.
The one particular consolation Scott had was that he served the Confederacy in the vicinity of his dwelling, allowing the loneliness and anxiety of a bitter Civil War to be damaged by frequent letters and packages from house which confident him that his wife and young children ended up risk-free.

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