Captain Henry Mulrenan's

Florida Volunteer Coast Guards.

compiled by Terry Foenander.




This unit, organized under a Florida state special order, was mustered in, under first lieutenant Henry Mulrenan, in November, 1861, and sworn in, before Judge Steele, at Cedar Keys, on December 13. Walter C. Maloney was appointed second lieutenant, and Robert B. Smith, master's mate. Initially stationed at Tampa for a few days in mid-December, 1861, the unit took up station at Fort Buckley, Point Pinellas on December 21st, and remained in that vicinity for some time. During it's short existence, the unit members were mainly involved in the regular duties associated with a coast guard unit, such as drills, guard duties, observation of the coastline for enemy activities, etc. However, it was not all work and no play, as their sojourn also included periods of welcome activities, such as fishing, hunting, singing, dancing and other similar episodes. The sobriquet, Key West Avengers, was adopted by the men on January 30, 1862, and they regularly crewed two small armed vessels, the Mollie Post and the Cate Dale. About mid-February of 1862, the men were advised that they would be taken into Confederate Army service, and by April 25, 1862, most of them were mustered into service as company K, 7th Florida Infantry, with Robert B. Smith as company commander. By this time Henry Mulrenan had headed off for greener pastures, first as assistant quartermaster General, and later as a blockade runner. Several of the men later transferred to Confederate States Naval service, most of them serving aboard the CSS Savannah.

An attempt has been made to compile a complete roster of the unit during its short term of service, but, in the absence of complete muster rolls (the roll in Soldiers of Florida, besides excluding the names of several men, also includes several spelling errors), the names of the following men have been obtained from at least two separate sources, the main one being the diary of Robert Watson, one of the members of the unit. Additional details on most of the men have also been extracted from this source, as well as three other primary sources, as shown at the end of the list.

This roster only includes the names of those men known to have served in Henry Mulrenan's Coast Guard unit, and does not include all those who served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry. Those members of the Coast Guard who are known to have later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry, and also in the regular Confederate States Navy, are indicated as such. Any additional information from other sources is most welcome.


Benjamin Richard Albury, seaman, born Royal Island, Bahamas Islands, September 6, 1811; married Sarah Curry, at Harbour Island, Bahamas, April 20, 1838; migrated to Key West, Florida, 1852; pre-war occupation, fisherman; mustered in November 27, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; discharged for disability, October 30, 1862, at Knoxville, Tennessee; died, circa 1865, at Key West, Florida. [Soldiers of Florida incorrectly shows his name as Benjamin G. Alberry, and also as Benjamin Abburg. Additional data provided by his descendant, Jayne Allen Lipe, of Bellevue, WA (e-mail: jlipe@nwlink.com).]

John Allison, mate, mustered in December 1, 1861; had also previously served in second lieutenant Able Merander's Coast Guard Detachment, between July 14, 1861 and September 5, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; transferred, August 5, 1862, to the Confederate States Navy; served aboard the CSS Chattahoochee, as quartermaster.

Charles Anderson, seaman, mustered in November 27, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry. [Listed in Robert Watson's Diary as a cook.]

Samuel B. Ashley, originally coxswain, mustered in November 27, 1861; promoted third lieutenant, January 31, 1862; later second lieutenant, company K, 7th Florida Infantry; a roster of the CSS Chattahoochee, dated 1863, includes assistant boatswain S.B. Ashby, who may be the same person. [Robert Watson's Diary shows his name as Samuel Ashby.]

John Baker, seaman, mustered in January 1, 1862; deserted March 25, 1862.

James Barnett, seaman, mustered in December 1, 1861; had also previously served in second lieutenant Able Merander's Coast Guard Detachment, between July 14, 1861 and September 5, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; transferred, March, 1864, to the Confederate States Navy; served a very short period aboard the CSS Savannah before being transferred to CSS Sampson, March 11, 1864; wounded in action at Savannah, during the taking out of the USS WATER WITCH; married Rebecca (last name unknown), at Tampa, Florida, on April 26, 1866; died on September 23, 1886. [Additional information from his Florida Confederate Pension file, number A11699, available at the Florida State Archives.]

Charles H. Berry, mate, mustered in November 27, 1861; later served as sergeant in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; transferred to Confederate States Navy, August 5, 1862; killed in the explosion aboard the CSS Chattahoochee, May, 1863 (see ORN 1, 17, 869).

John A. Bethel, coxswain, born July 21, 1834, at Key West, Florida; mustered in December 1, 1861; had also previously served in second lieutenant Able Merander's Coast Guard Detachment, between July 14, 1861 and September 5, 1861; later second lieutenant, company K, 7th Florida Infantry; captured, August, 1864; married Sara C. Haga at Hillsborough County, Florida, on April 17, 1866; died at Pinellas County, Florida, on April 12, 1915. [Additional information from his Florida Confederate Pension file, number A01728, available at the Florida State Archives ; a photograph of Bethel is also reproduced in the David Hartman volume 1, of the Biographical Roster of Confederate Soldiers of Florida, published by Broadfoot Publishing Company of North Carolina.]

Timothy Buckley, mate, mustered in January 1, 1862; had also previously served in second lieutenant Able Merander's Coast Guard Detachment, between July 14, 1861 and September 5, 1861.

Thomas Burns, seaman, mustered in November 27, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; transferred to the Confederate States Navy, August 5, 1862; served aboard the CSS Chattahoochee, as ordinary seaman.

Thomas Butler, seaman, mustered in December 15, 1861; accidentally wounded in the foot by buckshot, February 5, 1862; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry.

Julian A. Chabot, coxswain, mustered in November 27, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; transferred to Confederate States Navy, August 5, 1862; served aboard the CSS Chattahoochee, as coxswain; also served aboard CSS Savannah, in 1863; wounded in action in the taking out of the USS Water Witch in June, 1864; resided in Monroe County, Florida, in 1888. [Soldiers of Florida incorrectly shows his name as Julion Sherbert; Robert Watson's Diary shows his name variously as Julius Chaburt and Jules Chabert; see also his Florida Confederate pension file, number A12958, available at the Florida State Archives.]

Charles H. Chapman, seaman, November 27, 1861; transferred, March, 1864, to the Confederate States Navy; served for a very short period aboard the CSS Savannah before being transferred to CSS Sampson, March 11, 1864.

Charles I. Cole, coxswain, mustered in November 27, 1861. [this name is shown in the roll listed in Soldiers of Florida, but may in fact be Joseph E. Cole.]

Joseph E. Cole, appointed coxswain, February 1, 1862; later served as sergeant in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; transferred, August 5, 1862, to the Confederate States Navy; wounded in the boiler explosion aboard the CSS Chattahoochee, May, 1863 (see ORN 1, 17, 869); married Georgianna Boroyer, at Key West, on July 20, 1861; died March 12, 1889, at Key West, Florida. [Robert Watson's Diary entry for January 9, 1862, lists this name; additional information from his Florida Confederate Pension file, number A00553, available from the Florida State Archives.].]

James C. Collins, seaman, mustered in December 15, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry. [also shown as J.E. Collins.]

Charles Combs, seaman, mustered in December 15, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; missing in action at Dalton, Georgia, November, 1863.

Tom Coward, Robert Watson's Diary entry of February 13, 1862, indicates that this person may have enlisted in the unit.

Peter Crusoe, seaman, born Gibraltar; aged 38, in 1860; resided with his wife, Sandra, two daughters, and one son, at Key West; pre-war occupation, clerk of the Circuit Court of Florida; mustered in December 1, 1861.

William D. Curry, seaman, mentioned as a member of the Coast Guard, in Robert Watson's Diary (see entry dated May 1, 1862); later served in Company K, 7th Florida Infantry.

Francisco Dias, seaman, born 1840 in Spain; resided in Florida since 1858; pre-war occupation, mariner; enlisted in the Coast Guards in December, 1861; mustered in January 25, 1862; although the roster of company K, 7th Florida Infantry in Soldiers of Florida does not include his name, it is obvious from the entries in Robert Watson's Diary that he did indeed serve in that unit before being transferred, March, 1864, to the Confederate States Navy; his pension papers also indicate service in K, 7th Florida; married Ascunsion Cabeza, August 24, 1858, in Monroe County, Florida; post war occupation, sailor; was a member of UCV Camp Franklin Buchanan No. 1214, of Monroe County in 1907; died in Key West on September 27, 1910. [Soldiers of Florida incorrectly shows his name as Francisco Diar; additional information from his Florida Confederate Pension file, number A01209, available at the Florida State Archives .]

Edward Dorsey, seaman, mustered in November 27, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; transferred, March, 1864, to the Confederate States Navy. [Listed in Robert Watson's Diary as a cook.]

John Duprey, seaman, mentioned as a member of the Coast Guard, in Robert Watson's Diary (see entry dated May 1, 1862); later served in Company K, 7th Florida Infantry.

George W. Edward, seaman, mustered in December 1, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry.

Joseph Fagan, seaman, born Florida; aged 16 and residing with his parents, Henry and Ellen (Lyon) Fagan, and one brother, at Key West, in 1860; Joseph's pre-war occupation shown as laborer; mustered in January 1, 1862; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; missing in action at Dalton, Georgia, November, 1863; captured and imprisoned at Camp Chase, Ohio; released, March 29, 1865, on taking the oath of allegiance; married Mary Aurelia Bourquardez, at Tampa, Florida on October 1, 1869; was a member of the UCV Camp Loring No. 1126, at Tampa, in 1907; died in Tampa, June 4, 1911; buried at the St. Louis Catholic Cemetery. [Additional information from his Florida Confederate Pension files, number D18755 and D22514, available from the Florida State Archives.]

Rouplina Feliz, seaman, mustered in December 1, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; transferred, March, 1864, to the Confederate States Navy. [Name shown variously as R. Falley, Rofina Fallis, Rogino Phalez, Rofeno Fallos and Rofino Fales.]

Ordrof Felkrob, seaman, mustered in January 25, 1862.

William Ferris, Robert Watson's Diary entry of February 13, 1862, indicates that this person may have enlisted in the unit.

William Franklin, seaman, mustered in November 27, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; transferred, March, 1864, to the Confederate States Navy.

William Herrymand, seaman, mustered in January 1, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; missing in action at Dalton, Georgia, November, 1863.

William A. Josslyn, seaman, mustered in January 1, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry. [Also shown as W.B. Joysolyn in Robert Watson's Diary, and elsewhere as William Josselyn.]

James Lovett, seaman, mustered in December 20, 1861; had also previously served in captain James P. McMullen's Infantry Company, between July 20, 1861 and October 20, 1861 (name shown in unit roster as James Leavett); later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry.

Alfred B. Lowe, seaman, born Bahamas Islands, July 20, 1840, and resided in Key West since the age of 5 months; pre-war occupation, clerk; residing with his parents, William and Caroline Lowe, and one brother, at Key West; mustered in December 1, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; transferred, March 13, 1864, to the Confederate States Navy at Dalton, Georgia; served aboard the CSS Savannah; surrendered at Appomattox, while serving with Tucker's Naval Brigade; married Mary J. Whitehurst at Hillsborough County, Florida, on October 10, 1867; was a member of UCV Camp Franklin Buchanan No. 1214, at Monroe County, in 1907; died December 1, 1921, buried at the Key West City Cemetery. [also shown as Alfred Low; information about his burial provided by his great, great, great, grandson, Mark Lowe, in an e-mail (CSUSNavy@aol.com) to this author, dated July 19, 2001; additional information from his Florida Confederate Pension file, number A02364, available from the Florida State Archives.].]

Walter C. Maloney, second lieutenant, mustered in November 27, 1861; promoted first lieutenant, January 31m 1862; later first lieutenant, company K, 7th Florida Infantry.

Augustus Marrilar, seaman, mustered in November 27, 1861; later served as corporal in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; transferred, March, 1864, to the Confederate States Navy. [Shown in the Robert Watson Diary as Augustus Murilac, A. Murilao and elsewhere as Augustus Merrilac.]

Antonio Martin, seaman, mustered in January 25, 1862.

John Mason, seaman, mustered in January 25, 1862; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; transferred, March, 1864, to the Confederate States Navy.

John McRay, Robert Watson's Diary entry of February 13, 1862, indicates that this person may have enlisted in the unit.

Charles Miller, seaman, mustered in December 15, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; transferred to Confederate States Navy service, August 5, 1862; served, as quarter gunner, aboard the CSS Chattahoochee and the CSS Savannah, in 1863.

Moody Miller, seaman, mustered in January 25, 1861.

Manuel Montedeocca, seaman, mentioned as a member of the Coast Guard, in Robert Watson's Diary (see entry dated May 1, 1862); later served in Company K, 7th Florida Infantry.

Samuel Morgan, coxswain, mustered in November 27, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; transferred, August 5, 1862, to the Confederate States Navy; served, as sailmaker's mate, aboard the CSS Chattahoochee and the CSS Savannah, in 1863.

John B. Morrison, seaman, mustered in December 15, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; also served aboard CSS Savannah, 1863; died May 16, 1863, of pneumonia.

Josephus Henry Moss, seaman, born Bahamas Islands; aged 14 in 1860; living with his mother, Sarah Moss, and one brother and two sisters, at Key West; mustered in November 27, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; honorably mentioned for his actions at Chickamauga; transferred, March, 1864, to the Confederate States Navy; served aboard the CSS Savannah; his wife indicates in her pension application that he had been captured in Virginia at the last fight before the surrender, in April, 1865, and that he was imprisoned at Point Lookout, Maryland, where he was paroled on June 15, 1865; married Lydia Esther (last name unknown), at Key West, Florida, on February 17, 1873; died at Jupiter Light Station, Dade County, Florida, on May 22, 1885. [Additional information from his Florida Confederate Pension file, number A00538, available from the Florida State Archives.]

Henry Mulrenan, lieutenant; mustered in November 27, 1861; promoted captain, January 12, 1862; appointed assistant quartermaster General, with the rank of major, April 24, 1862; later involved in blockade running activities (see Diary entry of February 2, 1863); more than likely the same blockade runner listed as Henry Muhennal, captured and incarcerated at Fort Delaware in 1864.

Marcus Olivera, born Italy; aged 28 in 1860; pre-war occupation, assistant steward of Marine Hospital, Key West; seaman, mustered in December 1, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; involved in blockade running activities at a later stage of the war. [Soldiers of Florida incorrectly shows his name as Marquis Olivera.]

George V. Richards, seaman (carpenter), mustered in December 24, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; died at Camp Chase prison, April 17, 1865. [Robert Watson's Diary lists his name as G.V. Rickards.]

Julius D. Rogers, seaman, born in Iredell County, North Carolina, on January 12, 1829; resided in Florida since 1854; mustered in January 1, 1862; later enlisted at Tampa, in company B, 7th Florida Infantry, May 3, 1862; surrendered in North Carolina with General Joseph E. Johnston's army; was a Methodist preacher after the war; married Angelina B. Turner at Hillsborough County, Florida, on April 17, 1861; died in Pinellas County, Florida, June 30, 1912. [Additional information from his Florida Confederate Pension file, number A01325, available from the Florida State Archives.]

John Russell, seaman, born Bahamas Islands; aged 48, in 1860; pre-war occupation, ship's carpenter; resided with his wife, Caroline, and two children, at Key West; mustered in January 1, 1862; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry.

John B. Sands, seaman, mustered in November 27, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; transferred, August 5, 1862, to the Confederate States Navy; shown as John D. Sands, ordinary seaman, aboard the CSS Chattahoochee and the CSS Savannah, in 1863. married Eliza Demeritt, at Key West, Florida, on March 17, 1872; died, October 25, 1899 at Key West. [Additional information from his Florida Confederate Pension file, number A00825, available from the Florida State Archives.]

William Sawyer, born Bahamas Islands, aged 23, in 1860; pre-war occupation, mariner; resided with his wife, Cinderella, and one daughter at Key West; seaman, mustered in December 1, 1861; later served as corporal in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; died December 28, 1862, at Knoxville, Tennessee (see Diary entry of February 2, 1863).

Julion Sherbert, see Julian Chabot.

Johnston Simpson, seaman, mustered in January 25, 1862.

John Singleton, possibly also a member of the Coast Guard unit, as he is mentioned in Robert Watson's Diary entry of March 25, 1862, as having deserted on that date.

George W. Smith, seaman, mustered in January 1, 1862; had also previously served in captain James P. McMullen's Infantry Company, between July 20, 1861 and October 20, 1861; captain of top aboard the CSS Chattahoochee and the CSS Savannah, in 1863. [May actually be George M. Smith, listed in Population Schedule, 1860, and shown as a resident of Key West in 1860, aged 30, occupation, mariner, born New York, and living with his wife, Virginia, and one daughter.]

Robert B. Smith, master's mate, mustered in December 1, 1861; promoted second lieutenant, January 31, 1862; later captain, company K, 7th Florida Infantry; wounded in action at Missionary Ridge, Tennessee, November, 1863.

James Sullivan, seaman, mustered in January 25, 1862.

Benjamin C. Swain, seaman, mustered in December 15, 1861; had also previously served in captain James P. McMullen's Infantry Company, between July 20, 1861 and October 20, 1861; later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry. [Soldiers of Florida incorrectly shows his first name as Byaman.]

James W. Tolbert, seaman, mustered in January 27, 1862; accidentally wounded in the hip by a revolver shot, February 13, 1862; deserted March 25, 1862. [Name shown in Robert Watson's Diary as J.W. Talbut, William Talbot, and also as Bill Talburt.]

Robert Watson, mate, born Bahamas Islands, September 9, 1835 (see his diary entry of September 9, 1864); aged 25, in 1860; resident of Key West; pre-war occupation, carpenter; mustered in December 1, 1861; later served as sergeant in company K, 7th Florida Infantry; transferred, March, 1864, to the Confederate States Navy.

Jeremiah Weatherford, later served in company K, 7th Florida Infantry. [first name shown elsewhere in Robert Watson's Diary as Jacob.]

Daniel Whitehurst, seaman, mustered in February 1, 1862.

Peter Williams, seaman, mustered in December 1, 1861; may have also served, in 1864, aboard the CSS Chattahoochee.

J.P. Williamson, seaman, mentioned as a member of the Coast Guard, in Robert Watson's Diary (see entry dated May 1, 1862); later served in Company K, 7th Florida Infantry.


Sources:

Florida Confederate Pension Files: The Florida State Archives have taken the ultimate step of releasing all their Confederate Pension files online, and this has helped in compiling profiles of many of the men from that state who served in the Confederate Navy and the Coast Guard units. This author would like to thank the Archives for allowing these files to be viewed online.

Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion, Series 2, Volume 1, pages 304-305. Reprint edition, 1987, National Historical Society, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 17105.

Population Schedules of the Eighth Census of the United States, 1860: Roll 108: Florida, Volume 2, Microcopy 653; National Archives Microfilm Publications, Washington, 1967.

Robert Watson Diary. Original copy held at the Division of Library and Information Services, Florida Department of State, Tallahassee, Florida, and is cited as Series M76-139, carton number 1. A copy is in the possession of this author.

Roster, dated 1863, of the CSS Chattahoochee, in the James W. Woodruff, Jr., collection, Port Columbus Naval Museum, Columbus, Georgia, Robert Holcombe, curator; also reproduced in Maxine Turner's Navy Gray: A Story of the Confederate Navy on the Chattahoochee and Apalachicola Rivers, published 1988 by the University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Soldiers of Florida in the Seminole Indian - Civil and Spanish-American Wars, originally prepared and published under the supervision of the Board of State Institutions, Florida, May, 1903, and reprinted, 1983, by Richard J. Ferry, Macclenny, Florida.




© Terry Foenander.

May, 2001. (Updated, May, 2002.)