Latest Activity: Dec 7, 2014
HISTORY of the FloridaNaval Militia
Established in 1861, The Florida Naval Militia was soon assimilated into the Confederate States of America Navy and served the rebelcause as the United States Navy blockaded the South to cut off commerce andforeign aid to the secessionist forces.
Florida Naval Militia Sailors manned the Confederate steampowered “Turtle-Ram” C.S.S. Savannah until the ship was abandoned and burned toprevent her capture on December 21, 1864 when the city of Savannah wasthreatened by the approach of General William T. Sherman’s forces.
At the Civil War’s end, the Mariners of the TFNM returnedhome to Florida’speaceful waters.
In 1898 the Florida Naval Militia was assigned to the UnitedStates Navy to serve through the duration of the Spanish-American War. FNMOfficers and Men manned the U.S.S. Wasp (The 7th ship named WASP inUS Navy History) and also served on other warships. United States Navyefficiency reports from the period describe the Florida Naval Militai officersand men as undisciplined sailors with excellent gunnery skills.
Like most militias of the time, Florida's Navy was made upof 'old salts’, drinkers, and young menthat didn’t care for button polishing or saluting but stood fast and were goodfighters in a pitched battle.”
During the First World War they manned the U.S.S. MacKenzie,A Patrol Boat named after Civil War U.S. Navy hero Lieutenant CommanderAlexander S. MacKenzie. Once again, the Florida Naval Militia was reported tobe lacking in discipline, hygiene, and appearance, but not lacking in fightingheart or shooting skills.
At the outset of WWII, FNM forces manned small civilianvessels commandeered by the U.S. Navy, lightly-armed, and converted to be usedfor offshore patrol against the Nazi U-Boats sinking ships within sight of our Florida beaches. As thewar progressed, the militia forces were once again transferred into the UnitedStates Navy. FNM men served on a variety of vessels throughout the conflict andin all theaters of the War.
Today TFNM is an unarmed, mutual support group of marinersand boat lovers formed to swap sea tales, assist each other in times of need,and honor the history and memory of The Florida Naval Militia.
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