“Census” Department of the South, November, 1864: For Jacksonville, Fernandina and St. Augustine, Florida. Ordered by the Department of the South, Hilton Head, South Carolina
Florida State Genealogical Society
One of the forgotten legacies of the Civil War was a special census of eastern Florida conducted on the orders of Federal military authorities. Its motivation is to this day unclear, but it seems likely to have been done to help register voters. African-Americans living in the region were also enumerated despite the fact that they did not yet have the legal right to vote. The number, age and gender of these “contrabands” would be of great interest to Union military men who were always on the lookout for new recruits for the growing number of United States Colored Troops regiments being formed. Thus, this special census data opens a unique window on Florida’s Civil War population that has heretofore been closed.
This census has been transcribed in columnar format similar to the original. The columns reveal the physical characteristics of the individual including height, eye color, complexion and age. Other information includes where he was born, or if he was “contraband.” A column that gives the last place of residence helps to establish migration patterns. Other columns show where the person was registered for the draft or who his former owner was if he was contraband; the date he came into the department (area); and if he took the oath of allegiance. The last column, entitled “remarks” sometimes reveals occupations. There are two indexes. One is for every name and the other is for all owners of former slaves or contraband.
(2002), 2007, 8½x11, paper, , 282 pp.