“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Plant City in Hillsborough County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Cow Cavalry

In Memory


—Co. B 1st Battalion       Fl. Special Cavalry C. S. A. —

Cow Cavalry Memorial and Marker image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, July 29, 2011
1. Cow Cavalry Memorial and Marker
Front face
Inscription. (Front face)
1863 - 1865
Erected by
Plant City Chapter #1931
United Daughters of the Confederacy
November 17, 2007
By 1863 the Confederate Army was suffering severe food shortages. Capt. John T. Lesley was commissioned to recruit from Ichepucksassa (Cork area of Plant City) a company of pioneer men to round up and drive the wild cattle of Florida north to the railroad stations. Many were too young or too old for regular military service. With great effort, along with 8 other companies in Florida, these men successfully completed their mission overseeing drives as far north as Charleston.

(Right face)
Captain John Thomas Lesley
1st Lt. William Benton Henderson - 1st Lt. Daniel Sloan,
2nd Lt. William Platt - 2nd Lt. Milton Johnson,
2nd Lt. Thomas William Wilder

1st Sgt. A. P. Hampton - 2nd Sgt. Enoch E. Mizell
3rd Sgt. S. L. Hancock - 4th Sgt. Edward Gross Wilder
Surgeon W.A. Lively

Alderman, Benjamin • Alderman, Matthew • Alderman, Mitchell • Alderman, Timothy • Alderman, William • Baker, A. A. • Blocker, Stephen W. • Brandon, Franklin Davis • Brandon, Jerrett Wesley • Brandon, John • Brown, John F. • Brown, William C. • Brownam, Joseph • Bryant, John Wesley • Buffom, A. J. • Campbell, Emory • Campbell, John
Cow Cavalry Memorial image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, July 29, 2011
2. Cow Cavalry Memorial
Right face
• Casey, Joseph, Sr. • Clarke, Edward A. • Clarke, Stephen Right • Collins, Daniel Jackson • Collins, Enoch E., Jr. • Collins, Hardy H. • Collins, John • Collins, William • Costine, John W. • Crichton, John William • Davis, Irvin • Douglas, Allen D. • Douglas, Riley • Duffield, Thomas • Ferrell, David • Fletcher, Robert

(Rear face)
Franklin, George • Franklin, William King • Frier, William • Futch, James • Futch, W. • Gaskins, Harmon • Gaskins, Henry • Giles, Enoch E. • Gillett, David W. • Gillett, Daniel K. • Gillett, William H. • Glazier, Ezekiel • Gomez, John • Hagne, Rubin • Hall J. • Ham, William J. • Hamilton, George • Hancock, Daniel Levy • Hancock, J. L. • Hancock, James Thomas • Hancock, Shad • Harris, John • Hawkins, John Wesley • Hickey, Dennis O. • Hollingsworth, John Henry • Hollingsworth, Stephen Thomas • Hollingsworth, Timothy • Hollingsworth, William Right • Hopkins, A. J. • Hopkins, Shad • Hopson, Allen J. • Howell, Joseph W. • Howell, Thomas • Hughes, William • Jackson, Thomas B. • Jamerson, Daniel W. • Johnson, Benjamin • Johnson, Enoch • Johnson, R. W. • Jones, J. D. • Jones, Mitchell • Jones, Redding B. • Jordan, Henry • Keen, Britton • Keen, George F. • Keen, J. L. • Lanier, H. M. • Lanier, J. S. • Lanier, James • Lanier, James, Jr. • Lanier, James H. • Lanier, John • Lanier, Robert H. • Lee, William • Mathis, Frank • Mathis, Henry • Mathis,
Cow Cavalry Memorial image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, July 29, 2011
3. Cow Cavalry Memorial
Rear face
William • McKay, John A. • McClelland, J. L. • McMullen, Bethel, Dr. • Miley, James • Miley, Martin M. • Miley, W. J. • Miranda, Abel • Moody, Benjamin • Moody, James

(Left face)
Moody, William • Mooney, John • Moore, T.D. • Nettles, Crete • Nettles, Isaac • Patton, J. S. • Pent, John • Platt, Berrien *Berry* • Platt, Peter • Pollock, John • Prine, Henry A. • Prine, J. E. • Raulerson, John R. • Raulerson, Noel Rabun, Sr. • Raulerson, William Henry • Rawls, William • Riggs, Joshua • Robertson, Carroll E. H. • Robertson, Jackson • Robertson, James Russell • Robertson, William Alonzo • Robles, Joshua • Robles, Joseph Paul • Robles, John Godoff • Sermons, William • Shannon, E. • Sheppard, W. H. • Silcox, David • Simmons, C. G. • Simmons, Marshall V. • Sistrunk, Henry • Sloan, Alford • Sloan, Elbert • Sloan, Orville • Sloan, Owen • Sparkman, E. B. • Spencer, Thomas K. • Starling, William Henry • Summerall, Elhanan • Summerall, Henry • Summerall, Riley • Summerall, Robert • Sylvester, John • Sylvester, Robert H. • Symms, J. • Taylor, John S., Jr. • Terrell, David • Thomas, James • Thomas, John • Thomas, L. R. • Turner, Arthur Campbell • Turner, Charles A. • Tyne, Benjamin • Watson, Solomon • Weissbroad, Herman • Wells, George W. • Wells, John W. • Wells, Richard M. • Whidden, James L. • Wiggins, William • Wilder, Hopkins M. • Wilder, Thomas Hopkins • Wilson, Pleasant
Cow Cavalry Memorial image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, July 29, 2011
4. Cow Cavalry Memorial
Left face
• Wilson, Reuben M. • Wordehoff, Antoine • Young, F.
Erected 2007 by Plant City Chapter #1931, United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Marker series. This marker is included in the United Daughters of the Confederacy marker series.
Location. 28° 1.179′ N, 82° 7.444′ W. Marker is in Plant City, Florida, in Hillsborough County. Marker is at the intersection of North Collins Street and East Gilchrist Street, on the left when traveling north on North Collins Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 605 North Collins Street, Plant City FL 33566, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Plant City High School (within shouting distance of this marker); Town of Plant City (approx. 0.3 miles away); Plant City Union Depot (approx. 0.3 miles away); Bealsville (approx. 5.9 miles away); Glover School (approx. 6 miles away); 320th Bombardment Group (M) (approx. 6.9 miles away); Polk Theatre and Office Building (approx. 10.3 miles away); The Oates Building (approx. 10.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Plant City.
More about this marker. The Cow Cavalry Memorial is a monument of polished granite in a skewed cube-shape,
Cow Cavalry Memorial image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, July 29, 2011
5. Cow Cavalry Memorial
Top face
The bronze carving is the work of artist and sculptor, Mike Bethune.
with text engraved on all four sides. On its top face a round bronze plate features a carved relief depicting a cavalry soldier, a horse, and cattle standing in a field. The monument sits on a raised granite foundation in the center of a larger square paved with red brick, with walkways extending from each side.

The memorial is located on the grounds of the 1914 Plant City High School Community Center, a former public school facility that has been re-purposed to house community and neighborhood programs and events. The center is home to the East Hillsborough Historical Society, which maintains a local history museum and genealogical archives there. The modified Georgian Revival-style building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981, listed as "Plant City High School" (# 81000194). The building is also a Contributing Structure within the North Plant City Residential District (a National Historic District).
Regarding Cow Cavalry. Cattle roamed wild and abundant across Florida during the state's early frontier history. These were not native animals, having been introduced by the Spanish during the colonial period; but they had well-adapted to a feral existence in the many years since.

The Confederate government identified Florida's herds as a vital resource in supplying their armies with
Cow Cavalry Memorial image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, July 29, 2011
6. Cow Cavalry Memorial
Seen looking south down the sidewalk along North Collins Street
food. Harnessing this resource and transporting it safely, however, was a problematic and obstacle-ridden endeavor hindered by incursions from Federal forces and bandit gangs marauding through the sparsely settled Florida wilderness.

With Confederate armies slowly being starved, authorities in Florida decided to take action, forming special cowboy units to guard this supply of food for the front-lines. In all, nine companies with about 900 men formed "The Cow Cavalry", 1st Battalion Florida, Special Cavalry. They protected the herds from Federal raiders and rustlers and oversaw massive cattle drives going as far north as Savannah and Charleston.

One of the companies was Capt. John T. Lesley’s Co. B 1st Battalion, Florida Special Cavalry, from Hillsborough County. Stationed in Ichepucksassa, a small settlement which would in later decades help to form Plant City, the company patrolled an area from Lake Okeechobee to Hernando County.


An interesting postscript regarding the post-war career of John T. Lesley is that in 1869, he was elected the 12th Mayor of the City of Tampa. Lesley ran on a single platform that Tampa’s charter should be revoked by the state legislature due to the City’s destitute post-war condition and financial status. After seven months in office, Mayor Lesley was successful and the City's charter was lost. Subsequently,
Cow Cavalry Memorial image. Click for full size.
By AGS Media, July 29, 2011
7. Cow Cavalry Memorial
Seen next to the The 1914 Plant City High School Community Center
Lesley resigned his office. Lesley later went on to serve both in Florida's state legislature and senate. Tampa would not formally re-incorporate until 1873.
Also see . . .
1. Photos from the dedication and unveiling of the Cow Cavalry Memorial. Gallery from the Plant City U.D.C. Chapter website (Submitted on August 21, 2011, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.) 

2. "Cracker" - The Story of Florida's Confederate Cow Cavalry. article by William Russell (Submitted on August 21, 2011, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.) 
Categories. AnimalsWar, US Civil
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 21, 2011, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 2,561 times since then and 173 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on August 21, 2011, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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