"My National Troubles"

The Civil War Papers of William McCullough

Originally published in Volume 20 of the Sunland Tribune, the journal of the Tampa Historical Society, 1994
submitted by Kyle S. VanLandingham

Each of these image files is approximately 275 KB and will, thus, take 20 seconds to one minute to load depending on your connection.

page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Introduction (248 KB)  Introduction by Kyle S. VanLandingham
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 1 (273 KB)  The account begins on July 4, 1864.  McCullough recounts his travails through the first part of the Civil War including the abandonment of his home near Fort Meade, in Polk County, and his long journey to Key West, an island town occupied by Union troops.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 2 (303 KB)  McCullough tells of his experiences in Key West, culminating in the establishment of the Union 2nd Florida Cavalry and a raid on Fort Meade.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 3 (272 KB)  The Fort Meade raid is recounted and preparations for the Brooksville Expedition, July 1864.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 4 (293 KB)  The Brooksville Raid in July 1864 is covered very thoroughly on this page.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 5 (276 KB)  The Brooksville Raid continues and the accidental shooting of Capt. John T. Lesley by troops under his father's command is explored.   The march to Bayport and the embarkation for West Florida is covered here.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 6 (297 KB)  Activities of the 2nd Florida Cavalry at St. Andrews Bay in West Florida, July 1864.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 7 (263 KB)  Horrible conditions and severe racial tensions at Cedar Keys in late July and early August, 1864.  Return to Fort Myers.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 8 (260 KB)  August 1864--Another expedition to Cedar Keys and a raid in the Suwannee River region.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 9 (254 KB)  Cedar Keys--August 1864--Corpses are piled high at Cedar Keys.  Much sickness.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 10 (252 KB)  September 1864--Continued death from disease at Cedar Keys.  Major Weeks, commander of 2nd Florida Cavalry, kills a man and is arrested.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 11 ( 275 KB)   Cedar Keys-September 1864.   McCullough severely criticizes the black troops in the U.S. Colored Infantry as well as their officers.  Some very lurid accounts here.  Definitely not politically correct.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 12 (261 KB)  September 1864--Return to Fort Myers.   February 1865--McCullough learns he is dishonorably discharged [later reversed] the day before the Battle of Fort Myers.  Account of the Battle.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 13 (277 KB)  More details of McCullough's discharge, a severe attack on Capt. Jonathan Childs of the 2nd U.S. Colored Infantry.   April 1, 1865--McCullough writes to his wife from Cedar Keys and tells her of his case.  April 21, 1865, McCullough begins a letter to Capt. Henry A. Crane, his former commander in Company A, 2nd Florida Union Cavalry. 
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 14 (294 KB)  Fascinating detail regarding an incident with Francis A. Ivey, a desperado, who served in the 2nd Florida Cavalry. 
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 15 (269 KB)  A letter dated July 1865 from Key West to Capt. James D. Green, formerly of Company B, 2nd Florida Cavalry.  McCullough discusses the sham marriages at Ft. Myers, a matter corroborated by Green in his own writings.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 16 (298 KB)  Continuation of a letter dated May 29, 1865 from Key West to Jasper Dunbar, McCullough's adopted son.  He condemns Major Edmund Weeks and continues his attack on Francis A. Ivey.  Ivey was killed five years later by outlaw Long John Whidden.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 17 (316 KB)  Another letter to Jasper Dunbar, beginning at Key West on June 25, 1865.  He recounts his departure from Key West, reunion  with his wife and family at Depot Key on June 28, and taking them aboard for the trip to New Orleans.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 18 (298 KB)  July 1865--The trip to New Orleans.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 19 (288 KB)  Completion of the letter to Jasper Dunbar as the family makes its way to Cairo, Illinois. Another letter, from August 1865, in Hamilton, Illinois, to Jasper begins.  McCullough recounts many of his experiences in the war and an especially poignant incident regarding Private William Yates, Company A, 2nd Florida Cavalry.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 20 (308 KB) The letter continues with details on the Brooksville Raid, including the sacking of the plantation of Capt. William B. Hooker, the wounding of Confederate Capt. John T. Lesley and depredations at Bayport.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 21 (280 KB)  Letters to a friend from July 1866.   More details on the activities of Major Weeks.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Page 22 (270 KB ) McCullough makes a  final statement defending his actions and referring the whole matter to the world at large.
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Endnotes 1
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Endnotes 2
page_icon.jpg (9029 bytes) Endnotes 3