Historical Inventory of Hamilton County, FL


William Robert Tuten

Compiled by Charles Anthony (Tony) Tuten, of Jasper, Florida

Hill’s Division
Major General Daniel Harvey Hill
Garland’s Brigade
Brigadier General Samuel Garland Jr.

2nd Florida Infantry Regiment
Colonel Edward Asbury Perry

Company F, 2nd Florida Infantry

TUTEN,W.R. P. 13JUL61. W SEVEN PINES. 31MAY62. REPORTED DEAD 30SEP62.

This is a reference of William Robert Tuten, of Jasper, Florida, found in the Biographical Rosters of Florida Confederate Soldiers. His widow, Tabitha, filed for Confederate Widows pension in 1932 and was denied, as the authorities did not find him assigned to the unit as she listed him. The following letter was presented:

Jasper, Florida September 18, 1932

To: Hon Doyle E. Carlton, Governor
Tallahassee, Fl

For Frances T. Tuten
Possible Units-Comapny H, 10th Florida Infantry, Company I, 2nd Florida Infantry

Dear Sir:

The following information is handed you herewith, in view of securing a pension for the above widow.

Mrs. Frances (Tabitha) Tuten is the widow of William Robert Tuten, whose record is as follows: Born in Robertsville, Hampton County South Carolina. In 1840, he came to Hamilton County a boy at the age of 17 (He was born March 20, 1824) and entered into the Indian War. I believe this war ended in 1858. He then entered into the service of the Confederate States, Company “I” 2nd Fla Inf Regt, under the command of Capt John Quincy Forrest or Stewart; he was honorably (medically) discharged, having been crippled by injuries to his feet in the Battle of Seven Pines.

William Robert Tuten married Frances T. Williams on May 25th, 1875, as shown by the Records in Hamilton County Florida, and died on March 21, 1899 in Jasper leaving his widow and one son, William Robert Tuten. Neither Mrs. Frances T. Tuten nor William Robert Tuten ever asked for pension, for either the Indian War, or the Civil War.

I’m wondering if this pension could be granted to her, as his widow even at this late date, either for service in the Indian War or from the Civil War, or both.

If there are any such records on file, or available, will you have them looked up, and furnish me the necessary blank, for making her application.

I thought that there would be some provision for the payment of Indian War soldiers, from the Acts of 1902, when Florida settled with the U.S. for those claims, or vice verse.

Thanking you, I remain,
Yours truly,
RR Riley
Lawyer
PO Box 347
Jasper, Florida

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Letter War Department Washington D.C. November 2, 1932 to Comptroller Department of Pension, State of Florida, Tallahassee to Tabitha Tuten, widow of William Robert Tuten reads:

November 2, 1932

War Department
The Adjutant General
Washington, D. C.

In Reply Refer To
Comptroller,
Department of Pensions
State of Florida,
Tallahassee, Florida

The name of William Robert Tuten has not been found on the muster rolls on file in this office of Company I, 2nd Regiment Florida Infantry, Confederate States Army, which covers the period from July 12, 1861, to February 1865.

The records show, however, that W.R. Tuten, also borne as William R. Tuten, private, Company F, 2nd Regiment Florida Infantry, Confederate States Army, enlisted July 13th 1861 at Jacksonville, Florida, age 25 years. He died September 30th 1862, of wounds received in the battle of Seven Pines.

C. H. Bridges
Major General,
The Adjutant General,
By I.S.J.

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The record in the Biographical Rosters of Florida Confederate Soldiers states REPORTED to have died. Tabitha claims he was discharged medically due to injuries to his feet after the Battle of Seven Pines. The State Board of Pensions did not approve the claim on the official data provided by the Adjutant General, however, Tabitha, his wife, claims he served, he’s found in another company…. As the Adjutant states. This listing therefore authenticates Tabitha’s claim and verifies William Robert Tuten’s service. Her knowledge given and the adjutant general’s response not only confirm his service, but gives us the date he joined (July 13, 1861), the fact that he was indeed wounded, and the fact that he was wounded at Seven Pines, the actual location/battle where he was wounded. Confederate records of the period are poor, this record however is a record that confirms W.R. Tuten of Company F served and we believe him to be William Robert Tuten of Jasper, Hamilton County, Florida.

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REF- Biographical Rosters of FL Confederate Soldiers.

William Robert Tuten – Jackson Co.

Wounded – 5/31/1862

Reportedly to have died 9/30/1862

Listed here as being from Jackson County is assumed, as he was assigned to Company F “Gulf States Guards,” originally formed in Jackson County. The adjutant general’s reference suggests William R. Tuten being from Jacksonville and further states he was assigned to Co F, “Gulf State Guards” which was composed mostly of Jackson County men. It is most likely and probable that W.R. Tuten of Jasper was drafted or mustered into Company F once he arrived in Jacksonville to fill ranks on July 13th. Naturally the officials would have enlisted him as being from Jacksonville, if that was where he went to join the regiment. The facts further reveal that companies of the 2nd Florida Infantry Regiments rendezvoused west of Jacksonville, Florida, on 13 July 1861, departed by train on the 15th, and arrived in Richmond, Virginia, on 24 July 1861 (the day of the Battle of First Manassas) becoming part of the Army of Northern Virginia. The mass confusion and speed of events during those few days in Jacksonville no doubt made it impossible to try to request reassignment….or perhaps W.R. Tuten felt that it didn’t matter where or what unit he served. However, it must be noted here and adds significantly to the argument is the discovery of another Jasper soldier James Sills, listed on both Company F “Gulf States Guards” of Jackson County, and Company I, Jasper or Hamilton County rosters. This reference suggests that indeed men from Jasper were assigned to other companies in the regiment. He too apparently may have been mustered into Company F “Gulf States Guards” upon arrival in Jacksonville. Later Sills somehow managed to return to Company I, “Hamilton Jasper Blues”. It is officially stated in the muster history of the unit that the 2nd Florida Infantry was formed into eleven companies out of the original ten, meaning therefore that the Regiment was tailored and composed of members of the other units in order to form evenly numbered companies and included an eleventh company.

W.R. Tuten enlisted on 13 July 1861 as a 12 months (enlistee) man, however he fell under the conscript laws of May 1861 which forced enlistees to remain on active duty for two additional years.

Other supporting evidence or lack thereof in an extensive record of Tuten genealogy fails to find any Tuten families in Jacksonville in 1860-65. Other searches, which include the 1860 Florida census, also fail to find any Tuten listed in Jacksonville or Duval County during the period (The population of Jacksonville and Duval County at this time was less than 9,000 persons). These facts make it unlikely that W.R. Tuten (later identified specifically and officially as William Robert Tuten) was from Jacksonville as the Secretary of the Florida Pension Board suggests. The 1860 records of the Florida Census of Jackson County do not list any Tuten families in that county either.

Frances Tabitha Tuten, his wife, states that he served in the 2nd Florida Infantry Regiment. She obviously didn’t remember the exact company as she lists Company I, “Jasper Blues” (which is where he probably intended to go), & Company H. Her attorney, Mr. Riley, further suggested Company H, 1st Florida Infantry Regiment. The Comptroller of the State of Florida, Board of Pensions, denied her favorable consideration of pension because the adjutant general’s letter did not specifically state that W.R.Tuten could be the William Robert Tuten of Jasper, Florida.

Based on the above personal family record, coupled with and the official historical record, William Robert Tuten of Jasper, Hamilton County, Florida served the CSA and is listed in official records as W.R. Tuten of Company F, 2nd Florida Infantry Regiment.

The Army of Northern Virginia fought at Yorktown, Williamsburg, Hanover Courthouse, and finally Seven Pines while W.R. Tuten was assigned. In the end, only a handful of officers and 69 enlisted men of the “Hamilton Blues” surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse.

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Yorktown, Virginia. PRINCIPAL Commanders: Major General John B. Magruder and General Joseph E. Johnston [CS]: Estimated Casualties: 320 total.

Description: April 5-May 4, 1862; Marching from Fort Monroe, Major General George B. McClellan’s army encountered Major General John B. Magruder’s small Confederate army at Yorktown behind the Warwick River. Magruder’s theatrics convinced the Federals that his works were strongly held. McClellan suspended the march up the Peninsula toward Richmond, ordered the construction of siege fortifications, and brought his heavy siege guns to the front. In the meantime, General Joseph E. Johnston brought reinforcements for Magruder. On 16 April, Union forces probed a weakness in the Confederate line at Lee’s Mill or Dam No. 1, resulting in about 309 casualties. Failure to exploit the initial success of this attack, however, held up McClellan for an two additional weeks, while he tried to convince his navy to maneuver the Confederates’ big guns at Yorktown and Gloucester Point, and ascend the York River to West Point, thus outflanking the Warwick Line. McClellan planned for a massive bombardment to begin at dawn on May 4, but the Confederate army slipped away in the night toward Williamsburg.

Williamsburg. PRINCIPAL Commander: Major General James Longstreet [CS]. Forces Engaged: 72,591 total (US 40,768;CS 31,823). Estimated Casualties: 3,843 total (US 2,283; CS 1,560).

Description: On May 5th 1862, in the first pitched battle of the Peninsula Campaign, nearly 41,000 Federals and 32,000 Confederates were engaged. Following up the Confederate retreat from Yorktown, Hooker’s division encountered the Confederate rearguard near Williamsburg. Hooker assaulted Fort Magruder, an earthen fortification alongside the Williamsburg Road, but was repulsed. Confederate counterattacks, directed by Major General James Longstreet, threatened to overwhelm the Union left flank, until Kearny’s division arrived to stabilize the Federal position. Hancock’s brigade then moved to threaten the Confederate left flank, occupying two abandoned redoubts. The Confederates counterattacked unsuccessfully. Hancock’s localized success was not exploited. The Confederate army continued its withdrawal during the night.

Hanover Courthouse. PRINCIPAL Commander: Brigadier General Lawrence O’B. Branch [CS]. Forces Engaged: Divisions – Estimated Casualties: 1,327 total (US 397; CS 930).

Description: On May 27, 1862, elements of Brigadier General Fitz John Porter’s V Corps extended north to protect the right flank of McClellan’s Union army that now straddled the Chickahominy River. Porter’s objective was to cut the railroad and to open the Telegraph Road for Union reinforcements under Major General Irvin McDowell, that were marching south from Fredericksburg. Confederate forces, attempting to prevent this maneuver, were defeated just south of Hanover Courthouse after a stiff fight. The Union victory was moot, however, for McDowell’s reinforcements were recalled to Fredericksburg upon word of Bank’s rout at First Winchester.

Seven Pines. Army of Northern Virginia PRINCIPAL Commanders: *General Joseph E. Johnston and Major General G.W. Smith [CS]. Forces Engaged – Armies: (84,000 total). Estimated Casualties: 13,736 total (US 5,739; CS 7,997).

D. H. Hill’s Division:
Major General D. H. Hill

Garland’s Brigade:
Brigadier General Samuel Garland

2nd Florida Infantry
2nd Mississippi Battalion
5th North Carolina Infantry
23rd North Carolina Infantry
24th Virginia Infantry
38th Virginia Infantry
Jefferson Davis (Alabama) Artillery

Description: On May 31, General Joseph E. Johnston attempted to overwhelm two Federal corps that appeared isolated south of the Chickahominy River. The Confederate assaults, though not well coordinated, succeeded in driving back the IV Corps and inflicting heavy casualties. Reinforcements arrived, and both sides fed more and more troops into the action. Supported by the III Corps and Sedgwick’s division of Sumner’s II Corps (that crossed the rain-swollen river on Grapevine Bridge), the Federal position was finally stabilized. General Johnston was seriously wounded during the action, and command of the Confederate army devolved temporarily to Major General G.W. Smith. On June 1, the Confederates renewed their assaults against the Federals who had brought up more reinforcements but made little headway. Both sides claimed victory. Confederate Brigadier Robert H. Hatton was killed.

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This entire research study on William Robert Tuten was completed and compiled by Charles Anthony Tuten, of Jasper, Florida. Any credit when citing this page in your own research should be attributed to Charles Tuten.

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