McBride's Company of Florida Indian Scouts / Co. K 1st Michigan Sharpshooters
We are an American Civil War reenacting unit located in the NE Florida area. We participate in a number of battle reenactments and living history events throughout the course of the year. We are different from most reenacting units though in that we also hold events to learn and practice the bushcrafting skills of the Florida frontier era from 1830 to 1870. Through learning the bushcrafting skills of the 19th Century, we hope to teach the people we meet the ways our ancestors lived during the eras before the invention of modern conveniences. If you love America and would like to learn what it was like to live back in the frontier days, contact us. We'd love to have you come learn with us.
Unit History - McBride's Company of Florida Indian Scouts (CSA)
McBride's Company was a company of indian scouts raised in 1862 in the Black Dirt District of Levy County, Florida by Captain Andrew Hodges. The company was raised as a company of scouts originally known as Hodges' Company. It was raised by the State of Florida to assist in the defense of the interior of the state and to take advantage of the geographical knowledge of indians in the state. The unit was actually a multi-racial unit though composed of Native Americans, Whites, Hispanics, and Blacks. The unit was however predominantly Native American and saw members of the Choctaw, Cherokee, and Seminole tribes who stayed in Florida join it. Very few Confederate records of this unit remain other than the unit's membership roster of officers when Capt. Andrew Hodges first started the company in 1862 and then the full enlistment muster roll that was put together in 1864 when Capt. A. McBride took over and the unit became McBride's Company. There are however numerous reports in the accounts of Union black troops and a few whites in the Union forces that occupied Jacksonville that tell of the sniping and ambushing prowess of this unit during patrols that Union forces conducted into the interior. At the Battle of Olustee, Union Black Troops in the Union Black Phalanx (8th US Colored Troops, 54th Massachussetts, 1st North Carolina, 2nd North Carolina, and 55th Massachussetts) tell in their accounts of the battle of the prowess of the indian sharpshooters sniping their officers and NCOs from the trees as the battle began and continued over the course of the battle. These same troops testify of the intensity of the fighting indians they encountered on their patrols. These Union records give us some of the story of the brave exploits of McBride's Company in Florida.
Co K 1st Michigan Sharpshooters (USA)
Company K of the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters was raised in 1863 in the Arbre Coche region of Michigan. It was raised for the prowess of living in the wilderness that the Seneca indians of the area were known for and for the exceptional marksmanship of these warriors. In spite of having been repeatedly wronged by the US Government, these brave men chose to fight to show their honor to their Anglo neighbors in hopes of gaining equality. The unit raised 100 men of whom only 50 would live to see the end of the war. Many of these brave men lost their lives in battles in Virginia at places like the Battle of the Wilderness and at The Crater at the Battle of Petersburg. During late 1864, this unit did get some short period of about 5 or 6 weeks R&R at Fort Clinch, Florida according to some accounts.
This is the local connection for us to this unit but also we seek to tell the untold story of Native Americans who fought for the North and South. This is why we portray McBride's Company and Company K of the 1st Michigan Sharpshooters. We seek to preserve their story and to learn the bushcrafting of the American Indians and help pass those teachings on to others. We are not your typical Civil War reenacting unit and never will be. We hold liberty to be valuable for all peoples and hold our heritage in high esteem as we seek to learn from these proud American Indian ancestors and their bravery that they displayed whether as members of McBride's Company of Florida Indian Scouts or as members of Co. K 1st Michigan Sharpshooters. The story of the American Indian contribution to the Civil War and American society has gone untold for too long. We hope in some small way to preserve and teach this story.