CSA Pension Petition of Domingo Usina St. Augustine Florida
State Board of Pensions St. Augustine, Fla Tallahassee, Fla June 28th, 1911
In April of 1861 I enlisted in Company "B" Third Florida Volunteers in State Service; in March of 1862 in the Confederate Service at Midway, Florida, Capt. John Lott Phillips commanding and Col. W. S. Dilworth. Served under General Forney at Mobile summer of 1862; was ordered to Chattanooga in August of 1862 then with General Baxton Bragg's army in his campaign through Kentucky; was in the battle of Mumfordsville, Ky and was wounded in the battle of Perrysville, KY in October of 1862 and was discharged at Knoxville, November 2nd, 1862; under age!
In changing clothes that I had worn for four months after having taken a bath in the river at Knoxville, snow being on the ground at the time, I contracted a severe cold and spat blood for several years. I came to Florida (St. Johns County) and needing medical aid for both my lungs and the wound, I went to the Union pickets at St. Augustine, Fla. my father being in jail at Port Royal for not taking the oath. When I arrived at the picket, Col. Putnam of the 7th New Hampshire, met me there and I told him of my trouble and requested medical aid as I could not get it out in the woods and he said to me, "I guess you better come in, you are pretty good material," and ordered the guard to take me in and he carried me to his headquarters and after telling him my physical condition he said to me, "the only way you can get aid is to take the Oath of Allegiance;" that I emphatically refused to do and told him I preferred to go back in the woods and suffer. He then said, "you will not go back in the woods; there is Fort Marion or a parole." I will parole you and give you medical aid." The substance of the parole was that I would not leave their lines until I was regularly exchanged or ---otherwise released and in paroling I was to have the privilege of the Union lines. In July of 1863 I was notified by the commanding officer, Col. Hawley of the 7th Connecticut, that I would be subject to draft (that was on Thursday but I don't remember the date) and on Friday morning A. L. Ximanies (now dead) and myself stole a boat, dodged the Pickets and ran up North river about 12 miles intending to go into the Confederate lines. We got lost in the woods and were delayed nearly 48 hours without food or water and finally succeeded in getting to my grandfather's farm about 10 miles north of the city. We arrived there about 5:00 o'clock famished and starved from want of water and food and we were taken care of by my grandfather. During the night I heard the dogs barking and great confusion and to my great surprise the house was surrounded by Union soldiers and Capt. Dennis of the 7th Connecticut Volunteers who was Provost Marshall, being in charge. They put us aboard a boat and brought us back and we were confined for 3 months in what is now the U. S. Post Office; was then a U. S. Court House, and after being there 3 months the Confederate troops on the Islands of South Carolina captured a lot of negro soldiers and the Southern authorities notified them that they would not recognize them as prisoners of war and that they would execute everyone of them.
I being only a little over 18 years of age and my father being a Master Mason; the ex-Mayor of the City being a Master Mason, I on account of my illness had been removed to the U.S. Hospital and they all came to me, and I knowing that I was not able to get to Confederate lines and that the new order had been given that I was to be held hostage and they advised me to take the Oath of Allegiance to the U. S. and I did it, but it should be remembered that I served 18 or 19 months for the Confederate cause and soldiers who are now drawing pensions from the State who did not serve as long a time as I did and most of them were conscripts, and I feel that while I took the Oath of Allegiance circumstances alter cases and my neck was in jeopardy.