Hillsborough County, Florida


1823 - 1886

James D. Green was born ca. 1823 in South Carolina and in 1837 moved to Florida. During the Second Seminole War, he enlisted as a private on April 11, 1839 at the plantation of John Miller in Captain Robert D. Bradley's Company, Florida Mounted Volunteers and was honorably discharged as a corporal on April 11, 1840 at Fort Jackson, Middle Florida (Middle Florida was the area Appalachicola to the Suwannee).

On January 30, 1843, he applied for 160 acres under provisions of the Armed Occupation Act of August 4, 1842. The land on which he intended settlement was "situated on the north bank of the Manatee River about nine miles from its mouth and about two hundred yeards from the bank." Permit no. 312 to him was issued March 25, 1843. The site's description appears to be present day Manatee County.

On July 11, 1849 at cork in Hillsborough County, he was married by Rev. Leroy G. Lesley to Eliza Whidden, born June 4, 1827, daughter of Willoughby and Eliza (Pennington) Whidden. They had the following children:

1. George Green, born 1850.

2. Andrew Green, born 1852; married on May 22, 1877 in Manatee Ccounty, Martha E. Mizell, daughter of Enoch Everett and Annie (Jackson) Mizell.

3. Hugh Green, born 1855.

4. Mary Eliza Green, born 1857.

5. Helen Jane Green, born 1859.

6. Leroy Green, born 1860.

7. ______ Green, born 186?.

8. Karon E. Green, born 1866; married on June 28, 1887 in DeSoto County, John W. Myers.

9. John Green, born 1869 (adopted).

10. Ada S. Green, born 1870; married on April 10, 1888 in DeSoto County, W. H. Jenkins.

11. Kate Green, born 1873.

James and Eliza Green were listed in household #95 in the 1850 Hillsborough County Census in Simmons Hammock Settlement. On August 2, 1850, he registered his brand: two underbits in each ear: fleur delisle. On April 11, 1851, he applied for a bounty land warrant from service in Captain Bradley's Company. Warrant no. 14169 for 160 acres was issued February 24, 1852. Readding Blount in October 1851 moved near present day Bartow and, subsequently, purchased for $40 from Green 160 acres which constituted a part of the site of latter day Bartow. It is believed the bounty land warrant grant was the Blount/Bartow land.

Green next appeared in Fort Green. Gene Plowden in History of Hardee County related that old maps, after surveys in 1854 and 1855, showed the Green family lived in the northwest part of present day Hardee County and a log fort was built by James Green, for whom it was named. Albert DeVane, however, gives 1849 for the establishment of Fort Green, but Plowden cites 1854 - 1856. For whom Fort Green was named is therefore uncertain, but James D. Green must be given serious consideration.

Manatee County was established on January 9, 1855 from Hillsborough County. In June of 1855, James D. Green was appointed as one of three Manatee County justices of the peace and qualified in late July. (Josiah Gates and Nathaniel Hunter were the other two justices.) In October 1857, James was elected Sheriff by a vote of 21 to 12 over William Whitaker.

During the Third Seminole War, he was enrolled January 3, 1856 and mustered in the same day in Captain W. B. Hooker's Company, Florida Mounted Volunteers (1 service 1856) and was mustered out as a sergeant on February 21, 1856 at Fort Meade. He was enrolled February 18, 1856 and was mustered in February 21 at Fort Meade in Captain W. B. Hooker's County, Florida Mounted Volunteers (2 service-6 months 1856) and was mustered out as 1st sergeant at Fort Meade on August 20, 1856.

During the Civil War, he served as 1st Lieutenant and Captain in Company B, 2nd Florida Cavalry, United States Army. His service was married with controversy, of which he detailed in a letter, dated April 15, 1865, Cedar Keys, Florida:

To his Excellency The President of the United States

Respected Sir:

I beg leave to inform your excellency of a few facts relative to myself and fellow suffering refugees. On the 7th of March 1864 I left my family home and property and sought protection in the Union lines. On arriving at Fort Myers, Florida, I found a party of 48 men commanded by Captain Crane that had been enlisted under the name of the 2nd Florida Cavalry by an order of General Woodbury who was at that time in command of the District of Key West & Tortugas.

I offered my services to assist in recruiting the regiment which was accepted by Captain Crane. He furnished me with 20 men and without delay I proceeded to the interior and in 10 days I returned with 30 recruits to Fort Myers. This was reported to General Woodbury and he recommended me for the position of 1st Lieut. and a commission was issued. My recruits were enlisted and armed, and I immediately made another raid with 50 men. I met, engaged, and repulsed a force of 150 rebels-captured quite a number of horses and recruited 34 men and returned to Fort Myers on the 13th day after my departure. Captain Crane advised me to go to Head Quarters, Key West and report in person to General Woodbury, which I did; whereupon, the General recommended that a captain's commission be issued, which was compiled with. About that time 3 companies of the 2nd U. S. Col. Inf. was ordered to Fort Myers with officers that ranked Captain Crane, with that change was the commencement of the grossest abuses toward the refugee soldiers and families, whom by that time had become quite numerous.

After the death of General Woodbury, the officers at Fort Myers seemed to lose sight of principle. The refugees brought in their horses and wagons for protection according to the terms of your proclamation. The commanding officer of the post and Quarter master would order out parties to drive in cattle. They would mount the parties on the horses belonging to the refugees. They would drive in cattle belonging to the refugees and ship them to Nassau, refusing to receipt for either horses or cattle. Neither were they ever taken up on the Quarter master's books. The horses were deprived of forage and upward of fifty perished, thus leaving the owners without a showing for their property.

Indignant at the conduct besides a map of the corruptest immoralties, I made charges against the commanding officer of the post for which I was put in arrest and kept in confinement 50 days. During that time Captain Doyle of the 110 New York Volunteers was ordered to Fort Myers to relieve the commanding officer of the post in consequence of the charges preferred with instructions from General Newton to get the matter settled between myself and adversary, if possible. But being informed that I would submit to nothing but an official investigation, and that I had only a provisional commission, and that I had never been mustered, he forwarded a request that my commission should be revoked, which was done. After that he (the general) had forwarded the request, he decided that he would take no further notice of the charges preferred by me upon the grounds that I was not an officer.

What make the matter more serious on my part I have never had an opportunity of mustering into the service when I was prepared to do so, and I am now turned out of the service without receiving any pay after losing my property to the rebels, then serving the government faithfully over one year, having a wife and 7 children in a state of actual desitution.

I do not ask to be replace. I simply ask that my case may be investigated to enable me to get my just dues. The General commanding denies me justice; therefore, I appeal to your well known justice and integrity, hoping to receive through your hands an impartial investigation, which has been denied me here.

He also wrote on the same a letter, similar to the first but citing charges of misconduct against several officers, to the Secretary of War. Company muster rolls noted that Green received a commission as 1st Lt. May 9, 1864 and his commission as Captain May 26, 1864. The roll of November and December 1864 remarked, Recapitulation shows him "Present, on arrest, or confinement." The Returns of February 1865 noted, "Relieved from duty." By special order #23 in March 1865 he was assigned to duty, but on April 11, 1865, orders revoking his commission, dated April 1, 1865, were received at Fort Myers retroactive to February 1865.

Captain Green's record was cleared when on March 27, 1866 and March 13, 1872, the War Department approved his service as 1st Lieutenant, Company B, 2nd Florida Cavalry to date May 1-26, 1864 and as Captain, Company B from May 26, 1864 to February 3, 1865 and March 26, 1865 to April 12, 1865.

James D. Green was a member of an unofficial group, which with a committee of eight, met on April 28, 1866 with the Manatee County Commissioners. The commissioners heard their unanimous report for the courthouse to be moved from the village of Manatee to a new site to be called Pine Level. The commissioners accepted the report, ordered the courthouse at Manatee sold, and a new one built at Pine Level.

The Green family was listed in the Fort Hartsuff area in the 1860 and 1870 Manatee County Census. In 1870, neighbors included relatives: Eliza Whidden, John and Ellen Whidden, Charles and Sophia Hendry, Jesse Whidden. They moved in the early 1870's to Pine Level where James served as postmaster. In 1871 and 1872, he was taxed on 75 hogs and 150 cattle. In the 1880 Manatee Census, James and Eliza, children: Mary E., Helen, Karon, John, Ada, and Kate were enumerated in precinct #1, Pine Level.

James D. Green died on April 8, 1886, Pine Level and was buried in Pine Level Campground Cemetery.

On August 9, 1890, Eliza Green of Pine Level under the Act of June 27, 1890 applied for a pension as the widow of James D. Green, Captain, Company B, 2nd Florida Cavalry. On April 5, 1895, George Mizell, 47 of Pine Level, gave an affidavit in Eliza's behalf, in which he stated:

The widow at present resides on a small undivided estate valued on the tax rolls of the county at 430 dollars. In this she has an interest of one-fifth (1/5). The personal property of said estate is valued at 800 dollars but in this she has no interest as shown by the administrator's record, having already overdrawn her interest in said personal property. All this property is assessed in the name of James D. Green Est. The widow has nothing whatever in her own right and no person is bound for her support. Her income from all sources as spring 1894 was 80 dollars and 16 cents. Her claim was approved under certificate no. 468877, commencing August 16, 1890 at $8 per month. Eliza Green died on August 8, 1903 at Pine Level.

SOURCES: Pension application of Eliza Green, National Archives; military records of James D. Green, National Archives; Armed Occupation Act permit of James D. Green, Department of Natural Resources, Tallahassee; Gene Plowden, History of Hardee County, 1929; census: 1850 Hillsborough County, 1860, 1870, 1880 Manatee County; "DeSoto County Early Marriages", South Florida Pioneers, #8 & #9; "Manatee County Early Marriages", South Florida Pioneers, #5; "Hillsborough County Early Marks & Brands", South Florida Pioneers, #7 & #15/16; Janet S. Matthews, Edge of Wilderness; Albert & Park DeVane, DeVane's Early Florida History Volume I, 1978; bounty land warrant application of James D. Green, National Archives.

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