Confederate Veterans Parade in Jacksonville (1914)

One hundred years ago last month Confederate veterans gathered in Jacksonville, Florida for a reunion. Around 50,000 people took part in the festivities. The video below contains just under 17 minutes of footage from the parade and it is incredible.

[Video uploaded to YouTube on July 1, 2014]

About the author: Thank you for taking the time to read this post. What next? Scroll down and join the discussion in the comments section. Looking for more Civil War content? You can follow me on Twitter. Check out my latest book, Searching For Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth, which is the first book-length analysis of the black Confederate myth ever published. Order your copy today.

18 comments… add one
  • Randall Benson Feb 25, 2019 @ 6:56

    I wonder what James Weldon Johnson would think of that Sprinfield area if he could see it now? …and would he want to live there?

  • jim shill Jul 1, 2014 @ 16:29

    This is a good video, You have to remember we just had the Spanish-American War. You see alot of US and CS flag cause we were proud to be both. Like must southerners today, proud to be American and from the South. Not everyone sat around pissed off about the war. Jacksonville went out of there way to host the old Veterans. Black and white. So many veterans showed up they had stay in townspeople homes. Jacksonville was very progressive toward blacks. look up Alexander Darnes. James Weldon Johnson left town cause he wanted too. Someone said 50 blacks were lynched…maybe… how many whites were lynched? If you going to make something sound racist give more facts.

    • Kevin Levin Jul 1, 2014 @ 16:36

      Thanks for the comment.

      James Weldon Johnson left town cause he wanted too.

      Fascinating analysis.

      • Rob in CT Jul 2, 2014 @ 9:19

        Actually, I found Someone said 50 blacks were lynched…maybe… how many whites were lynched? to be even more “fascinating.”

      • jim shill Jul 2, 2014 @ 12:46

        Sorry Kevin- he decided in 1906 to take a job as a U.S. Consul to Venezuela. While employed by the diplomatic corps, Johnson had poems published in The Century Magazine and The Independent.

        Kathleen Wyer Lane made reference to his and that he may have been forced out of Jax. I said he left cause he wanted too….and he did. He found success and left to pursue it. I just hear alot of things blamed on racism in the South when its not true.

        • Kevin Levin Jul 2, 2014 @ 12:56

          Whatever works for you, Jim. Thanks for the comment.

          • jim shill Jul 2, 2014 @ 14:12

            Just trying to keep the facts straight.

            Thank you for posting the video.

  • Kathleen Wyer Lane Jul 1, 2014 @ 13:09

    Jacksonville brings back many family memories. At the time of this reunion, my great grandfather was establishing his practice as a Negro physician. As I watched the film, I wondered what he must have thought about this reunion.

    Speaking of Negroes and Jacksonville, James Weldon Johnson comes to mind. According to his biography, Johnson left Jacksonville in 1914. I wonder if there was a connection.
    At any rate James Weldon Johnson wrote The Negro National Anthem. He also authored several essays and books. His most famous book was “The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man”.

    I doubt that if he were alive, Forrest could not, would not have read it. All of those big words (penned by an Uppity Negro).

    I did notice some black faces in the film. They were overjoyed to take part in such a marvelous reunion. 1914 was a great year. During 1914 Florida lynched over 50 Blacks.

    I’m pleased to share the link below with you. It’s the biography of James Weldon Johnson, Native Son of Jacksonville, Florida. His life is quite a contrast to the low performance of that black minstrel who dares to rob us of our true Florida history.


    • Kevin Levin Jul 1, 2014 @ 13:57

      I love the connection to JWJ. Didn’t know he was from Jacksonville. Thanks.

  • William Underhill Jul 1, 2014 @ 9:04

    I see quite a number of “yankee flags” on the automobiles in the parade. I wonder if Sweet Sue Hathaway has een this film.

    • Andy Hall Jul 1, 2014 @ 10:53

      Many Confederate veterans would be embarrassed by the rhetorical excesses of the True Southron crowd today, including the Virginia Flaggers. U.S. flags were very common at Confederate reunions attended by real Confederates; ,b>it’s the modern-day, make-believe Confederates who have a problem with them. After all, Forrest himself called on former Confederates to “honor the government for which [Union soldiers] died, and if called upon, to fight for the flag we could not conquer.”

  • Will Hickox Jul 1, 2014 @ 8:35

    This reminds me of an item in the National Tribune of August 20, 1906, by a Northern veteran:

    Joseph Aston, Co. I, — W. Va. Cav., Coweta, I. T., wants to know why, after 42 years, there are more rebel flags to-day than there were at the close of the war. At an Encampment at Oklahoma City last Fall 300 rebel flags were carried by the school children in the parade. The Southern Soldiers were grand, brave and heroic, and it was no fault of theirs that they did not shoot the life out of the Government, but their flag went down, and down it should stay.”

    Another vet wrote that, since the Government spent so much effort caring for Confederate graves, they should look after British, Indian, Mexican, and Spanish graves as well, since they fought for a better cause than the rebels.

    • Lee Jul 2, 2014 @ 13:23

      “Another vet wrote that, since the Government spent so much effort caring for Confederate graves, they should look after British, Indian, Mexican, and Spanish graves as well, since they fought for a better cause than the rebels.”

      He had a point. In fact, in the Mexican War the Mexicans not only fought for a better cause than the Confederates did, but for one which was better than that of their own American opponents, since the U.S. was the clear aggressor in that war. The same can be said regarding the Indians in the Indian wars (at least for the most part).

      • Rob Baker Jul 2, 2014 @ 16:46

        Well, the U.S. really didn’t take care of their own graves that well prior to the Civil War.

  • Barbara Gannon Jul 1, 2014 @ 7:58

    What I find interesting, they did not clear the parade route for them. Note the fact that public transportation still operates. I cannot see that many spectators lining the parade route,

    • Kevin Levin Jul 1, 2014 @ 8:02

      I was also surprised to see veterans of Forrest’s cavalry given the recent name change of the local high school.

Now that you've read the post, share your thoughts.