Re-enactment of
Military Flag Presentation Ceremony

Sunny South Guards


This was the kickoff event of the Sesquicentennial Commission and attracted much interest from the historical community.

Project Overview

A historical re-enactment of the Military Flag Presentation Ceremony from the ladies of Tampa Town to Capt. John T. Leslie and his 100 man company, the "Sunny South Guards"  took place on Saturday afternoon, September 17th, 2011.

Historical Overview

100 of the "Darling" sons of Tampa, Hillsborough County and surrounds enlisted in June 1861.  Upon receiving orders to report to the War and prior to their departure to Jacksonville, Florida in September 1861, the ladies of Tampa Town presented to these young men a Confederate National flag in a spectacular, moving presentation ceremony.  It was held at the officer's barracks at Fort Brooke, Tampa's militia headquarters, captured from Federal hands when Florida seceded.

We are fortunate to have a newspaper account of the event from the participant's point of view by noted Tampa historian, D.B. McKay.  This allows us to provide a historically accurate re-enactment of the ceremony.  The account includes the participants, their attire and transcripts of their speeches...even the music performed.

The unit would be mustered in as the 4th Florida Infantry, Co, K, and assigned to the Army of Tennessee.  The men of the unit are honored in the Roll of Honor.

Public Reaction

The event excited and enthuse the general population with an appreciation for the Veterans of so long ago from our local Tampa Bay area.  It is noteworthy that this unit attracted men not only from Tampa, but also surrounding communities including what is now Pasco, Polk, Manatee and Pinellas Counties.


The event also showcases the prominent families in the Tampa Bay area in 1861, who were stalwart supporters of Florida and her Southern Confederacy, many with descendants who live in our community to this day.  We are seeking information about each man and their descendants.  Descendants are requested to register and be recognized at the event, and to submit information about their Sunny South Guard soldier to the Commission.  More info here.

This project honors the history of the Tampa Bay area's contribution to Florida and her Southern Confederacy 150 years ago.

Event Details

Details of the event along with sponsors, and a calendar of event, and link to event photos is found here. 




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