Here’s a tragic, brief, and mysterious soldier’s story …

William Golden enlisted in Company E of the 2nd Florida Infantry on 9 September 1862 in Frederick, MD as a “substitute”. He was killed in action 8 days later at Sharpsburg on the 17th.

One of General Lee’s hopes on the Maryland Campaign was that Marylanders would flock to the Confederate cause and enlist. Although that didn’t happen in any great numbers, I do come upon such recruits from time to time.

Private Golden’s is an especially sad version of this story but I’ve had no luck in learning any more about him.

– Was he a Frederick or Maryland native? That seems likely.
– How old was he? What was his life before enlisting?
– Why did he enlist in a Florida regiment? Is there a Florida connection or did he just happen upon that unit?
– Why was he identified as a substitute? Did he take money from a member of the regiment to replace him?
– Was his body identified and buried locally?

Can you help? I welcome any ideas, good reference sources, or any other information.



January 2022. Another Maryland recruit: enlisted at Frederick on 8 September, Private George H Elwell, 2nd Mississippi Battalion

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