The monument is an open pavilion 18’8’’ square at the base and shelters a bronze figure of a solider at parade rest mounted on a pedestal. At a cost of $13,500 it was erected by the state of Florida in 1912. It was dedicated Wednesday, May 28, 1913 during the United Confederate Veterans (UCV) Reunion held in Chattanooga that week. This monument is similar to the Florida’s Tribute to the Women of the Confederacy memorial in Springfield Park (formerly called Confederate Park), Jacksonville, Florida. Both were produced by the McNeal Marble Company of Marietta, Georgia.
Florida troops engaged in the Battle of Chickamauga - fought September 19-20, 1863 - included six regiments in two infantry brigades and one artillery battery. One of those regiments was the 3rd Infantry commanded by Colonel W. S. Dilworth; included in his command was a British school teacher from Monticello, Florida named Samuel Pasco.
Born in London in 1834, his father was a bookseller but moved his family to Prince Edward Island Canada when Sam was seven and then to Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1843. Sam attended Harvard and graduated in 1858 with a bachelor of fine arts degree. He needed a job and the new Waukeenah Academy in Jefferson County, Florida needed a principal. The trustees of the school contacted Harvard about any possible candidates and Pasco was recommended and moved to Florida. In 1861, he and 15 of his students joined the Confederate Army and became part of the 3rd Florida Infantry. The unit was in Corinth, Mississippi and Kentucky in 1862 and at Chickamauga and Chattanooga in 1863. Sam Pasco was badly wounded in both legs at the battle of Missionary Ridge, Tennessee on November 25, 1863 and taken prisoner. He was moved to several Federal hospitals and eventually arrived at Camp Morton, Indiana as a POW and stayed there for 14 months. He ignored efforts by Northern friends who pleaded with him to take an allegiance oath to the Union so he could be released.
After the Civil War, he returned to Monticello and passed the state bar in 1868. From 1887 to 1899 he was a United States Senator and served on the Board of Visitors to West Point. An active Mason, he was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Florida, F & AM for three years, commander of the Florida Division UCV and after his senate tenure became a member of the Isthmian Canal Commission. This very important seven man group was formed in 1904 and reported directly to the Secretary of State. Their goal was to set up and to oversee the construction of the Panama Canal. As an acknowledgment of his service and representative of the affection the leaders in Florida had for him, while still alive, a new county was formed and named for him. Sam died in 1917 and is buried in the Monticello town cemetery beside his wife and a son who was killed in the Philippines during the Spanish American War.
When the Florida Monument was dedicated on the Chickamauga Battlefield, Senator Sam Pasco was one of the keynote speakers.