Nov 8th 1861
Dear Kiziah I take the opportunity riting you a few lines to let you know that I am well tho very much weared and hope that this may find you enjoying good health. I was at the battle of fort royl. We started wednesday morning to Hilton head and reach that point at 9 that evening and march about 6 miles by land and about sundown we arrived at fort royl their we stayd until yesterday morning about 9 oclock when they commenced fiting and they kep it up until about 9 thirty eavning and our ammunition give out and we had to reteat we were not in the fort in the fight but made an attemp to go but the wankes bombarded us so we cold not get there & 2 cannon Balls throad dirt in my face & but none of our company got hurt. Ther was one of the rigment got kild they say and 2 or 3 wonded. We then started to try to get off of the Iland for there was so many of the wankes we could not fight them. They had the fort and we knew they cold surround us and take us. We marched about 5 miles to a landing and their we got on boats and flats and got off before they overtaken us. Louis and math has not come in yet and two or three more but they all got on boats and we think they will come in a day or two. We got aboard of a steamer about 8 oclock and we got to savannah this morning about 8. I lost my overcoat and one of my blankets and napsack and haversack. Our hole rigment left everything they carrid but there gons and amunition and every ons that was there for they were atrying to get away from there. There was about 17 or 15 killed I think and about the same wounded on our side and on their side we do not know what the damige is. They had between forty and fifty war vessils their and they allow that there was 30 or 40 thousand men on them and we only had between 15 and 20 thousand and we gist left the best way we cod. I neve eat but one meale in two days and nights. I got back here but the Savannah foalk give us plenty of cooked pervisions to day and I felt very well this after noon. You will see ? of the fight in the papers to morrow an that will tell you all the perticulars. I told Zeak to rite you I was gone but have return with out getting to shoot the first time, but I think we will get the chance be fore long for they will try Georgia soon I think. So rite to me as soon as you can for I waunt to here from all at home. So I must close: by tel betty and marget to rite to me and let your papa read this to for tell him that the wankes got that blanket that he give me. So farewell. S.E.R.
In the engagement and retreat he estimated fifteen to seventeen of their men killed with a like number wounded with the regiment losing everything they carried but their guns and ammunition. Thereafter, his brother, Thomas J. Roberts, entered the Confederate Army as a substitute for Sherod. Thomas and another brother, Ezekiel W. Roberts, were killed while serving in the Confederate Army; Thomas at Chickamauga in September 1863. In September 1863, Sherod enlisted in Capt. John Nichols, 4th Regiment Cavalry, State of Georgia, and was honorably discharged May 15, 1865 in Thomas County, Georgia.
A Mason, Sherod was a charter member of Cassia Lodge, No. 224 at Old Magnolia, Clinch County. In 1859, he was lodge tyler and junior warden in 1860. He resigned and in 1867 became affiliated with Butler Lodge, No. 211, at Old Miltown (Lakeland, Ga.) and was lodge junior steward 1868-69. He was demitted December 18, 1869 and moved his membership to South Florida.
In 1869 Sherod and his former sergeant, Cornelius B. Lightsey, moved to Fort Meade, Florida. The Roberts family was enumerated in household # 310 in the 1870 census of Polk County, with immediate neighbors being Benjamin Moody and Cornelius Lightsey. Sherod had property valued at $6,000.
Canter Brown, Jr. in Fort Meade: in the South Florida Frontier in the Nineteenth Century wrote of his great-great-grandfather, Sherod:
"The flow of Cuban gold into South Florida [from cattle shipments to Cuba], or as in 1869 even the potential of it, lured to Fort Meade a number of men intent upon earning a share of that gold for themselves through trade. The first such merchants known to have located at Fort Meade following the Civil War were two old friends from Dupont, Georgia, Sherod E. Roberts and Cornelius B. Lightsey.
"Opening their store in late 1869 on the south side of Wire Street [Broadway] just to the west of what is now the intersection of East Broadway and Washington Avenue, the partners offered heavy and light dry goods, boots and shoes, hats and clothing, saddlery, crockery-ware, tin-ware, woodware, and hardware, and at all times the best of family flour, corn, tobacco, coffee, and all other groceries.
"Following completion of Varn's Survey in January 1874, the [J. C.] Rockners confirmed sales already made and disposed of additional lots. The demand of lots was great enough to prompt a second attempt at subdivision.
"Merchant Sherod E. Roberts had staked a claim to the 80 acres immediately to the east of Rockners' land and in October filed a subdivision plat prepared by S. J. Stallings. 'Roberts Addition,' as it was called, covered all the portion of Fort Meade, bounded by Hendry Avenue, East Broadway, and the line of Wanamaker Avenue and extended as far to the north as the midway point between Fourth and Fifth Streets Northeast.
"Just as in the case of Rockners' subdivision, Roberts' land extended 118 feet south of Wire Street from present-day Hendry Avenue to Washington Avenue where the line of Wire Street curved to the south on its way to Peace River bridge.
"He dedicated Lot No. 1 of Block No. 7 as a 'Grave Yard' and deeded the property to the 'Town of Fort Meade' with the qualification that 'title of the said described premises [is] to rest in the Mayor and common Council Men of the said Town, as soon as the said shall be incorporated.' Roberts donation formed the basis of Fort Meade's Evergreen Cemetery."
Keziah Roberts died September 1, 1874 and was buried in Evergreen Cemetery.
Sherod took an active interests in politics. On November 5, 1874, he received a plurality of 147 votes of 327 cast to win election for a two-year term as Polk County's Representative to the Assembly (House). His opponents, J. W. Bryant, R. N. Pylant, and T. B. Ellis, received, respectively, 94, 56, and 30 votes. On November 8, 1878, J. Wesley Bryant received 188 votes to defeat Sherod (103 votes) and Rev. R. N. Pylant (68 votes) as Polk's Representative. A Conservative (Democrat), his constituency was basically the cattle-oriented interests of the Peace River area of Polk County while Mr. Bryant's northern Polk residents were farming-oriented. Following his defeat, Sherod took a brief trip to Havana, Cuba and returned via the steamer Lizzie Henderson before November ended.
In Polk County on March 28, 1875, Sherod married (2) Eliza O'Kane, born February 23, 1848, Clinch County, Georgia, daughter of James and Sarah (Rice) O'Kane. Eliza had become a resident of Florida on February 27, 1874.
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