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Great Floridians 2000

William Wing Loring

(1818 - 1886)

At the age of 14, William Wing Loring served with the Florida Militia in the 11th Regiment 2nd Brigade in the Second Seminole Indian War. He earned the nickname "boy soldier." By 1840 he was clerking in Raymond R. Reid’s law office in St. Augustine and had become a lawyer. Reid was appointed governor of the Florida Territory in 1841 and in 1845 Loring was elected from St. Johns County to the House of Representatives of the First General Assembly of the new State of Florida.

During the Mexican War, Loring served as a major and lost his left arm. In 1849 the one-armed Major led the Mounted Riflemen on the longest overland trek made by any U.S. Army unit, and he was military commander for the territory of Oregon and Washington. Loring spent eight years with the U.S. Army in the "wild west" where he became the youngest full Colonel in the U.S. Army at that time.

Upon recommendation by Governor Perry, Loring was appointed a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army serving in West Virginia, Vicksburg, Massachusetts, the Atlanta campaign where he was severely wounded, Franklin and Nashville. He surrendered as a Major General in Bentonville, North Carolina.

The Loring homestead at 138 St. George Street had been seized by the Federals in 1862 and later sold for back taxes. With no home in St. Augustine, he went to New York City where he worked on Wall Street.
In 1870 Loring led a contingent of Union/Confederate officers to Egypt to foster the first American lend-lease export of American expertise. He became a Pasha in the Khedive’s service. He spent eight years in Egypt as head of their defense.

Loring returned to St. Augustine in 1880 but eventually made New York City his final home. He died in 1886 after lecturing for a number of years. He was buried in St. Augustine in 1889.

Marker location
138 St. George Street, the site of the former Loring home



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