Private John Mason was mustered into service on January 25th, 1862 with Captain Henry Mulrenan’s Florida Volunteer Coast Guards.
He remained in this unit until mustered into Confederate service on April 25th, 1862 when he was enlisted as a Private in Captain Smith’s Company (Key West Avengers), 7th Regiment Florida Infantry by Major R. B. Thomas at Tampa, Florida for a period of 3 years or the war.
In July of 1863, he, along with Robert Watson and Alfred Lowe, split off from the officers to create their own “mess”.
He is reported present on all rolls until September 20th, 1863, when he was reported as sick at the Hospital at Dalton, Georgia. Apparently he absented himself at the Battle of Chickamauga, and no one in the company saw him until after the battle; further, he was reported to have remained at various hospitals until he took ill again.
He is documented as being on extra duty as a Nurse 1-31 Dec 63 at “rec’g & Dristrib. Hosp, Dalton, Georgia” by order of Surgeon R. P. Bateman. This assignment is corroborated by Robert Watson on November 29th, 1863, when Mason was reported to have taken 3 men with him from Dalton to the hospital, and to have sent backsent back a bag of potatoes, a bag of cornmeal, and some hard bread.
Mason, along with several others, was transferred to the CS Navy from Dalton on February 25th, 1864; he had apparently obtained a furlough, and was on his way back to Tampa, getting as far as Marietta, Ga. before suffering a relapse of illness from the previous October, and almost died from it.
Robert Watson reported seeing him June 23rd, 1864 on board CSS Savannah and related that Mason was examined by the Surgeon, determined to be unfit for further service, and discharged the same day