At the commencement of the war, Covington was living in Hamilton County with Mary Ann and their child. He intended to join the Confederate Army and fight in the “Hamilton Blues,” an outfit being assembled by Captain Henry Stewart of the 2nd Florida Infantry. On the way up to Virginia, Captain Stewart granted Covington ten days leave so that he could take his wife and child to stay with her brother in Calhoun County, Georgia. I like to think of this as a benevolent gesture by his Commander.
Covington set out with a wagon, but soon things went sideways. It rained. Anyone from the South knows the kind of rain that I am picturing, the one that turns all of the dirt roads to muck. It is no surprise then, that Covington's wagon would break down, and it did. I can imagine him, with his wife and crying baby, soaked to the bone, stranded on a remote dirt road surrounded by tall pines and saw palmettos. I don’t know how long they were stuck there, but the delay was long enough for his ten-day pass to expire before they had reached their destination.
He was quickly conscripted into a Georgia unit, and was mustered into Captain S. A. Townsley’s Company of the 64th Georgia Infantry Regiment. Ironically, this unit was being raised for the defense of North Florida! He was mustered into the outfit at Macon, Georgia, and they immediately marched south. Covington had set off from Florida to fight in Virginia, but was now headed back home as a member of a Georgia outfit to defend his Florida home.