I know Barbara. She's actually on the acknowledgements page of my book. Like me she has quite a few direct and collateral lines that go back to the 1st Florida Union Cavalry. When I first started my research, I found a lot of folks were uninformed about a Union regiment of local men in Florida (and Alabama) but that has improved somewhat.
I suspect, like most things when it comes to human memory, that the 1st Florida's unsavory aspects are a combination of truth, confusion and efforts to deal with the aftermath of the war and losing. Some of the men in the area were members of gangs in the area, then joined the 1st Florida, and then sometimes deserted the Union. I would imagine it would have been hard to know whether the looting and burning was while they were in the Army or while they weren't. And in the case of the Sander's Detachment up river to northern Santa Rosa, Walton and Holmes Co. that wound up in Dale Co. it is always possible that once away from Pensacola, some of the men did as they pleased without bothering with orders. Given the loss and some of the bad behavior, it may have been easier to blame it all on the Union and lump all of the men into one basket of deplorables. My book was an effort to untangle some of that and I will be returning on occasion to the subject on my blog at https://nwfloridahistory.com/.