On Sunday, February 16th, the 150th Anniversary of Florida’s largest Civil War battle will be honored by the 38th Annual Reenactment at Olustee outside Lake City.
This will be a three day event starting on February 14 with parades, period music concerts, medical and armament presentations, and the creation of real looking military campsites. Civil War buffs from around the nation like to gather in “warm Florida” for this “hot military simulation.”
The full list of events and times can be seen at http://www.battleofolustee.org. Florida was so far South, it had its own Civil War, but Florida provided the Confederacy with two key products: cattle and salt.
In February of 1864, Brigadier General Truman Seymour left Jacksonville with 5,500 Union troops with the plan to cut off the key railroad depot at Olustee. Seymour was stopped here by 5,000 Florida and Georgia troops under Brigadier General Joseph Finnegan.
There is a lot to see at Olustee. There is a “People of Color” presentation honoring the 54th Massachusetts Infantry and 8th and 35th US Colored Troops who engaged in the conflict. Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas will be represented.
Florida may not have the massive battlegrounds and Civil War cemeteries of Virginia and Tennessee, but the Sunshine State has its Civil War story – Tallahassee was the only Confederate capital east of the Mississippi not captured by the Union.