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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

An Unfamiliar Battlefield

Updated: Jan 17, 2021

~Tuesday, January 12, 2021~

Day 212

Finally a day of sightseeing, though a dreary overcast day here in Northern Florida. Enough of the to do list for goodness sake. On our way out, Gypsy stopped by to take a look at our junction box to see why it’s not working. So in the meantime, we’re still powered by site # G-11. So stay tuned for the outcome of that.

On our drive to Olustee Battlefield Historic Park, we noticed fields upon fields of pine trees planted everywhere, some mature forests, some just planted. They appear to be fast growing trees but in any case, Florida has quite a diversity of flora. We had the whole park to ourselves, with no rangers in sight. So we let Sadie loose and boy did she have quite a time. With the low lying palms, she felt like she was running in her own little forest.

Evidently, each year in February they perform a reenactment of the battle and there’s a Civil War Expo that takes place in late summer. Both have been cancelled due to COVID. Even though the visitor center was closed (something we’ve gotten used to), the visit was very worthwhile. The largest Civil War battle in Florida occurred at this very place back in February of 1864. It was actually quite haunting to see the battlefield that once was, with its open, brown meadow and scattered dead trees.

This 4 hour battle was the largest Civil War battle in the state of Florida. Three regiments of the U.S. Colored Troops took part in the battle, including the now famous 54th Massachusetts. The battle ended with 3,807 casualties and the retreat of Union troops to Jacksonville until the war’s end 14 months later.

Though the Confederates won the battle at Olustee, they eventually lost the Civil War.

After a day of history, we needed something “light” in our evening, and what better way to end the day than watching a Lethal Weapon Marathon on FX TV 📺along with a hot bowl of homemade chili 🌶! Good times!

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