Thursday, September 10, 2009

Camp Milton Historic Preserve - Jacksonville, Florida


Following the Battle of Olustee in 1864, Confederate forces pursued the retreating Federals back to the outskirts of Jacksonville.

By the time General P.G.T. Beauregard arrived on the scene from South Carolina to take personal command, the Union army had been allowed time to reorganize and take up defensive positions in fortifications around Jacksonville. Disappointed by what he considered a failure of Confederate forces to aggressively follow up on their victory at Olustee, Beauregard designed the most impressive field fortifications ever constructed in Florida to prevent another advance by the Union troops.

Blocking the main road and the railroad leading west from Jacksonville, Beauregard's line was three miles long and consisted of breastworks, stockades, fortified artillery batteries and protective ditches. The batteries were so well-constructed that Union officers later described them as resembling masonry fortifications.

Time and development have obliterated all but a few hundred yards of this extensive line, but what remains has been preserved at the outstanding Camp Milton Historic Preserve in Jacksonville. Located just off Interstate 10 and U.S. 90, the preserve is a fascinating historic park that features a boardwalk leading to the preserved earthworks, interpretive panels, paved trails, a 19th century Florida house, an interpretive barn, a reconstructed Civil War bridge over McGirt's Creek and other points of interest.

To learn more, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/campmilton.

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