Thursday, February 17, 2011

35th Annual Battle of Olustee Reenactment Scheduled for Sunday

Olustee Battlefield Historical State Park
The 35th Annual reenactment of the Battle of Olustee will take place this Sunday (February 20, 2011) at Olustee Battlefield Historical State Park on U.S. Highway 90 East of Lake City, Florida.

The Battle of Olustee (or Ocean Pond) was Florida's largest battle of the War Between the States. Fought on February 20, 1864, the Confederate victory ended an unauthorized expedition by Union General Truman Seymour to capture a vital railroad bridge over the Suwanee River. Among the units that fought in the battle were Confederacy's famed Colquitt's Brigade and the Union's famed 54th Massachusetts Infantry.

Fought in the open pine woods along the Florida & Atlantic-Gulf Central Railroad just east of Olustee Station, the battle was a brutal stand-up fight involving charges and counter-charges, flank attacks and brutal artillery fire. More than 10,000 men took part and by the time it was over, more than 1,860 Union soldiers and 950 Confederates were reported killed, wounded or missing. To learn more about the history of the Battle of Olustee, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/olustee.

Cannon at Olustee Battlefield
This year's reenactment will take place on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. (Eastern) at the battlefield, which is located 45 miles west of downtown Jacksonville and 13 miles east of Lake City. Please note that no pets will be allowed on the day of the reenactment.

To reach the park from Lake City, take U.S. 90 East for 13 miles through the community of Olustee. The battlefield entrance will be just ahead on your left.  From Jacksonville, take I-10 East to the Exit #324 (Sanderson/Olustee), turn left on U.S. 90 and follow it around 7 miles to the park, which will be on your right.

Other events will take place in Lake City throughout the weekend, beginning at 9 a.m. tomorrow (Friday) with a memorial service at Oaklawn Cemetery in Lake City. Please click here for a complete schedule of the weekend's events.

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