Thursday, February 20, 2014

150th Anniversary of the Battle of Olustee, Florida (February 20, 1864)

Battle of Olustee Reenactment
Today is the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Olustee, Florida's largest engagement of the War Between the States (or Civil War).

Fought in the open pine woods just east of the small town of Olustee, the battle ended with the devastating defeat of the Union army of Brigadier General Truman Seymour. In fighting that began around mid-afternoon, his command suffered losses of 201 killed, 1,152 wounded and 506 missing.

The slightly smaller but victorious Confederate army, commanded by Brigadier Generals Joseph Finegan and Alfred H. Colquitt, lost far fewer men than did the Federals. Finegan reported casualties of 93 killed, 847 wounded and 6 missing.

The Battle of Olustee (also called the Battle of Ocean Pond) was the result of a political scheme hatched in the White House of President Abraham Lincoln (see Was Olustee really fought in the name of politics?). The dream of returning Florida to the Union in time for the November elections died beneath the pines of the Olustee battlefield.

To read the story of the Battle of Olustee, please follow these links:

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