Posted by bakercounty
THE BATTLE OF OLUSTEE-SOUTHERN HERITAGE AT 150 YEARS
It was a rear-guard battle in the last years of the Civil War, a strategic maneuver to control the lines of supply from Florida to the Confederate armies fighting to the north. The battle of Olustee was the bloodiest battle fought in Florida, and the Confederate Army was the clear winner. Today, the ground is part of the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park, which is a Florida State Park in the Osceola National Forest, near the town of Olustee, the site of Florida’s largest Civil War battle, the park is located 50 miles west of Jacksonville and 15 miles east of Lake City and has the distinction of being the first park in the Florida State Park system, and the scene of a re-enactment that draws visitors each February to Baker County.
On President’s Day weekend each February, thousands of re-enactors from across the U.S. and even overseas come to the park to re-enact the Battle of Olustee. Re-enactors begin arriving as early as Thursday to set up. Friday is designated “School Day” as thousands of students arrive to spend the day watching demonstrations and listening to living historians discuss various aspects of the war as well as life in the United States during the 1860’s. The public is invited to attend on Friday (no battle re-enactment), and on Saturday and Sunday. On all three days visitors can tour the camps, view demonstrations, interact with living historians, shop at numerous tents for authentic Civil War merchandise, and attend the battles reenacted on Saturday and Sunday only.
This year, on February 14and 15, 2014, the Olustee Festival and Craft Show will be in Historic Downtown Lake City. The Olustee Battle Reenactment at Olustee Battlefield State Park in Baker County will be on February 15 and 16, 2014 and this year is the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Olustee and it is expected to be the largest in the history of the event. The re-enactment, and accompanying festival in nearby Lake City, is a partnership between the Florida Park Service, its volunteer groups and other community groups, such as the Blue-Grey Army.
For someone who has never seen a Civil War (or Revolutionary War) re-enactment, it is a theatrical event like no other, with the single goal of bringing history to life, as accurately as possible, for as many people as possible. Achieving that is a massive job for all the organizations involved and is a must see if you have not had the opportunity to see this event.
For more information: The 150th anniversary re-enactment will take place February 14-16, 2014. The Festival runs concurrently. Admission to the re-enactment (Sunday, February 16, 2014): Adults $10; seniors (62+) $5; active duty military, reservists and National Guard with ID admitted free; school age children $5 and pre-school age children free.
Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park: 5890 Battlefield Trail Road
Olustee, FL 32087
Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park: Citizens Support Organization
This is my first blog post.