The Battle of Olustee at 150


Olustee Civil War Reenactment, Olustee, Florida

The Battle of Olustee was the largest fight of the Civil War that took place in Florida.  About 10,000 soldiers met on February 20, 1864 in the swamp north Florida spot near Lake City.  And every year there is a reenactment that attracts a good number of hobbyists that represent the Union and Confederate armies.

Union soldiers line up for inspection before the main event

Union soldiers line up for inspection before the main event

I’ve photographed the event several times since it’s unique to the area and the participants do a very good job at trying to maintain authenticity.  This year, being the 150th anniversary, was no different.  The event takes place over a weekend closest to the 20th, and inevitably it’s often one of the coldest of the winter.  So if arriving early to visit the camps, the soldiers, and often their families, are usually warming up and eating breakfast by their camp fires.  There are separate camps for the two sides, and with the Florida location, the Rebels usually have the larger numbers.

Rebel soldiers marching toward the field near Ocean Pond

Rebel soldiers marching toward the field near Ocean Pond

A Confederate soldier plays the fife in camp

A Confederate soldier plays the fife in camp

An interesting part of this battle was the involvement of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry made more famous by the movie “Glory”.  A small group of re-enactors represent that squad each year as well.

A preacher pauses at the end of a fiery sermon

A preacher pauses at the end of a fiery sermon

Union cavalry assembling shortly before the battle

Union cavalry assembling shortly before the battle

After visiting the camps, I decided to skip the battle this year, but you can see some more examples of the show at this link-  http://www.joevogan.com/New/CivilWar/i-QtHrqZs

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