Florida Guide > State Parks
Olustee Battlefield State Park is situated on U. S 90 50 miles west of Jacksonville and 15 miles east of Lake City.
This park is the historic place where the biggest civil war battle took place. The date was the 20th of february 1864 and 10000 troops took part in a bloody 5 hour skirmish. At the ned of the day there were an awesome 2807 counted dead or wounded. This divided into 2003 Union troops killed, 1152 troops wounded and 506 missing. The Confederates fared rather better with 931 killed, 847 wounded and 9 missing. The Union force also lost a lot of horses This almighty battle led to the with drawel of the union troops to Jacksonville where they sat out the rest of the war which ended around 14 months later. Since they had met little resistance up to this point this was a grave shock to them but the barrage of firepower was simply too great. Many of the troops were veterans of many battles but had never witnessed the like of this skirmish.
It later beacame Floridas first historic battle site and indeed in the early days many of the troops who took part attended reunions.
There is a good visitor center with many relics of this era and an interpretive exhibition. This is open every day from 9. am to 5. p. m. and you can also see a video presentation here.
After you have been to the visitor center then why not walk the trail. This follows the old battle lines so resonates with its most important day. On the way you may spot a reptile or gopher tortoise. The terrain is mesic flat woods. Basin swamp is wet lands with gum and cypress trees and you can also view a small depression.
If you are visiting in february (usually around the 12th) they re enact the battle here. Indeed many films have used footage from this including Glory. Fridays are usually reserved for schools only and saturday and sunday are open to all the public. Plenty of food vendors attend.
In the late summer they have an expo covering all aspects of the Civil War. Check with the park for dates.
Here are the full address details
Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park
P. O. Box 40
Olustee, Florida 32072
Near by parks include Big Shoals State Park, River Rise Preserve State Pak, Mike Roess Gold Head State Park and Dudley Farm State Park.
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