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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

BATTLE OF OLUSTEE

The largest battle fought in Florida during the Civil War was the Battle of Olustee, also known as the Battle of Ocean Pond. On February 20, 1864, about 5,000 troops from each side fought in Baker County, Florida, 50 miles west of Jacksonville. Although it was a small battle, fought mostly in the woods because of the nearby Ocean Pond, it was costly with a large number of casualties.

Union General Seymour wanted to occupy Jacksonville to disrupt transportation and supply lines. On the Confederate side, Brigadier General Finegan took a position at Olustee and was joined by Brigadier General Colquitt and his troops. What started as a skirmish grew into a full-blown battle with Union troops from as far north as New Hampshire and Connecticut, plus three regiments of U.S. Colored Troops.

The proportion of casualties to men who fought made it one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. An annual reenactment of the battle takes place at the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park.

Visit Fold3 to read the report of battle, described as “the engagements with the abolitionists near Ocean Pond,” by the commander of the 2nd Brigade, George P. Harrison, and view his brigade’s casualty report.

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