February 20, 1864
Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park
U.S. Highway 90 south of I-10
Olustee Battlefield was the first state historic site in Florida, and commemorates the February 20, 1864 Battle of Olustee or Ocean Pond. This is now the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park, which manages a small acreage containing a visitor center and early 20th century monuments to the battle. The U.S. Forest Service, which owns the majority of the battlefield, and the State Park Service have a cooperative agreement that provide for the protection of this important site and for its use by the public as an historic site and as the location of Florida's largest Civil War reenactment. This reenactment is held in February of every year.
The battle of Olustee was a major Confederate victory, and caused the failure of the U.S. campaign of 1864 out of Jacksonville and ended further U.S. campaigns in northeast Florida. The U.S. campaign followed the the Atlantic & Gulf Coast Railroad east from Jacksonville, intent on destroying key Confederate resources along this route. The engagement at Olustee resulted in 2,807 casualties and the defeat of U.S. forces, which included the the famous 54th Massachusetts.
Union dead are still buried in a mass grave on the battlefield, location unknown. Confederate dead are buried in Oaklawn Cemetery in Lake City in a large soldiers plot. After the turn of the century, impressive monuments to the battle were erected on the site. Information on these cemeteries and monuments can be found in other sections of Destination: Civil War.
The park is open daily from 8:00 AM, and the visitor center from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Admission is free.