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Olustee

In February, 1864 the Union forces went from Jacksonville west to Olustee, or Ocean Pond, just east of Lake City in order to cut off the transfer of supplies from the east coast to Tallahassee and Georgia and Alabama by blocking the Florida Atlantic and Gulf railroad and the Lake City and Jacksonville road. They used mostly negro troops, recently trained to accomplish their mission. The Confederacy sent troops from Georgia and South Carolina to combat the Union forces on February 1864.

This turned out to be the largest battle fought in Florida and one of the bloodiest of the war. There were almost 5,500 Union troops and an equal number of Confederates fighting in the battle. Of these, 1,861 Union soldiers and 946 Confederate soldiers died. By establishing a better position the Confederate troops prevailed, defeated the union forces and maintained control of the Central Florida area. The defeated Union troops retreated back to Jacksonville and occupied it for the fourth time.

Very little attention is given to this battle because a year later the Confederacy had been defeated and the war was over.

From the Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies
Bien, Julius
1891-1895

Image from Plate LIII, Inset 3. Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Lithograph by Julius Bien, 1891-1895. (Later Bien & Co. 1829-1909) Government Printing Office. Washington. 1891-1895. Reprint edition, 1983.

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