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Olustee Battlefield Received $1 million Grant

Olustee Battlefield
Bob O'Connor collection

The Olustee Battlefield State Park which is part of the Florida State Park system announced at the Sesquicentennial of the 1864 battle of Olustee/Ocean Pond this past weekend that the park has received a $1 million grant.

The news prompted enthusiastic response from the 3,000 reenactors present who took part in the 38th annual reenactment.

The grant, provided by Hill Truck Rental Company Foundation, will be used to build at museum at the park to replace the small display area they now have. The foundation was established by Copeland Hill, a Civil War enthusiast who died in 1997. This will enable a much better interpretation of this important Civil War battle.

The Battle of Olustee was fought on February 20, 1864 by a combined 10,000 men. The south dug in at Olustee and were attacked by Northern forces. The battle, though relatively small in size, produced over 3,000 casualties. It ranks third in the highest percentage of casualties in any battle of the war. The battle was a Confederate victory.

Of significance also were the presence of 3,000 U.S. Colored soldiers from the 54th Massachusetts, the 8th U.S. Colored Troops and the 35th U.S. Colored Troops. Over 605 U.S.C.T. soldiers were killed, wounded, missing in action or captured at the battle.

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