Tuesday, July 8, 2008
The Battle of Olustee, Florida - Part Nine
This is another view of the Union mass grave at Olustee, Florida.
As the Confederates collected the bodies from the battlefield, they buried them in a large trench here. The exact number of men buried in the grave is not clear, but more than 200 Federals lost their lives in the battle and aftermath.
After the war, the grave was marked with a wooden cross and surrounded by a picket fence. Over the years both the fence and cross rotted away, but a local cemetery grew up around the grave and helped preserve the memory of its location.
Although Union dead from numerous battlefields across the South were moved to national cemeteries during the decades after the war, the bodies at Olustee apparently were left in their mass resting place.
The modern monument was placed a few years ago to mark the grave and is a stone recreation of the original wooden cross. It is one of only four monuments on the battlefield.
The Confederate dead from the battle were taken to Lake City and other communities around the area.
Our series on the Battle of Olustee will continue. Until the next post you can read more by visiting www.exploresouthernhistory.com/olustee.