Confederate Florida: The Road to Olustee by William H. Nulty

By William H. Nulty

At the top of 1863 the Federal forces within the division of the South have been tied up in siege operations opposed to Charleston and Savannah, operations that confirmed little growth or promise. The commander of the dept, significant normal Quincy A. Gillmore, led an excursion into Florida to recruit blacks, bring to an end commissary offers headed for different elements of the Confederacy, and disrupt the railroad procedure inside of Florida. day trip forces landed at Jacksonville on February 7, 1864.


The engagement at Olustee, now not faraway from Gainesville, happened on February 20, 1864. it was once the biggest Civil conflict conflict in Florida and one of many bloodiest Union defeats of the full warfare. still, as the engagement compelled the Confederacy to divert 15,000 males from the thinly manned safeguard of Charleston and Savannah, it not on time severe reinforcement of the military of Tennessee, which was once combating desperately to avoid the Union invasion of northwestern Georgia. Makin use of exact maps and diagrams, Nulty provides a bright account of this fascination Civil conflict effort.

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Extra info for Confederate Florida: The Road to Olustee

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59 By June 1, 1861, the significant military and naval installations in Florida were about evenly split between the Union and Confederate forces. Figures for Union forces in Florida on June 30, 1861, show a total of 1,939 men distributed between Pensacola and Key West. 60 Florida's state troops held Fort Marion and Fort Clinch on the Atlantic coast, and the Confederate Provisional Government held Barrancas Barracks, Warrington 28 The Jilted Bride Navy Yard, and Forts McRee and Barrancas. Other positions on the Gulf and Atlantic coasts were held by Southern forces but were relatively lightly defended.

Procurement of military supplies was conducted in such cities as Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans, Mobile, and Columbus, Georgia. 41 After midsummer of 1861, arms became even more difficult to obtain, and the Richmond government refused to accept unarmed Florida troops into service. 43 The problem of supplying arms was never solved, and as late as May 1862, Brig. Gen. "44 All troops that left the state for Confederate service were armed, but those remaining were not as well off. Some arms were received in the state by blockade-runners, which stood to make a lucrative profit.

The Civil War found the railroad system in Florida unfinished between Tallahassee and Pensacola and between Tampa and Waldo, although the latter had been graded. The one railroad in the extreme western portion of the state connected Pensacola with Alabama but with nothing to the east. Its rails would be later torn up and used by the Confederacy elsewhere. Militarily, the Florida railroad system provided the fastest means by which troops could be concentrated in the northern portion of Middle and East Florida and between the Atlantic and the Gulf coasts in that region.

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