There was an aspect of that to it, but the campaign started as part of Gillmore's plan of offensive militiary operations. Later he incorporated the "Ten Percent Plan" as part of the approach, even though Lincoln had specifically instructed him not to let that influence his military plans.If my less than perfect memory serves I read the expedition or campaign was partially driven by President Lincoln's plan to set up loyal governments within Confederate States by having 10% of the citizens vote to rejoin the Union. It was a defeat for the Federals although not as costly as what was going on in Virginia but still a two front defeat militarily and mission wise speaking of the political objective. I believe Florida was the only Confederate state east of the Mississippi that never saw its capital captured during the war.
The plan itself was sound and bold. It threatened the critical cattle transfers to the AoT and Beauregard's Dept. The operation started well but went awry when Gillmore and Seymour slowed down, giving the Confederates time to bring in Colquitt's brigade and other forces.In reply to your letter of the 22nd instant I beg leave to state that the objects and advantages to be secured by the occupation of that portion of Florida within my reach, viz, the richest portions between the Suwannee and the Saint John's Rivers, are: First. To procure an outlet for cotton, lumber, timber, turpentine, and the other products of that State. Second. To cut off one of the enemy's sources of commissary supplies. He now draws largely upon the herds of Florida for his beef, and is making preparations to take up a portion of the Fernandina and Saint Mark's Railroad for the purpose of connecting the road from Jacksonville to Tallahassee with Thomasville, on the Savannah, Albany and Gulf, Railroad, and perhaps with Albany, on the Southwestern Railroad. Third. To obtain recruits for my colored regiments. Fourth. To inaugurate measures for the speedy restoration of Florida to her allegiance, in accordance with instructions which I have received from the President by the hands of Major John Hay, assistant adjutant-general.
Seymour has seemed very unsteady and queer since the beginning of the campaign. He has been subject to violent alternations of timidity and rashness, now declaring Florida loyalty was all bosh, now lauding it as the purest article extant, now insisting that Beauregard was in front with the whole Confederacy and now asserting that he could whip all the rebels in Florida with a good brigade.
The Battle of Olustee happened 149 years ago, I’m sure the area has changed a good bit since then.Hmmm, I don't know about that as far as Olustee goes. I've been there (Ocean Pond) many times and it's out in the middle of nowhere even today. I guess there could have been a farmhouse nearby once upon a time, though.
You know,it really hasnt changed all that much according to my research in the local venues.The Barber plantation,now being the town of Macclenney being the major exception,and that involved the cavalry and infantry skirmishing ten days prior to the battle,farther west.Timber,turpentine and some cattle were most of the industry and still is to an extent.The Battle of Olustee happened 149 years ago, I’m sure the area has changed a good bit since then.
“The North, having won the war on the battlefield, immediately set out to win it again and consolidate victory on the printed page. A flood of books appeared, and the South took umbrage at most of them. A new invasion was on, and the South must meet words with words – but words based on historical facts.
E. Merton Coulter
Yup,and there are tons of them on the field at Olustee.Covered with 3/4 in plywood for the reenactment.It was as bad as Antietam,with thier Gopher holes.In case others come across the "gopher" reference later and wonder: When I was in the region I was examining an exhibit for gopher tortoises which were common in the longleaf pine barrens that dominated before clear cutting. It was explained to me that the residents of coastal Florida (I'm not sure exactly when) frequently sold gopher tortoises to the crews of vessels, resulting in a nickname still applied in the ACW period, gophers.
Yes,the battlefield is State-owned and maintained,which is why they can do the reenactments right on the site.I love this place because it is about as pristine a battlefield as you can find.I DO think that the markers could be up-dated and redone,but kept in the same style.Seems a more definative "you are here" and "this is what happened",thing could be done.Outside of that,a few permanant guns scattered around would be nice,but its a really neat spot,and i wouldnt change it much at all.Except maybe to donate a painting to the VC,hehe.There is a nice little visitor's center at the battlefield (which is maintained by the State of Florida, not the NPS, I believe). There is also a mile-long walking trail that leads you first up the line held by the Federals and then back down the line held by Confederates. It's pretty well done, but the interpretive signs only discuss the general chronological course of the battle, rather than specifying that whatever piece of ground on which the sign is placed was where such-and-such happened or where such-and-such regiment was positioned.
My family and myself just visited this battlefield a few days ago. I agree with some of the posts about being a neat area. The landscape is pretty much undisturbed around the battlefield. I like how there isn't much development around the area. It is easy to imagine yourself skirmishing through the thick underbrush, hearing Minnie balls wizz by your head. I'm still new to much that went on through the civil war. I do know many people don't realize that this was the biggest battle in Flordia, or at least I didn't realize it. It's a neat area to visit if you are in the area.Yes,the battlefield is State-owned and maintained,which is why they can do the reenactments right on the site.I love this place because it is about as pristine a battlefield as you can find.I DO think that the markers could be up-dated and redone,but kept in the same style.Seems a more definative "you are here" and "this is what happened",thing could be done.Outside of that,a few permanant guns scattered around would be nice,but its a really neat spot,and i wouldnt change it much at all.Except maybe to donate a painting to the VC,hehe.