Touring Florida - The Civil War in the Sunshine State

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luinrina

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You didn't happen to notice the Confederate monument at the Courthouse did you?
Do you mean this one?
IMG_5652.JPG


I thought it looked odd, not like other monuments. There was nothing lying on the grounds around it. I thought this is all of the monument, but if something got knocked off and hasn't been put up yet, no wonder it looks odd.
 

bdtex

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Do you mean this one?
View attachment 346413

I thought it looked odd, not like other monuments. There was nothing lying on the grounds around it. I thought this is all of the monument, but if something got knocked off and hasn't been put up yet, no wonder it looks odd.
That's the one. It pains me that it hasn't been repaired yet.
 
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bdtex

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I thought it looked odd, not like other monuments. There was nothing lying on the grounds around it. I thought this is all of the monument, but if something got knocked off and hasn't been put up yet, no wonder it looks odd.
This is what it looked like from that angle in April 2018.

2018-04-13 13.16.21.jpg
 

bdtex

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I thought it looked odd, not like other monuments. There was nothing lying on the grounds around it. I thought this is all of the monument, but if something got knocked off and hasn't been put up yet, no wonder it looks odd.
I contacted local historian Dale Cox and asked him about the status of the monument. Within minutes,I got this response:

"The monument is being restored. The top part is in Tallahassee where an expert in metal fabrication is working on it. It will be a few more months before it is ready to go back up."

Edited to add: I thanked Mr. Cox and told him I would pass that information along. His response: " You are welcome. The monument is made of very thin zinc metal and it is a slow restoration process. I was surprised to learn that it was never supposed to last more than 25 years. They put it up until they could afford a stone one and it lasted until the hurricane! "

************************************************

I wondered why "an expert in metal fabrication" was working on it. I guess the zinc is what gives the monument it's gray color. Not aware of any other monument I've seen being made with that material.
 

bdtex

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Since I was too early for The Grove, I thought of hitting the State Capitol Museum first. After parking, though, I realized I was much closer to the Old City Cemetery so I headed there first.

Sections for Confederate and Union soldiers, at different ends of the cemetery:
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There are several veterans buried throughout the cemetery, like these:
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I'm so glad you went there and posted those pics. I ran out of time to go there during my one day visit to Tallahassee in 2019. My uncle no longer lives in Sneads,FLA. He lives near Dothan,Alabama now so it's not likely that I'll be back to Tallahassee anytime soon. It's likely that Cadet William F. Quaile saw action at Natural Bridge since the West Florida Seminary Cadets were engaged there. The West Florida Seminary is now Florida State University.
 
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bdtex

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Final stop of the day was the St. John's Episcopal Church Cemetery. Richard Keith Call was one of the church's founders. Unfortunately, the cemetery is not open for visitors. :frown: What a bummer; I had been looking forward to take a pic of Call's son-in-law, Theodore W. Brevard who fought at the Siege of Yorktown as well as the Battle of Williamsburg before returning to Florida where in 1863 he skirmished at Jacksonville and fought at the Battle of Olustee, as well as of Patrick Houstoun who commanded artillery at the Battle of Natural Bridge. *sigh* I think this is not my trip of open doors...
Not open at all or just closed when you were there? That's highly unusual.
 

James N.

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… I wondered why "an expert in metal fabrication" was working on it. I guess the zinc is what gives the monument it's gray color. Not aware of any other monument I've seen being made with that material.
I agree it's an odd choice for a monument of this size and prominence but it's pretty common to see them in cemeteries, assuming you recognize just what they are.
 

luinrina

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Not open at all or just closed when you were there? That's highly unusual.
Apparently not at all. I tried again this morning after realizing I was there after office hours yesterday, but the gates never opened. There's even a sign "trespassing not allowed, anyone caught on the premises might face 10 years imprisonment and/or $1000 fine." :frown:

Looking forward to Lake City(?) and Olustee.
Less Lake City (apart from a memorial service and maybe the parade) but definitely Olustee. And I have a surprise for everyone. :D
 
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luinrina

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I spent the entire morning in the Museum of Florida History. It covers Florida's history from AD 12,000 to World War II. Of course, my main interest was the Civil War section but I found the rest of the exhibition very informative and well done as well. They have several interactive screens with quizzes and plays; it was a lot of fun. The audio tour itself lasts about an hour, I was in the museum for 4 hours.

The Civil War section concentrates on Florida's role during the Civil War, from Florida units sent north to fight in the Armies of Northern Virignia and Tennessee to battles in Florida and hardships on the homefront. On display are uniforms, weapons as well as objects from everyday use at home. They also display various flags of Florida units, such as this one from the 5th Florida Infantry that was at Gettysburg, one of three Florida regiments and the only flag that wasn't captured.
IMG_5741.JPG


Or this one of (probably) the 6th Florida Batallion (later redesignated 9th Florida Infantry) that fought at Olustee and Cold Harbor. The flag and flagstaff were riddled with bullets at Cold Harbor and splinters can still be seen embedded in the fabric.
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Uniform of Captain Winston J.T. Stephens of the 2nd Florida Cavalry.
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Officer's vest and Union frock coat, this one from Captain William H. Bristol from New York.
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A lady's dress with patches of repair.
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A camp scene.
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The first mortar to be cast in the West Point Foundry in 1861.
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Display of the naval conflict (in another section, dealing with tourism).
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And this little gem in the Citrus Packing House.
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After the museum I headed over to the Knott House Museum. It was built in 1843. After the war was over and the Union army came to Tallahassee, Brigadier General Edward M. McCook used this house as headquarters. From the front porch, he formally read the Emancipation Proclamation on May 20, 1865 - that event is still celebrated as Emancipation Day every year with a parade. The park area in front of the house (across the street) was where the Union soldiers camped.
IMG_5769.JPG


I then headed out of Tallahassee toward the Suwanee River State Park. There, I hiked the short Earthworks Trail and the slightly longer Sandhill Trail.

The earthworks trail showcases exactly what it's named for. In 1864, before the Battle of Olustee, the Confederates were waiting at the railroad bridge across the Suwanee river for the Union army to appear. To protect themselves and to better defend the vital railroad bridge, they built earthworks. However, the battle they expected happened several miles farther east at Olustee and the earthworks never saw action.
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The Sandhill trail leads to the Columbus Cemetery. At the time of the Civil War, there was a river town called Columbus where the state park is today. Nothing of that town remains, only the cemetery. And that little bridge next to the railroad bridge didn't exist until 1908. Before then the only way across the river for miles was by ferry (or by train).
IMG_5793.JPG

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I hiked some other trails along the Suwanee to enjoy the nature before heading out toward Lake City.

Tomorrow's program: A Civil War Memorial Service at the Oaklawn Cemetery in Lake City in the morning, then I'll head to the Olustee reenactment where I'll (hopefully) be meeting up with @captaindrew , @Equestriangirl93 and @Reverend Ron . :smile:
 

captaindrew

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I spent the entire morning in the Museum of Florida History. It covers Florida's history from AD 12,000 to World War II. Of course, my main interest was the Civil War section but I found the rest of the exhibition very informative and well done as well. They have several interactive screens with quizzes and plays; it was a lot of fun. The audio tour itself lasts about an hour, I was in the museum for 4 hours.

The Civil War section concentrates on Florida's role during the Civil War, from Florida units sent north to fight in the Armies of Northern Virignia and Tennessee to battles in Florida and hardships on the homefront. On display are uniforms, weapons as well as objects from everyday use at home. They also display various flags of Florida units, such as this one from the 5th Florida Infantry that was at Gettysburg, one of three Florida regiments and the only flag that wasn't captured.
View attachment 346569

Or this one of (probably) the 6th Florida Batallion (later redesignated 9th Florida Infantry) that fought at Olustee and Cold Harbor. The flag and flagstaff were riddled with bullets at Cold Harbor and splinters can still be seen embedded in the fabric.
View attachment 346570

Uniform of Captain Winston J.T. Stephens of the 2nd Florida Cavalry.
View attachment 346571

Officer's vest and Union frock coat, this one from Captain William H. Bristol from New York.
View attachment 346577

A lady's dress with patches of repair.
View attachment 346573

A camp scene.
View attachment 346574

The first mortar to be cast in the West Point Foundry in 1861.
View attachment 346575

Display of the naval conflict (in another section, dealing with tourism).
View attachment 346578

And this little gem in the Citrus Packing House.
View attachment 346591

After the museum I headed over to the Knott House Museum. It was built in 1843. After the war was over and the Union army came to Tallahassee, Brigadier General Edward M. McCook used this house as headquarters. From the front porch, he formally read the Emancipation Proclamation on May 20, 1865 - that event is still celebrated as Emancipation Day every year with a parade. The park area in front of the house (across the street) was where the Union soldiers camped.
View attachment 346579

I then headed out of Tallahassee toward the Suwanee River State Park. There, I hiked the short Earthworks Trail and the slightly longer Sandhill Trail.

The earthworks trail showcases exactly what it's named for. In 1864, before the Battle of Olustee, the Confederates were waiting at the railroad bridge across the Suwanee river for the Union army to appear. To protect themselves and to better defend the vital railroad bridge, they built earthworks. However, the battle they expected happened several miles farther east at Olustee and the earthworks never saw action.
View attachment 346585
View attachment 346586
View attachment 346587

The Sandhill trail leads to the Columbus Cemetery. At the time of the Civil War, there was a river town called Columbus where the state park is today. Nothing of that town remains, only the cemetery. And that little bridge next to the railroad bridge didn't exist until 1908. Before then the only way across the river for miles was by ferry (or by train).
View attachment 346589
View attachment 346590

I hiked some other trails along the Suwanee to enjoy the nature before heading out toward Lake City.

Tomorrow's program: A Civil War Memorial Service at the Oaklawn Cemetery in Lake City in the morning, then I'll head to the Olustee reenactment where I'll (hopefully) be meeting up with @captaindrew , @Equestriangirl93 and @Reverend Ron . :smile:
I'll be at Olustee mid afternoon, it's about a 5 hour drive for me from South Florida. Don't be in a big rush over tomorrow, there isn't much going on Friday but school kids in the morning then there's a dance in the evening and usually a night artillery demo in the evening which is pretty cool. Not a bad time to check out the battlefield though before the weekend crowds.
 
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luinrina

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So @luinrina, is this your first experience of 'Jetta Lag' in the States from Time Zone changes?
Sorry, I missed this yesterday. But no, this was not the first time I crossed time zones during my visit to the states. The first time was when I headed to the far far west in 2016 where we traveled from LA to the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley up to Utah and the Bryce Canyon and then back via Las Vegas and Yosemite Valley to San Franciso.

It's likely that Cadet William F. Quaile saw action at Natural Bridge since the West Florida Seminary Cadets were engaged there.
I'm pretty sure he was engaged. Why else would he have the CSA in his marker? He was only 14 by the time of the battle, too young to regularly serve. And there was another cadet's headstone:
IMG_5688.JPG


Hoping you have nice weather today. It looked cloudy yesterday. How is the temperature hi/lo?
Thanks! We're going to need it; the forecast says 70% chance of rain. :frown: And more rain on Sunday. :frown: It drizzled on Wednesday and poured buckets while I did the Knott House tour, afterwards some drizzling and occasional rain while I was on the road to the Suwanee state park. At the park itself it was mostly dry from above with the exception of a drizzle shortly before I headed out again.

Temp wise it's great. I don't know the exact temps but from the feeling lower 70s. Just like I like it. :smile: I have the feeling the humidity is getting worse day by day though. :laugh: Being outside is actually a relief then; when I get into the car, I often have to have a window open to get some air as it's so stuffy inside.

Not a bad time to check out the battlefield though before the weekend crowds.
That's the plan. :D Save travels! See you this afternoon.
 

bdtex

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The Sandhill trail leads to the Columbus Cemetery. At the time of the Civil War, there was a river town called Columbus where the state park is today. Nothing of that town remains, only the cemetery. And that little bridge next to the railroad bridge didn't exist until 1908. Before then the only way across the river for miles was by ferry (or by train).
img_5792-jpg.jpg
What's on the historical marker in the center-right of the picture?
 

rebel brit

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I spent the entire morning in the Museum of Florida History. It covers Florida's history from AD 12,000 to World War II. Of course, my main interest was the Civil War section but I found the rest of the exhibition very informative and well done as well. They have several interactive screens with quizzes and plays; it was a lot of fun. The audio tour itself lasts about an hour, I was in the museum for 4 hours.
Looks a good museum , next time we're in Florida we'll make a point of going.
Hope the rain stays away, have a great weekend at the reenactment, looking forward to seeing your pics and hearing about it.
 
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luinrina

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Sorry for not posting earlier, folks. First I came back in late after the Barn Dance, and then the internet was not working. So I hit the sack as I was tired anyway. :sleep:

So, yesterday morning I went to Oaklawn Cemetery to attend the memorial service they hold each year to remember the brave men that fought. We got hold up a bit because it started to rain just when we were about to get started.
IMG_5808.JPG


We had a great speech, then the ladies laid a wreath and another young lady played taps.
IMG_5813.JPG


I somehow got roped in towards the end when everyone in regalia had to step forward for thanks for organizing. :laugh: General Grant had something to do with that for @LTG USG was there too for the memorial service. :smile: And yes, you read that right, everyone in regalia - for I decided to go reenactor for Olustee. Surprise! :D
IMG_5810.JPG


After the memorial service, I headed out to the battlefield park. I took a leisure stroll around, walked the battlefield and checked out the museum and monument. In the morning it drizzled from time to time, but no heavy rains. Sometime in the afternoon, the sun eventually came out.
IMG_5841.JPG

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When I walked the battlefield, despite the masses of kids with teachers and/or parents, I was alone out there by myself - and had total silence. At some point, in the distant camp, someone started playing the flute, songs like Battle Cry of Freedom and Dixie. The music drifting over through the wood at that distance was both eerie and wonderful at the same time. If you didn't know there was a reenactment going on, one might have believed to hear the sounds of the past. It was a special moment for me out there.

IMG_5859.JPG


Back near the museum and monument, I had a chat with a Union artillerist about the cannon they used for the artillery demo earlier. It's an original cannon cast in 1863, a 3" ordnance rifle if I remember correctly.
IMG_5846.JPG


Since @captaindrew was still a bit away, I signed myself up for a period photograph. When better when in outfit? And yes, I really needed that scarf for warmth. It was cold almost all day, especially after the warm and sunny days I had this last week.
IMG_5858.JPG


After circling the Confederate camp twice I eventually ran across @captaindrew and spent some time with his company until it got dark. Being out there in camp at night, around a fire and almost no other light, was the first time I experienced that. It was great and I had really good company with @captaindrew 's crowd. Right around dinner @Equestriangirl93 came in. We were too late for the artillery night fire but @Equestriangirl93 and I attended the barn dance. I had a Union gentleman who danced with me whenever I didn't need to take a breather.
IMG_5862.JPG


While dancing, I warmed up nicely, but when he walked me back to the car, I got chilly - despite the scarf. I'm glad it's going to be warmer today!
 

bdtex

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Sorry for not posting earlier, folks. First I came back in late after the Barn Dance, and then the internet was not working. So I hit the sack as I was tired anyway. :sleep:

So, yesterday morning I went to Oaklawn Cemetery to attend the memorial service they hold each year to remember the brave men that fought. We got hold up a bit because it started to rain just when we were about to get started.
View attachment 346745

We had a great speech, then the ladies laid a wreath and another young lady played taps.
View attachment 346746

I somehow got roped in towards the end when everyone in regalia had to step forward for thanks for organizing. :laugh: General Grant had something to do with that for @LTG USG was there too for the memorial service. :smile: And yes, you read that right, everyone in regalia - for I decided to go reenactor for Olustee. Surprise! :D
View attachment 346747

After the memorial service, I headed out to the battlefield park. I took a leisure stroll around, walked the battlefield and checked out the museum and monument. In the morning it drizzled from time to time, but no heavy rains. Sometime in the afternoon, the sun eventually came out.
View attachment 346748
View attachment 346750

When I walked the battlefield, despite the masses of kids with teachers and/or parents, I was alone out there by myself - and had total silence. At some point, in the distant camp, someone started playing the flute, songs like Battle Cry of Freedom and Dixie. The music drifting over through the wood at that distance was both eerie and wonderful at the same time. If you didn't know there was a reenactment going on, one might have believed to hear the sounds of the past. It was a special moment for me out there.

View attachment 346753

Back near the museum and monument, I had a chat with a Union artillerist about the cannon they used for the artillery demo earlier. It's an original cannon cast in 1863, a 3" ordnance rifle if I remember correctly.
View attachment 346749

Since @captaindrew was still a bit away, I signed myself up for a period photograph. When better when in outfit? And yes, I really needed that scarf for warmth. It was cold almost all day, especially after the warm and sunny days I had this last week.
View attachment 346751

After circling the Confederate camp twice I eventually ran across @captaindrew and spent some time with his company until it got dark. Being out there in camp at night, around a fire and almost no other light, was the first time I experienced that. It was great and I had really good company with @captaindrew 's crowd. Right around dinner @Equestriangirl93 came in. We were too late for the artillery night fire but @Equestriangirl93 and I attended the barn dance. I had a Union gentleman who danced with me whenever I didn't need to take a breather.
View attachment 346752

While dancing, I warmed up nicely, but when he walked me back to the car, I got chilly - despite the scarf. I'm glad it's going to be warmer today!
I thoroughly enjoyed reading that and the narrative. Got a chill reading some of it. I think it was the part about being alone out in the woods and hearing the music. Just like being on picket duty. I went to the Port Hudson reenactment in 2017. I got there early on Friday and the camps were still setting up. I went walking out on the trail in the woods and was out there alone. At some point the boys fired a practice volley. I thought about the phrase "going to the sound of the guns". Within seconds after that a herd of about 6 deer ran across the trail in front of me,maybe 20 yards away. Guess they got spooked by the gunfire and all I could hear in those seconds was the sound of their hoofsteps. That was something.
 
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James N.

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… I somehow got roped in towards the end when everyone in regalia had to step forward for thanks for organizing. :laugh: General Grant had something to do with that for @LTG USG was there too for the memorial service. :smile: And yes, you read that right, everyone in regalia - for I decided to go reenactor for Olustee. Surprise! :D

Since @captaindrew was still a bit away, I signed myself up for a period photograph. When better when in outfit? And yes, I really needed that scarf for warmth. It was cold almost all day, especially after the warm and sunny days I had this last week.
View attachment 346751
And here's the proper place to put it!
 
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