Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Field Trip: Olustee Battlefield

You might recall that Sunday's history tidbit was the Battle of Olustee.  My husband and I found this to be pretty fascinating because we live close enough to this historical site to make a daytrip.  So, daytrip we did!

A few interesting nuggets about the site:
  • The Battle of Olustee was the largest battle fought in Florida during the Civil War.
  • More than 10,000 troops struggled for over five hours on the site.
  • The field became Florida's first historic site in 1912.
  • The famous Civil War Colored Troop, the 54th Massachusetts fought in the battle.  You may remember them from the movie Glory.  In fact, parts of the movie (along with several other Civil War films) were filmed during the annual reenactments that occur in Olustee.
We all had a wonderful time exploring the site, speaking to the staff member on duty, and walking the mile-long trail.  And we took plenty of pictures!

Oliver literally ran up to every tree in the field and hugged it.  I think he needs to spend more time outside.

Henry and Oliver exploring the cannons.  Thank goodness they're reproductions.

Checking for approval before running off.

If you look closely, you can see the park ranger making his way down the stairs of the observation tower, lunchbox in tow.  The gates were getting ready to close, but the staff member said we could stay until sundown.

The monument was completed and dedicated in 1912.

Henry felt that the split rail fence needed some additional wood.  I convinced him otherwise.

Jane was very happy to be rumbling around in the stroller.

The trail head.  Whenever I think of Florida scenery, it's always pine trees and palmetto bushes and not beaches and palm trees.

It was about this point that visions of panthers and black bears began flitting through my mind.

However, the extent of our wildlife encounters was this little guy sitting on the trail and taking advantage of the last rays of sunshine.  That's pollen all over his shell.  Allergy season is upon us.

This was as close as Henry would get.

As the sun began to set behind the trees, we realized we needed to book it out of the park.  Also, the mosquitoes were beginning to come out in earnest.
A great day had by all!

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