Battle of Olustee

Civil War Battle of Olustee, Florida

February 20, 1864

5815 Battlefield Trail Road
Olustee, FL 32087

The Battle of Olustee or Battle of Ocean Pond was fought in Baker County, Florida on February 20, 1864, late during the American Civil War. It was the only major battle fought in Florida during the war. The battlefield is not far off  Interstate 10 on US 90.

“Union General Truman Seymour had landed troops at Jacksonville, aiming chiefly to disrupt Confederate food-supply. Meeting little resistance, he proceeded towards the state capital Tallahassee, against orders, assuming that he would face only the small Florida militia. Confederates in Charleston sent reinforcements under General Alfred H. Colquitt and the two armies collided near a lake called Ocean Pond in Olustee. The Union forces were repulsed and retreated back to Jacksonville where they stayed for the remainder of the war.” – Wikipedia

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How Wars End

How wars end, are more important than they way they start: 



Many focus on the tactical events of the American Civil War, or the political before and after… the strategic consequences it produced. But one glaring point has been overlooked until this narrative: ‘April 1865: The Month That Saved American’ by Jay Winik. This insightful writer and former national defense and foreign policy official, looks beyond all of it, to the most important part of the mater: how wars end.

Not only was Lee’s surrender pivotal in ending our Civil War, the even greater challenge was Gen. Joe Johnston’s in North Carolina. Those two critical events were separated in time by the assassination of President Lincoln. This almost derailed the later, due to the public outcry for vengeance.

Grant has been given much credit for his surrender terms, but it was Sherman, that had much more riding on the line with Johnston’s Army after Lincoln was gone.

Frequently in world history, overwhelmed armies often resort to guerrilla, insurgent tactics to wear their advisory down. What stands out in this narrative is, how tempting it would have been for Lee and the other three Confederate armies still in the field – especially when their President Davis had ordered exactly that.

This interview with Jay Wink is on ‘Booknotes’ from CSPAN


Buy this book:

#americancivilwar #jaywinik

Shiloh in 360

Shiloh Battlefield Virtual Tour:  


1055 Pittsburg Landing Loop, Savannah, TN 38372

Update: 06APR17

Fraley Field: The Battle Begins

The Battle of Shiloh resulted in more casualties, than all of the previous United States military conflicts to date (23,746). It was a stunning shock to the nation, and a sobering lesson to the multitude of Americans that thought this was going to be a short affair.

In this major battle, Confederate Brevet Brigadier General Albert Sidney Johnston was the highest ranking officer killed in the American Civil War.  He was most likely hit by his own troops. His mortal leg wound was from the rear. Despite this calamitous setback, P.G.T. Beauregard was so confident after the first day of the battle, that he sent word back to Richmond that the Confederate forces had a complete and undisputed victory.

Cavalry Colonel Bedford Forrest knew better. At the close of the first day of battle, he pleaded with higher command to press the enemy into the night – or abandon the field altogether. His scouts had discovered a massive reinforcement flotilla landing from the Tennessee river that late afternoon.

The Shiloh Battlefield is one of the most well preserved battlefields of the American Civil War. It also contains Native American burial mounds. It’s remote location in rural Southwest Tennessee, lends itself to privacy unlike most other battlefields near populated areas.

Shiloh Battlefield: virtual tour

Fraley Field – Opening action at The Battle of Shiloh April 6, 1862

Peach Orchard

Bloody Pond 

Forrest 3rd Cavalry Regiment*

Hornet’s Nest

Water Oaks Pond

Indian Mounds

Shiloh Visitor Center

Confederate Burial Trench

Pittsburg Landing

National Cemetery



Note: get the full screen experience by clicking the icon in the lower left of the video frame. A zoom option is available also for reading the historical signage. Some markers are embedded in the floating icons. Panorama’s take a moment to load. They can also be viewed in a 360º viewfinder.

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See more 360º battlefields

Largest Civil War Battlefields: 

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park: 9,036 acres 

Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania: 8,374 acres

Pea Ridge 4,300 acres

Shiloh: 3,997 acres**

Gettysburg: 3,965 acres

Antietam: 3,230 acres


*Colonel Forrest 3rd Cavalry Regiment fought dismounted from just west of the Peach Orchard. This obscure marker in the virtual tour, is the only one of Forrest on the battlefield. Fallen Timbers, will soon be added to the park service, thanks to The Civil War Preservation Trust. That location is the site of a most impressive counter-charge by Forrest’s regiment during the retreat of the Confederate Army. The location will be dedicated April 6-9, 2017, during the 155th anniversary reenactment.

** The National Park Service is adding more land in the near future, including Fallen Timbers, Parkers Crossroads, Davis Bridge and more. This will make Shiloh the largest National Military Park in the country.


© Bob Henderson | Athens-South

#shiloh #civilwar #tn #virtualtour

Finding Landmarks

Finding Historical Civil War Landmarks in Tennessee


I love the Tennessee Civil War Trails tour. There are hundreds of sites that have been interpreted with great displays. The only problem, is there are no specific locations on this tour map. Sometimes I have found the road sign, but have been unable to find the interpretive pedestal associated with it. For example, there is a road marker on U.S. 31 for Hood’s Retreat near Richland Creek, but I have yet to find it’s tour point*. It may have been stolen. The Sugar Creek marker down the road disappeared a few years ago.

ArcGIS Content

I have found many historical sites not present on Google, the worlds largest digital map. Some them are fairly significant places. A few that I have listed are: the Corinth Earthworks (MS), Davis Bridge and the Sherman Reservation, just to name a few. As I travel around the state, I verify these places on Google Maps. If missing, I am able to get them listed (I am a Google Local Guide).  

There is a wonderful resource available that most travelers probably aren’t aware of. It’s a digital map called the Tennessee Civil War GIS Project. It’s a powerful digital map designed on ArcGIS. Some of the content are listed on the image to the right. There are subcategories with most of them. Best of all, for the traveler, it’s mobile friendly.

This is a powerful resource. It even includes narrative copy of the historical signs. The Civil War Trails icon references a PDF file, organized by county, that details the street address location of the site. I have yet to find the Richland Creek information, but I think this is not the norm. From what I can tell, it’s a very comprehensive database of historical sites in Tennessee.

Another great reference is the Historical Marker Database. It includes locations, maps, signage copy and photo’s of historical signs and interpretive displays.

  • Tennessee Civil War Trails PDF
  • Tennessee Civil War GIS Link
  • Historical Marker Data Base – Link



*Problem solved. The road sign points to the right down Kerr Hill Road. At the end take another right on Campbellsville Road, to Campbellsville, where the sign is clearly visible on the right.