Park Common Name:
This park commemorates the site of Florida's largest Civil War battle, which took place February 20, 1864. More than 10,000 cavalry, infantry and artillery troops fought a five-hour battle in a pine forest near Olustee. Three U.S. Colored Troops took part in the battle, including the now famous 54th Massachusetts. The battle ended with 2,807 casualties and the retreat of Union troops to Jacksonville until the war's end just 14 months later. In 1912, when many living Civil War veterans still attended reunions, the battlefield became the state's first historic site. Olustee Battlefield has a visitor center with historical information and artifacts. A reenactment is held every February. Scenes for Civil War movies, including the 1989 movie Glory, have been filmed during the reenactments. Visitors can enjoy a meal at the picnic area or take a walk along a mile-long trail that has interpretive signs describing the events of the battle.
Physical Zip Code:
Mailing Zip Code:
History and Culture
Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park commemorates the site of Florida’s largest Civil War battle. In 1909, the Florida legislature acquired three acres to build a memorial to commemorate the event. In 1912, when many living Civil War veterans still attended reunions, the battlefield became the state’s first historic site. Today, the battle is reenacted every year during the second weekend in February.
Battle of Olustee
The Battle of Olustee took place on February 20, 1864, between Union troops advancing west from Jacksonville and Confederate forces from Florida and Georgia. After several hours of battle, Confederate troops forced a Union retreat to Jacksonville. One of the regiments representing the Union that day was the African-American 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment. This unit was one of the first black units formed during the Civil War and was originally commanded by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. Although the film does not cover the Battle of Olustee, scenes from the movie, Glory, which tells the story of this regiment, were filmed at Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park.
On October 23, 1912, veterans of the Battle of Olustee gathered with other dignitaries including then Florida Governor Albert W. Gilchrist and U.S. Senator Duncan U. Fletcher to dedicate the monument remembering the battle and those who gave their lives here.
Although Olustee Battlefield officially became a state park in 1949, it holds the distinction of becoming the state’s first State Historic Monument 40 years earlier in 1909. For more than 100 years, Olustee has welcomed visitors to walk its grounds and remember Florida’s largest battle in one of our nation’s bloodiest conflicts.
Getting Involved Opportunities:
To learn more about volunteering please click here
The park is open daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. The interpretive center is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
No entrance fee is required to enter this park.
A special event fee is charged during the Battle of Olustee Reenactment each year in February.