Tussle at Olustee

The Battle of Olustee, February 20, 1864

The Battle of Olustee, February 20, 1864

News comes that members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans are opposed to the placement of a monument honoring United States soldiers’ service at the Olustee battlefield in Florida.

In the words of one SCV member:

If you have an Iraq war monument, you don’t want to put a Muslim/jihadist monument right in front of it.

These boys always seem a little too eager to put their foot right into their mouths. But wait, there’s more. Here’s how the SCV characterizes it:

Compatriots,
 
A new heritage attack has been launched at Olustee (near Lake City, Florida), and your help is needed.
 
In anticipation of the 150th anniversary of the battle that protected Florida’s capital from falling, the Sons of Union Veterans has obtained approval from the State of Florida Parks Department for a special monument to invading Federal forces.  The plan calls for a large black Darth Vadar-esque shaft that will disrupt the hallowed grown where Southern blood was spilled in defense of Florida, protecting Tallahassee from capture.   
We fear the State may have a legal right to do so.  Therefore, in order to stop this we must win the war through citizen objection.  
Confederate Forces won the Battle in 1864 - but will we win the 2nd Battle of Olustee and prevent this menacing monument from disrupting this hallowed Southern soil?
We can and will – but only if you take action today!
—-
It will be interesting to see whether this is simply a debate over the location of the monument or a protest against the erection of one, period.
(h/t to a reader for one of the contributions to this post)
UPDATE: There’s been some squabble over exactly how many monuments are on this battlefield. Here’s a webpage suggesting that there are more Confederate than United Sates markers, and that the US monument marks the place where the dead were buried.
For Andy Hall’s take at Dead Confederates, see here.
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45 thoughts on “Tussle at Olustee

  1. They have a good point. I am sure they will have no problem supporting the removal of the Lee monument at Gettysburg, as well as those to the other invading Confederates.

  2. >>The plan calls for A LARGE BLACK DARTH VADAR-ESQUE SHAFT that will disrupt the hallowed grown where Southern blood was spilled in defense of Florida, protecting Tallahassee from capture. << (Emphasis added) Gee, do you think that a significant part of the fervor of the opposition to a monument to US soldiers at Olustee just might have something to do with the fact that a significant percentage of the soldiers in blue had skin that was black?

  3. Wouldn’t that logic(?) suggest that it would be legitimate to remove the Confederate monuments from the Gettysburg battlefield? Blood spilled in defending against invading forces?

  4. So once again we have a case of “what’s good for the goose is not good for the gander”. Heritage……as long as it is THEIR heritage. These folks seem to forget that while Congress granted veteran status to the Confederate side of the house, they likewise granted it to the Union side of the house-in fact, the Union side had veteran status first & foremost. The example in the statement is a poor comparison. Perhaps we should remove ALL Union monuments in the various Southern states that “disrupts the hallowed ground where Southern blood was spilled”? The war was fought to reunify the nation-the land is first & foremost the land of the United States of America & Florida second. I’m flabbergasted by the inconsistency & stupidity of some of these people.

  5. Invaders? Southern soil? As Lincoln said, “Will our Generals never get that idea out of their heads? The whole country is our soil.”

  6. This is why I believe the SCV to be a unAmerican, unpatriotic organization,they disgust me . Maybe good Northern and Union folk should call for the removal of rebel monuments from the hallowed grounds of Gettysburg,a Union victory ,that turn back a rebel invasion and helped save our Union,count me in…

    • And while we’re at it, maybe it’s time the Federal government stopped paying for new headstones for Confederate graves. As it stands now, the SCV doesn’t seem to have many friends outside the “Confederate Heritage” realm–they’ve already been spurned even by the History Channel. Michael Givens’ big mouth isn’t going to improve their situation.

  7. In re: “Confederate Forces won the Battle in 1864 – but will we win the 2nd Battle of Olustee and prevent this menacing monument from disrupting this hallowed Southern soil?”

    If you want to protect Southern Heritage, as opposed to white supremacist heritage, the SCV should acknowledge that the U.S. forces included hundreds of Southerners. The 35th USCT was made up principally of Carolinians and the 8th USCT included Virginians (as well as often overlooked immigrants from the West Indies). They were as Southern as any SCV. The presence of so many Southerners in blue at Olustee testifies to the fact that there was a civil war in the states that formed the Confederacy as well as in the United States as a whole.

  8. This originated with the Olustee area UDC. The Ladies are the one who worded and issued the above call to arms. The SCV is just helping them in this fight. Both sides already have a monument apiece. Now the SUVCW want to add another. The proposal has been approved, only placement is up in the air.

    • “The plan calls for a large black Darth Vadar-esque shaft that will disrupt the hallowed grown where Southern blood was spilled in defense of Florida, protecting Tallahassee from capture.
      We fear the State may have a legal right to do so. Therefore, in order to stop this we must win the war through citizen objection”

      Doesn’t sound like placement is the problem for these dimwits – unless parts of the battlefield aren’t “hallowed ground where Southern blood was spilled”, which would be an interesting and novel, if somewhat impractical, way of divvying up battlefield parcels.

  9. I would not compare the Union Forces to Muslim Jihadists. The WAR is over and it is time for this stupid hatred to end. And at the end, we were all Americans.

  10. Pingback: The Slow, Deliberate Suicide of Confederate Heritage™ | Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

  11. Brooks, note that neither Shillinglaw nor Givens argue that there’s no need for an additional Union monument because there’s already one there; they’re spouting off at the idea of a Union monument, period.

    • As I stated on your blog, I think Shillinglaw’s story is pure fantasy. There *is* no Abraham Lincoln statue in the Vicksburg National Military park … and I have never heard of the type of vandalism he describes inside the park. The closest incident would be some nutjob who spraw-painted religious doomsday messages on the Illinois Monument, but then also did the same to Lloyd Tilghman’s statue and random assorted cannons.

  12. When I think of the leadership of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, I reminded of what a certain bloodthirsty tyrant once said about General Fremont: “[He is] the biggest scoundrel that ever lived, but in the infinite mercy of Providence he was also the biggest fool.”

  13. Until interest in the 54th Mass. and USCT grew after the film “Glory”, Olustee was pretty much an unknown battle. When friends and relatives have visited the battlefield, they have told me that they were disappointed by the overall lack of monumentation. There are only four monuments on the battlefield, three Confederate and one Union. Two of the monuments are slabs with no more attractiveness than a gravestone. You would think that the SCV would understand that an additional monument makes the site more attractive to visitors. With Florida the second most populous state in the South and Olustee the nearest battlefield for roughly 15 million people, the SCV should see the monument as a way to enhance awareness of this period in our history.

  14. Did the SCV oppose the new (March 2013) Union monument at Bentonville? I don’t recall any negative reaction at all, despite the brouhaha several years ago. So how is this different?

    • There was great opposition to the idea of a Union-themed marker when it first was raised in 1994, and if I recall correctly the marker was actually delayed because of it. I’m not sure how opposition was surmounted in 2012-13.

      • Opposed, previously, yes, with a state official at the center of it, even though some local Confederate heritage groups actually supported the idea. By it seemed to go off without a hitch this time, hence my question.

  15. It should also be noted that there were many Union soldiers from southern states, e.g., 1st Alabama (USA). This unit served as the ‘escort’ unit for Sherman on the march from Atlanta. Just remembering that it was a Civil War, not an invasion.

  16. There are three. The main one, which is mentioned in the SCV announcement, is hardly “balanced.” It was built in 1912 and had all of the standard Lost Cause pageantry when it was unveiled. In 1994 the monument was re-dedicated to the southern units that fought in the battle. The other two monuments were erected during the 1930s. One is to General Finegan, commander of the southern forces. The other is to another Confederate general, Alfred Colquitt. His monument mentions that the Confederate victory at Olustee “prevented a Sherman-like of Georgia from the South.” Curious phrasing and completely incorrect. Both of these were erected by the UDC.

  17. The Coffee Camp of the SCV in Missouri protested the placement of a monument to Union forces at the Battle of Lexington State Historic Site by the Phelps Camp SUVCW in 2009. They sent letters to politicians and the editors of several Missouri papers as well.

    • Mulligan’s Irish Brigade, the 23rd Illinois, made up about half of the Union troops at Lexington. I did not realize there was opposition to the monument so recently in what was a state that never joined the Confederacy.

      • The problem here in Missouri, Pat, is that there are some who want Missouri’s attempt at secession to be recognized as valid despite the fact there was no quorum in Neosho to vote for secession and despite the fact that a convention called to discuss secession voted not to secede. In other words, they want to alter historical fact to reflect their wishes and desires for what took place in 1861 and here today because any time this discussion takes place the modern day political strife gets brought up quickly.
        Granted, these folks are a minority opinion, but they continue to present the Lost Cause mythistory as fact even when they have no facts to support their lies.

    • The Coffee Camp is Clint Lacy’s home camp. A while back he posted a map of “intolerance” in Missouri that included the SUVCW, along with the Communist Party, the NAACP and the New Black Panthers. So undoubtedly he was a mover in that.

  18. Pingback: What exactly is the SCV’s problem with a new Olustee monument? | Past in the Present

  19. Pingback: The SCV: An Anti-American Group | Student of the American Civil War

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