Budget conference: Funding likely for Olustee Civil War museum

Civil War
The building is 'deteriorating,' but state money will help it rise again.

The Legislature in some senses hasn’t stopped fighting the Civil War, as evidenced by weeks of focus on a dead-for-this-year Confederate monument protection bill.

While the monument bill is no more (for now), an effort to fund the rehab of a museum commemorating the biggest Civil War battle in the state appears more imminent, with the Senate agreeing to match the House’s proposed $400,000 funding level for the Olustee Battlefield State Park Citizens Support Organization.

Olustee was the place in Baker County where the Battle of Ocean Pond happened in 1864, a skirmish largely about cutting off Confederate supplies from Jacksonville to the east. 160 years later, Sen. Jennifer Bradley and Rep. Chuck Brannan, both Republicans, appear poised to get money for the first substantial reconstruction of the “deteriorating” facility since the 1950s.

“These funds will supplement other funds raised to build a new Museum located at the Olustee Battlefield State Park behind the rapidly deteriorating current Olustee Battlefield Museum which was built in the early 1950s. The secure facility will include both indoor and outdoor exhibits that tell the story of the civil war in Florida, culminating with the Battle of Olustee. The new museum will house interactive exhibits, artifacts, restrooms, and a historical library,” reads the House funding request.

Any funding is contingent on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ approval, of course. But given his rhetorical support for everything from Confederate monuments to renaming a North Carolina fort to honor Confederate laughing stock Braxton Bragg, it’s hard to imagine him saying no to this project.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


6 comments

  • MH/Duuuval

    March 3, 2024 at 9:35 pm

    If the bill’s sponsors knew about the war crimes committed after the battle by rebels and their civilian compatriots, would they continue to support such a museum? Or, will they insist the museum tell the actual story of the battle from beginning to end?

  • MH/Duuuval

    March 4, 2024 at 9:24 am

    LINCOLN’ SECOND INAUGURAL, 1864:
    ‘With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the fight as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan (tilde) to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.’

  • Dont Say FLA

    March 4, 2024 at 8:15 pm

    A Civil War museum sounds great! Put all the Civil War stuff in it, and then label everything with “Don’t Be A Loser Like These Guys” signage

  • the Truth

    March 8, 2024 at 2:00 pm

    this is Great news!!!! much needed. The Confederate Army beat the 54th Massachuttes, the black Union soldiers, remember them from the movie Glory… the South will rise again

  • rick whitaker's

    March 8, 2024 at 4:02 pm

    the truth, you are quite proud of your racism and bigotry, how christian of you.

    • the Truth

      March 9, 2024 at 4:17 pm

      Rick, I am proud of my Confederate Ancestors. They fought for their states rights. They did not own slaves. They fought because the South was being invaded. Deo Vindice

Comments are closed.


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