Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Action Request: Union monument to be placed at the Olustee Battlefield

Via Billy


  After logging on to the survey  Olustee Battlefield monument Survey (please) complete 3 boxes.
     1 Enter your name
     2 Sons of Confederate Veterans or leave blank
     3 F 5

        I am forwarding to you an important e-mail.  This e-mail, you will find below my message, is from Mr. Gregory the Assistant Director of Florida’s Division of Recreation and Parks and concerns the placement of the now approved Union monument to be placed at the Olustee Battlefield.

        We are opposed to the placement of the monument on the original 3 acre parcel donated to the State of Florida by the UDC.  That parcel is an important cultural and historical recourse and should be left as it is. I have explained this to Mr. Gregory on several occasions.

        I am asking that you request the Union monument’s location be in F5 which is outside of the original 3 acres.

        If placed there:

The Union monument will be equidistant from the entrance to the park (US Highway 90) as the grand 1912 monument.  Park visitors will not access one before the other.

The Union monument will be equidistant from the road that passes through the park as the 1912 monument.  The Union monument will be on the west side and the 1912 monument will be on the east side.  Neither monument will detract from or compete with the other.

The 1912 monument is dedicated to the memory of the men who fought for the Union and the Confederacy.  The proposed monument dedicated solely to the memory of the Union troops should be located separate from any and all other single purpose monuments.

In 1909, the Florida legislature acquired three acres to build a memorial to commemorate the Battle of Olustee.  On October 23, 1912 Union and Confederate survivors of the Battle of Olustee gathered at the Monument for its dedication.  At or about this time the battlefield became the state's first historic site.  The three acre original site should remain, as close as possible, in the same condition as it was on that historic day.

The F-5 site is where Union units have, for many years, bivouacked during the annual reenactment of the Battle of Olustee.

        I am asking each of you to respond to the survey in Mr. Gregory’s e-mail. Our collective response will have a greater effect than each of us recommending a different location.  After you have voted get you wife, girlfriend and friends to vote for the same location. This will produce a dramatic effect.

        To respond go to the 4th paragraph of Mr. Gregory’s message and click on the Olustee Battlefield monument Survey.

        In the first box (Name of Respondent) put your name.

        In the second box (Group or Organization) you may put Sons of Confederate Veterans or leave blank.

        In the third box write F5.

        If you scroll down you will see a map of the Olutee Battlefield with the grid squares on it and you can locate grid F5.

        Forward this important and time sensitive e-mail to your Camps so they can get it out to all their members. You have a voice in this and we must use it to save our Heritage.  If we all respond we will have a loud voice.

        God Save The South
        Jim Davis
        Florida Division
        On behalf of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Recreation and Parks, I want to thank everyone who took the time to share their thoughtful comments about the proposed Union monument at Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park.
        The comments reflected three basic viewpoints:  those who oppose a Union monument; those who support a Union monument but in a different location; and those who support the monument on the proposed site.  Copies of all the comments we received can be found at ftp://ftp.dep.state.fl.us/pub/outgoing/Olustee%20Battlefiled%20Monument%20Comments/
        After thoroughly considering all of the comments, we agree that the Union fallen receive less recognition at the state park than do the Confederate fallen.  This is based on the language of the 1912 monument, which commemorates the devotion of only the Confederate soldiers, on the commemorative pavers around the monument, which identify only the Confederate units, and on the two small monuments to Confederate generals.  As fitting as these monuments undoubtedly are, no comparable recognition of the Union participants in the battle exists in the state park.  As the agency responsible for presenting the story of the Battle of Olustee to the visiting public, we agree that a monument to Union soldiers in the state park would be appropriate.  
        Before we determine a final location for the monument, however, we want to give all interested organizations and individuals an opportunity to share their ideas on potential sites.  If you would like to suggest a location, please click on the link Olustee Battlefield monument Survey. A map of the park will appear with instructions for identifying a site on the map.  Enter your name, your organization, if any, and the location of the site you suggest.  You can suggest more than one site if you like.  When finished, click on “Submit” and your response will be sent to us automatically.  We will need to receive your suggestions by the close of business on November 18, 2013.  
        We will conduct a public meeting in Lake City at 7:00 pm on December 2, 2013, to present the monument’s proposed final location for public review and comment.  An announcement will be sent in the next few days with the location of the meeting and other details.
        Again, thank you for sharing your comments and for your continued interest in Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park.
        Albert Gregory
        Assistant Director
        Division of Recreation and Parks
        Department of Environmental Protection
        3900 Commonwealth Boulevard
        Tallahassee, Florida 32303

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