Every President’s Day weekend, Civil War reenactors from all over the world converge on the little town of Olustee, Florida, to commemorate Florida’s biggest Civil War battle.
Here, Confederates held off the Union troops and eventually won the battle, forcing the North to retreat back to Jacksonville with the biggest percentage of casualty losses they would suffer during the entire war.
2014, the 150th anniversary of the battle, was the first year I attended the reenactment there in the middle of nowhere.
Others may have attended because they’re history buffs, school kids, or just tourists passing through looking for something to do.
But I had another reason for being there.
Through oral family history, I knew my great great grandmother had lived just a few miles away from the battlefield.
I wanted to experience the reenactment with her in mind and imagine what she might have felt and seen that cold February day in 1864.