Friday, August 19, 2011

White Springs, FL to Baldwin, FL - 62 miles

Today was a relatively short day that ended with only 405 feet of climbing...most likely the bridge over the intercostal waterway. :-)

Today's ride took the riders past Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park.

Olustee Battlefield Monument
Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park commemorates 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 and a Civil War Expo takes place in late summer. Scenes for Civil War movies, including the 1989 movie Glory, have been filmed during the reenactments. 

The town of Baldwin, FL was first settled under the name of Thigpen in 1846. The name was changed to Baldwin in honor of Dr. Abel Seymour Baldwin, the president of the Florida Atlantic and Gulf Central Railroad, a railroad that ran from Lake City, FL to Jacksonville, FL. In 1967 Baldwin became the first Duval County School to be integrated.

Baldwin was the site of a civil war skirmish and until recently, dirt revetments could be found in one part of the town where defenses by Confederate forces were erected against the advance of the Union forces. Rifle balls and other evidence of the battle could be found by those who wished to look.

We are staying at the Best Western.

Tomorrow we are off to Jacksonville Beach, FL our last stop on this tour.

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