At the outset of the Civil War, Florida’s entire population was only a bit larger than present-day Gainesville. Still, the state played an outsized role in the conflict. Floridians fought for the Union and Confederate armies. Sunshine State farmers provided beef and other foodstuffs for the Confederacy, rations that proved increasingly consequential as the years wore on. The battles of Olustee and Natural Bridge, where boys from the West Florida Seminary entered the fray, helped keep Tallahassee as the only Confederate-held capital east of the Mississippi River. Even the conspirators involved in Lincoln’s assassination wove a trail that led to Florida. Join author Robert Redd on a tour of the lesser-known aspects of Florida in the Civil War.
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