February 21, 2022
Barbara Gannon stands near a granite monument to the Olustee battleground

While Florida has a state park memorializing the Confederate victory at the Civil War Battle of Olustee, the mass grave of Union soldiers killed there remains lost. Barbara Gannon, associate professor of military history, is on a quest to honor the men who were buried there.

“It’s intolerable that there are American soldiers who lay unknown and unhonored in a state of the United States,” she told the Jacksonville Florida Times Union.

The challenge of how to honor the dead of Olustee — particularly the soldiers whose graves were lost — has lingered for generations. Gannon has enlisted students (and a volunteer) to research rolls of soldiers reported killed, capture or missing after the battle in an attempt to narrow down a list of the soldiers who were most likely left behind on the field. By talking about the dead of Olustee, she hopes to inspire other who might support commemoration, whether it be on the cemetery grounds or nearby state land.

“This is federal land, and these were U.S. soldiers,” she says. “I’d go to hell to get this done.”

Click here to read the full story from the Jacksonville Florida Times Union.