Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Although the flag they died to save floats not o'er any land or sea throughout eternal years shall wave the banner of their chivalry."--monument at Putnam County Courthouse grounds.  Photo courtesy of William Lees, Florida Public Archaeology Network.  


Our previous FAM Focus posts have put a spotlight on the story of the Civil War in northeast Florida.  As the month draws to a close, it's appropriate to remember that, whether on the winning or losing side, Florida's citizens were deeply affected by the struggle.  When the war came to a close, its survivors had to cobble together their lives in an environment forever altered by political, social, and legal changes.  People had to piece together communities and bonds that had been rent by opposing convictions.

As with any difficult situation, letting go and moving forward can best be achieved by owning and honoring what has passed.  This week's post will share some of the monuments constructed to honor and remember the people who participated in this most dramatic struggle in U.S. history.


DeLand: Oakdale Cemetery

Photo courtesy of Gregg Harding, Florida Public Archaeology Network

Some monuments are simple and understated.  This memorial at Oakdale Cemetery was placed in 1958.  It honors the fallen buried there, listing each by name. 


Jacksonville: Evergreen Cemetery

Photo courtesy of William Lees, Florida Public Archaeology Network


Others are somewhat grander.  This monument, erected in 1891, is one of five in the city of Jacksonville--and is a rare nod to Union soldiers who fought in Florida. Sadly, it is also an example of the need to care for monuments to those who have gone before--time and environmental forces have been unkind to the statue, causing it to tilt back.  Learn more about Evergreen Cemetery here.


Palatka: County Courthouse

Photo courtesy of William Lees, Florida Public Archaeology Network


Some monuments occupy prominent public spaces--perhaps an appropriate nod to the way that the war proposed to change government in the south, as well as memorial to the work that political leaders had to undertake to bring their citizens back together.  This monument was placed in 1924.




St. Augustine: William Wing Loring Memorial


Photo courtesy of William Lees, Florida Public Archaeology Network

A few monuments honor a specific war hero.  This St. Augustine example, placed in 1920, honors William Wing Loring, a St. Augustine native who became a Confederate General.  It also notes that Loring went on to serve the U.S. military in Egypt.


These are a few of many efforts made to honor and remember those who fought, died, and were otherwise affected by the war.  Visiting cemeteries in cemeteries and other public spaces throughout Florida, we have opportunities to recognize for ourselves how deeply our predecessors felt the impacts of that deeply personal conflict--and consider how that legacy has been passed to us.


For more information on Civil War monuments, visit FPAN's Destination Civil War page. 

3 Responses so far.

  1. Debby says:

    Thank you for a fun and informative archaeology month!

  2. Debby says:

    Thank you for a fun and informative archaeology month!

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