Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Letter to the Editor

Olustee Descendant: Let their spirits rest. No new monuments

Dear Friends,

Photo: Olustee Monument, Nansea Markham Miller

I would ask you to please consider the Olustee "Park" Battle Site a place of mourning for those of us who are family members of soldiers who sacrificed all in that field. It is hallowed ground. It should be respected as such. It is not an ordinary park. It needs to be left alone out of respect for the dead.

I am a seventh generation Floridian, a direct descendant of Florida Pioneers (Markham, Weeks, Roberts, Osteen, Underwood).  I am also the proud descendant of a brave soldier who was a casualty of the Battle at Olustee, defending Florida.  He is my ancestor, his blood runs through my veins, and his blood is literally in that ground, on that battlefield.   To disturb that ground unnecessarily desecrates that ground, and disrespects my veteran ancestor's honorable service and sacrifice.

There already exists a monument recognizing the Union dead and the Confederates, equally.  It is enough.  Please.

Confederate Veterans were made American Veterans by an Act of Congress.  The monument that is there lists "Confederate" and "Union" forces.  All American veterans.

This second monument to be erected to the Union dead only is divisive, it is huge, modern, disrespectful, out of place.  It looks like something out of a alien movie.  The monument that is there is large but respectful, and it covers all men in the battle, it is reverent, unifying, beautiful, so appropriate.

Perhaps I have a unique perspective, I am a descendant and a chaplain.  Men died on that field, brave men, honorable men.  Those veterans deserve a quiet rest now.  Peace.

As strongly as I can, I object to this union monument.  It disturbs the ground where American Veterans sacrificed their lives doing their duty, and they deserve the field where they fell, to be quiet now.

Nansea Markham Miller
7th generation Floridian Florida Pioneer
Descendant of a Veteran of Olustee 

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