Confederate Memory in the Sunshine State

Dublin Core


Confederate Memory in the Sunshine State


Florida: Confederate Memory in the Sunshine State is a collection of monuments that contextualize the lost cause within the southernmost portion of the United States. The Lost Cause infiltrated Southern values and ways of life to support the economic structures of the South. Florida's involvement in the Civil War began with providing troops, cattle, and food supplies to the Confederacy.[1] Florida also was the site of the Battle of Olustee in Baker County, Florida. This battle was the largest on Florida soil and its aim was to control the Confederate food supply.

In more recent years Florida has become one of several battlegrounds over the prevalence of Lost Cause narratives. A bill HB-7 has been passed which limits the discussion of race in K-12 education. The new legislation led to the banning of AP African American studies courses for violating the new guidelines it created.[2] Alterations to the existing curriculum included an emphasis on how slaves benefited from their work and an ending emphasis on the Ocoee massacre in which a white mob killed dozens of African American citizens to stop them from voting.[3] These changes have led to a whitewashing of the experience of enslaved people and ignored the violence African Americans faced after Reconstruction. These sorts of events represent how the Lost Cause continues to be alive and well and the monuments which this collection discusses are an integral part of the maintenance of this narrative.


1. Weitz, Seth. “Defending the Old South: The Myth of the Lost ... - Wiley Online Library.” Defending the Old South: The Myth of the Lost Cause and Political Immorality in Florida, 1865–1968, 2009.

2. Najarro, Ileana Florida’s. "New African American History Standards: What’s Behind the Backlash." Education Week. Accessed December 12, 2023.

3. Hoffmann, Carlee, Carlee Hoffman, and Claire Strom. “A Perfect Storm: The Ocoee Riot of 1920.” The Florida Historical Quarterly 93, no. 1 (2014): 25–43.


Marbella Valeriano Garcia, Madison Hardrick, Samuel Mcmillan, Michael Westfall





Collection Items

Florida’s Tribute to the Women of the Confederacy, Jacksonville
The idea of erecting a monument to the brave women of the Confederacy began at a reunion of the Florida Division of the United Confederate Veterans (UCV) at Dignan Park in 1900. Not until 1909 did the UCV put their plans into action. They raised…

Judah P. Benjamin Monument
The Judah B. Benjamin Confederate Memorial was originally a 3,400-acre sugar plantation with at least 190 slaves built by Robert Gamble between 1845 and 1850.[1] Gamble was able to gain the property at no cost due to the Florida Armed Occupation and…

Seventh Florida Infantry Regiment Monument, Bartow, FL
This monument is a memorial dedicated to the Seventh Florida Infantry Regiment located at Old Polk County Courthouse in Bartow Florida. It is in the shape of a tombstone and the words, "In memory of the 79 militiamen under command of Captain Nathan…

Robert E. Lee Bust, Fort Myers, FL
The Robert E. Lee bust in Downtown Fort Myers, Florida was sculpted by Aldo Pero and installed on January 19, 1966. This bust was commissioned by the Laetitia Ashmore Nutt chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). Fort Myers is…

Johnny Reb Confederate Monument, Orlando, FL
On June 3, 1911 “Johnny Reb” a six-foot granite Confederate soldier was placed upon a thirty-foot monument adjacent to the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando, Florida [1]. The name “Johnny Reb” symbolizes a Confederate soldier's moral and cultural…

Florida State Capitol Obelisk
On November 6, 1860 Governor Madison Starke Perry appealed for Florida to prepare to secede the United States of America and Join the southern states in creating and organizing a confederacy. On December 22, 1860 a statewide election was held to…
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