One hundred and fifty years ago, Florida was shaken by battle, blockade, economic deprivation, and the death of native sons both within and far outside its borders. Today, tributes to the valor and sacrifice of Florida's soldiers, sailors, and civilians can be found from the Panhandle to the Keys. Authors Lees and Gaske look at the diversity of Civil War monuments built in Florida between Reconstruction and the present day, elucidating their emblematic and social dimensions.
Most monuments built in Florida honor the Confederacy, praising the valor of Southern soldiers and often extolling the righteousness of their "Lost Cause." At the same time, a fascinating minority of Union monuments also exists in the state-and these bear notably muted messages. Recalling Deeds Immortal shows how the creation of these bronze and stone monuments created new social battlegrounds as, over the years, groups such as the Ladies' Memorial Associations, United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the Grand Army of the Republic competed to control the messages behind the memorialization of fallen soldiers and veterans. Examining the evolution of Civil War monuments, the authors demonstrate that the construction of these memorials is itself an important part of Civil War and post-Civil War history.