Personal Papers &Primary ResourcesCollections
The Northeast region of Florida has an extensive and rich military history, from its discovery and settlement by the Spanish and French, its occupation by Union troops four different times during the U.S. Civil War, and its important military role during both World Wars. In particular, the development of Camp Joseph E. Johnston (now Naval Air Station Jacksonville) from 1917 to 1918 signaled the beginning of a significant military presence in the region. Current military installations include: Camp Blanding, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, and Naval Station Mayport. Another important United States military base, Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, is located in adjacent southeastern Georgia.
The primary source materials in the collection date from the mid-twentieth century and provide historical evidence and documentation of military activities and events in the region. The core of the collection are print ephemera, including event programs, posters and artifacts.
Camp Blanding, Florida: three unofficial histories. St. Augustine, Fla.: Florida Dept. of Military Affairs, [1988?]
Camp Blanding Museum and Memorial Park.
Smith, W. Stanford. Camp Blanding: Florida star in peace and war. Fuquay-Varina, N.C.: Research Triangle Pub., 1998.
FLORIDA NATIONAL GUARD
Hawk, Robert. Florida's Army : Militia / State Troops / National Guard 1565-1985. Englewood, Fla.: Pineapple Press, c1986.
NAVAL AIR STATION JACKSONVILLE (former Camp Joseph E. Johnston, 1917-1919)
Williamson, Ronald M. NAS JAX: an illustrated history of Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida. Paducah, Ky.: Turner Pub. Co., c1990.
Camp Joseph E. Johnston Collection. The collection consists primarily of the World War 1 correspondence of Wesley "Lee" Bouslog, a soldier from Indiana who arrived at Camp Johnston in late December 1917. During his six month stay, Bouslog sent 106 letters to his girlfriend, Opal Valentine Baker, in Indiana. The lengthy letters provide extensive documentation on his life as a soldier in training; the wide-ranging topics cover descriptions of maintenance tasks, such as clearing away shrubbery from the banks of the St. John's River, to his daily meals and the Camp's popular songs. Additional items in the collection include postcards, a souvenir folder, and oversize photographs of the Camp's soldiers, buildings and sites. Overall, the collection provides printed and visual documentation of the Camp's activities and development from 1917 to 1918, which signal the beginning of a significant military presence in the Jacksonville region.
The Florida Collection at the Jacksonville Public Libraries holds 19 postcards of Camp Johnston.
The Florida Peace Officers School Collection at the Special Collections Dept. of Florida State University Libraries provides information on the history of the site, chiefly during its post-1928 years as Camp Foster.The Florida Photographic Collection, State Archives of Florida holds 71 visual images of Camp Johnston, including postcards and photographs.
NAVAL STATION MAYPORT
Overby, Joe Abb. Acres aweigh: a true story of the history of Naval Station Mayport. [s.l.]: Global Authors Publications, c2010.
CIVIL WAR IN NORTHEAST FLORIDA
Resources in Special Collections: The Civil War in Northeast Florida. The Guide lists general monographs, maps, theses and dissertations, video recordings and provides links to web resources and sites.
The Northeast region of Florida has an extensive and rich military history, from its discovery and settlement by the Spanish and French, the occupation of Jacksonville by Union troops during the U.S. Civil War, and its important military role during both World Wars. During the Civil War, Union forces occupied Jacksonville on four different occasions and remained in control until the end of the war and occupied several coastal towns and various places along the St. Johns River. The Battle of Olustee, fought in nearby Baker County in February 1864, was the largest Civil War battle fought in Florida. Battle casualties amounted to 1,861 Union and 946 Confederate soldiers, a total which reflected the hard-fought Confederate victory. An annual reenactment of the Battle is held every February at the State Park.
The development of Camp Joseph E. Johnston (now known as Naval Air Station Jacksonville) from 1917 to 1918 signaled the beginning of a significant military presence in the region. It served as an Army training camp from its commissioning on October 15, 1917 until its closing on May 16, 1919. Over this nearly two year period, the Camp developed into a major training center for Army quartermasters, grew to a complex of over 600 buildings, and held the nation's second largest rifle range. In 1928, the site was occupied by the Florida National Guard and renamed Camp J. Clifford R. Foster. During World War II (1940), it was re-commissioned as Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jacksonville).
Naval Station Mayport was commissioned in December 1942 to serve as the home port to conventionally-powered aircraft carriers of the Atlantic Fleet, including the Forrestal, Saratoga, and the John F. Kennedy carriers. Currently (2012), there are no carriers presently assigned to the Station, due to the decommissioning of non-nuclear powered carriers by the Navy. In 2009, the U.S. Congress approved legislation to upgrade the Mayport facilities to accommodate a home port for a nuclear powered carrier.
Camp Blanding (Starke, Clay County) was commissioned in 1940 as a National Guard camp and training site, named in honor of Lieutenant General Albert H. Blanding. During World War II, the Camp initially served as an active duty training center for the U. S. Army, but greatly expanded its role to include operations as an infantry replacement training, induction and separation center, and a German Prisoner of War compound. The Camp currently serves as the primary military reservation and training site for the Florida National Guard, as well as the headquarters of several non-flying units of the Florida Air National Guard. It also hosts other Reserve, Army and Air National Guard units, and training for the U. S. Armed Forces.
Printed materials include certificates, event programs, folders, newsclippings, and posters. Items span the years 1945-2000, with the bulk of the materials concentrated in the late twentieth century.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection:
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