Florida joined the Confederate States of America in advance of the Civil War, as the third of the original seven states to secede from the Union, following Lincoln’s 1860 election. With the smallest population, nearly half of them slaves, Florida only sent 15,000 troops to the Confederate States Army. Its chief importance was in food-supply to the south and support for blockade-runners along its long coastline full of inlets that were hard to patrol.
The Civil War Memorial at Veterans Memorial Park was dedicated on October 20, 2018. “This particular memorial deserves a lot,” said Bob Silmser, a veteran, himself, who headed the committee for the monument, which is made up of two marble slabs with spheres on top of each representing each side of the national battle. A swath of blue marble, representing the Hillsborough River, runs between the two monoliths. The design took a lot of time and thought to represent both the conflict and this area, Silmser said. The memorial also includes the anchor from the ship the Scottish Chief, which burned and sank in the Hillsborough River.