Of the eleven states that seceded from the Union and ultimately formed the Confederate States of America by early 1861, Florida was the smallest in terms of population and thus predictably contributed the lowest number of soldiers and sailors to the Confederate armed forces. However, with its natural resources and extensive coastline, Florida was strategically and economically very important. This presentation will highlight how the Union and Confederate armed forces made Florida a battleground from 1861 to 1865. It will explore the resources at stake, and the political factions and actors who shaped an interesting history in those terrible wartime years and who paved the way for Florida’s postwar development in the Reconstruction period. The battles in Florida were nowhere near as large as those commonly described in history books, like Gettysburg and Antietam, but men still made the ultimate sacrifice on both sides and contributed to the war’s final outcome in their own way. This event is also available virtually.