"General Ray" Giron

Ray Giron at Olustee — circa 1992,
Commanding General Union Forces.
(Photograph provided by James Permane)

Ray Giron at Luray Caverns, Virginia,
late 2009.
(Photograph from the Civil War News)

Dr. Raymond (Ray) E. Giron, a local Civil War reenactor from the Gainesville, Florida area, was a primary force in organizing the Florida reenactment community to support the concept of an annual reenactment of the Battle of Olustee. Beginning in 1977 and for the next twenty years, "General Ray" would not only command the Union forces at the Battle of Olustee, but was instrumental in organizing the annual event and developing the high authenticity standards that characterize the event today. Dr. Giron moved from Florida in the late 1990s, and, at the time of the 2009 image, lived in Staunton, Virginia.

Due to his knowledge of 19th century American history, military uniforms and weapons, Dr. Giron was often consulted by the movie and TV industries. He served as assistant property master in at least 10 major productions and consulted on others.

His friends had hoped Ray would be able to attend the 147th anniversary and 35th reenactment of the Battle of Olustee, so we could present him with a special award. Alas, that was not to be. In early February 2011, Ray Giron joined those endless ranks of the Blue and Gray on their eternal march.

On 20 February 2011, the actual day the battle had been fought in 1864, the Citizens Support Organization announced the Dr. Ray Giron Award at the conclusion of the battle reenactment:

The Olustee Battlefield Citizens Support Organization created an award for individuals who demonstrate exemplary service.

Properly named... It is only fitting that the very first Dr. Ray Giron Award be presented in his memory. To receive this award on their father's behalf, we welcomed Ray's daughters, Tera Romeo and Mary Beth Giron. They joined us in recognizing Ray's life-long dedication to the reenacment community and the Olustee Battlefield Historic State Park.

Immediately after presenting the award that day, a combined brigade of over 1,000 Union and Confederate infantry fired a simultaneous salute, which was followed by a rolling barrage from a score of Confederate and Union artillery pieces.

External Web sites related to the Battle of Olustee
Dr. Ray Giron's Filmography page, Internet Movie Database

Battle of Olustee home page