Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Apalachicola River, Part Fourteen
This photograph shows one of the most spectacular views in all of Florida. Taken from the top of Alum Bluff, it shows the Apalachicola River as it winds its way past what is believed to be the largest exposed section of the earth's crust in the entire state.
Towering above the river, Alum Bluff was a major landmark and key strategic point for much of Florida's early history. The bluff is shown on the earliest known maps of the river and Andrew Jackson paused here during his 1818 invasion of Florida during the First Seminole War.
Confederate engineers quickly took note of the bluff during the surveys of the Apalachicola River in 1862-1863 and recommended it as the site for artillery emplacements. During the years 1862-1863, earthwork batteries were constructed on the bluff and a major Confederate camp was established here. At one point more than 600 men occupied Alum Bluff and as many as seven pieces of heavy artillery aimed out over the river.
I will have more on Alum Bluff as our series continues tomorrow.