Wednesday, June 18, 2008
St. Augustine, Florida - Part Four
This 8-inch Columbiad is located on the Plaza de la Constitucion or central plaza of St. Augustine.
The plaza is the oldest public park in the continental United States. It was established by Royal Ordinance during the late 1500s.
I find it interesting that the people of St. Augustine were already building parks more than twenty years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.
The Columbiad seen here is one of four pieces of heavy artillery now displayed on the plaza that were part of the armament of the Water Battery at the Castillo de San Marcos at the time of the Civil War. According to the plaque on the mount, it was donated to the city by the War Department in 1900. That was the year that the 250 year military history of the fort finally came to an end.
These guns are mentioned in the U.S. Navy reports of the Union reoocupation of St. Augustine during the spring of 1862. At that time, of the 20 pieces mounted in the water battery at the beginning of the Civil War, five of the cannon were still there. They apparently remained at the fort over the years following the war until the post was closed when they were given to the city.
Our series on St. Augustine, Florida will continue. Until the next post, you can visit http://www.exploresouthernhistory.com/ for more. Just look for the St. Augustine heading.