Saturday, June 14, 2008
St. Augustine, Florida - Part One
This post is the first in a series on Civil War sites in and around the historic city of St. Augustine, Florida.
Founded in 1565, St. Augustine is the oldest continually occupied city in the United States. Rich in Spanish influences, it was also a community of importance during the early days of the War Between the States.
This photograph shows an iron Civil War period cannon in the water battery of the Castillo de San Marcos, a centuries old fort in St. Augustine. Although the main fortress (called Fort Marion at the time of the Civil War) remains in remarkable condition, it was considered antiquated by the time of the Civil War.
To augment the old Spanish defenses, the U.S. government had constructed a large water battery at the Castillo. The east moat of the fort was filled and guns mounted en barbette along the shore of Matanzas Bay. This battery with its 20 cannon was seized by state forces on January 7, 1861.
Confederate forces held St. Augustine and the Castillo de San Marcos for the rest of the year 1861.
Our series will continue, but to learn more before the next post please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com and look for the St. Augustine heading.