Monday, June 16, 2008

St. Augustine, Florida - Part Two

This is another view of the Water Battery at Castillo de San Marcos National Monument in St. Augustine.
The cannon here were mounted en barbette at the time of the Civil War and the battery consisted of twenty pieces when it was seized by state militia on the eve of the war in 1861. Several of the original guns can still be seen around St. Augustine.
The Water Battery itself remains in good condition. The remains of the gun mounts, for example, can be seen in this photograph.
When the Union navy reoccupied St. Augustine in 1862, they found five cannon still mounted in the battery. The Confederates had removed the rest of the usable artillery to other locations. The guns remaining included Columbiads and rifled 32-pounders. Considering the shallow nature of the entrance to Matanzas Bay and the narrow channel leading past the town, this was an impressive armament. The cannon of the Water Battery were ideally situated and powerful enough to control water access to the old city, but were never tested in battle.
Our series on St. Augustine will continue.


RoadDog said...

I've been to the Castillo many times, but never paid any attention to the water battery. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Is the cannon shown in the pictures an original of the battery?

I look forward to your other entries on the city.

Dale said...

Thanks for the comment! I believe it is an original, although I am not positive. The four guns on the Plaza de la Constitucion in the center of the city were all part of the original water battery armament.