Friday, October 24, 2008
Fort Marion - St. Augustine, Florida (Part Two)
This is another historic 19th century image of Fort Marion or the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine from the collections of the Library of Congress.
This appears to be the west face of the fort and it looks very similar to its appearance today.
As the photograph shows, the moat surrounding the fort was kept dry and could also be used as a covered way during a siege of the old fort. When the Spanish designed the castillo, the envisioned being able to keep cattle and other livestock in the moat area to feed the garrison and city residents during a city. On the outside of the moat, the infantry positon designed by the Spanish is clearly visible here.
The Castillo de San Marcos, called Fort Marion by U.S. forces, was nearly two hundred years old at the time of the Civil War and was antiquated in comparison to more modern works such as Forts Sumter, Pickens or Pulaski. Even so, a Union navy officer described it as one of the strongest forts on the Southern coast.
I'll post some additional 19th century photographs of the fort over the coming days. You can read more and see modern pictures by visiting www.exploresouthernhistory.com/staugustine1 and clicking the link for "Castillo de San Marcos."