Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Fort Marion - St. Augustine, Florida (Part Three)
Continuing our look at some historic photos of Fort Marion, now Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, in St. Augustine, this is a Civil War era photograph of the fort.
When this picture was taken, the old Spanish fort was in the hands of the Union army. Confederates had held the stone fort from early 1861 until the spring of 1862, when they evacuated it. Union troops then reoccupied the fort and held it for the rest of the war.
As you can see, Union soiders are visible here on the top of the walls. In the distance, through the sally port (gate) of the fort, stacks of cannonballs and additional soldiers can be seen.
Originally built during the late 1600s by the Spanish and named the Castillo de San Marcos, the stone fort was attacked numerous times over the centuries but never fell. The U.S. government renamed it Fort Marion following the transfer of Florida from Spain to the United States in 1821. By the time of the Civil War, it was nearly 200 years old but was still described by Union naval officers as one of the strongest forts on the Southern coastline.
I'll post additional historic photos of the old fort over coming days. If you would like to read more about the history of the fort and see modern pictures, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/castillodesanmarcos1.