Monday, November 24, 2008

Significant Florida Civil War Site May Be Closed - Please Speak UP!

The historic earthworks of Fort Ward at San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park played a critical role in defending Tallahassee and St. Marks during the War Between the States.
This fort was one of the objectives of Union troops during the Natural Bridge campaign of 1865 and soldiers and sailors from here helped win the battle that preserved Tallahassee's status as the only Southern capital east of the Mississippi not captured by Federal troops.
Soon, however, this beautiful state park may lose a battle of a different kind. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has included San Marcos de Apalache on a list of state parks facing temporary or permanent closure due to budget constraints.
While I certainly agree that our government should tighten its belt and live within its mean, it seems preposterous to me to believe that closing a few small state parks could have much of an impact on the massive budget of the State of Florida. I'm sure most of us could identify enough savings in one day in Tallahassee to save our state parks for generations to come!
Please join with me and write to Gov. Crist at to urge him to save San Marcos de Apalache and Florida's other state parks and historic sites by identifying other ways to cut our state budget. Our ancestors served here to protect our state. We owe it to their memories to now preserve this and other historic sites so that one day our children and grandchildren will still be able to visit and learn about their heritage and the importance of the events that made this state the wonderful place that it is today.
Thank you.


Floridan said...

This is the obvious result of Floridians being willing to trade their heritage, social services and cultural resources for a couple dollars in reduced taxes.

What our legislature and governor have done to this state is shameful.

markerhunter said...

Are there any interpretive or historical markers on site? If so, may I suggest entering them into the Historical Marker Database or similar web site?

With HMDB, we have the ability to reference the marker location and quickly stich togather a "virtual tour" of sorts. Complete with comments, photos supporting the topic discussed on the marker, and external links.

Quite possibly, this could raise more awareness. However, if the worst does occur, at least something would remain (in the web environment) to illuminate the story of the site.

Dale said...

Making this one even more shameful is the fact that there are U.S. soldiers buried on the site. The park preserves a cemetery containing the remains of men from the 4th and 7th U.S. Infantries and 4th U.S. Artillery that died while stationed at Fort St. Marcos (San Marcos de Apalache). The remains were removed from their original burial site into the park to make sure they were preserved. Now they are in danger again.

Yes, there are markers at the site. I'll enter them in the database.

Once again, I encourage everyone to please write the governor at and urge him to protect this park. There are other state parks in the area and it strikes me that something economical could be worked out through staff sharing, etc., that would achieve this goal.

Thank you!

markerhunter said...

I'll also pass along this information to the 7th US Infantry Association. (