|Interpretive Sign at Site of Fort McRee|
Built in 1834-1839, Fort McRee was one of a network of forts built to protect Pensacola and the important Pensacola Navy Yard from foreign attack. It stood on what was then called Foster's Bank but is known today as Perdido Key. The site is directly across the entrance of Pensacola Bay from better-known Fort Pickens.
|Site where Fort McRee Stood (Fort Pickens in the Background)|
Instead, when war actually came to Pensacola Bay in 1861, Fort McRee fell into the hands of Southern troops while its partner, Fort Pickens, remained in the hands of the Union. The result was that instead of combining with Fort Pickens to defend the entrance to the harbor against enemy warships, Fort McRee had to battle both. It was an assignment for which it was not designed.
|Site of Fort McRee|
While the guns of Pickens blasted the three-tiered fort from across the harbor entrance, the ships closed to within range of the fort's rear. Although the garrison fought valiantly, one by one the guns of Fort McRee were silenced. With the soldiers in the fort no longer able to fight back, shot and shell rained on the burning fort for two days. By the time the battle was over, Fort McRee was riddled and sections of its walls were collapsing.
|Fort McRee in Ruins, ca. 1899|
To learn more about Fort McRee and the later concrete batteries erected at the site during the Spanish American War and World War II, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/fortmcree.
You can learn more about the other forts of Pensacola Bay by following these links:
- Fort Pickens
- Fort Barrancas
- Advanced Redoubt of Fort Pickens
- Fort George Historic Site
- Colonial Archaeological Trail