American Forts: East

FLORIDA

Camp Amelia | Amelia Island Blockhouse | Anastasia Island Res. | Camp Atlantic Beach
Batton Island Fort | Camp Brisbane | Fort Capron (1) | Fort Carlos | Fort de la Caroline
Fort Cartel | Fort Church | Fort Clinch (4) | Camp Cooper | Fort Diego | Camp Edgefield
Fort Elena | Camp Eustis | Post at Fernandina | Fort Fulton | Fort George (1)
Fort George Island Battery | Fort Guana | Fort Harney (3) | Little Fort
Little Talbot Island Fort | Mayport Battery | Mayport Radar Station | Fort Marion
Fort Matanzas | Matanzas Inlet Res. | Matanzas Tower | Fort Moosa | Fort Mosé
Camp Moultrie | Fort Moultrie (1) | Fort Moultrie (2) | Battery Nassau | Negro Fort (1)
Fort Peaton | Fort Peyton | Fort Piribiriba | Fort Poza | Fort Quartel | Quesada Battery
Presidio de San Augustin | St. Augustine Arsenal | Fort San Carlos (2) | Fort San Diego
Fort San Fernando | St. Francis Barracks | Fort St. George | St. Johns Bluff Battery
St. Johns Bluff Fort | Fort San Juan | Fort San Juan de Pinos (Pinillo) | Castillo de San Marcos
Fort Santa María | Fort St. Mark | Fort San Mateo | Fort Maria Sanchez | Fort Steele
Yellow Bluff Fort

St. Johns River - page 2 | Eastern Florida - page 3
Middle Florida - page 4 | Central Florida - page 5
Southern Florida - page 6 | Gulf Coast - page 7
Western Florida - page 8 | Pensacola Bay - page 9

FLORIDA'S COASTAL MARITIME TRAIL - FORTS
FLORIDA'S PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVES
OLD FLORIDA MAPS
COASTAL DEFENSE SITES IN THE GOLDEN CRESCENT
COASTAL FORTIFICATIONS PHOTO ARCHIVES

SPANISH FLORIDA 1513-1763

Last Update: 24/NOVEMBER/2010
Compiled by Pete Payette - ©2010 American Forts Network

¤ Colonial Defenses of Fernandina

¤ Fort Santa María
(1675 ? - 1686), near Fernandina Beach
Originally a Spanish fort built to protect the Franciscan Mission de Santa María de Yamasee (1), which was established here about 1670 and abandoned in 1683. In 1684 a moated and palisaded fort was then planned to protect the new Franciscan Mission de Santa Catalina de Guale (1), relocated from Sapelo Island, GA. The new fort was never completed, but the mission was garrisoned with Spanish troops in 1702. The sites of both missions are south of town on Harrison Creek, excavated in 1985. Amelia Island was then known as Santa María Island, and was part of the Spanish Mocama Province.

The Spanish Franciscan refugee missions of San Phelipe de Alave, Santo Domingo de Talaje and Santa Clara de Tupiqui were also on the island, having been relocated from Cumberland, St. Simons, and Sapelo Islands, GA in 1684. All the missions were destroyed by the SC militia under Col. James Moore in 1702.

¤ Fort San Fernando
(1686 - 1702), near Old Fernandina
A Spanish fort or blockhouse destroyed by the SC colonial militia in September 1702. Located on Fernandina Beach east or southeast of Fort Clinch (4).

¤ Amelia Island Blockhouse
(1736 - 1742 ?, intermittant), near Old Fernandina
A British outpost built by General James Oglethorpe in preparation for an invasion of Spanish Florida. Attacked by the Spanish in 1739.

¤ Fort Carlos
(1740's ?), Old Fernandina
A Spanish fort located on the north central waterfront.

¤ Fort San Carlos (2) (State Historic Site)
(1816 - 1821), Old Fernandina
A Spanish 10-gun earthwork fort with trace remains located at the foot of Estrada Street in Fernandina Plaza. It replaced an earlier Spanish water battery (1802) that had been captured by American and British settlers during the "Patriots' War" of 1812 to establish the "Republic of East Florida". The Spanish garrison at the time was only ten men. The Old Town was fortified by a palisade and two blockhouses on the landward side. The town was formally established in 1811, the last Spanish town formally established in North America. The United States Army took control from the "Patriots" (American and British settlers) after only one day (March 1812). The Spanish did not regain the town until May 1813. A private army led by British mercenary Sir Gregor MacGregor seized the new fort in June 1817, and successfully defended against Spanish forces during the "Battle of Amelia Island" (September 1817). The Spanish had erected a four-gun battery nearby on McClure's Hill to bombard the fort. A few days after the battle, Mexican rebel privateer Louis-Michel Aury took control of the fort. American troops occupied the fort to drive out the privateers in December 1817, and abandoned the fort shortly after the cession of Florida in 1821. Fernandina Plaza will soon be developed as a state park.


Post at Fernandina
(1818 - 1898, intermittent), near Old Fernandina
The American garrison post and cantonment for Fort San Carlos (2) and Fort Clinch (4). The Americans had total military control of Amelia Island beginning in January 1818.

Fort Clinch (4) (State Park)
(1847 - 1900), near Old Fernandina *PHOTOS* FORT WIKI
Never fully completed, construction was halted in 1867. Confederates occupied this fort from January 1861 until March 1862 when the Union captured it. CSA Camp Cooper (1861 - 1862) was nearby. Several outer batteries defended the sea approach, including CSA Battery Nassau (1861). An unnamed battery of one M1888 8-inch BL gun on a modified 15-inch Rodman carriage was here from 1898 - 1900 on the fort's parapet. American troops bound for Cuba in 1898 assembled outside the fort at Camp Amelia. They were transferred here from Camp Palmetto Beach (near Bradenton) because of unhealthful conditions there. Became a state park in 1936. Admission fee.

Fort de la Caroline (National Memorial)
(1564 - 1568, 1569 - 1669 ?), Jacksonville *PHOTOS* FORT WIKI
Located on the St. Johns River near Beacon Hills. A triangular earth and log fort with three bastions, a powder magazine, and a barracks, built by 300 French colonists under René Goulaine de Laudonnière. The original fort lasted only a year and a half until they were driven out by the Spanish in September 1565, with 800 men under Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. The Spanish killed about 130 colonists, captured about 50, and about 40 colonists escaped and sailed for France. Meanwhile, French reinforcements under Jean Ribault had arrived, and four ships with 600 soldiers (including about 80 from the colony) had already departed to attack the Spanish at St. Augustine while the Spanish had decided to attack by land. The French ships were blown ashore in a storm before they could attack, and the survivors were later massacred at Matanzas Inlet (see also Cape Canaveral Fort on page 5). The Spanish rebuilt the fort as Fort San Mateo. The French retook the fort in April 1568 and destroyed it. Rebuilt by the Spanish again in 1569. Maintained as late as 1669, possibly later. The current structure is a 1964 reconstruction. The original site washed away after 1880 when the river channel was dredged. Fort Caroline Museum Photos


¤¤ Colonial Defenses of the St. Johns River

¤¤ Fort Elena
(Big Talbot Island State Park)
(unknown dates), Talbot Island
A Spanish fort. The island was once known to the Spanish as Sarabay Island.

¤¤ Fort San Juan
(Little Talbot Island State Park)
(1565 - 1568), Little Talbot Island
A Spanish fort built after Fort Caroline was captured, using some of the French guns. Captured and destroyed by the French in April 1568.

¤¤ Fort George (1)
(Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve)
(1736, 1740), Fort George Island
A British earthwork enclosed within a palisade, built by General Oglethorpe as temporary headquarters in his invasion of Spanish Florida. Also known as Fort St. George. The trace of an older Spanish fort was located here when Oglethorpe first came to the island. Another work was built here during the second British invasion in 1740. The exact site has not been determined, but was probably near Mt. Cornelia on the southern end of the island.

The island was originally known as San Juan Island, and was part of the Spanish Mocama Province. The Spanish Franciscan Mission de San Juan del Puerto (1595 - 1702) was originally here, raided by French and English pirates in 1683, and attacked by South Carolina forces in 1684. Later garrisoned by Spanish troops, it was finally destroyed by the SC colonial militia under Col. James Moore in 1702.

¤¤ Batton Island Fort
(1567 - 1568), Batton Island
A small Spanish fort or blockhouse, located opposite Mayport at the mouth of the St. Johns River. Attacked and destroyed by the French in April 1568 in retaliation for the Fort Caroline massacre.

¤¤ Quesada Battery
(1793 - 1800 ?), Duval County
A Spanish two-gun battery at the mouth of the St. Johns River, with a two-story barracks and a powder magazine. Undetermined location. Apparently abandoned before the "Patriots' War" of 1811.

¤¤ Fort Piribiriba
(1703 - 1705), near Buccaneer Point
A Spanish four-bastioned wooden fort built after the British (SC militia) invasion of 1702 to protect refugee Indian settlements. Located on the south bank of the St. Johns River, west of the mouth of Pablo Creek. On U.S. Navy property, public access restricted.


¤¤¤ Civil War Defenses of the St. Johns River

¤¤¤ Fort Steele
(1861 - 1862, 1864), Mayport
A Confederate log fort at St. Johns Point, one mile east of town. It was abandoned as the Union forces arrived in March 1862. Rebuilt by the Union in 1864. The site was excavated in the 1990's. Located on U.S. Navy property, public access restricted.

¤¤¤ Little Talbot Island Fort
(Little Talbot Island State Park)
(1861 - 1862), Little Talbot Island
A Confederate breastwork was located here early in the war. Evacuated in March 1862.

¤¤¤ Yellow Bluff Fort (Historic State Park)
(1862 - 1865), New Berlin FORT WIKI
A Confederate earthwork fort near Dames Point. Abandoned by the CSA shortly after it was built in October 1862, and immediately before the Union came ashore the next day. Occupied by the Union in 1863. Strengthened and enlarged by the Union in 1864, consisting of a magazine, two stockades, rifle pits, and a signal tower. Abandoned after the war. Five cannon remain. The site was deeded to the state in 1950.
(info provided by ENS Will Ritcher III, USNR)

¤¤¤ St. Johns Bluff Fort
(1861 - 1865), near Beacon Hills
A Confederate earthwork fort west of the Ribaut Memorial site. Captured by the Union in October 1862 and again in 1863. It was captured by the Union again in 1864, and used as a signal station until the war's end. Site is private property, not within the Fort Caroline National Memorial boundary.


¤ COAST and TEMPORARY HARBOR DEFENSES of JACKSONVILLE

¤ Fort George Island Battery
(1917 - 1919), Fort George Island
An unnamed battery was located here across from Mayport Naval Station.

¤ St. Johns Bluff Battery
(1898 - 1899), Jacksonville
An unnamed concrete two-gun battery (M1888 8-inch BL guns on modified 15-inch Rodman carriages) was built east of the site of Fort Caroline. A temporary field emplacement (two 5-inch BL seige rifles, later two 7-inch BL seige howitzers, with timber magazines) was originally emplaced at the site of the old CSA battery nearby. The concrete battery, now located on private property, is one-third mile southeast of the Ribaut Memorial. It is in excellent condition, with an interpretive signpost erected by the property owner.

¤ Mayport Battery
(1942 - 1944), Mayport
A four-gun 155mm battery in revetments (no Panama mounts) was located here on St. Johns Point.

¤ Camp Atlantic Beach
(1942 - 1945), Atlantic Beach
The headquarters of the Temporary Harbor Defenses of Jacksonville in WWII.


Mayport Radar Station
(1942 - 1945), Mayport
A WWII anti-aircraft spotting station and an SCR-270 early warning radar was located here. Exact location undetermined.

Fort San Diego
(1730's - unknown), near Palm Valley
The ranch of Diego de Espinosa was palisaded and fortified, before 1736, with two bastions, and armed with five guns, increased to 11 guns in 1740. Also referred to as Fort Diego. Captured by the British in May 1740. Located at Diego Plains, now the site of a golf course.

Fort Guana
(1790's), near South Ponte Vedra Beach
A Spanish outpost located nine miles north of St. Augustine. Attacked and destroyed by the GA state militia in 1795.

Fort Mosé (Historic State Park)
(Fort Mosé Historical Society)
(1739 - 1763, 1797 - 1821 ?), St. Augustine FORT WIKI
A Spanish settlement of Free Africans, many of whom escaped enslavement in the English colonies of Carolina and Georgia. Also known as the "Negro Fort" (1). Also spelled Moosa by the British. After it was briefly occupied and then destroyed by the British in July 1740, it was rebuilt. Rebuilt again in 1756. A protective wall was built across the neck in 1762, connecting to Fort Ayachin. The settlement was officially known as El Pueblo de Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mosé. It was the first Free-African settlement in North America. In 1763 the Africans abandoned the settlement and relocated to Cuba with the rest of the Spanish colonists of St. Augustine. The British dismantled the fort in 1775. Rebuilt by the Spanish in 1797 and 1808. Briefly held by rebel forces during the "Patriots' War" of 1812 in an abortive attempt at taking Castillo de San Marcos. Site located two miles north of the Castillo, near the old city gates on US 1. No remains, site viewed from boardwalk. Artifacts and displays are at the new park visitor center.

Fort Ayachin ?
(1740 ? - 1763 ?), St. Augustine
A Spanish fort southwest of Fort Mosé, at the edge of the marsh facing the San Sebastian River. Connected to Fort Mosé by a defensive wall in 1762.

Fort Quartel
(1575), St. Augustine
A Spanish fort on the north bank of the Matanzas River, northeast of the city, near the present-day Vilano Bridge. Also spelled Cartel.

A British seige battery was here in 1740.

Fort Maria Sanchez ?
(1797 - 1800 ?), St. Augustine
A Spanish fort located adjacent to a powder magazine (near Maria Sanchez Lake ?). Listed as transferred to the United States in 1821. The powder magazine was destroyed after 1860.

Castillo de San Marcos (National Monument)
(1672 - 1900), St. Augustine *PHOTOS* FORT WIKI
St. Augustine was the first permanent white settlement in the United States. This is the site of nine earlier wooden forts, all Spanish, dating back to 1565, the year of the first settlement made under Pedro Menéndez de Avilés to counter the French at Fort Caroline. The site of the original 1565 work has been recently excavated, just north of the castle. The second and third sites in 1566 were on Anastasia Island. The fourth site was near the Old City in 1572. The fifth fort (near the Old City) in 1578 was destroyed by Francis Drake in 1586. The sixth fort (wooden) in 1568 was named Fort San Juan de Pinos (Pinillo), and was closer to the original site. The seventh (1586), eighth (1604), and ninth (1653) sites were close to the present fort. English pirates sacked the ninth fort in 1665. Rebuilt in 1666, it was destroyed by the English again in 1668. Rebuilt again but destroyed by a hurricane in 1675.

The present structure, Castillo de San Marcos (also called El Presidio de San Augustin), was built with coquina (shells and stone) beginning in 1670, completed by 1695, and is the oldest masonry fort in the present United States. The San Carlos Bastion was used as an interim fort when the last wooden fort was destroyed in 1675. The remaining bastions and curtain walls were mostly completed by 1685. Successfully withstood a British (SC colonial militia) attack in 1702. The fort was rebuilt or reconfigured in 1738, 1752, and 1762. The seawall was built in 1696. The Hornwork was built in 1706, rebuilt or modified in 1746 and 1776. The Tenaille was built in 1791. The Cubo was built in 1704, rebuilt or modified in 1718, 1738, 1775, 1797, 1808, and 1819. The Rosario was built in 1718 as an earthwork, rebuilt or modified in 1720 (portion in stone), 1740, 1761 (all stone), and 1776. A watchtower was built at the inlet in 1738, rebuilt in 1770 and 1824. An outer battery was built at the inlet in 1740. Successfully withstood a British seige attack in July 1740. The fort was held from 1765 to July 1784 by the British and called Fort St. Mark. (NOTE: Not to be confused with the American Fort St. Marks (1818 - 1824) in St. Marks.) The British made improvements to several of the outworks in 1775 and 1776 (Fort Moultrie (1) on the Cubo), with two outer redoubts in 1776 to the south, and built four additional outer redoubts in 1781 to the south of the fort. The Spanish rebuilt two of the redoubts in 1797 and 1806. The Americans occupied the fort from 1821 - 1900, with the Confederates holding it from January 1861 - March 1862. The fort was known as Fort Marion from 1825 until 1942, when the original Spanish name was restored. It was used as a prison for Seminole Indians in 1836, and again from 1886 - 1894 for Apache Indians. One 8-inch rifled Rodman was emplaced here in 1897 for target practice. It was dismounted in 1898. A temporary sand-covered timber reveted battery with two sand-covered timber magazines was built in 1898 - 1899. The Castillo was declared a National Monument in 1924. Admission fee. CIVIL WAR PHOTO 1 || CIVIL WAR PHOTO 2

Spanish Franciscan Mission de Nombre de Dios (1565 - 1763) was located north of town, and San Sebastián (1585 ? - 1608) was located south of town. Franciscan refugee missions relocating to the area after the 1704-06 abandonment of the interior missions included San Francisco de Potano (4), Salamototo (2), Santa María de Yamasee (2), Tolomato (2), Nuestra Señora del Rosario de Abosaya (2). In 1711 three additional refugee missions were relocated here. After 1717 they were joined by Santa Catalina de Guale (2), San Buenaventura de Palica, Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de Tamaja (2), San José de Jororo (2), and others. By 1752 only six missions remained, and by 1759 only Nombre de Dios and Tolomato remained. When the Spanish settlers and troops evacuated to Cuba in 1763, only 89 Indians still remained with them. Also of historical interest are several period structures within the St. Augustine Historic District (Old Town), bounded by Orange Street, San Marcos Street, St. Francis Street, and Cordova Street. See also the Government House Museum and the Oldest House Museum Complex.

St. Francis Barracks (State Military Reservation)
(1765 - 1900, 1907 - present), St. Augustine
The garrison post for Fort St. Mark/San Marcos/Marion. The buildings were originally built by the Spanish in 1735 as a chapel and convent. Converted to military use first by the British (1765 - 1784), and then the Spanish. Became American in 1821. Rebuilt in 1832. Formally named in 1881. Abandoned by Federal troops in 1900. Transferred to the state in 1907 for use as the FL National Guard headquarters. Damaged by fire in 1915. Still in use today at 108 Marine Street. Nearby is the St. Augustine State Arsenal at 82 Marine Street, also part of the original Barracks complex.

Camp Eustis (1836), a temporary tent encampment for South Carolina troops, was located just to the south.

Fort Poza
(1740), Anastasia Island
The British five-gun seige battery employed in the July 1740 attack of St. Augustine.

Anastasia Island Military Reservation
(1893 - 1910's ?), Anastasia Island
The north end of the island was reserved for a proposed gun battery. None was ever built. Land sold after 1926.

Little Fort
(1763), St. Augustine South
A British outpost located on the Matanzas River four miles south of St. Augustine.

Fort Moultrie (2) ?
(1770's ?, 1823 ?), Moultrie
A settlers' fort located at John Moultrie's Buena Vista Plantation on the Matanzas River, five miles south of St. Augustine. Formerly the Lt. Governor of British East Florida, John Moultrie may have originally fortified the plantation at that time. The manor house was fortified, later a fortified camp was built before the signing of the Treaty of Fort Moultrie (Moultrie Creek) in September 1823. Also known as Camp Moultrie.

Fort Peaton
(1864), near St. Augustine
A CSA post located seven miles from the city. Exact location undetermined (possibly same as Fort Peyton ?).

Fort Matanzas (National Monument)
(1740 - 1821, 1849 - unknown), near Summer Haven FORT WIKI
A coquina fort known as Matanzas Tower, completed in 1742, on Rattlesnake Island. The British occupied it from 1765 to 1784. The Americans in 1821 did not consider the fort to be of any military value. The site had been fortified by the Spanish since 1569 with a wooden blockhouse and watchtower, rebuilt and improved several times over the years. The site was attacked by the French in 1682, and the English in 1683. In 1849 the Army purchased and reserved the Matanzas Inlet Military Reservation, but no new works were ever built. Became a National Monument in 1924. Museum and visitors center is on the mainland, access to the fort is by ferry. Library of Congress link


Seminole Wars Forts
(includes those forts and posts not already listed above)
Tour of Florida Territory During the Seminole Wars by Chris Kimball

Nassau County:
Fort Church (1835 - 1836), located near Old Fernandina.

St. Johns County: (east of I-95)
Fort Capron (1) (1821 ?), St. Augustine, a temporary fort built soon after the cession of Florida from Spain. Exact location undetermined.
Fort Peyton (1837 - 1840), Fort Peyton, a wooden fort and blockhouse on the south side of Moultrie Creek, west of Moultrie.
Fort Harney (3) (1837 ?), located five miles southwest of St. Augustine. Exact location undetermined.
Camp Brisbane (1835 - 1836), a FL militia troop encampment and supply depot located on the Matanzas River at General Joseph Hernandez's St. Joseph Plantation (location ?).
Camp Edgefield (1836), on Pellicer Creek near Colfax, a temporary camp used by SC Volunteers. Abandoned after only two days in February 1836.

Flagler County:
Fort Fulton (1840), located on the south bank of Pellicer Creek.


St. Johns River - page 2 | Eastern Florida - page 3 | Middle Florida - page 4
Central Florida - page 5 | Southern Florida - page 6 | Gulf Coast - page 7
Western Florida - page 8 | Pensacola Bay - page 9

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Eastern Forts