Fort Clinch (1)
Fort Clinch (1) (1847-1936) - A U.S. Army Third System masonry coastal defense fort begun in 1847 and construction continued until 1867. Named after General Duncan L. Clinch in November 1850. Never completed or fully armed. Abandoned in 1900.
Established to protect the entrance to Cumberland Sound and the mouths of the Amelia and St. Johns rivers.
Built as a masonry Third System fort with five sides and bastions located on each corner. Designed to mount 70 pieces of heavy ordnance, it was never fully armed.
At the beginning of the U.S. Civil War, the Florida Militia occupied Fort Clinch. Union forces reoccupied the fort in March 1862 after it was abandoned by Confederate forces. The fort was never shelled and sustained no damage during the U.S. Civil War.
Fort Clinch was put in caretaker status after the U.S. Civil War and never finished or completely armed.
Fort Clinch was re-garrisoned in early 1898 by Battery A, 6th U.S. Artillery as a result of the Spanish American War. Some improvements and repairs were made but Fort Clinch did not have any of the heavy concrete batteries of the Endicott Period installed. A single, small, unnamed, Endicott Period battery was built along the northeast parapet for one M1888, 8" rifled gun on a modified 15-inch Rodman carriage. The fort was only garrisoned for a short period in 1898 and the troops were removed in September 1898.
Service during the World War II was limited to a communications and security facility.
In 1935, the state of Florida purchased 256 acres which included the abandoned fort, and developed one of Florida's first State Parks. The Civilian Conservation Corps restored the fort in the 1930s. It was formally opened to the public in 1938. Ten U.S. Civil War period guns are mounted on period carriages and emplaced along the parapets as they would have been in that period. Four major buildings have been restored and interpreted including a two-story barracks, single-story prison and guardhouse, and a two-story warehouse. The entrance to the fort includes a visitor center/gift shop and a small museum. Must see fortification.
Visited: 29 Feb 2012, 17 Jan 2010