Fort San Marcos De Apalache

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Fort San Marcos De Apalache (1679-1865) - A Spanish Colonial Fort established in 1679 in St. Marks, Wakulla County, Florida. Under Spanish control from 1679 to 1763. Under British Control 1763 to 1783 and renamed Fort St. Marks. Under Spanish Control again from 1787 to 1821. Under American control from 1821 to 1861. Captured by Confederate forces during the U.S. Civil War in 1861 and renamed Fort Ward. Recaptured by Union forces in 1865 and abandoned thereafter.

1st Spanish Period (1679-1763)

A Spanish fort established in 1679 on a peninsula at the junction of the St. Marks and Wakulla Rivers. The site is at the present day town of St. Marks, Florida. The fort was initially a log fort constructed to appear as if it was constructed of limestone.

The fort was attacked by pirates in 1682 and damaged beyond repair. Spanish forces abandoned the fort and did not rebuild it until the British threatened the area in 1718. A third fort built of stone was begun in 1739 but not completed before the end of the French & Indian War in 1763. The 1763 Treaty of Paris gave Britain control of West Florida and removed Spanish control of the area.

British Period (1763-1783)

The British renamed the fort, Fort St. Marks to prevent confusion with Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine. The British abandoned the fort in 1769.

2nd Spanish Period (1787-1821)

The Spanish regained possession of West Florida in 1783 and they reoccupied the fort in 1787. In 1818 General Andrew Jackson briefly occupied the fort during his Creek Indian campaign. In 1821 the Spanish ceded all of Florida to the United States.

1st American Period (1821-1861)

The Adams-Onis Treaty gave control of Florida to the United States in 1821 and the fort was abandoned as a fortification after 1824. A federal Marine Hospital was constructed near the site using materials from the old stone fort.

Confederate Period (1861-1865)

The remains of the old fort were captured in 1861 by Confederate forces who garrisoned the fort during the U.S. Civil War. The Confederates renamed it Fort Ward. A Federal fleet then blockaded the mouth of the St. Marks River, eliminating it as port for the Confederates. On 12 May 1865, Union forces attacked and captured St. Marks and Confederate Fort Ward.

2nd American Period (1865-1861)

The remnants of the fort were abandoned after being captured by Union forces in 1865.

Current Status

Stabilized limestone remains, part of the San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park, St. Marks, Florida.

Location: San Marcos de Apalache Historic State Park, St. Marks, Wakulla County, Florida.

Maps & Images

Lat: 30.15204 Long: -84.21084

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