St. Augustine, Florida. Interior view of Fort Marion
Sam A. Cooley
Date Created/Published: [between 1861 and 1869]
Castillo de San Marcos
St. Augustine Florida
NRHP 66000062
Library of Congress photo showing the Castillo in 1910.
On the outer wall of the Castillo is an
escutcheon bearing the Arms of Spain
and the following legend translated as:
"Don Ferdinand VI., being King of
Spain, and the Field Marshal Don
Alonzo Fernando Hereda being
Governor and Captain-General of this
place, San Augustin of Florida, and its
province, this fort was finished in the
year 1756. The works were directed by
the Captain-Engineer, Don Pedro de
Brozas of Garay."
San Marcos, 1 Castillo Drive, Saint Augustine, St. Johns
County, FL
Reproduction Number: HABS FLA,55-SAUG,1--31
Spanish Castillo Drawing - c 1779 above (Enlarged)
British Castillo Drawing - c 1760 below
Marcos, 1 Castillo Drive, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
Reproduction Number: HABS FLA,55-SAUG,1--38
North Elevation (Enlarged )
(San Carlos), AS SEEN FROM INSIDE THE FORT - Castillo de San
Marcos, 1 Castillo Drive, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
Reproduction Number: HABS FLA,55-SAUG,1--25
Guard Room - CASTILLO GUARDROOM - Castillo de San Marcos, 1 Castillo Drive,
Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
Reproduction Number: HABS FLA,55-SAUG,1--39
Pre-Civil War HOT SHOT TOWER, CIVIL WAR VINTAGE - Castillo de San
Marcos, 1 Castillo Drive, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
Reproduction Number: HABS FLA,55-SAUG,1--18
OVEN - Castillo de San Marcos, 1 Castillo Drive, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
Reproduction Number: HABS FLA,55-SAUG,1--17
Fort Marion National Monument,
St. Augustine, Florida
Date Created/Published: [Washington, D.C.] : Department of the
Interior, National Park Service, [ca. 1938]
Drawings of doors and arches - (Enlarged)
The Castillo de San Marcos is the heart of St. Augustine and Spanish Florida. The Castillo is
our link to not only the First Spanish Period but to the various peoples who helped build it. It
is a monument to the Native Americans, Mexicans, Africans, English and Spanish. For St.
Augustine it was its defender in times of trouble, its employer, its curiosity. Our heroes of the
American Revolution were held there. Only during the War of Rebellion could most of the
St. Augustine's white population call it oppressive, however for St. Augustine's former slaves
it was a first place of employment. Its roll as a prison for Native Americans in the 19th
century may look like a blot from today's perspective but today's perspective doesn't take
into account the real policy of extermination that these people faced.

Most of the information for the building of the Castillo comes from my late friend Al Manucy
and his friend Luis Arana. Their love of this structure is part of each and every work that
they did. There were many people before them and many people will come after them that
will carry on this story but their story will never be strictly academic. For Al and Luis it was
a labor of love.

Physical Description
The Castillo de San Marcos has four nearly equal bastions (the triangular shaped corners)
known as St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Augustine and St. Charles, and four connecting walls called
curtains. On three of the
bastions are sentry towers (echaugettes), while on that to the
northeast stands a high watch tower, commanding a view of both land and water. The walls
are about 12 feet thick at the base, 9 feet at the top and about 25 feet high. The plaza is 100
feet square with almost all the casements opening directly into it. There are 31 casements,
magazine and only one entrance to the Castillo. The terreplein is about 40 feet wide.  
The Castillo is located on latitude 29 degrees 53' 50" and longitude 81 degrees 18' 43".  

                        Castillo Time line
1668: English pirate Robert Searles sacks St. Augustine

1670: Charles Town (SC) founded by British

1671: July Sergeant Major don Manuel de Cendoya became governor.

1671: August 8th Coquina quarries were open on Anastasia Island

1672: (October 2) Construction begins on Castillo de San Marcos The orders were from
Dona Mariana the Queen regent for Carlos II. The Spanish governor was Don Manuel de
Cendoya. The engineer was Ignacio Daza and the master of construction was Lorenzo

1672 (November 9) The first stone laid.

1675 A masonry
magazine was built in the fort. It was a one-story structure with plastered
stone walls reinforced with timber frame, a barrel-tile roof, and tabby floors.

1675: May 3 Sergent Major don Pablo de Hita Salazar becomes the new governor.

1676: November 5 Lorenzo Lajones, master of construction died. Juan Marquez Molina
becomes the new master of construction.

1680: November, Sergeant Major Don Juan Marquez Cabrera arrived as the new governor.

1681 Ensign Juan de Ciscara Ibanez was a visiting inspector from Cuba.

1682: January 24 Ciscara completes report for the Crown.

1683: March 30 English Pirates land south of the Centinela de Matanzas. The pirates were
stopped by Captain Antonio de Arguelles' 30 musketeers on Anastasia island a mile from
the fort.

1686: Expedition to Port Royal by Captain Alejandro Tomas de Leon to destroy Lord
Cardross' Scottish colony. Captain Leon drowns when his boat the
Rosario was sunk on a
further attempt on Charles Towne.

1687: Royal slaves added to the labor force for the Castillo.

1693: December 14 a royal decree prohibited the governors of Florida from growing maize
within a musket shot around the Castillo.

1695: Castillo construction completed

1702: (November 10) Gov. Moore of Charles Town attacks St. Augustine. Gov. Moore's
forces were finally removed by the arrival of 4 Spanish men-of-war.

Cubo Line built as inner defense line in St. Augustine

1712: Year of the Great Hunger.

1715: Entire Spanish treasure fleet for that year sunk off southern Florida coast in a hurricane

1728: Colonel William Palmer of Carolina attacks St. Augustine

1733: James Oglethorpe establishes Savannah

1737: Plano del Castillo de San Marcos drawn by Engineer-in-ordinary Captain Antonio de
Arredondo. The measurements on the drawing of each bastion face and flank, curtain and
courtyard was does not have the same length as another. The Castillo was not fully

1738: Spanish grant freedom to slaves who escape to Florida; they establish Fort Mose

1738: April work begins under Engineer Pedro Ruiz de Olano to rebuild the bomb proofs.

1739: October 8 bomb proofs finished spanning a 17 by 34 foot area each with its own
door to the courtyard. The tops were layered off with
coquina chips and sand. Tabby
mortar poured on the surface in layers until it was 6 inches thick. The roofs were made into a
gun deck. On the San Carlos
bastion by mid January 1740 the tall watchtower and the
parapet were finished.  Start of the War of Jenkins Ear.

1740: Oglethorpe attacks St. Augustine. Col Palmer killed in an attack by the Spanish on
Fort Mose which had earlier been evacuated by the Spanish. The Castillo was bombarded
for 27 days.

Fort Matanzas built

1741-1743: Oglethorpe makes several attempts against Fort Matanzas

1742: Battle of Bloody Marsh--Spanish repulsed by English at Frederica on St. Simon's
Island, Georgia

1756 The Castillo was completed by Captain Engineer Don Pedro de Brozas of Garay
under the Governor Alonzo Fernandez de Heredia..

1762: Spain enters the Seven Year War as an ally of France. On July 27 the new Engineer
Pablo Castillo raised the covered way more than 5 feet and replaced the 1682 ravelin. By
December the masons laid the final stone of the cordon.

1763: July 21 Governor Melchor de Feliu gave the keys to the Castillo to English Major
John Hedges.

1764: Florida becomes English colony by treaty (First Treaty of Paris). The British call the
Castillo by its English name of St. Marks.

1775: Gate repaired and a new well was dug in the courtyard. Some of the
bomb proofs
received a second floor.

1779: Several
breastworks created to stop enfilade fire from attackers, higher earthworks
and the
glacis was improved.

1783: American Revolution ends; Spain regains Florida (Second Treaty of Paris)

1795: Daniel Hogans, Richard Malpas, Solomon King, and George Arons died in the
Castillo as prisoners after a revolt.

1790s: Chapel built engineered by Mariano de la Rocque.

1812: Fort Matanzas fires warning shot at US ship during Patriots' War

1821: July 18 Florida becomes a US territory Spanish flag flies over Castillo for the final
time as property of Spain; Fort Matanzas taken out of service

1825: Castillo renamed Fort Marion for Francis Marion, Rev. War hero

1837: Osceola is imprisoned at Fort Marion (the Castillo) during Second Seminole War
November 28, 1837 Coachoochee, Cowaya , sixteen warriors and two women escaped
from Fort Marion. Osceola, Wildcat, John Horse  and 18 others were also held as prisoners
at the Castillo.

1842-44: A water battery added to the east
moat, new guns mounted on the bastions and
glacis improved. In 1843 the quarries were reopened Lieutenant Henry W. Benham
supervising engineer of the repairs to the Fort and the sea wall.

1845: Florida admitted to the Union as the 27th state

1861-1865: Civil War; St. Augustine in Union hands from March 1862

Plains Indians imprisoned at Ft. Marion

1883: The Castillo becomes a piece in the
Ponce de Leon Day Celebrations.

1884:  President Chester A. Arthur signed into law an appropriation of $5,000 for the
restoration and preservation the Castillo.

1886: Apaches imprisoned at Ft. Marion

Sentry box restored to the pre-Civil War level on the San Pablo Bastion.

1898: Fort used to house deserters.

1900: Castillo removed from active army rolls.

1924: October 15 Forts Marion and Matanzas were proclaimed national monuments by
President Calvin Coolidge.

1933: Fort Marion and Mantanzas  were transferred to the Department of the Interior, to be
protected for all time by the National Park Service.

1935: July 1, Admission charged for the Castillo.

1936: Act of Congress passed to enlarge boundary of Park.

1939: Restoration work done on the terreplein of the Castillo.

1942: June 5, Congress returns the name "Castillo de San Marcos" to Fort Marion

1942: The Castillo de San Marcos was used for military purposes during WWII.  The Coast
Guard utilized the fort for training exercises and ceremonies throughout the war years. The
U. S. Coast Guard was authorized to use several of the fort’s case mates as classrooms, the
parade grounds for their drilling practices, and the courtyard for graduation ceremonies.
Rooms along the west wall were converted to classrooms for the Gunner’s Mate school.
The United Services Organization (USO) held parties at the Castillo, with a dance floor, a
bandstand, and several bars set up in the courtyard.

1944: Auction of 122 Coast Guard horses at the Castillo

Affidavit Recording the Ground breaking Ceremony for Castillo de San Marcos,
October 2, 1672.

I, Juan Moreno y Segobia, notary public for the government of this city and presidio of San
Agustín of Florida, do certify and [give] true testimony whereto may agree the gentlemen
who might see these presents:

That today, Sunday, about four o'clock in the afternoon, the year of one thousand six
hundred and seventy-two; being next to the fort of this presidio where the site of the new
fort is marked, which by order of his majesty is to be built of stone, the senor sergeant major
don Manuel de Sendoya, governor and captain general of these provinces for his majesty, in
his royal name, accompanied by the judges, royal officials, Sergeant Major Don Nicolas
Ponce de Leon and Captain Antonio de Argüelles of this presidio, who are officers of his
majesty, and many other persons and retired military officers of the presidio; [the said
governor] with a spade in his hands and the other persons and royal officials present, began
this said day to dig the foundation trenches to commence the building of said castle.

That the work continued on this said day and at most of it, I, the notary, was present; and so
that it may be on record, by command of the señor governor and captain general I give these
presents in the city of San Agustín of Florida, on the said day; witnesses being Antonio de
Argüelles, captain of infantry for his majesty, the captain Lorensso Joseph de León and don
Enrique de Rribera, citizens and retired officers in the presidio.

It is written on ordinary paper inasmuch as the official stamped paper has not arrived in this
presidio. Of which I do attest.

Witness my signum [rubric] in testimony of truth.

Scribe of the government

Native American Labor - The native American labor came from the Guale (coastal
Georgia), Timucuan (Florida east of the Aucilla River) and Apalache between the Aucilla
and the Apalachicola). The native Americans were paid one real (around 20 cents) per day
for their labor. 4 reales were paid for an apprentice carpenter, 8 reales for a native
American carpenter, and 10 to 12 reales were top wage for carpenters. Some native
Americans were drafted so the draftees brought their families along and were only held for a
certain length of time.

Spanish Peons - a few Spanish peons were hired for 4 reales per day. This force was
augmented by a number of convicts including several blacks and mulattoes. 18 black slaves
of the King were also part of the crew in 1687. The convicts and slaves did not receive

The Formal Builders
The chief engineer, Ignacio Daza was paid the top wage of 3 pesos ($4.75) per day. He
died after 7 months of Florida.

Lorenzo Lajones the master of construction and the 2 master masons received 20 reales
(about $4) per day. The seven masons and eight stonecutters received 12 reales per day
and the dozen carpenters received from 6 to 12 reales today. The wages were reduced over

English Prisoners
English prisoners came from the capture of a vessel at the Santa Catalina Mission near the
Savannah River. The prisoners included William Carr and John rivers. A rescue ship by
Joseph Bailey and John Collins added two more high ranking workers. Three of the
prisoners were masons and Bernard Fitzpatrick, John Collins and William Carr were placed
on the payroll. John Collins was master of the kilns and later became quarry master. English
pirates were also included in the crew including Andrew Ransom. Ransom was a maker of
"artificial fires."

Indian corn (maize) was the food for the Native Americans. At times 300 Native Americans
would be on the payroll. The formal employees and the English prisoners had access to flour
from Spain. Fish was readily available and some fresh meat.

The location was chosen by Governor Cendoya, Engineer Daza and a general council chose
the location just north of the old Fort.

Building throughout the Years
During the governorship of Major Juan Marquez Cabrera the Castillo work was checked
with the construction master and Canberra's military engineer Ensign Don Juan de Ciscara.
Problems found included skimpy foundations, levels miscalculated. A ramp was built to the
San Pablo
bastion and foundations were laid for the ravelin and its moat wall.

By mid 1683 the San Agustin and San Pablo
bastions were finished. The San Carlos bastion
received an alarm bell. In August of 1684 work began on the 20 rooms These would be
finished by the spring of 1685.

On August 21, 1687 the temporary governor Captain Diego de Quiroga y Losada stopped
work on the fort. There was no way to feed the workmen. Captain Juan de Ayala Escobar
was sent directly to Spain for help. He came back with 80 soldiers, one slave and the money
to pay the soldiers. More slaves were added by the addition of escaped slaves from the
Carolina colony. Construction work was resumed in 1688 with the arrival of a shipment of
corn from Apalache.

In August 1695 the workmen moved out of the Castillo having completed their work.

The Preparation

Your Excellency's two letters of the 18th of March give me the dispositions taken by you to
oust the foreign intruders in these provinces, and tell me that the general command of
the expedition has been given to Colonel Don Juan Bapta. de Echeverria according to
orders furnished Your Excellency, among which I conjecture must be included those
received by me on May 8 from the Marquis of Torrenueva. In respect of these matters, I am
unable to express to Your Excellency my regret at this suspension, because I believe that the
measures and rules adopted by Your Excellency would surely have led to the expulsion of
the enemy. For this glorious end, and apart from the modest resources offered by this
position, I should have striven with all the zeal and love demanded by the service of the
King, by my affection for Your Excellency, and by my sense of what is due my friend
Don Juan Bapta. de Echeverria.

In consequence of the failure of this plan, no effect has been given to Your Excellency's
orders to the agent, Don Antonio de la Mora, with respect to the ten thousand pesos
entrusted to him. As for the six thousand sent me by Your Excellency to be employed solely
in fortifications, I shall arrange that the Engineer in charge make a weekly account of
expenditures ordered by me, so that everything may be perfectly clear and thoroughly
justified. The convicts only will draw rations under the forms always followed in this garrison,
a course of which I approve.

Your Excellency tells me of the dispatch of 82 convicts of those furnished by his Grace the
Viceroy Archbishop; of these only one is missing, who I am told, escaped from the Morro.
We have also received the four pieces of 24 and 18, and the eight of 5 and 6. I had already
informed Your Excellency by letter of April 25, that the six row galley guns carried by the
galliots had been left here. Being needed here I thought fit to take them out, being unwilling
to expose them to any risk. I beg Your Excellency to send us their carriages, as we shall
then avoid the expense of new ones, and to approve this course of mine.

I inform Your Excellency that Don Pedro Barranco is taking with him four 3-pounder stone
mortars, two 2-pounder and ten breech plugs, all of bronze, so that Your Excellency
approve, they may be recast into falconets, which are more readily handled. The mortars are
useless because their plugs, made here, do not fit. The Royal stores here have also received
through the foreman substituted for Don Francisco de Leon Galera, the clothes, shirts, hats,
beads and pipes, sent under his charge. I shall take the gross amount from the Indian budget,
and carry it to the account of works, in order to employ it in our labors here, which in
accordance with your suggestion appears to me the best course.
Florida, May 28, 1738.

1740 Oglethorpe  (see Defenses of St. Augustine)
General James Oglethorpe, founder of the British colony of Georgia, was able to convince
the South Carolina Legislature and the Royal Navy Acting Commodore, Captain Vincent
Pearce, to assist him in capturing the Castillo de San Marcos at St. Augustine. His boats
inside the bar consisted two Boats often Oars, one of fourteen, two of eight, and three of six
Oars, in all eight besides several canoes of a smaller size. Ships that could not go over the
bar (even unloaded): ship name, their number of guns, followed by their commander's name:
Flamborough. 20, Captain Vincent Pearce; Hector. 44, Sir Yelverton Peyton; Squirrel.
20, Captain Peter Warren;
Phoenix. 20, Captain Charles Faushaw; Tartar. 22, Captain
George Townshend;
Spence. 6 guns and ten Swivels, Captain William Laws; Wolf. 8,
Commander William Dandridge,
Hawk. 6, LT Henry Bruce, and a light schooner Hawk of
8 guns. Oglethorpe also had Georgia Rangers and a small regiment of regulars, the 42nd
Foote. Oglethorpe's total land strength, minus naval augmentation, was around 2,000. If the
English were successful, then all of Florida might become an English possession.

Oglethorpe later admitted, "After I left Charlestown and before we could invest the place,
the halfgalleys got in from Cuba; we had no pioneers to open trenches, no engineers but
Colonel Cook and Mr. Mace, no bombardiers nor gunners that understood the service, and
no sufficient train."

The town was entrenched with ten salient angles, on each of which, at least one cannon was
mounted. Fifty cannon pieces were mounted on the nearly impenetrable castle, several of
which were 24-pounders. The city was further protected by a force of seven hundred
Spanish regulars, a detachment of Apalachee warriors numbering eighty, sixty militiamen,
forty armed free blacks, and 50 native allies. Six Cuban
galliots were equipped with 9-
pounders and swivel guns

The Prisoner - Revolutionary War
Christopher Gadsden, Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina, indignantly refused to take an
oath. For 11 months Gadsden lay in the fort's black prison—for long intervals with not even
a candle to light his dreary solitude. During Gadsden's imprisonment in Castle St. Mark, the
famous British spy, Andre, had been captured near New York by the Americans and
condemned to death. Gadsden was told that if Andre were executed he, Gadsden, would be
hanged in retaliation. These threats failed to break the Carolinian's spirit, and the fearless old
man eventually was released.

The 2nd Spanish Period (Building the City Gate)
On their return they widened the moat to 40 feet and lined the entire length of the 9 foot
earthwork with palm logs and planted it with
Spanish bayonet. The walls 3 redoubts were
armed with light cannon. The chapel door way inside the Castillo was added. The first order
of business was to restore the Spanish cannon. The
parapet was broken out above the gate
to get the cannon into the fort. The
parapet was not rebuilt in stone until 1802.

But the most important addition for today was the addition of a stone city gate for the town.
It was completed in 1808. By 1808 the Cubo line had become an important feature in
defense of the town against British attack.

Plans for a British Attack
A war broke out between England and Spain in 1796. Engineer Pedro Diaz Berrio was in
charge of the defense of the Castillo. He built emplacements for two guns in each of the
three salients of the water battery. A "bomb-proof cover of earth was placed above the
powder magazine vaults. He also placed a copper-sheet ventilator so that more air would
come into the room and decrease humidity.

More Second Spanish
In 1802 a new engineer was appointed: Nicolas Barcelo. Work was done to the redid the
vault on the north curtain. and filled in a large crack on the San Pablo Bastion. He also had
the stairway to the
terreplein rebuilt.

In 1804 the new Engineer Manuel de Hita reported on the leaking
vaults and the floor
beams of the upper stories were rotted. A crack appeared on the
keystone of a vault and
was repaired.  In 1805 the
sally-port floor was replaced and the old magazine was replaced.
The old powder room was converted into a lumber storehouse and another vault was
converted into an

In 1807 a 8 inch thick
tabby pavement was poured in each of the salients of the water
battery. Two
embrasures were opened in the north salient, four in the middle and two in the
south.  A pine wood scaffold 18 feet high and 8 inches square and painted was raised for
the bell which rang the time.

By 1817 new repairs were needed as the
terreplein surface was falling apart so that the guns
could neither be aimed properly or repositioned quickly. In 1819 work began again by
Engineer Nicolas de Fano. Fano replaced the
terreplein pavement in two of the bastions and
curtains. The covered way was rebuilt

The final Spanish Engineer Ramon de la Cruz rebuilt the city gate bridge by September 1820.
The fort still had massive problems but in January 1821 the City learned of the signing of the
treaty with the United States all work stopped on the Castillo.

Memorandum on the Manner of Occupying Castle San Marcos, St. Augustine,
St. Augustine, July 6, 1821.

The Spanish troops (excepting the detachment left in the fort) to be embarked on Monday,
the 9th instant, ready to cross the bar on the following day.

There will be a salute fired by the fort on Tuesday morning, on hoisting the Spanish flag.
During the disembarkation of the American troops, the flag of the United States will be
hoisted along with the Spanish flag, when the fort will again fire a salute. The American
officer who delivers the flag to remain in the fort until its delivery. When the American troops
are formed near the fort the Spanish flag will be withdrawn under a salute; the guards will
then be relieved, and the troops of Spain will march out, and, on passing the former, they
will mutually salute; when the American troops will be marched into and occupy the fortress.

ROBERT BUTLER, United States Commissioner.


Seminole Captives
Coacooche was already a prisoner at Fort Marion before Osceola, John Horse, Coa Hajo
John Cavallo and seventy others were taken into custody and arrested and jailed at the
Castillo by General Hernandez.

Coacoochee's Account of the Escape from Fort Marion, November 1837.
* * * we had been growing sickly from day to day, and we resolved to make our escape, or
die in the attempt. We were in a small room, eighteen or twenty feet square. All the light
admitted, was through a hole (
embrasure) about eighteen feet from the floor. Through this
we must effect our escape, or remain and die with sickness. A sentinel was constantly
posted at the door. As we looked at it from our bed, we thought it small, but believed that,
could we get out heads through, we should have no further or serious difficulty. To reach the
hole was the first object. In order to effect this, we from time to time cut up the forage-bags
allowed us to sleep on, and made them into ropes. The hole I could not reach when upon
the shoulder of my companion; but while standing upon his shoulder, I worked a knife into a
crevice of the stonework, as far up as I could reach, and upon this I raised myself to the
aperture, when I found, that with some reduction of person, I could get through.

In order to reduce ourselves as much as possible, we took medicine five days. Under the
pretext of being very sick, we were permitted to obtain the roots we required. For some
weeks we watched the moon, in order that the night of our attempt it should be as dark as
possible. At the proper time we commenced the medicine, calculating upon the entire
disappearance of the moon. The keeper of this prison, on the night determined upon to
make the effort, annoyed us by frequently coming into the room, and talking and singing. At
first we thought of tying him and putting his head in a bag; so that, should he call for
assistance, he could not be heard. We first, however, tried the experiment of pretending to
be asleep, and when he returned to pay no regard to him. This accomplished our object. He
came in, and went immediately out; and we could hear him snore in the immediate vicinity of
the door. I took the rope, which we had secreted under our bed, and mounting upon the
shoulder of my comrade, raised myself upon the knife worked into the crevices of the stone,
and succeeded in reaching the embrasure. Here I made fast the rope, that my friend might
follow me. I then passed through the hole a sufficient length of it to reach the ground upon
the outside * * * in the ditch. I had calculated the distance when going for roots. With much
difficulty I succeeded in getting my head through; for the sharp stones took the skin off my
breast and back. Putting my head through first, I was obliged to go down head-foremost,
until my feet were through, fearing every moment the rope would break, At last, safely on
the ground, I awaited with anxiety the arrival of my comrade. I had passed another rope
through the hole, which, in the event of discovery, Talmus Hadjo was to pull, as a signal to
me upon the outside, that he was discovered, and could not come. As soon as I struck the
ground, I took hold of the signal, for intelligence from my friend. The night was very dark.
Two men passed near me, talking earnestly, and I could see them distinctly. Soon I heard
the struggle of my companion far above me. He had succeeded in getting his head through,
but his body would come no farther. In the lowest tone of voice, I urged him to throw out his
breath, and then try; soon after, he came tumbling down the whole distance. For a few
moments I thought him dead. I dragged him to some water close by, which restored him; but
his leg was so lame, he was unable to walk. I took him upon my shoulder to a scrub near the
town. Daylight was just breaking; it was evident we must move rapidly. I caught a mule in
the adjoining field, and making a bridle out of my sash, mounted my companion and started
for the St. John's river. The mule we used one day, but fearing the whites would track us, we
felt more secure on foot in the hammock, though moving very slow. Thus we continued our
journey five days, subsisting upon roots and berries, when I joined my band, then assembled
on the head waters of the Tomoka river, near the Atlantic coast. I gave my warriors the
history of my capture and escape, and assured them that my capture was no trick of my
own, and that I would not deceive them.

The Water Battery
The water battery built by Lieutenant Henry W. Benham in 1842-44 contained 20 guns. The
modification filled in the moat on the east side and strengthened the sea wall. The gun
emplacements were
barbette-type and the hot shot furnace was added at that time.  When
the fort was turned over to the Confederates the battery held four 8-inch siege howitzers and
sixteen 32 pounder smooth bore cannons. These guns were shipped elsewhere in the

Fort Marion in the War of Rebellion
At the eve of the Civil War, Fort Marion’s armament included four 8-inch seacoast
howitzers and sixteen 32-pdr seacoast guns.  Equipment for six field batteries amounted to
approximately sixteen 6-pdr field guns and eight 12-pdr field howitzers.  In addition, Army
reports listed six old iron 6-pdrs, 31 foreign cannons (most likely old Spanish guns), 110
muskets, 103 rifles, 118 Hall carbines, and 98 pistols (Report of Captain William
Maynadier, OR, Series I, Volume 1, Serial 1, page 350).

By the time of the Civil War St. Augustine has tourists from the North, hotels, boarding
houses, and many people with Northern sympathies. However, with the State of Florida, St.
Augustine becomes part of the Confederacy. The Fort was taken over even before the
formal withdraw of Florida from the Union. This meant waking up one lone guard who
gladly left (after obtaining a receipt for the key).

No. 2. Report of Ordnance Sergeant Henry Douglas, U. S. Army, of the seizure of Fort
Marion, Saint Augustine. SAINT AUGUSTINE, EAST FLORIDA, January 7, 1861. SIR:
I am obliged to perform what is to me a painful duty, viz, to report to the Chief of Ordnance
that all the military stores at this place were seized this morning by the order of the governor
of the State of Florida. A company of volunteer soldiers marched to the barracks and took
possession of me, and demanded peaceable possession of the keys of the fort and
magazine. I demanded them to show me their authority. An aide-de-camp of the governor
showed me his letter of instructions authorizing him to seize the property, and directing him
to use what force might be necessary. Upon reflection I decided that the only alternative
for me was to deliver the keys, under protest, and demand a receipt for the property. One
thing certain, with the exception of the guns composing the armament of the water battery,
the property seized is of no great value. The gentleman acting under the governors
instructions has promised to re- receipt to me for the stores. I am, sir, very respectfully, your
obedient servant, HENRY DOUGLAS,
Ordnance Sergeant, U. S. Army. Col. II. K. CRAIG, Chief of Ordnance Department, U. S.

On March 11th, 1862 the fort was returned to the United States government without
resistance to Commodore Rogers, of the Union Forces and remained garrisoned by Federal
troops until the end of the war. The Fort became lined with hutments (WWII name) as
soldiers lived on the fort walls, water battery and the St. Francis Barracks. First Lieutenant
John Alphonse Tardy, a West Point engineer (graduate 1860) was chosen to bring the Fort
Water Battery back up to standard. He added a pintle and traverse circle to the North
parapet so that the guns covered the northern approaches to the Fort. A gun was also
placed on the San Pablo (northwest) Bastion to protect the northern land approach. The
sentry box was lowered to accommodate the 180 degree arc of this gun. The San Pedro    
Bastion also had a gun emplacement. The parapet in front of the gun was lowered. This
protected the western land approach from the San Sebastian River.  Guns were also placed
on the San Agustin (southeast) Bastion.

Defensive lines were created throughout the town and especially the shell road leading north.
Troops lived in the Castillo and the Barracks. Much of the work was done by "contrabands"
giving the freed slaves a first taste of freedom. Martial law was imposed on the town
throughout the remainder of the war.

Nathanel Jackson and Adam Floyd working at the fort for six months before being enlisted
in the 33rd USCT

Immediately after the fighting of the Civil War the Castillo was used as a prison for Civil War
soldiers: John Washington confined to Fort Marion for two years confinement at hard labor.
April 8, 1865.
Nelson W. West
John Lawler
Florence Arriman,
Richart T. Wilson
William Jones,
Abram Zuler,
Charles Simpson
William O’Brien,
Franklin Wright Charles Brown,
King Singleton,
John Gilligan
Sylvester Clark
Hezekiah Johnson,
David Washington,
Court Martial designating Fort Marion as place of confinement Mar 9, 1865

Merrit London
March 10, 1865

John Miller
April 6, 1865

Captives at the Fort
1875 The Castillo is prepared for occupation as a prison house for the Plains Indians. The
Adjutant general E. D. Townsend requested "repairs to be put on the fort as will make it
secure to keep them." Captain James C. Post and the Corps of Engineers came to inspect
the fort finding that it was only used to store munitions for the garrison at the St. Francis
Barracks. A barricade was built across the ramp heading to the
terreplein so the case mates
were controlled by the guards and heavy doors were placed on the doorways. He
authorized flooring for the case mate adjoining the sally port to be used as a guard room.
Eleven days after the repairs had been completed the prisoners reached the Castillo.

Plains Indians   

The Native Americans were guarded by the First Artillery stationed in St. Augustine. Major
John Hamilton was the post commander. Lieutenant Pratt was directly responsible for the
Native Americans. Robert Jones of Company C served as their cook.

The Native Americans would eventually clean and whitewash the Castillo where the cells
were musty and places were covered with green scum.

The Apache Captives
The 1886 Apache captives were under Lieutenants Conkling and Smith. General R. B.
Ayers was the commanding officer at the St. Francis barracks. There were 500 captives
brought to the fort and belonged to the Chiricahua Apache band. The first group of 77 was
brought to Fort Marion on April 13, 1886. 15 were warriors and the remainder were
women and children. Lieutenant-Colonel Loomis L. Langdon was the commanding officer in
St. Augustine at the time.

Some of the Native Americans had been employed as regular commissioned scouts first by
General Crook and then by General Miles. After the Apache surrender these scouts were
also held as prisoners at the Fort.

The Castillo Saw Service again during the Spanish-American War
During the Spanish American War in 1898, it would have almost 200 court-martialed
deserters from the American Army imprisoned within its walls.

Ordnance Sergent G. M. Brown
He was the Ordnance Sergent appointed June 23, 1885 to Fort Marion and would stay
there in charge of St. Francis Barracks, the National Cemetery, the battery of Anastasia
Island and military reservation through the early 1900s. He would be the one who answered
tourist questions about the Castillo.

Working to Save Historical Place (The Ocala Banner, October 5, 1906)
The war department is planning to dispose of the Fort and its surroundings in St. Augustine
to private parties for building purposes. The citizens of that city are doing everything in their
power to save this historical spot from the hands of "commercialism."

Several days ago the St. Augustine Institute of Science and Historical Society held a meeting
and adopted a long set of resolutions asking the reservation at the St. Augustine and of the
ancient fort and its surroundings. The letter to the department closes as follows:

"No place in all this country has been the center of so many historical events covering so
many years as the old fort and the surrounding reservation, and the St. Augustine Institute of
Science and Historical Society desires in the general voice of protest against the alienation of
any part of the reservation. It should remain forever intact, a historical landmark, telling in
itself the story of three centuries of struggles and triumph of civilization in America."

The destruction of this spot would seem almost like vandalism, and we trust the good people
of the Ancient City may be successful in their effort to save it from annihilation.

Presidential Proclamation (1924)
Whereas, there are various military reservations under the control of the Secretary of War
which comprise areas of historic and scientific interest;

And Whereas, by section 2 of the Act of Congress approved June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 22) the
President is authorized "in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic
landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific
interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the
United States to be national monuments, and may reserve as a part thereof parcels of land,
the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the
proper care and management of the objects to be protected";

Now Therefore, I, Calvin College, President of the United States of America; under
authority of the said Act of Congress do hereby declare and proclaim the hereinafter
designated areas with the historic structure and objects hereto appertaining, and any other
object or objects specifically designated areas with the historic structures and objects
thereto appertaining, and any other object or subjects specifically designated, within the
following military reservations to be national monuments:


Fort Marion Florida The entire area comprising 18.09 acres situated int he city of Saint
Augustine, Florida.

Fort Mantanzas, Florida. An area of one acre comprising within it the site of the old
fortification which is situated on a marsh island south of the present main channel of the
Matanzas River in the southeast quarter of section 14, Township 9 South, range 30 East,
about 15 miles from the city of St. Augustine, and about one mile from Matanzas inlet.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States
to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington this fifteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord one
thousand nine hundred and twenty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of
America the one hundred and forty-ninth.

Calvin Coolidge

1933 Federal Emergency Relief Funds Come to the Castillo
The Administrative building was built with these funds. At Fort Matanzas the administrative
building was also built with these special funds.

1936 Act of Congress
In 1936 the Congress passed H. R. 12220 that authorized adjustments to the boundary of
Fort Marion National Monument. The Secretary of Interior was authorized to declare
surplus land or receive donations of land to extend the boundaries of the park.

74 Stat. 317
This act of Congress added land to the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument of 1.37
acres. It provided room for a parking lot and incorporate land around the City Gate.

Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
The monument contains 20 acres of contiguous land. A1A separates a small area including
the City Gate pillars from the monument. There are other historical sites within the park: 1.
the ninth fort  was a little south of the current Castillo probably on the south glacis near the
main parking lot. 2. There were siege trenches built by Moore in 1702 close to the
southwest and northwest bastions. 3. A Costa Indian village was built in 1737 550 feet
northwestward of the northwest bastion (where the administration building is today. 4. A
earth and long "covered way" from 1737 on the north and northwest grounds. 5. The
foundations of the King's Smithy (1793-1821) across A1A where a parking lot existed (and
under A1A. 6. An 1808 Spanish earthwork line under the earthwork reconstructed on the
west grounds.

* * *
Castillo is the Spanish word for "castle."  The Castillo de San Marcos is unique in North
American architecture. As the only extant 17th century military construction in the country
and the oldest masonry fortress in the United States it is a prime example of the "bastion
system" of fortification, the culmination of hundreds of years of military defense engineering.  
It is also unique for the material used in its construction. The Castillo is one of only two
fortifications in the world built out of a semi-rare form of limestone called coquina (The other
is Fort Matanzas National Monument 14 miles south)
Fort Marion in the War of the Rebellion

Old Spanish fortress of St. Augustine. [Stereograph]
Sam A. Cooley,

Golf at the Fort

William Henry Jackson, 1843-1942,
Related Names: Detroit Publishing Co. , publisher
Date Created/Published: c1902.
Coast Guard Graduates crossing bridge from Castillo
War of the Rebellion
St. Augustine, Florida. Entrance of Fort Marion
Sam A.  Cooley,
Date Created/Published: [between 1861 and 1869]
Castillo Apache Prisoners -
Note these are women and children
Al Manucy
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,
Old City Gate

St. Augustine, Florida. Entrance gate
Photographer: Sam
A. Cooley,
Date Created/Published: [between 1861 and 1869]
Castillo British Drawing 1740s - Library of Congress
Castillo Plan - British 1743 - Library of Congress
Interior walls - below (Enlarged)
RELATION TO THE TOWN - Castillo de San Marcos, 1 Castillo Drive, Saint
Augustine, St. Johns County, FL Reproduction Number: HABS FLA,55-SAUG,1--13
WITH COAT-OF-ARMS - Castillo de San Marcos, 1 Castillo Drive, Saint Augustine,
St. Johns County, FL
Reproduction Number: HABS FLA,55-SAUG,1--27
DOORWAY WITH COAT-OF-ARMS - Castillo de San Marcos, 1 Castillo
Drive, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
Reproduction Number: HABS FLA,55-SAUG,1--27
AERIAL VIEW FROM THE SOUTHWEST - Castillo de San Marcos, 1 Castillo
Drive, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL
Reproduction Number: HABS FLA,55-SAUG,1--14
Photocopy of plan of the Castillo c. 1779 (Actual Negative 4'x5') STAR PLAN, COURTYARD FACADE PROFILE AND DEFENSIVE LINKS - Castillo de San Marcos, 1
Castillo Drive, Saint Augustine, St. Johns County, FL HABS FLA,55-SAUG,1--40
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Photocopy of plan of the Castillo James Moncrief, Engineer STAR PLAN AND
SECTION - Castillo de San Marcos, 1 Castillo Drive, Saint Augustine,
St. Johns County, FL
Floor Plan (enlarged)
[The Demilune at Fort Marion, St. Augustine, Fla.]
Related Names:
Detroit Publishing Co. , publisher
Date Created/Published: [between 1895 and 1910]
G.M. Brown & family, St. Augustine
Related Names:    
Detroit Publishing Co. , publisher
Date Created/Published: [between 1890 and 1910]
Standard Guide 1896
Dr. Bronson's St. Augustine
History Page1600s
Dr. Bronson's St. Augustine
History Page 1700s
Castillo Vocabulary
St. Augustine Defenses
Fort Mantanzas
Spanish Measurement
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