APUSH Historic Field Trip
St. Augustine Fort
Upon approach, the fort looks simplistic as it overlooks the sea. A square building that could be anything from a fort, to an armory, to a storage center. The closer and closer you get, the more you realize its great size, and the intimidation factor sets in. Upon entrance, all the hidden secrets and true power of the fort is revealed. The square courtyard is surrounded by solid, windowless, concrete walls that tower 20 feet over you. Cannons line every side up top, ready to be wheeled into action against attacking forces. A small dome shaped tube is placed in a corner for a watchman to look out over the ocean, ready to spot anyone looking to intrude.
Castillo De San Marcos is the oldest fort built in the continental United States. Located in St. Augustine, Florida, construction began in 1672 by Spaniard forces. At this time, Florida was part of the Spanish empire. The fort was used as protection from any army that looked to over throw Spain.
The fort didn’t see much action until 1702, when English soldiers under the Carolina government led a conquest to overthrow the city of St. Augustine. Their cannons proved to be inferior, and the English were forced out of the city when the Spanish fleet known as Havana arrived. The English quickly burned their ships so the Spanish couldn’t take them over, and began a long march back to Carolina. Although the fort remained standing, the entire city was in ruins.
The next attack came from the British in 1740, after a Spanish soldier cut off an ear of a British, and said he would do the same to the king. British authorities saw this as a threat, and decided to attack. James Oglethorpe led his crew down to St. Augustine, but once again the forces did not have the proper weaponry, and was defeated once more by the Spaniards.
After the treaty of Paris in 1763, Florida was given to the British in return for Havana, the Spaniards ships. The fort had seen the last...