"Reconstructed Spanish Frontier" Fort Matanzas National Monument by mtncorg
Fort Matanzas National Monument Travel Guide: 11 reviews and 39 photos
There were two passages from the sea to St Augustine. Luckily, for the Spanish defenders in 1740, the English forces under James Ogelthorpe, the founder of the English colony of Georgia, knew of only one passage. It was through the second passage - Matanzas Inlet that five small Spanish boats came to resupply their besieged forces and put an end to the monthlong English assault.
Realizing that the English might not make the same mistake in the future, the Spanish erected a small fort at the inlet mouth. Sure enough, Ogelthorpe returned in 1742 but the fort was almost completed and cannon fire was sufficient to drive off the would-be invaders.
The fort was poorly maintained thereafter such that by the time the US gained Florida (1819) and took possession of the fort, soldiers could no longer live inside it and the fort was never occupied. It was a rustic ruin until its renovation in to a national monument.
Matanzas means slaughters. This refers to events taking place here in 165. The year before, the French had established a small fort - Fort Caroline - on the St Johns River near the present-day city of Jacksonville. From here they could threaten Spanish treasure fleets as they were sailing the Gulf Stream from Mexcio to Spain. French reinforcements for Ft Caroline were shipwrecked south of St Augustine by a hurricane. Taking advantage of the situation, Spanish reinforcements based at a camp at St Augustine attacked and destroyed Ft Caroline. They then captured the surviving shipwrecked Frenchmen and took them to Matanzas Island to kill them - 10 at a time - including the French leader Jean Ribault.
- Pros:History comes alive
- Cons:Four-wheel drives roaring on the Beach
- In a nutshell:A wonderful History Lesson
Imagine being a Spanish soldier on what must have been, for them, the end of the World. Stuck in a little fort for at... more travel advice
The fort usually was manned by 6 soldiers and one officer, though when needed, up to 50 men could man the fort. The... more travel advice
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