San Marcos de Apalache State Historic Site
During the past four centuries numerous parties have staked their claim at historic San Marcos de Apalache. Although the history of San Marcos began in 1528 when Panfilo de Narvaez arrived in the area with 300 men, the construction of the first fort at the confluence of the Wakulla and St. Marks rivers did not begin until 1679. The initial fort stood only three years before being burned and looted by pirates. Construction on the first stone fort was begun by the Spanish in 1739. Construction was slow. By 1763, the fort was less than half completed when it was delivered to the English as a result of the War with Spain. By 1787, Spain regained control and reoccupied the fort for 13 more years..
In 1857, the U.S. government began construction of a federal marine hospital here which provided care for victims of yellow fever. During the Civil War confederates took control of the fort and renamed it Fort Ward. To combat this stronghold, Union squadrons blockaded the mouth of the St. Marks River from 1861 until 1865. The Battle of Natural Bride eventually stopped the Union force from advancing onto the fort from the rear.
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