Thursday, August 12, 2021
Cloudy, Humid, Temperature 89 Degrees
This was the third part of our day out. It was amazing to us, because of my early treatment time we did a full day of sightseeing and were still home just a little after noon. That was really nice because we beat the real heat of the day.
The first part of our visit was to the small but informative museum that is part of Fort Clinch.
The Fort is located on the Northern tip of Amelia Island and was constructed to protect the entrance of the St. Mary’s and Amelia River, Cumberland Sound, and the deep water port of Fernandina. The deep water port, easily navigable channel and quiet anchorage were prime attributes for making ship repairs.
The fort is named after general Duncan Lamont Clinch who led the United States in the War of 1812.
The overall plan of the fort is that of an irregular pentagon enclosed by masonry walls about 4 1/2 feet thick and 26 feet high.
There were two distinct phases of construction regarding the fort. A relatively new material, cast iron, was attached in critical structural components such as second floor girders and columns.
Although the projected armament for the fort was to be 77 pieces of artillery, the actual armament never was greater than 29 pieces
One of the few armament pieces still left over and on display on top of one of the walls.
Note the large cannonball in the middle bottom, it took 40 lbs of gun powder to fire it over 3 1/2 miles!
At the start of the Civil War the fort came by default under Confederate control. As the Union started to gain control of coastal and southern Georgia, general Robert E. Lee gave the order to evacuate the fort, and Union troops arrived in March of 1862. However, by 1869 the fort was abandoned and fell into disrepair.
The fort was maintained by the U.S. Army on caretaker status until 1898,
when the sinking of the U.S. Maine, sparked the Spanish-American War and the use of Fort Clinch as a barracks and ammunition depot. Less than a year later hostilities ceased and the fort was again abandoned.
From 1898 to 1926 the fort was unoccupied and again fell into disrepair. The brick walls began to crumble and sand began to pile up inside due to Atlantic storms. Finally, in 1926 it was offered for public sale by the Federal government. After passing from owner to owner it was finally purchased by the state of Florida in 1935.
Recognizing the significance of the site, the state of Florida declared the fort a state park in 1936. Also in that year the Civilian Conservation Corps began restoring the buildings of the fort and removed massive amounts of sand and debris from the fort itself. They also constructed campgrounds, the museum and put in roads.
During WW II, the fort served its last mission as a joint operations center for surveillance and communications. At the end of the war it was given back to the state to open to the public.
One interesting note about the fort, it was involved in three wars – the Civil War, The Spanish American War, and WW II – yet at no time during either of these conflicts was the fort ever attacked. Thus, there were never any casualties incurred at the fort.
OK, time to visit the fort itself.
Approaching the fort from the museum.
The entrance which you access by walking over the drawbridge.
One section of the fort’s restored walls.
An overview looking from one of the parapets. In the middle, around the flag pole are the parade grounds. At the far end is the soldiers barracks. To the right is the storehouse. To the left is the prison and guardhouse. And immediately in front is the foundation for the officers quarters.
Looking out over Cumberland Sound which the fort was built to protect.
Armament representative of what would have been at the fort during the Civil War.
Typical ammo bunker.
Typical soldiers quarters.
So, that was Fort Clinch. I can now check another historical site off my bucket list of places to visit. I hope you enjoyed this brief overview of the fort and the park and its campgrounds. If you are ever in this area I would encourage you to take some time to visit Amelia Island and Fort Clinch State Park. You’ll enjoy it.
Well, another day is in the books on The Road of Retirement. Time for me to get to bed since my appointment tomorrow is even earlier. Tomorrow I’m being moved from gantry room 3 to gantry room 5. A new room, a new experience, but in many ways the same as before. As of tomorrow I’ve got only 23 more treatments to go. I’m getting there. Before you know it I’ll be ringing the chime in the lobby. Hey everyone have a good night’s rest. God bless.
Thanks for taking the time to read our blog. We always appreciate your company, your comments, and your suggestions. Remember, take time to stop and smell the roses and live each day that God gives you to the fullest.
Our continuing mission remains: Departing from our base as often as possible to explore as many new states as possible, to seek out new acquaintances and make new friends, to boldly go where we have never been before.
See you on down the road!