History and Cultural Signs
Fort Williams at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Florida. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).
|Florida Pocket Maps|
Wakulla Beach: site of Wakulla Beach Hotel and West Goose Creek Seineyard 84°8.892' W 30° 7.797' N 30° 9.099' N 6 5 4 Mandalay: site of Aucilla River St. Marks Lighthouse: site of Lighthouse, Ft. Williams, and Spanish Hole/Shipwreck Mounds Station: site of Shell Mounds and Naval Stores 83° 58.769' W 84° 10.955' W 84° 9.869' W St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge History Trail 1 Plum Orchard: site of Port Leon 84°8.710' W 30° 6.316' N 2 East River: site of CCC and Salt Works 84°15.703' W 3 GPS Coordinates: 84° 10.955' W ~ 30° 4.658' N 30° 6.985' N 30° 4.658' N 30° 5.282' N Fort Williams, in a drawing from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newpaper, February 22, 1862 (detail). (Courtesy State Archives of Florida) watery woods Before the Civil and engaged War, Florida was Confederate thinly populated forces on March with few cities of 6 at the Battle of any size. St. Marks Natural Bridge. had been the Their goal was to fifth largest town capture Tallahas in Florida and a see, but the Union busy port. But in troops withdrew the decade before after the battle. the war shipping Tallahassee business shifted remained the to other towns. only southern The beginning capital east of of the conflict This drawing shows the lighthouse, Ft. Williams and the three-masted U.S. gunboat Mohawk firing on the Confederate the Mississippi signaled a short gunboat Spray. The Spray was a modern steam-powered side wheeled boat armed with three guns that carried that was never men and supplies between St. Marks and the lighthouse. The Spray is in the background, between the fort and the lived revival for the lighthouse. (Courtesy State Archives of Florida) captured by Union port of St. Marks; forces. blockade The exact location of Fort Williams stockade to shelter the runners easily slipped in and out is unknown, but it is thought to be soldiers who were guarding until President Lincoln authorized near the end of Cedar Point Trail. the salt workers and the a blockade of southern ports – townspeople of St. Marks. These items (not shown to scale) were Musket including St. Marks – on April 19, recovered during an archeological dig ball On June 15, 1862, a 1861. near the site of Fort Williams. They shot party of Union Marines Shortly after the blockade began, could have been left behind by Civil landed near the lighthouse. War soldiers or nearby residents. the Confederates (Artifact photos courtesy of the Florida They burned the barracks and the built a fort near Division of Historical Resources, Handcut keeper’s home. The fort was not the St. Marks Bureau of Archaeological Research) button rebuilt, but it had provided a sense of Lighthouse safety for a few months. and named it The St. Marks Refuge Association, Inc., On March 4, 1865, soldiers from Ft. Williams in with a matching grant from the National Fish the 2nd and 99th U.S. Colored and Wildlife Foundation, produced the signs honor of Colonel and brochures for the St. Marks National Infantry landed J.J. Williams, Wildlife Refuge History Trail. The association near the a Tallahassee is a 501(c)(3) organization that supports lighthouse. planter who led educational, environmental, and biological They slogged the 2nd Florida programs of St. Marks National Wildlife Bristol Glazed north Refuge. Visit www.stmarksrefuge.org for more Cavalry. The fort Albany slipped information. 9/2010 through the was more of a Glass bottle neck whiskey jug sherd