CONSTRUCTION AT CASTILLO DE SAN MARCOS 1784-1821
Before entering fully into the subject, which is "Construction at Castillo de San Marcos in 1784-1821," let's present a brief background, in order to cover the time from the inception of the fortification to the
starting point of our talk, which is the beginning of the second Spanish period of the history of Florida.
From the very beginning of the Spanish settlement in 1565, St. Augustine has always had a fortification. This fortification affirmed the Spanish title to Florida, and protected Spanish vessels returning to Europe via the Gulf Stream. As you know, the Gulf Stream flows along the east coast of Florida.
The first St. Augustine fortification was an Indian communal house hurriedly equipped with an encircling breastwork, a shallow ditch, and gun emplacements. Then, for the next hundred years, one fort made of wood or wood and earth succeeded another until the advent of the stone fortification.
It was the sack of St. Augustine in 1668 that prompted the Spanish crown to authorize the building of a permanent, masonry fortification. But not funds were forthcoming to begin work, until the English settled
Charleston (South Caroline) in 1670.
Castillo de San Marcos was designed as a regular square by Ignacio Daza, a military engineer based in Habana (Cuba), who came to St. Augustine for the purpose. Construction began on October 2, 1672, and ended in 1695. A characteristic feature of the Castillo completed at this time was an arrangement of beams, collectively called vigueria, supported the
gundeck. Also, the rows of small rooms along the walls made the courtyard bigger.
The present floor plan resulted from "modernization" work performed in the 18th Century. By 1736, the gundeck threatened to collapse because the beams were rotten. Coincidentally, the British had just settled Savannah, closer to St. Augustine than Charleston. Urgently, Engineer Antonio de Arredpndo planned to build masonry arches to replace the beams supporting the gundeck. The east side gundeck only was done by
Engineer Pedro Ruiz Olano in 1738-40, and the other three sides were finished in 1755-56 by Pedro de Brozas.Garay. The arches increased the height of the structure from 26 to 31 feet. The last design-related Engineer volunteer
work performed on Castillo was the en2kargerment of the ravelin by/Pablo Castello in 1762.
Although it underwent major attacks in 1702 and 1740, the Castillo never fell by force. But the-British acquired Florida from Spain by treaty in 1763. While they held the Castillo during the American Revolution, the British felt confident they-could repulse any American or Spanish attack on St. Augustine. The British lost the American Revolution and the concurrent war with France and Spain, and in 1784 the latter returned
The definitive Treaty of Versailles, signed September 3, 1783, ended the war between Spain, France, and Holland on one side, and Great Britain on the other. This war, and the concurrent American Revolution, had constituted the components of a much breader global conflict. The treaty directed Britain to restore both East and West Florida to Spain, and it
In East Florida, Spanish sovereignty returned on July 12, 1784. On
this date, Governor Manuel Vicente de Cespedes received the delivery of St. Augustine, Castillo de San Marcos, and posts in the vicinity from Governor Patrick Tonyn and Brigadier Archibald McArthur. CP p ze e -&4 r d r m
Engineer De la Rocque submitted, on July 31, 1789, a very comprehensive, 17-folio report examining the conditions of the fortifications and public buildings in East Florida. t- r; --t -or nr4d i- Ct. AugatLi u, b 9sn
Regarding Castillo de San Marcos, the main wall was in good condition. However, the cracks reported previously had widened, particularly those in the water battery wall. The piers and the intrados of the vaults were excessiyely damp, due to the steady filtration of rainwater through the gundeck.pavement. The pavement had become worse each passing day, with-an increase in cracks and a loss of hard surface in places. The entire parapet needed repair, particularly on the east side, where cannon-fired salutes and signals had broken or displaced many stones or both.
That same July, on the 1lth, in far away Europe, the French Revolution had broken out. It shattered the peace that had prevailed since 1783, and ushered in the 25-year long period that changed the political and social face of the old country.
It was 1793 before Spain became finally involved in war with revolutionary France. The National Assembly proclaimed the hostilities on March 7, and the Spanish reciprocated on the 23d. Six days later, Spain and Great Britain became allies against France.
The news of the war reached St. Augustine about June 5, 1793. Fgneer
Governor Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada held a council of war on June 7
to consider defense measures for East Florida. In St. Augustine, the gun-
powder in the Anastasia Watchtower magazine would be moved to a storeroom in the lot called Governor's Garden, and the gun platform of Fort Matanzas repaired for emplacement of two guns. |O
The treasurer requested on September 4 for the rehabilitation of the ........ Castillo-vaelt known as the royal treasury (Room 16),as his office and repository of the King's coffer. An inspection revealed that all vaults were filtrating rainwater excessively through cracks in the terreplein, and the water was damaging the supplies stored in them. however, there were four vaults that leaked less than the others, and those were the flour storeroom (No. 13), the old chapel vault (Room 14) used as the room for the officer of the guard, the general storekeeper's office (Room 15), the upper story of which contained merchandise for the Indians, and the vault wanted by the treasurer, in which the second story held items which had to be kept dry, such as tents, sandbags, and rope.
lie 2--"t a ...... .. ....9l ----w-:mI m-p--r. The work
contemplated consisted of repairing the floor, filling-in seri ii holes in .. the walls, rebuilding the door, and removing a previously-erected small, wooden room within the vault in front of one of the windows. On September 17, 1793, Quesada approved the rehabilitation of the room to place the 74
King's coffer there.
Diaz talked also of marrgny ae 4n11=n -rfa his recommendations for preservation. The water filtration problem required the repair of the terreplein, including providing proper drainage, and covering the extrados of the arches with a course of bricks topped in turn by a slab of good sulaque (probably, mix). For -io bing, /T tlt t.~ "r .. V LUa L1
-rang Qt -4 R-d 10916014 POOP610k
The year 1794 began with repeated news that French agents were financing the enlistment of Americans in Georgia for the purpose of expelling the Spanish from East Florida, and with rumors that there were already 600 cavalrymen enlisted in Georgia, who would invade East Florida upon arrival of three French frigates bringing 1,100 men to join them within three weeks. The council of war held on January 21 resolved that the guard detailed
_4_Q_-p*c- to the Ilornabeque Line, the powder magazine, and Castillo de San Marcos be increased. A6 Ca-- - o......... n+-- ma
L s ..-a @ 6 a-,- ..0. ,6' p. .oo The paucity of money limited
the work performed at Castillo to building a temporary earthwork to serve as co':ered way wall in the northwest quadrant of the outworks, and probably six earthwork traverses.82
The long awaited French-financed invasion of East Florida by the Amerricans took place in the summer.
ne, the Cubo Line and three redoubts controlling the crossings of the San Sebastian River, were chosen to make a stand,if necessary and consequently repaired.
The news of the peace concluded by France and Spain at Basel on July 22 were known in St. Augustine by December 15 through the Charleston and Savannah newspapers. .L -l 1. d pub ......... 88
Colonel Enrique White, the new governor of East Florida, inspected
Castillo on July 13, 1d asked Engineer Diaz for a report on essential repairs. The rainwater filtration through the terreplein, replied Diaz, had rendered all the vaults unfit to serve as storerooms or to lodge troops.
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Diaz suggested a solution to the water filtration problem. He would uncovet the extrados of the arches by removing the terreplein earth fill, plaster the extrados with a good mixture making sure that their grade caused the water to run to the top of the piers between vaults, where he would install drains reaching out through the curtain, put the fill back, and rebuild lhe terreplein pavement.
In faraway Europe, the obnoxious British conduct toward her since the Peace of Basel, led Spain on August 18 to conclude the Treaty of San Ildefonso with the' Frenoh Directory for mutual friendship.9h On Dec. 22, St. Augustine found out that Spain had declared war on Great Britain the previous Oct. 7.
*...e During the spring and summer, East Florida awaited an attack
stillo d San M wrcos was put in condition to withstand bombardment. A cover of eatth and wood, thick enough to be "bomb proof," was built on the terreplein above the powder magazine (Rooms 10 and 11). The courtyard walls were lined, armor-like, with thick boards, and just outside the doors of the vaults, thick-board screens were erected, all this for protection against flying "bomb" fragments.
.. ...a. ba a a a e~".t fi."rafter 10 years reporting
the problem, something began to be done about water filtration. The parapet was removed above three vaults (probably Rooms 9, 8, and 7, the parapet foundation repaired, the parapet rebuilt, the terreplein pavement removed, a new slab poured, and three firing steps rebuilt.112
This year, in the preliminaries of a mutually beneficial treaty signed on October 1, Spain secretly retroceded Louisiana, which she had held since 1763,,..to France.. The definitive treaty was concluded at Aranjuez on March 21, 1801.11
The repavement of Castillo de San Marcos terreplein carried on from
"-7 P 4 ...... . By October 6, the
terreplein pavement at the west and south curtains had been repLaced, and the parapets and firing steps rebuilt. The west vaults, in use as food and ordnance storerooms (probably Rooms 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, and 4) were for the first time in many years free of leakage. And so were the south vaults used as ordnance storerooms (Rooms 3 and 2), the guardrooms (Nos. 1 and 29), sallyport, and jail (Room 28). Terreplein replacement above four vaults at the east curtain, in use as jail (Room 27) and food and engineer supplies storerooms (Nos. 26, 25, 24), and the rebuilding of the a-barbette parapet, had begun. The work progressed slowly because only 17 laborers and 13 soldier prisoners were available, but had been finished by year's.end.16 .
1802. All parties involved-in the European war had suspended hostilities, but a peace treaty was not attained until March 27 at Amiens. Ja..
The circumstances were propitious for continuation of substantial work .......
at Castillo de San Marcos, for = .. + nonnn received e ..e:.. very last day of = f"he ""---- '.' ramp was removed, rebuilt.At the some curtain, the terreplein slab and earth fill above a vault (probably Room 12) were removed, the extrados probably pargeted, and the fill replaced ....ge. b-e. .n San Pablo a large crack was filled in.-At the south curtain, the mochetas (sconcheons) of the gate door and of the bridge support were chipped, plastered, and whitewashed. The wooden ravelin and main bridges were rebuilt as fixed bridges, the rails painted, and the remaining woodwork treated with pitch.122 All progress considered,-the terreplein pavement above vaults No. 10, 11, 13, 1l4, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21,-22,-and -. 23 had yet to be replaced.
In the Eagle's Eye, 1803-1811
-- 1803. --The peace-prevailing in Europe was shattered on May 18,-when
Great Britain-declared war on the French Consulate. Spain purchased-neutrality by granting concessions to France. The British became angered, and
thenceforth subjected the Spanish to ever-increasing provocations.127
On the previous April 30, France had sold Louisiana to the United
States. This event focused clearly on the American desire to round out
their perceived "natural frontiers." The purchase was interpreted to include all West Florida westward of the Perdido River. As far as East Florida was concerned, the rgument had matured that the United States had-acquired a mortgage on all the land east of the Perdido by Spain's failure to compensate for American vessels taken to Spanish ports by French privateers
and .condemned. during .the_ quasi-naval war in 1798-1800. Spain could thus
neither give nor sell that land to a foreign power until.The American mortgage was paid fully.128
'- ... ....... I .. s On February_ 1 s, ..
-buildings-in St. Augustine. Castillo de San Marcos had a.few vaults,_that .......
were-almost unserviceable because -they dripped water everywhere. ---Five- of.---...--.them (Rooms 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17?) had wooden second stories with dete- ...
riorated floor-boards, and the heads of beams supporting those stores -were-------rotted. ~ al -n Q 1_r bloriac boraer LOLu-oL> Atnens: -- -"- i
j~ :: i '4 t i ~
The stone used to build Castillo facilitated filtration. It consisted
of a conglomeration of loosely-joined small shells. The water traveled
though the stone with great ease and saturated th7e structure, re ring
provision of special measures to air ill-ventilated places.- .e'-2 bidr em
Somehow, however, the means were found to perform repairs in 1804. A
joint in the tabby slab of the terreplein of Castillo developed a crack
along the entire length of the keystone of the vault below. To repair it,
the crack was' trenched five inches wide and five inches deep, and filled
with tamped tabby of lime, sand, and powdered brick. PTr" G--' ". 2I
As the year came to a close, war broke out again between Spain and
Great Britain on December 12. I4.(l.
180...... The existence of war became known in East Florida in March. On
the 26th, Engineer Hita urged the repair of the covered way wall and its stockade, the covered way surface, and the traverses of Castillo de San
On April 13, a council of war endorsed Nita's plans for constructionand defense. .
The repairs performed on Castillo in 1805 began with the removal of the
broken-up sallyport floor, and pouring a new one made of riprap and lime.
Then, Room 26 was transformed into a powder magazine. The dampness in the
magazine in Rooms 10 and ll had become so excessive that the gunpowder
stored there was completely spoiled.'* The interior of the powder magazine shown in the attached illustration is essentially the same as the interior I of Room 26 when completed and put to use.
I. The-new magazine was entered through Room 25. This room had the
- wooden-floors.of-the.. upper and lower stories andthe stairway repaired. The old magazine became a lumber storage by opening the ventilator (in Room 10), putting a wooden grating in it and installing a -piket -gate--with-- lock at the doorway.
1806. The proposed work for the outworks of Castillo de San Marcos was begun. The old stockade at the northwest quadrant of the covered way was removed
1 a 5-foot-high palm log revetment was built to keep the glacis fill in place.
.. 807. .. _Unlike...theprevious year, some work was performed on Castillo
.-de-San--Marcos.--The 2-inch-thick planks of the main bridge .were..replaced ....-..
__A_pinewoQd gibbet, 18 feet high and,8 inches square,_ was erected for the.bell .which, rang .the time in Castillo. us 6 iev ......
was pain e-dwith-1ead-colored paint. ..
The ore extensive work, however, was done on the outworks-of Ca stillo. To erect the covered way stockade, a low stone wall was built first. On it were laid 35-foot-long pine sills iath g '6 for uprighting 40 stakes, each three feet high. W-r .. vuiy .Cth H Lt- 7 .tr ly P-Z*n i- West of the entrance, where the fill had been washed_ away by_ the storms of September and October 1806 there was dumped
_.the._earth..removed..from the protective, cover above, the former powder maga- .. zine. (Rooms 10 .and11).
1808. The captain general of Cuba and the Floridas informed Governor White that a 20,000-man army was being organized in England. The destination of that force was unknown. r.. .. 'ir- nr nl a t.. ,.. ..ive ,
ouncil.of war held on February 4 resolved among other things to
Engineer Hita opined that Castillo de San Marcos was in a condition that required defense assistance by the Cubo Line. The Castillo was weak
due to its design,. limited capacity, and lack of adequate outworks. A re-habilitated Cubo Line, armed iith six 24-pounder cannon, -one. 6-pounder, and -three 4-pounders, all firing--grapeshot and.manned .by-militiamen- gunners,.......
-would be -more effective than Castillo and might compensate-the -shortage of........
fusiliers. -Q MR- --.. ....t -
The council- of war meeting orA February 2 considered-- the- views and- the-defense-plan -of Engineer--Hita;. It- resolved to begin- mmediate-the-repair of C-ubo Line"
rdr .rt..... .. tl -.. --..... .... t On the ensuing March 1, the Cubo
Line became the object of frenzied activity.67 By June 15, Hita reported on the progress of defense construction. Ne
had rebuilt the palm-log casing of the segment of the Cubo Line lying between the San Sebastian River and the City Gate, straightening the alignment to ensure better enfilading fire from Castillo de San Marcos, and making the
parapet higher - _- for better command of the
northern approach., n The City
.._Gate pillars were under construction in stone, to..give greater_strength to.....
such an important access-and obviate the need for frequent repair. Between
the-Gate and-Castillo, -the- erection-of the palm-log casing -for-that segment -.
-of the -line was-underway.- hm-agad l-,'d e m me
Not until August 4 did it become known in East Florida that the Spanish ...171
people had revolted against Napoleon on May 2 and declared war on France.
1809. To improve the Cubo Line's moat, 2,240 cubic varas of earth
were extracted and poured on the approach to the counterscarp in order to form the glacis. ^*ts +-r a .. l o l -nc .. A ........CC .
1810. By Presidential proclamation of October 27, the United States
occupied West Florida between the Mississippi and Pearl Rivers, except
the places actually held by the Spanish.175
The rehabilitation of the Cubo Line continued. Tb P- E ---- b
1811. By Act of January 1 *the United States Congress authorized-the...
President secretly to occupy the Floridas east of the Perdido River, if
delivered by local authority or to prevent seizure by a foreign power.
---A-council- of-war- on-May 7 considered- the .proposal of providing minimum
- -measures to-face-an unexpected enemy attack,
..... h ..py e. ee It -resolved to rebuild,pea -the-- ----a... vein-bridg6f Castillo de San Marcos so that it could stand the-weight- --of the artillery transported over it.
-----On July.30, Governor Estrada- 6a= i =6n .
Si __ I- _-I .. .. iat. __ is
e .m L F'@w de. A General George Mathews, who was at the time visiting the town of St. Marys (Georgia), had been commissioned by the United States
as a peial agent to find ways of acquiring East Fl ida for his country 1
I . "= . . .. . .. . ,
...... ?X *. ........ . .
a- _e East Florida did not have a resident engineer until
the arrival of one in December 1816.
A council of war held December 16 resolved that the Cub a Line
in bad condition
I be repaired as needed but with the greatest economy. --1 -'-. -_:
Bros e e. 4A ; l d .lll.. .. .. -.. ... ----.-,
Saving the Honor, 1812-1821
1812. The East Florida Patriots (nine disgruntled East Floridians of American nationality and 70 volunteers from the Georgia militia) rebelled against Spanish rule. On March 13 they proclaimed East Florida's independence at Rose's Bluff, on the south bank of the St. Marys River, about four miles from St. Marys town downriver. The Spanish surrendered Fernandina on the 17th, when United States naval forces threatened to fire on them if the Spaniards fired on the Patriots. San Nicolas on the St. Johns River also fell, and on the 27th the Patriots camped near the old Fort Mose site, about two miles north of Castillo de San Marcos. Regular U. S. soldiers joined the rebels on April 11, -d i'tt4 . .1>:m :io b t.. G t f....... aL
Kindelan obtained the assistance of the Seminoles against the enemy. Indian
raids endangered Patriot and American communications so much, that on September 14 they withdrew from Kose northward and westward to the St. Johns.191
During March, April, and May, June, work was performed on the Cubo Line)
in order to defend the avenues of access to St. Augustine.
No less important in 1812 than the actions to preserve Spanish sovereignty was the proclamation of the Spanish Constitution in East Florida on October 17.19
1813. The East Florida rebellion ran its -course. When Spain granted amnesty to the insurgents, the United States troops evacuated the St. Johns River encampment at San Nicolas on April 29 and Amelia Island on May 6. Without American support, the Patriots were unable to go on effectively. The Spanish reoccupied their former posts, nd -1 -,..:r-- :::1 t ...
On October 22, East Florida submitted a. cost estimate of the repairs
needed by the fortifications and certain public buildings in St. Augustine,.
b 4 sequ -eehady.*... yfte- .e *1 ... The fortifications comprised in the estimate astillo de San Marcos Cubo Line, .AI- Lw. n u...
The cost estimate was also, in a sense, a report on the conditions of
the structures in question. Castillo de San Marcos had the entire terreplein surface ruined, and the three salients of the water battery cracked from the wall. The foundation of the salients had been eroded by the sea, and conseSquently stones became easily dislodged. The repair of the terreplein and the salients would amount to 7,0!5 pesos. The two vaults serving as powder magazine (Rooms 25 and 26) needed replacement of wooden floors and wall paneling at a cost of 755 pesos, and the replacement of the wooden components of the other vaults used as provisions storerooms was figured at 849 pesos.
The rebuilding of the ravelin and both bridges was estimated at 39L pesos. The erection of a new stockade and the three gates of the covered way wall would cost 4,325 pesos, and the stone traverses within the covered way 2,250 pesos.203
1817. ortazar inspected Ca tillo de San Marcos and other public buildings in St. Augustine, and rendered a report on January 25. By way of opening, he observed that the location of the city was most advantageous
..... ... -..-.. .
for an easy defense. St. Augustine was fortified naturally rather than by
the art of military engineering. The only and most important approach by
land lay to the north, where the city limit was defended solely by Castillo
in part, and a continuous, weak, earthwork line.20
Castillo was the paramount extant work in St. Augustine. Its figure
was an irregular square with four full bastions, moat, and covered way. The fortification defended the bay and its entrance, although some of its fires
covered the land side defectively. The north front did not sweep the land
approach as effectively as it controlled Macaris (Hospital) Creek and the adjacent terrain. The west front could harass an enemy only after he had come close to or captured the Cubo Line. Consequently, the enemy was entirely free to move over the terrain in front of the line without being harmed by Castillo fire. The fortification was more useful in defending
the bay than the city, because apparently the former task was the only one
considered in building it. If city defense had been the structure would have been provided with a better capacity to flank the terrain fronting the line.
Castillo was in a pitiful condition. The crumbling, tabby terreplein
surface had lost many shells, and artillery pieces could not be properly
aimed or repositioned rapidly. The vaults below were in bad -shape. The lime-and-shell pavement did not bond well due to its natural composition
and excessive porosity. It always provided interstices which were just
veritable canals, facilitating filtration through most of the vault roofs and ceilings. Water leakage weakened the structure because it caused the
lime and all other materials to lose their natural coalescence. The pave__ _I'
ment should be made of a stronger and better-bonding mix.
There were more defects to Castillo than the pot-holed and leaky terreplein. The angles of the water battery's south and middle salients had cracked away from the wall. Should the sea penetrate into the moat, it
would then crash on the east scarp and destroy it. The covered way stockade had gaps at intervals, and the places of arms were not enclosed because their traverses had become shapeless mounds of sand. The ravelin was small and lacked the parapet. Both the ravelin and main bridges were practically unserviceable: care had to be taken when walking on them, and it was
impossible to move artillery in or out of Castillo. Their draw spans had been immobilized regardless of the need for them, particulary at the rave'_..... -- n. .... -- n-- ..n. Cortzar found the Cubo Line
in serviceable condition, B-o -eeda =m 'e'e... -- 4i4ety-t shat
the n-"-a m +nn+_n.A-'- t_ _e. On May 7, 1817, e oifid
director subinspector of engineers in Habana that he had approved the rehabilitation of the terreplein and bridges of Castillo and also Cubo Linem ,
SOn June 28, when there were rumors that certain insurgents would
* deliver a blow at East Florida, Cortazar urged the emplacement of guns in
the water battery salients, and the beginning of repairs on the Cubo Line,
Thrry, f coco"r .""rk; r t. r f 3,ei-y. NmL 1 Q "' j'h-~'W4Work h beg$1 on Castillo Cubo Line,ie 210
th v + + y July 1.----Repairs began none too soon, for Fernandina, on
Amelia Island, had fallen on June 29 to insurgents sponsored by several Hispanic American republics.
.... ... ..... ....................... ........ .. ....d .... .... ..... .~. . _~~... ....... . .. .. .. ... ...... ._ _
S=48 hbe-p begedee6-ead- 0"61t On August 23, a counof war resolved to send an expedition to recover Fernandina, but the exeLater, however, the United
cution of the enterprise was unsuccessful. TIna ba4 yh-. S hdl ~A m- .. States ousted the insurgents in order to secure order on the frontier, and held Amelia under its custody until the end of the Spanish rule.
1818. Work was underway on the rehabilitation of the terreplein,
bridges, and north covered way stockade of Castillo de San Marcos, and the counterscarp of the Cubo Line. It came to a halt on March 9 because fortification funds had been spent, and -earr aa ar ~. wr e --'--" .. eay'
The lull in construction and repairs lasted almost four months. On
June 27, however, ,O000 pesos were received, allotted exclusively to fortification work. **-******... -Q- .. p ... ... 1 -, v.... -+
-is m--' m np- werid Governor Coppinger wanted the remainder spent on projects most conducive to the defense and security of the city. The engineer pointed out that repairing the terreplein, plastering the intrados of the vaults, and completing the north covered way stockade at Castillo, and renewing the Cubo Line and its moat were tasks that could not be neglected.
_,-_ ........ --j wEngineer Cortazar set July 20 at
sunrise as the date for workers to report to Castillo, and begin work on it. But he warned the masons that, unlike previous occasions, they would have to bring their own tools because there were none in the engineer supply storage. The work performed in August and September cost 1,599 pesos.
Eventually, the construction and repair fund ran out. On November 28, Governor Coppinger instructed Cortazar to lay off all hired help, but to continue work on the Cubo Line and its redoubts with convicts and military prisoners only.224
1819. A treaty, known officially as Treaty of Amity, .Settlement, and Limits and commonly as the Adams-Onis Treaty, was signed in the faraway capital of the United States on February 22 by American and Spanish representatives. Spain ceded the Floridas but adjudicated to the United States her $5,000,00C-debt to the citizens of the latter country. The Americans, on the other hand, accepted the Sabine River as their southwest boundary, thereby surrendering any claim to Texas as part of the Louisiana Purchase, but at the same time acquiring whatever claim the Spanish had to Oregon.
Cortazar e m +, w v. .7
,e enmbe.... .I.-Lieutenant Nicol ce Fano of the Regiment of Habana, who was in St. Aug,stine,
Early in November, Governor Coppinger received very alarming news from the Spanish consul in Charleston (South Carolina). People in that city were talking about the preparations by the United States to take the Floridas by force, because Spain had not ratified the treaty of cession.*. uf uI
_ n- t,' r I..... n ~n A council of war convened on November 6 to consider measures to put St. Augustine in a state of defense capable of sustaining the honor of the Spanish arms untarnished, Ch c.:.n::il :z:l:-1. Governor Coppinger wuo decided to proceed with the construction of the covered way stockade of Castillo, and the reconstruction of the scarp and
counterscarp of the Cubo Line. 17ork was begun ...--- '+ '3 S. L with the expectation that progress would be slow due to the limited number of workers*_3
- t.n L ...... -."~JU se.Ma ca dto concentratn only one
project, the repair of the Cubo Line, which he knew could be accomplished with the 15 laborers at hand. A f+-+- ....... 1 .. o ~, ..... . .. ,.. ... 231
Upon request by Governor Coppinger, Engineer Fano submitted on February 17 a report on the condition of fortifications-and public buildings, se..
(Castillo de San Marcos was in a satisfactory state of defense. The
terreplein had been repaved in two bastions and three curtains and all the firing steps completed. The bridges had been reconstructed but without draw spans. The covered way had been cleared of mounds of earth, which had been used to build all the required traverses, ~ .L..... S-I.. L J. The stockade had been rebuilt on three fronts..
Q The angles of the salients of the water battery had
become separated from the curtains by the beating of the sea, and would soon be destroyed, thus allowing the sea to strike the main wall and perhaps
bring it down.
The Cubo Line and its redoubts were in fair condition. The redoubts had been equipped with platforms for emplacing guns if necessary, and both
they and the line were always under the constant repair required by their earth composition. -6 0 : 0 ba d.d "-4- r-. l t.
The City Gate was old and not fully serviceable, demanding constant
repair. The bridge there needed immediate reconstruction, for cavalry and
carriages could not cross it any longer.237
The possible coup Mnmmimby the United States to take East Florida
prompted the arrival of assistance, and the initial aid was in the form of money and an engineer. Go!a' Y m.b-. .
ALk-,zrdsh w- t- r! hm na" p "Lieutenant Ramon de la Cruz of the Regi- ment of MalagaWqT n' -. ... w -r -.. b'rd mthe engineer volunteer selected by the engineer director in 240
Habana to relieve Fano.
The expenditures'coveed work on both fortifications and public buildings. Among the former projects was the rebuilding of the City Gate fixed bridge. Th le ...... J b.7
In September, a highly significant political act took place in St. Augustine. The restoration of the Spanish Constitution of 1812 was published on the 25th, although the governor and other high officials had given their oath of allegiance to it since April 29.2~
De la Cruz also prepared a report on the condition of the fortifications, as was usual during the tenure of an engineer. It was dated October
i De la Cruz stated that Castillor had the shape of a regular square with moat, covered way, and a ravelin at the south front to provide a screen to the sole gate. Castillo was badly deteriorated
with a crumbling terreplein surface and vaults leaking constantly. ,A,
u1"n uu l Lh9 uu...lu.. At the east front, the three
salients of the water battery, lapped by the sea, 1@otei!nzd Vi s 0f9lz: -f
had become separated from the curtain, and the entire battery could collapse soon, to judge from the large cracks in the counterscarp of the moat. Should that happen, the sea would come in to batter the main wall, and cause a similar effect.268
The two western bastions were cracked at the flankers, from the foun-
dation to the parapet, and had become separated from the curtains. PAnu
as ns e -. The bridges had been rebuilt and were in good condition. The continuous stockade had been finished recently, at the same time as several segments of the Cubo Line had been rebuilt. The traverses of the covered way were in good condition and
Beginning at the west covered way wall of Castillo, the earthen Cubo Line ran westward a straight and continuous 1,000 varas to the east shore of the San Sebastian River# '+ X m- b t t m -a...- .o nme The line had three redoubts equidistant from one another and Castillo, and was paralleled immediately in front by a continuous moat t
---- 4 a 'nm-" 1- T- The scarp was an uneven and shapeless promontory of soft and sandy earth, iorimmem (This condition resulted from the rainwater falling on the parapet top, running down, and washing the earth away, because the scarp was not revetted or faced, -;esa 6erdoas er The countcrscarp was totally useless too, because it had no revetment to keep the soil in place.290
The eastern and middle redoubts of Cubo Line consisted each of tne face and, at right angles to it, two flankers. Thus the flankers could not cover with fire the face of the other adjacent redouot. The western redoubt, on the shore of the San Sebastian River, was a regular square enclosed by a strong stockade and in good condition. T+. nnrthrrn, .n o
r p-rit. 4-- 1, thi 1-l'r. The redoubt contested
the crossing of the river from the west, and covered the land north of the line.251
1821. Governor Coppinger knew, late in January, that the Spanish king had issued his decree of October 2h, 1820, ratifying the treaty ceding the Floridas to the United States, and advising it would become effective upon exchange of ratifications. The exchange date would be the beginning of the 6-month period to carry out the evacuation. The news prompted Coppinger to order the suspension of all construction and repairs on fortifications, but the convicts would continue keeping the Cubo Line clean and in good
The exchange of ratifications in Washington on February 22 set the
treaty in operation, and August 22 at the latest as the target date for the' evacuation of the Floridas. The United States made its preparations swiftly. Congress passed an act on March 3, enabling the President to take possession of the territories by using, among other things, the army, navy, and state militia, and providing the Spanish population with transportation. to Habana. w..M- a a 1 .... . . .iL.... And-rw
It was not until June 7, however, that Governor Coppinger received the commission instructing him to proceed with the transfer of East Florida. Meantime, Coppinger too had made prior preparations, including having Engineer De la Cruz make 12 numbered drawings of geographical features, fortifications, and public buildings, and complete a h6-folio inventory, dated June h, containing detailed remarks on forts and buildings, for the purpose of delivering same to the United States.2
De la Cruz's detailed remarks about Castillorde San Marcos in the inventory were very comprehensive. He gave the measurements of some of the lines and angles of the ground plan to expose the fortification as a defec-
tive example of the regular, bastioned, and permanent system of fortification. He furnished the measurements to arrive at the knowledge of the principal of Castillo. Finally, he described the particular characteristics of Castillo features. A x. ; urulozu uf t re. .-., Ju- t.u
Making drawings and an inventory were just two of several preparations
for the territorial transfer. Another one was the removal of ordnance stores from Castillo de San Marcos to vessels for loading and shipment to Habana.
This task was marred on June 16 by an accident in the courtyard. The bombs stored apparently in Rooms 25 and 26, adapted as a powder magazine in 1805, had been removed, emptied of their powder charge, and left in the area outside the door. At h:30 o'clock in the morning of that day, one of the "empty" bombs was ignited, presumably by either the smoking of the men in the work party or a spark generated by the bombs being moved.and hitting one another. The bomb blew up sending hh fragments flying through the air, killing one man instantly and wounding seven, two of whom died later. The explosion did not damage Castillo, but as a safety measure earth was spread on the surface at the accident site and thoroughly dampened with water.29
The day for the transfer of East Florida to the United States finally arrived. On July 10, 1821,. the several arrangements prepared in advance became formalized, such as the delivery of the fortifications and public buildings by Engineer De la Cruz and Adjutant Pablo Rosete to Lieutenant W. J. Baird of the 3d U. S. Artillery. Then, at h o'clock in the* afternoon, as Governor Coppinger and Commissioner Butler signed the documents of the transfer, the last Spanish detachment marched out of Castillo de San Marcos. One week later, the Spanish departed from the other Florida.
Tntd t 261
Thus ended the 235-year presence in this part of the United States.