San Marcos de Apalache (Fort Ward) - Civil War
Foundations of History
The museum at San Marcos de
Apalache is built atop the ruins of
an old marine hospital, used as
a barracks during the Civil War.
Fort Ward at St. Marks
The Confederates built Fort Ward
atop the ruins of the old Spanish
fort of San Marcos de Apalache
to protect the port of St. Marks
and southern terminus of the
Tallahassee - St. Marks Railroad.
San Marcos de Apalache (Fort Ward)
Confederate Magazine
San Marcos de Apalache (Fort Ward)
St. Marks, Florida
At the outbreak of the Civil War, the
site of the old fortress of San Marcos
de Apalache was being used for
purposes of healing. A U.S. Marine
Hospital stood on the grounds.

The Confederates first placed artillery
at the St. Marks Lighthouse, but soon
found that position too exposed to
serve much use in protecting the port
of St. Marks. Consequently, they built
the earthen Fort Ward over the ruins
of the earlier Spanish defenses and
placed two batteries of heavy artillery
to protect the confluence of the St.
Marks and Wakulla Rivers. The
hospital building was used as a

Fort Ward never came under fire
during the war, although the Union
navy tried several times to capture it.
In 1863, a boat party turned back
before reaching the fort when it was
fired on by Confederate sentries. In
1865, the earthworks were the focus
of a Union expedition that ended in
failure at the nearby Battle of Natural
San Marcos de Apalache - Main Page
Battle of Natural Bridge, Florida
Copyright 2006 by Dale A. Cox