Cannon at Fort Frederica
The heavy guns of the fort
once protected Georgia and
the Frederica River from
attack by the Spanish.
Fort Frederica National Monument - St. Simons Island, Georgia - Fort Frederica National Monument, Georgia - Fort Frederica National Monument, Georgia
Fort Frederica National Monument
The ruins of stone walls and an original cannon
overlook the shore of St. Simons Island, one of the
historic Golden Isles of Georgia.
Oglethorpe's Defense of Georgia
Located on the interior coast of Georgia's St.
Simons Island, Fort Frederica National
Monument preserves the remains of one of
the most impressive British settlements ever
carved from the American forests.

Georgia founder James Oglethorpe came to
St. Simons Island in 1736 to establish a town
that would serve as a bulwark against the
Spanish in Florida, who still claimed the
coastal islands now being settled by the
English. To achieve this goal, he built
Frederica, a large fortified town that for a time
was one of the most important settlements in
the American Colonies.

The town's site at the bend of the Frederica
River allowed the British to control the
important inland passage leading up the
Georgia coast. A powerful bastioned fort was
built on the Frederica waterfront to protect
both the river and the town from the Spanish.
Armed with heavy cannon and enclosed by
thick walls of earth and timber, the fort was
one of the strongest in the South.

In addition, the town itself was surrounded by
stout walls of earth and timber which in turn
were enclosed by a deep moat. Within this
defensive barrier, Oglethorpe surveyed a
town that soon became one of the most
prosperous in the colony. A smaller work,
Fort St. Simons, was also built at the site of
St. Simons Lighthouse.

The establishment of the forts  took place
just before the outbreak of the oddly-named
War of Jenkin's Ear (named for an English
sea captain who was captured and lost his
ear to the Spanish). Oglethorpe led
expeditions into Spanish Florida from Fort
Frederica, but was unable to reduce the
powerful fortress
Castillo de San Marcos in
St. Augustine.

Led by Governor Don Manuel de Montiano, a
Spanish force moved north on a campaign of
reprisal during the summer of 1742. Arriving
on July 5th, Montiano moved first against Fort
St. Simons, which the English evacuated
before it could be attacked.

Using Fort St. Simons as a base, Montiano
sent troops up the Military Road to scout the
situation at Fort Frederica. This force was
met by a party of Oglethorpe's scouts at Gully
Hole Creek about one mile down the road
from Fort Frederica.

Driven back after a sharp fight at
Gully Hole
Creek in which they lost 12 men killed, the
Spanish began to retreat up the Military
Road. Montiano moved up additional troops
to cover this withdrawal, but they were
defeated by English forces at the
Battle of
Bloody Marsh. Although both sides claimed
victory in the battle, the Spanish soon gave
up their campaign and returned to Florida.
Frederica remained a flourishing town for
another 10 years, but the end of the site's
use for military purposes also spelled an
end to the community as well. Most of the
surviving structures were destroyed by fire in

The site is now preserved at Fort Frederica
National Monument on St. Simons Island.
Ruins of the original fort and barracks can be
seen and archaeological investigations have
exposed the foundations of many of homes.

The park is open daily from 9-5 and there is a
$3 entrance fee for visitors over 15 years old.
Please click here to visit the official National
Park Service website for more information.
Fort Frederica National Monument is located
at 6515 Frederica Road, St. Simons Island,

A marker for the Battle of Gully Hole Creek
can be seen on Frederica Road just south of
Fort Frederica. The National Park Service
also maintains a detached area at the Bloody
Marsh Battlefield on Demere Road. A marker
and cannon on the grounds of the
St. Simons
Lighthouse point out the site of Fort St.
Simons. Other associated points of interest
include Christ Church and Cemetery and the
Wesley Memorial Gardens.
Fort Frederica
The fort stood on the inner or
Frederica River coast of St.
Simons Island. Its garrison
blunted Spanish efforts to
retake Georgia.
Ruins of the Barracks
The entrance gate to the Fort
Frederica barracks provides
an idea of the strength of the
fortified town.
Home of Mary Musgrove
The daughter of an English
trader and a Creek Indian
woman, Musgrove was a
trader and interpreter who
lived a remarkable life.
Click here to read more.
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Copyright 2011 & 2013 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Updated: October 26, 2013
The Golden Isles of Georgia