Fort Clinch

Fernandina Beach, Florida, Fort Clinch, Forts, Government building, Military building, Third System Fort
Week 48
November 27, 2016
Clearwater, Florida, Pier 60, Sunset, Time of Day, dusk
Best Sunsets
November 28, 2016
Fernandina Beach, Florida, Fort Clinch, Forts, Government building, Military building, Third System Fort
Dates Visited 07/03/2015 11/28/2016

Fort Clinch is a Third System fort located on a peninsula near the northernmost point of Amelia Island, along the Amelia River. Construction began in 1847 but because of slow progress by 1860 only two-thirds of the fort was completed and no cannons had been mounted. In 1869 despite continuing efforts the fort was placed in caretaker status and never fully completed.

 

Confederate forces took control at the beginning of the Civil War but did not further construction. They instead established batteries in the town of Fernandina and on Amelia and Cumberland Islands. Advancing US forces caused General Robert E. Lee to authorize withdrawal in early 1862.

On March 3, 1862 US troops regained control of the fort and continued construction but were unable to finish.

After the start of the Spanish American War the 6th US Artillery arrived and build a gun mount for an eight inch breech loading rifle. This was the only construction from the Endicott period so the fort remains in pristine condition.

Fort Clinch was never fired upon or ever fired is shot in anger and sustained no damage during the U.S. Civil War.

In 1935, the state of Florida purchased 256 acres which included the abandoned fort and developed one of Florida's first State Parks. The civilian Conservation Corps restored the fort in the 1930s. It was formally opened to the public in 1938.

Fort Clinch is on route A1A at the north end of Amelia Island, three miles north of Fernandina Beach.

 

Ten U.S. Civil War period guns are mounted on period carriages and emplaced along the parapets as they would have been in that period. Four major buildings have been restored and interpreted including a two story barracks, single story prison and guardhouse, and a two story warehouse. The entrance to the fort includes a visitor center/gift shop and a small museum. Must see fortification.

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