Fort Barrancas


Drawbridge at Fort Barrancas



Taylor Road
Pensacola, FL 32563






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One of three forts designed to protect the United States Navy Yard, Fort Barrancas was completed in 1844 on a bluff overlooking Pensacola Bay. Defenses included two other major separate masonry fortifications. The Advanced Redoubt Battery was constructed beginning in 1845, approximately one half mile inland, to protect the fort from attack on the land side. The 1797 Spanish Battery San Antonio, or Water Battery, immediately south of the fort on the shore side, was renovated in 1840. With the election of Abraham Lincoln as President in 1860, and the secession of Florida in January of the following year, the Union garrison abandoned Fort Barrancas in favor of the more defensible Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island. Southern forces occupied this site at that point and Fort Barrancas took part in the massive artillery duels with Fort Pickens in November 1861 and January 1862. After the Confederates abandoned Pensacola in May 1862, Fort Barrancas became an important base for Union operations into Florida and Alabama for the duration of the war. Like other masonry fortifications, Fort Barrancas became obsolete with the advances in artillery and naval armaments after the Civil War. Today, Fort Barrancas is a unit of the National Park Service’s Gulf Islands National Seashore. A visitor center exhibit provides a history of the fort during the Civil War. Two Civil War era buildings from the Fort Barrancas Cantonment, the fort hospital and an officers quarters, are now located on the grounds of the Pensacola Naval Air Station.