Discover your family's story.

Enter a grandparent's name to get started.

Start Now

Fort San Carlos de Barrancas

Pensacola Bay is a lozenge shaped body of water, the entrance to which from the Gulf is at the southern point of the figure, and the southern side is formed by Santa Rosa Island, which stretches out in a long sandy line here to divide sea and inland water. On the western shore, near the head of the bay, is situated the busy city of Pensacola, one of the most active shipping points on the Gulf and also one of the most ancient. About six miles south of Pensacola, and near the mouth of the bay, is the city’s ancient defense. Fort San Carlos de Barrancas, which has gone through ten generations and more of life as humans reckon it and has done valiant service under four flags. The military (and social) history of Pensacola Bay commences in 1558, when Philip II, of Spain, commissioned Luis de Valesca, viceroy of New Spain, to undertake the settlement of Florida. After a preliminary survey Valesca, in the summer of 1559, sent 1500 soldiers and settlers to make a beginning at Pensacola Bay, this body of water having been adjudged the best roadstead and the most favorable for the support of human life on the Gulf Coast. A tentative settlement was established, but for some reason the site did not please the expedition and its leaders attempted unsuccessfully to find a better one. The winter that followed and the next summer were filled with privation and the colony became much reduced in numbers. During the second summer most of the settlers went with Angel de Villafane to Santa Elena, Port Royal Sound,...

Pin It on Pinterest