St. Marks Lighthouse, Florida
St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge

December 2005 photos/narratives courtesy of Dale Cox, AR
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1. St. Marks Lighthouse, Florida at
2. St. Marks Lighthouse - US Fish and Wildlife Service Home
3. St. Marks Lighthosue - Wikipedia

The St. Marks Lighthouse, on the coast south of Tallahassee, was vital to ships making their way in and out of the port of St. Marks. The Confederates removed the light from the tower to hinder the Union navy and maintained sentries here throughout the war. In March of 1865, General John Newton brought an expedition ashore here for an assault on St. Marks and, most believe, Tallahassee. He was turned back at the nearby Battle of Natural Bridge. Early in the war, the Confederates also constructed a battery adjacent to the lighthouse, but the guns were withdrawn and the works were later shelled and destroyed by Federal ships


This is a view of the lighthouse from back across the marshes and gives a good idea of the difficult ground across which Newton's army moved in 1865 on its way to the Battle of Natural Bridge. The lighthouse is now preserved within the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and can be visited daily


This is a view of Apalachee Bay from the base of the St. Marks Lighthouse. Union ships anchored offshore here during the Civil War to enforce the blockade and Southern blockade runners also slipped through these waters from time to time. In March of 1865, Union transports moved toward shore here and ran aground while trying to land troops. The entire operation was observed by Confederate pickets stationed at the lighthouse and took so long to accomplish that Southern forces were able to organize and call in reinforcements in time to defeat the Federal expedition at the Battle of Natural Bridge on March 6, 1865. Confederate reports describe stormy weather in the days leading up to the battle, so the view offshore probably looked very similar to this. Early in the war the Confederates built a battery at about this spot, but withdrew the guns. The structure was later shelled and destroyed by the Union Navy. No trace remains


Enlarge This is the historical marker at the St. Marks Lighthouse

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