Beautiful Historic Fort Built By Three Nations

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 80,504
    Fort Barrancas has been a strategic location for many nations trying to control the Pensacola Harbor and thus control of Pensacola.

    Brent Lane: Hey! It's Brent Lane and I'm here Fort Barrancas. Now, this is one of the more interesting fort you're going to find anywhere in the United States.

    Check this location out atop a bluff overlooking the entrance to Pensacola harbor. This has been a strategic location for many nations trying to control the Pensacola harbor and thus control of Pensacola. This really is one of my favorite forts. It was originally made out of dirt and logs, but as you can see, it's gone trough quite a few renovations. It was used by the British to fortify the city of Pensacola, although it couldn't stop the Spanish from taking the city over in 1781.

    David Ogden: Barrancas is a great example of the ideas that went into these seacoast forts, they were great against worships and not very good against land based artillery's. So if you look Barrancas from the landward side, the way visitors approach it, you can't really see the fort until you get to the top of the slope, you would run the risk of falling right into a 20 foot deep ditch and when you get up there and you look down that ditch, you have got canon embrasures at the end of the ditch so you would fire down the length of it and you have got rifle ports on both sides. So it really would have been a slaughter and it was no secret how these things were built. The whole idea was to make it so nasty then nobody in the right mind would want to go into it.

    Brent Lane: In 1861, now controlled by the Confederacy, Fort Barrancas comes under heavy attack by the Union, which controlled Fort Pickens across the way.

    David Ogden: One other unique thing about Fort Barrancas is that it's actually two separate fortifications that the main fort is up on the hill where you have elevation for longer range and down in front is the old Spanish water battery and a water battery is a collection of cannons closed enough to sea level to allow ricochet shot off the surface of the water and into the sides of the of the ship and people are always amazed to hear that you could ricochet cannonballs of the surface of the water.

    Brent Lane: Stronger canon and ironclad ships developed during the Civil War made many masonry forts like Fort Barrancas outdated. Today, thanks to a complete restoration by the National Park Service, visitors can tour the fort and battery.

    David Ogden: So it' really remarkable in so many different ways, thank that it is in such perfect condition and it's almost all original brickwork. You get a much closer look at the brickwork and the way those bricks are cut and shaved is just breathtaking. It's really very pretty which if kind of odd for a fortification. But because of the color of the brick and the arches and the perfect lines of them photographers just love the thing.

    Brent Lane: learn more about the history through the exhibits at the visitor's center and walk the half mile trench trail that connects the Advanced Redoubt to Fort Barrancas. And it has all the makings of a great family picnic.

    I'm Brent Lane from Pensacola Bay.