Construction of Fort Clinch began in 1847. It was part of the United State's comprehensive "Third System" of coastal defenses.
Construction of these Third System forts began in 1816 with most being complete before the Civil War. These were large masonry forts that were to be constructed along the nation's coastline to protect important harbors, cities, interior waterways, and navy yards from seaborne attack.
After secession of Florida in 1861, Confederate forces seized Fort Clinch. After a brief skirmish, the United States reoccupied the fort and it remained in Union hands for the rest of the war. With this, the adjacent coasts of Florida and Georgia were also under Federal control.
Fort Clinch today is preserved as Fort Clinch Historic State Park. This fort is extremely well preserved and interpreted, and has a great program of living history interpretation for the visiting public. A visitor center provides useful background for the visitor.
The park is open from 8:00 AM to sundown every day of the year. Admission to the park is $6 per vehicle ($4 for a single-occupant vehicle) and $2 for pedestrians and bicycles.
The Florida Public Archaeology Network is dedicated to the protection of cultural resources, both on land and underwater, and to involving the public in the study of their past.
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