Castillo relives The Enemy at the Gates


National Park Service spokesman, Joseph Brehm, invites Historic City News readers to participate in a special program Friday evening at Castillo de San Marcos National Monument you can relive the night before the Spanish soldiers, stationed at the Castillo, prepared for the counterattack against British forces stationed at Fort Mose in 1740.

The continued existence of St. Augustine was in doubt. British forces from Georgia and South Carolina occupied Anastasia Island, Point Quartell and Fort Mose at that time.

They were led by General James Oglethorpe, who had already laid siege and was poised to run the Spanish from the Ancient City.

“Citizens, terrified about the possibility of losing their homes, clung to the hope that the Spanish forces would strike a blow from the Castillo that would send the English invaders away,” Brehm told Historic City News as he related the dramatic events of that evening. “The evening before the counterattack was a moment of fear and hope for the Spanish soldiers chosen for the attack.”

On the evening of Friday, March 28th, every 15 minutes, from 6:45 p.m. until the final tour at 8:00 p.m., Castillo de San Marcos National Monument staff and local historic re-enactors, will present living history tours that highlight the events of 1740.

Visitors will experience that evening before the desperate plan was conceived to attack the British occupiers of Fort Mose. If successful, they would help defend their families, homes and town. Ultimately, they faced a soldier’s reality; this was a risk that could get them killed.

“You will learn about life in the town during the siege as the cannons fire away at the British on Anastasia Island. Staff and volunteers in 18th century period clothing will tell the stories of St. Augustine on the brink of its destiny,” Brehm said.

Space is limited and tickets can be purchased at the park fee booth. Ticket prices are $8.00 per adult aged 16 and above, $4.00 per child aged 4-15, and children under 5 are free.