To honor the 450th anniversary the first muster of America’s original citizen-soldiers and the 450th birthday of the Florida National Guard, on Wednesday, September 16th, 2015, Florida Living History, Inc. will partner with the Florida National Guard and Florida Department of Military Affairs to present “First Muster 2015”.
On September 16, 1565, Admiral Don Bartolomé Menéndez de Avilés, Don Pedro’s older brother and San Agustín’s first mayor, mustered the first militia troops in the continental United States to defend the newly founded Spanish pueblo of San Agustín de la Florida against pending attack by the French.
“This is the sixth year that living historians from Florida Living History, Inc., have been invited to participate in the first muster event,” president Davis Walker told local Historic City News reporters. “Our re-enactors are clothed in authentic garb and armed with the weapons of sixteenth-century citizen-soldiers who formed America’s first militia.”
This year’s event will feature a re-enactment of the 1565 militia enlistment and a reenlistment ceremony at 4:00 p.m. of today’s Florida National Guard soldiers and airmen on the parade ground of the Florida National Guard’s headquarters at the St. Francis Barracks, 82 Marine Street in St Augustine.
Before and after the First Muster Event, the Florida National Guard’s 13th Army Band will play military airs.
The St. Augustine Officer’s Club will be open immediately following the First Muster Event until 6:00 p.m. Admission to this heritage event is free, as will be the St. Francis Barracks Museum.
Founded in St. Augustine, Florida, in 2009, Florida Living History, Inc. (FLH), is a community based, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization of volunteers dedicated to educating the public about Florida’s colonial and territorial history, using living-history programs, demonstrations, and recreated portrayals of significant historical events. FLH’s numerous heritage Events are funded solely through corporate-private donations, FLH fund-raising, and state-national grants. No local public funds are utilized.