Fort Pickens was the largest of these. Although the fort was completed in 1839, its 122 guns were not installed until sometime fort bragg map pdf 1843 and 1845. It is likely that many of these guns were not in place for some time due to several issues, the most important of which was a problem with rot beginning in the second tier wooden decking.
These men were joined by E Company, 7th Infantry in July. Fort Barrancas on the mainland. The strength of the entire US Army on 1 December 1853 was reported at 10,417, so commanders had to be effective in use of troops. The other two Pensacola area forts were manned in a similar way until the outbreak of the Civil War. January 8, 1861 the Union soldiers at Ft Barnacus fired upon the Florida Militia effectively firing the first shots of the war. Over the next several months, both sides built new cannon batteries and brought in more personnel.
The opposing forces engaged in cannon duels many times but with little effect. Fort Pickens that was ultimately unsuccessful. Union forces, felt this attack required an answer and planned an attack of his own. A fall in tide and the onset of darkness caused the two ships to withdraw. After the days fight, General Bragg sent messengers out to ascertain the extent of damage to the Confederate defenses.
Villepique, advised that his position was heavily exposed on most sides and that half his weapons had been dismounted and their powder stores unprotected. Villepique stated he was unable to return fire and asked to sabotage the fort and withdraw. Worried about the effect the retreat would have not only on his men but the enemy as well, Bragg denied the request. The end of fighting that day signaled the end of the Colonel Brown’s attack.
Large chunks of the wall were blown away while other portions had holes shot clean through by the cannon shells. In one area a section of wall totally collapsed. Most of the wood decking within the fort had gone up in flames while one powder magazine caved in, killing six Confederates in the process. Although there was an artillery duel on 1 January 1862, the fort was not a participant in that action.