Located near the mouth of the St. Johns River, this site was an important military position during the Civil War, allowing access to the inland areas of Florida's east coast. There was never an actual fort on Yellow Bluff, but an encampment that was fortified and equipped with large guns for protection. Constructed in 1862, the site was occupied by both Confederate and Union troops during the Civil War and-at its peak-housed over 250 soldiers. The site has a T-shaped earthworks and covers about 1.3 acres.
Although the park is called Yellow Bluff Fort, no actual fort stood here. Instead, in 1862, Confederate soldiers strategically built and fortified earthworks overlooking the St. Johns River, allowing them to watch the important waterway for enemy ships. In the same year it was fortified, Yellow Bluff was taken by Union troops and remained in their hands through the end of the war.
After taking Yellow Bluff in 1862, Union troops maintained possession of the spot. Following the Union defeat at the Battle of Olustee in February 1864, members of the 55th Massachusetts Regiment, an African-American unit, arrived at Yellow Bluff to fortify the location against possible Confederate attack. A signal station was also erected at Yellow Bluff by members of the Signal Corps.
Simple fabric tents, such as the one shown here, provided shelter to soldiers in the field during the Civil War. Troops stationed at Yellow Bluff likely would have slept in tents such as these. At one time, Yellow Bluff was home to more than 250 soldiers.
This monument, erected in memory of the Confederate soldiers who defended Jacksonville during the war, reminds visitors of the men on both sides who lived and served here nearly 150 years ago.