Fort Frederica National
6515 Frederica Rd.
St. Simons Island, GA 31522
Explore Fort Frederica!
Centuries old conflict decided on St. Simons
Georgia's fate was decided in 1742 when
Spanish and British forces clashed on St. Simons Island. Fort
Frederica's troops defeated the Spanish, ensuring Georgia's future
as a British colony. Today, the archeological remnants of Frederica
are protected by the National Park Service.
Coming South on Interstate 95 to U.S. 17:
Take Exit 38 and turn left onto Spur 25/Golden Isles Parkway. Follow
Spur 25 until it ends at U.S. 17. Take a right onto U.S. 17 (south).
Coming North on Interstate 95 to U.S. 17:
Take Exit 29 and turn right onto U.S.
U.S. 17 to Fort Frederica:
From U.S. 17, take the F.J. Torras
Causeway to St. Simons Island. At first traffic light on the island,
turn left onto Sea Island Road. Go 1.5 miles to next traffic light,
and turn left onto Frederica Road. Follow Frederica Road for two
miles (take second right off roundabout). The park entrance is
located 300 yards past Christ Church.
Bloody Marsh Unit
In 1742, during the War of Jenkins' Ear,
English and Spanish forces fought in an encounter later known as the
"Battle of Bloody Marsh". The origin of the name came from
the marsh supposedly "running red with the blood of
Spaniards". However, official Spanish records indicate that
only seven grenadiers died during this battle. Due to the efforts of
Lt. Patrick Sutherland of the (old) 42nd Regiment of Foot and the
Highlanders from Darien, the battle was a British victory, ending
the Spanish claim to Georgia.
In the early 18th century, the land lying
between British South Carolina and Spanish Florida was known as the
debatable land. This land (today's Georgia) was the epicenter of a
centuries-old imperial conflict between Spain and Britain.
Fort Frederica was established in 1736 by
James Oglethorpe to protect the southern boundary of his new colony
of Georgia from the Spanish in Florida. Colonists from England,
Scotland, and the Germanic states came to Georgia to support this
Named for Frederick Louis, the Prince of Wales
(1702-1754), Frederica was a military outpost consisting of a fort
and town. The entire area was fortified with a palisade wall and
earthen rampart. The fort's location on the Frederica River allowed
it to control ship travel.
Oglethorpe's foresight in establishing
Frederica was rewarded in 1742 during the War of Jenkins' Ear.
Spanish forces from Florida and Cuba landed on St. Simons Island.
Oglethorpe's attack on a Spanish reconnaissance party at Gully Hole
Creek led to the battle at "Bloody Marsh". Despite the
name, casualties were light and the Spanish continued their campaign
on St. Simons. Clever deception on Oglethorpe's part convinced the
Spanish to retreat from Georgia seven days later.
This British victory not only confirmed that
Georgia was British territory, but also signaled the end for
Frederica. When peace was declared, Frederica's Garrison (the
original 42nd Regiment of Foot) was disbanded, and eventually the
town fell into decline. Today the archeological remains of colonial
Frederica are protected by the National Park Service.
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