News Release

Civil War on Santa Rosa Island: A Day of Special Programs at Fort Pickens

Three men in blue Civil War uniforms stand around a cannon of the same period.
Living history programs provide an immersive experience for visitors to Fort Pickens.

NPS Photo

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News Release Date: July 23, 2018

Contact: Brent Everitt, 850-934-2600

Gulf Breeze, Fla. – Gulf Islands National Seashore announced a special day of programming exploring the lives of soldiers stationed at Fort Pickens during the Civil War. Special programs will be available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 4 at historic Fort Pickens. With help from longtime living history partner, The Walton Guard, the National Park Service will present musket and artillery demonstrations, civil war music, camp life displays, and other ranger programs specifically geared toward the soldiers experience during the Civil War.

A pop-up junior ranger tent will be open from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. just outside the fort. Children can learn about Civil War uniforms and equipment, try on different uniform pieces, and participate in a scavenger hunt. Older children can join the Awkward Brigade, learning how to drill like a Civil War soldier and then write a letter home describing their experience.

All programs are free and open to the public. Programs can change or be cancelled without warning, particularly due to weather. There is an entrance fee for the Fort Pickens Area; the historic fort is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to sunset. Built between 1828 and 1833, Fort Pickens was originally intended to defend the newly formed state of Florida from foreign invasion. Ultimately, it would only see combat during the Civil War though the fort and surrounding batteries, added over the years, remained active until 1947. In 1971, the fort was incorporated into Gulf Islands National Seashore.

About Gulf Islands National Seashore: Created in 1971, the national seashore stretches 160 miles along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida and Mississippi, and includes barrier islands, maritime forests, historic forts, bayous, and marine habitat. Visit us at, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at, on Facebook and Twitter



Last updated: July 23, 2018

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1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway
Gulf Breeze, FL 32563


(850) 934-2600

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