Fort Walton (1861-1862) - First established as a Confederate fortification in 1861 by Florida Militia, Walton Guard, during the U.S. Civil War. Initially named Camp Walton after Colonel George Walton, secretary of West Florida (1821-1822), but popularly known as Fort Walton. Located in present day Fort Walton Beach, in Okaloosa County, Florida. Abandoned in 1862 after the fall of Pensacola.
This fort was constructed to guard the east pass leading into Pensacola Bay in 1861. The post was established in present day Fort Walton Beach by militia troops of the Walton Guard who later became part of the 1st Florida Infantry. The location was previously the site of an Indian burial mound that was used as a ceremonial center from about 12000 AD to 1700 AD. The post was built at the base of the mound on an Indian plaza.
Fort Walton came under attack 1 Apr 1862 from Union troops under Captain Henry W. Closson of the 1st U.S. Artillery who marched up Santa Rosa Island from Fort Pickens and sent artillery fire from a rifled cannon into the Confederate post. It was this attack that prompted General Braxton Bragg to send a cannon from Fort Barrancas to Fort Walton to improve the defense.
Pensacola fell to Union forces in May 1862 and Fort Walton was abandoned on 26 Aug 1862. The garrison of 1st Forida Infantry troops was sent to Tennessee.
Part of the City of Fort Walton Beach Heritage Park & Cultural Center, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa County, Florida. A single period cannon is on display. This 18-pounder cannon was sent from Fort Barrancas by General Braxton Bragg to arm this fort after it was shelled by Union artillery in 1862. The cannon was spiked and buried when the fort was abandoned in 1862. Recovered on site.
Visited: 12 Jan 2012