These are REAL Civil War cannons set into the side of a wall to reinforce it against attack. As old cannons cracked or were damaged in battle they were moved several feet from their prior position and built directly into the wall providing an even stronger fortress.
Welcome back to the Civil War Fort Zachary Taylor used by the Northern Yankee Troops during the entire war. Most find it hard to believe that the southernmost city in the United States was a Yankee stronghold instead of held by the Rebel south.
This blog will concentrate on the upper portions of the fort where the cannons once stood ready in defense of this nation. The upper deck is very wide in parts to accommodate the massive size and number of cannons needed to repel unwanted advances on its sovereignty. Pictured are a number of those former cannon positions, notice the half-moon oval-shaped iron plates built into the floor. These enabled the back of the cannon to be pushed into position in either direction by wheels that sat horizontally beneath it. The large square metal plates on the other hand served as the central pivot point for each cannon. You can also see that these cannons were side-by-side and two rows deep in some places.
You might ask, “How could they have seen or shot the opposition forces through the trees?”. Well, I assure you it was added later as landfill as the forts need diminished and the city needed more land. Also shown below are large iron rings commonly known as knockers that were used to tie off & move equipment around the upper deck. And YES, I’ve heard all of the “Big Knocker” jokes before! 🙂 Lastly are several manually hand cranked elevators used to bring up munitions from a lower safe storage area.
This fort is AWESOME and nearly NO ONE ever makes it here staying most of their trip centralized around Duval Street. So get out and see this historic Civil War Fort Zachary Taylor… you won’t regret it! You can find the fort in the area of town known as the Old Navy Pier and cost approx. $4 (1 person) or $7.50 (2 people) for an all day pass that can again be used at sunset.