Dry Moat and Drawbridge
The Advanced Redoubt was
surrounded by a dry moat that
protected it from attack.
Infantry Positions
Small positions like this were
located outside the main
redoubt to serve as infantry
positions in case of attack.
Advanced Redoubt of Fort Barrancas - Pensacola, Florida
Advanced Redoubt of Fort Barrancas - Pensacola, Florida
Advanced Redoubt of Fort Barrancas - Pensacola, Florida
The Advanced Redoubt
This unique 19th century fort is located at
Florida's Pensacola Naval Air Station.
Land Defense of Fort Barrancas
The least known of the huge masonry forts
built by the United States during the 19th
century to defend Pensacola Bay is also the
most unique.

Located on board the Pensacola Naval Air
Station, the Advanced Redoubt of Fort
Barrancas is now preserved as a part of Gulf
Islands National Seashore. It is the only one
of the fascinating old forts around the bay that
is not within sight of the water.

The Advanced Redoubt, sometimes called
Fort Redoubt, was built to defend the land
approaches to both Fort Barrancas and the
Pensacola Navy Yard. As a result, its design
and construction is markedly different from
the other Pensacola Bay forts.

Fort Barrancas, located just a few hundred
yards away, was a powerful defense against
a naval attack on the bay. It was designed so
that its artillery could sweep the main ship
channel of the bay. With the additional guns
Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island and
Fort McRee on Foster's Bank (now Perdido
Key), Barrancas was part of a tiered system
that would subject any attacking warship to
an overwhelming crossfire of cannon fire.

The fort, however, was exposed to a land
attack. The Spanish learned this in 1818
when Andrew Jackson was able to plant
artillery on a nearby hilltop within range of
their fort on the same site.

Taking note of this defect, U.S. engineers
sought to resolve this situation by building a
powerful fort or "redoubt" on high ground to
the rear of Fort Barrancas. Entirely designed
to defend against a land assault, the fort was
designed to be held by a small body of
infantry with a few field guns against an
overwhelming enemy attack.

Work on the Advanced Redoubt began in
1845 and was still incomplete when state
troops seized the fort at the beginning of the
Civil War. Since the Confederate army was
never threatened by a Union land assault, the
fort did not figure prominently in its efforts.
The Advanced Redoubt assumed greater
significance when Federal troops reoccupied
Fort Barrancas in 1862 following the
withdrawal of Confederate forces from the

The fort was the key defense for the large
Union military camps maintained at what is
now the Pensacola Naval Air Station. A line of
entrenchments connected the redoubt to Fort
Barrancas and the works were never
seriously threatened.

The Advanced Redoubt is located adjacent to
Fort Barrancas and the National Museum of
Naval Aviation. The grounds are open daily.
The fort is part of Gulf Islands National
The Advanced Redoubt
Field guns atop the redoubt
could sweep the area while
soldiers fired from rifle ports.
Sally Port of the Redoubt
By closing their drawbridge,
defenders could tightly seal
the redoubt against attack.
Copyright 2012 and 2013 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Updated: June 10, 2013
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