Historic Markers Across Florida

First Spanish Muster Site in Florida

Marker ID: FLHM F-848
Location: in front of the Fountain of Youth on Magnolia Ave., St. Augustine, FL
County: St. Johns
Coordinates: N 29° 54.447    W 081° 18.981
  29.90745    -81.31635
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMQC6D


The first muster of Spanish militiamen in the newly-established presidio (fortified encampment) of St. Augustine took place in St. Augustine took place in September of 1565, Adelantado Pedro Menedez de Aviles assembled 500 regular soldiers to attack the French settlement at Fort Caroline on the St. John's River while the French sailed south towards St. Augustine. Staying behind in the presidio was a group of some 100 civilians including craftsmen, laborers, farmers, priests, wives, and children. Among them, free white men were pressed into military service in accordance with Spanish law to defend the community and protect its supplies against a possible counterattack. Menendez's victory at Fort Caroline helped to secure St. Augustine against further French threat. The Florida National Guard honors September 15, 1565, as the first muster of Florida's militia and therefore the birthdate of the militia in what was to become the United States. St. Augustine is the oldest permanently occupied European settlement in the continental United States.
F-848 The Department of Military Affairs, 2015
The Florida National Guard,
and the Florida Department of State