“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Pensacola Beach in Escambia County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)

Apache Prisoners

Apache Prisoners Marker image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, July 10, 2015
1. Apache Prisoners Marker
In 1886 the U.S. Army exiled 400 Apaches from the Southwest to Florida and sent most of them to Fort Marion in St. Augustine. Several Pensacola citizens, however, petitioned the government to imprison Geronimo, a medicine man and warrior, and 15 other Apache men at Fort Pickens instead, separating them from their families. Prisoners worked seven-hour days, clearing overgrown weeds, planting grass, and stacking cannonballs. The families were reunited at Fort Pickens in 1887. One year later all of the imprisoned Apaches were moved to Mobile because of a yellow fever scare and later to Fort Sill in Oklahoma Territory.

I was born on the prairies where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures.

The U.S. Army transported Geronimo (foreground, third from right) and other Apaches by train to Florida from what is now New Mexico and Arizona.

After being captured, Geronimo (above) never saw his homeland again. He died and was buried in 1909 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He remains a fascinating – and controversial – figure in American history.
Erected by United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service.
Apache Prisoners Marker at Fort Pickens image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, July 10, 2015
2. Apache Prisoners Marker at Fort Pickens
The marker can be seen next to the footpath near the upper center of the photo.
30° 19.593′ N, 87° 17.445′ W. Marker is near Pensacola Beach, Florida, in Escambia County. Marker can be reached from Fort Pickens Road 9 miles west of Pensacola Beach Boulevard (Road 399), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. The marker is located along the footpath that leads from Stop 11 to Stop 12 in the Fort Pickens walking tour. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1400 Fort Pickens Road, Gulf Breeze FL 32561, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort within a Fort (within shouting distance of this marker); Converting a Cannon (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Deadly Explosion (about 500 feet away); Step Back in History (about 600 feet away); Swatting Mosquitoes (about 700 feet away); Dueling with Confederates (about 700 feet away); Beefing Up Defenses (about 700 feet away); Battery Cullum, Battery Sevier (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pensacola Beach.
Also see . . .  Fort Pickens. Gulf Islands National Seashore. National Park Service. (Submitted on July 27, 2015.) 
Categories. Forts, CastlesNative AmericansWars, US Indian
Inside Fort Pickens image. Click for full size.
By Karl Stelly, July 10, 2015
3. Inside Fort Pickens
This photo shows the area where Geronimo and some of the Apache prisoners were kept during their stay at Fort Pickens.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 20, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 25, 2015, by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 251 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 25, 2015, by Karl Stelly of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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