The Calvin Shedd Papers > Background > Coquina Stone

Coquina Stone

Date(s) of Letter(s) Fretwell, Jacqueline, Ed. Civil War Times in St. Augustine. St. Augustine, Florida: St. Augustine Historical Society, 1986.

Little, Henry F. W. The Seventh Regiment New Hampshire Volunteers in the War of the Rebellion. Concord, New Hampshire: The Seventh New Hampshire Veteran Association, 1896.


October 12, 1862
Fort Marion, like many southern Spanish forts, was built of a stone and shell combination, often referred to as "coquina stone."  Little describes the Fort:  "Built of the beautiful "coquina," a sort of stone composed of shells and shell fragments, and which was principally quarried on Anastasia Island, where, as history informs us, for more than a century, hundreds of men toiled in the quarries, wresting out of the material now contained in its massive walls, which have withstood both the attacks of time and armies, it stands as a grand old monument of past ages."  (Little, pp. 75-76)

"In Spanish times the Castillo [Fort Marion] walls could absorb cannon balls to a limited depth due to the coquina stone.  In the 1850's, however, the development of rifled cannons made the stone and brick forts obsolete....The Castillo was never fired on with rifled cannon."    (Fretwell,  p. 62).