Fort Brooke, 1823-1883
Fort Brooke was created in 1823 and saw minor action during the Civil War. This marker denotes the location of the Fort Brooke Cemetery.
The fort held numerous troops during the Second and Third Seminole War. This image of the fort from about 1840 demonstrates how it grew during that period.
Portrait of Lieutenant James Gadsden, one of the founders of Fort Brooke
Sketch of the USS Adela, one of two Union ships that bombarded Fort Brooke
USS Tahoma, the other UNion ship to bombard Fort Brooke
Depiction of one of the Seminole attacks on the fort
1838 map of the fort
1870s-early 1880s photo of troops stationed at Fort Brooke
Pencil sketch of Captain's Quarters in 1845
Backstory and Context
Fort Brooke was one of the frontline defenses of Tampa and the western Florida coast during the three Seminole Wars, of which the fort was attacked by the Seminoles one at least one occasion. Fort Brooke is most famous for the Battle of Fort Brooke, which took place in October of 1863. The fort was attacked by two Union ships during that attack, but the Union Navy's goal was not to take the fort. Instead, this attack was meant to tie up Confederate defenders while they landed troops at at Ballast Point and captured other ships that were located upriver from the fort. A year later Union forces captured both the fort and Tampa. As Tampa languished during the post-war years, so too did the fort. The fort was decommissioned in 1883.