16th Century Reenactment - Drake's Raid of 1586
St. Augustine, Florida - June 4, 2005
70 photos, 1 mpg by Wes Mayhle
Drake's Raid of 1586
Here are 70 photos I took while attending a reenactment of an event (wikipedia description) that took place over 400 years ago in the year 1586. The reenactors made camp at the Fountain of Youth Park, where, in 1513 Ponce de Leon came ashore and recorded the discovery of North America. It is also the site of an ancient Indian village named Seloy. Today archeological digs are underway and artifacts recovered indicate Timucua (natives) habitation for more than 1,000 years prior to Ponce de Leon's landing.
I arrived before many of the reenactors under threatening skies. I photographed the various reenactors around camp as they set up and rehearsed while entertaining the public that slowly trickled through. I also caught several swordsmen fencing and rehearsing their fight scenes. Watch the video to see short clips of their swordplay. Towards the afternoon I made my way down to one of my favorite places in St. Augustine: the Castillo de San Marcos, which is the oldest remaining European fortification in the continental states. I took some photographs of the castle. You can see them on another page. I then took a short nap after finding a quiet parking spot. When I awoke I was surprised that I had parked 1 block from where the reenactors were to start their battle. What luck! I helped them put up some spectator tape and unload their cannons. I then photographed their battle and marched with them through the "old town" down to the "square" where the battle concluded as the sun left the sky. It was well after dark as I walked back to my van. Traveling out of town, I gave a weary reenactor a ride back to the camp along with some of his buddies' heavy armor. St. Augustine is a beautiful town full of history ....... and tourists.
copied from Drakes Raid website : a letter from Pedro Menéndez Marqués to the president of the House of Trade, San Agustin, June 17, 1586 Very Illustrious Sir, I am reduced to such a situation that I do not know where to begin to relate the hardship and misery which have befallen this land. Therefore this communication will not be long, as will be observed. On the 6th instant Francis Drake arrived at this port with 42 sail, 23 being large vessels and nineteen pinnaces, frigates and shallops. At dawn on the 7th he landed 500 men and with seven large pinnaces sought me forthwith in the fort. With 80 men I had in the fort I resisted him until nearly midday. In view of my resistance he sent to the ships which lay outside the bar for reinforcements, and in nine vessels landed some 2000 men and planted four pieces of artillery among certain sand dunes near the fort, with which he began to batter it. I retired as best I could, to protect my women and children (more than 200 persons). Having occupied the fort, the enemy took and sacked the town and burned the church with its images and crosses, and cut down the fruit trees, which were numerous and good. He burned the fort and carried off the artillery and munitions and food supplies. We are all left with the clothes we stood in, and in the open country with a little munition which was hidden. We are without food of any sort except six hogsheads of flour which will last twenty days at half a pound per head. I am reporting to His Majesty in full in the accompanying dispatch and entreat your lordship to forward it immediately, and to favour me as far and as speedily as possible, since help for Florida must come from your lordship's hands. Our Lord, etc. San Agustin, June 17, 1586. Pedro Menéndez Marqués
See other Drake's Raid photos: 2006 Battle
The movies presented on this website are usually 5 min or less and were shot with an older digital camera for your enjoyment. They are most often clips from the battle reenactment. To see all my video's go to the Movies page. I commonly use Background music from purchased 97th Regimental String Band CD's or selections downloaded from Incompetech.
Go to our US Civil War page to learn more about the war.