St. Augustine, Fla. (June 17, 2023) – History comes to life on Florida’s Historic Coast as the Fort Mose Historical Society presents the Battle of Bloody Mose at Fort Mose Historic State Park on June 22, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Since 2010, this annual re-enactment showcases the pivotal battle between the invading British, Scottish, and Native American troops and the prevailing Spanish, Free Black, and Native American militia.

El Pueblo de Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, better known as Fort Mose, was established in 1738 as the nation’s first legally sanctioned free Black settlement. The community of former slaves pledged allegiance to the King of Spain, vowing to defend La Florida. Located just two miles north of St. Augustine’s historic downtown, Fort Mose was Spain’s first line of defense against the British in Georgia.

The Battle of Bloody Mose was part of the War of Jenkins’ Ear, fought between Britain and Spain from 1739 to 1748. General James Oglethorpe led an invading force into Spanish Florida and, by 1740, had set up a naval blockade and captured most of St. Augustine’s outermost defensive network, including Fort Mose. The commemorative event reenacts General Manuel Joaquín de Montiano y Sopelana’s daring plan to launch a surprise attack just before dawn on the British encampment at Fort Mose. A troop of Spanish soldiers, free Black militia, and allied Seminole fighters stealthily left the Castillo de San Marcos and marched north on June 26, 1740. They caught the British encampment off guard, resulting in a near-annihilation of its ranks.

At the Battle of Bloody Mose re-enactment on June 22, watch as living historians bring the battle to life, including live firings of muskets and cannons. The opening ceremony begins at 10 a.m., with the first battle at 11 a.m. and the second battle at 1 p.m. The event is free, but the Fort Mose Historical Society gratefully accepts donations. Visitors can also see the progress of the 1738 fort reconstruction, a joint effort between the Florida State Parks Foundation and the Fort Mose Historical Society, started in February of this year, with completion expected later in 2024.

As home to the Nation’s Oldest City, Florida’s Historic Coast offers over 450 years of history for visitors to experience. Visit to explore activities and deals and use the convenient trip planner to plan an authentically Florida visit to St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and The Beaches.

Florida’s Historic Coast includes historic St. Augustine, the outstanding golf and seaside elegance of Ponte Vedra, the rural beauty of Hastings, Elkton, St. Johns, and 42 miles of pristine Atlantic beaches. Visitor Information Centers are located at 10 Castillo Drive, St. Augustine; 200 Solana Rd. Suite B, Ponte Vedra Beach: and at the St. Johns County Beach Pier Park, 350 A1A Beach Blvd., St. Augustine Beach.

Media Release: St. Johns County VCB