Pensacola liberated from British Rule in 1781

By H. Charles McBarron, Jr. – US Army Center of Military History, Public Domain,

By H. Charles McBarron, Jr. – US Army Center of Military History, Public Domain,

On this week’s Florida History Podcast, we discuss the 1781 liberation of Pensacola from British rule during the American Revolutionary War.

In March 1781, The Spanish launched a siege against Pensacola. Gálvez had close to 20,000 troops at his disposal including about 2,500 French troops. The British defended the city with only about 2,000 troops and Native Americans.

The Spanish began a siege to the fortified town on March 9. During the siege periodic attacks of Spanish forces by British regulars or Native American allies would take place, but all were beaten back.

The British and their native American allies were defeated after two months, surrendering the town on May 8.

The entirety of West Florida fell into Spanish hands by the end of May 1781. However, East Florida continued to be secure and a militarized protector of the British possessions in the Caribbean which were facing potential French attack during the final phase of the Revolutionary War.

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