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Strategically located to protect the the southern coast of Georgia, Fort Clinch is an important landmark in US history. Construction began in 1847 but was interrupted by the Civil War. Originally controlled by Confederate forces, the fort was overtaken by Union troops in 1862. The fort was vacated in 1869 and only called back into service following events of the Spanish-American War. The fort experienced intermittent use and neglect until 1935 when it became Florida's first state park. A civilian army of workers commissioned by Roosevelt's New Deal did most of the restoration (See: History of Fort Clinch, Florida State Parks.)