The Key of the South [United States], showing Fort Pickens and vicinity
The Key of the South, showing Fort Pickens & Vicinity, Position of Forts, Batteries, Fleet and soundings of every part of Pensacola Bay. Drawn by M.K. Couzins, C.E. Produced by M.K. Couzens and published by W. Schaus, The Key of the South, showing Fort Pickens and the Vicinity depicts the fortifications and fleet positions in Pensacola Bay, Florida in 1861. Fort Pickens was one a handful of forts within the Confederacy that the Union kept control of and it was fiercely defended throughout the war. It was also where troops went after Fort Barrancas was evacuated in January 1861. Some have argued that the small fire-fight that occurred on this occasion marked the start of the war as opposed to the firing on Fort Sumter four months later. The Bay itself had been home to Navy bases, building yards and federal forts since the War of 1812 and was a key strategic region for naval defences.