The morning sun over Pensacola on July 17, 1821, shone on a scene of historic pageantry not since repeated in Florida’s history. During the early hours of that day a full company of Spanish troops, dismounted dragoons of the regiment of Tarragona who were elegantly clad and equipped, paraded in the plaza before the Government House. A few miles away, through the flat piney woods, came elements of the Fourth United States Infantry and Fourth United States Artillery regiments with flags flying and band playing. At their heads rode the gaunt gray figure of Andrew Jackson. After almost two months of tedious, irksome, and-so far as Jackson was concerned-unnecessarily time-consuming negotiations, the surrender by Spain of the province of West Florida to the United States was about to be consummated. At half-past six, Jackson and a few of his staff entered the city and took breakfast with Mrs. Jackson who was already established in a house near the plaza. At about eight o’clock a battalion of the Fourth Infantry and a company of the Fourth Artillery were drawn up by Colonel George M. Brooke opposite the Spanish troops on the plaza, which is still the plaza today. After the two bodies of troops had saluted each other, Brooke detached four companies of infantry under Major James E. Dinkins to take possession of Fort Barrancas nine miles away.
Doherty, Jr., Herbert J.
"Ante-Bellum Pensacola: 1821-1860,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 37:
3, Article 9.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol37/iss3/9