War Games

Drakes Raid with Elaine and Conrad 2 June 2007 232// by Mary Hamel

In 1586, Sir Francis Drake led several thousand Englishmen who stormed St. Augustine. The severely outnumbered Spanish soldiers quickly fled.

“They took the fort, artillery pieces, silver in the pay chest and plundered the town for what they could,” says Brian Bowman, member of St. Augustine re-enactors group Men of Menendez.

On June 3, Bowman and his comrades reenact what’s come to be known as Drake’s Raid, beginning at the Fountain of Youth in a recreated 16th century military camp and concluding at 7 PM with a mock battle between sides and the raid through the city.

“The event commemorates and brings to life the history of what occurred on the original streets. It’s a theatrical
creation, a symbolic imitation of what happened,” says Bowman.