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A platted town was established there in 1822, a year after the United States gained Florida from Spain; it was named after Andrew Jackson, the first military governor of the Florida Territory and seventh President of the United States.
Harbor improvements since the late 19th century have made Jacksonville a major military and civilian deep-water port.
The city was blockaded by Union forces, who gained control of nearby Fort Clinch.
Though no battles were fought in Jacksonville proper, the city changed hands several times between Union and Confederate forces.
During the American Civil War, Jacksonville was a key supply point for hogs and cattle being shipped from Florida to feed the Confederate forces.
On September 20, 1565, a Spanish force from the nearby Spanish settlement of St.
Augustine attacked Fort Caroline, and killed nearly all the French soldiers defending it.
The Spanish renamed the fort San Mateo, and following the ejection of the French, St.
Augustine's position as the most important settlement in Florida was solidified. Johns River at a narrow point, which the Seminole called Wacca Pilatka and the British called the Cow Ford; these names ostensibly reflect the fact that cattle were brought across the river there.