Between 40 and 50 soldiers were stationed at the Mission San Luis de Apalachee, Florida at any one time. Many belonged to the St. Augustine garrison and were went to San Luis on tours of duty. The fort’s blockhouse served as both a living and sleeping quarters. Soldiers passed the time by playing dice and cards or by playing guitars and other stringed instruments. Apalachee natives were friends of the Spanish and sometimes battled alongside them when fighting the English.
Mission San Luis de Apalachee – Home to the Spanish Soldier, Priest and Tradesmen
San Luis was the western capital of Florida during the 17th century and the Spanish were the first Europeans to settle in the area. The Mission here is the only reconstructed mission in Spanish Florida.
The Apalachee Indians were descended from the natives encountered by Hernando de Soto in 1539. At its peak it was home to 1,600 natives as well as a Spanish deputy governor, soldiers, friars and civiliants. The natives and Spanish burned the mission to the ground two days before an English-led attack force reached them.
From Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico: N-Z, edited by Frederick Webb Hodge:
Town and mission of the Apalachee, formerly situated, according to Fairbanks, 2 miles west of the present Tallahassee, Florida. The settlement is named in the letter of the Chiefs to the King of Spain in 1688 and was destroyed with the mission church and Fort in 1704