The Lower Mississippi River Water Trail

Appendix

Rivergator Appendix 9
Baton Rouge to Gulf of Mexico
Lower Miss Forts - researched by Paul Orr

78.1 RBD - Fort St. Leon

Fort St. Leon was the name of a French fort, as well as an American fort, each established at a section on the Mississippi River below New Orleans known as English Turn. The French fort was begun in 1749 but was abandoned by the time of the administration of the Spanish governor, O'Reilly, in 1768. The American fort was begun in 1809 but was abandoned about 1815-1817.

French Period: Fort Détour à l'Anglais (1722 - 1765), originally three earthwork batteries at English Turn. Rebuilt in 1748 as two nearly identical 30-gun stockaded earthworks (a 10-gun crescent with five four-gun redans each) located across from each other just north of Belle Chasse (Batterie de l'Anse) and at English Turn (Batterie de la Pointe). Later rebuilt again in 1754 as four-bastioned squares, renamed Fort St. Leon (19 guns) and Fort Ste. Marie (21 guns) respectively.

Spanish Period: Fort San Leon (1766 - 1780 ?) near Belle Chasse (see above). In ruins by 1780.

American Period: Fort St. Leon (1808 - 1817) was built on the site of French Fort St. Leon near Belle Chasse. Built for nine guns, only four were emplaced in 1814. Also built were a magazine, two barracks, officers' quarters, kitchen, and guardhouse. It was not attacked by the British in December 1814. It was completed in January 1815, but later dismantled.


78.1 LBD - Fort St. Marie

French Period: Fort Détour à l'Anglais (1722 - 1765), originally three earthwork batteries at English Turn. Rebuilt in 1748 as two nearly identical 30-gun stockaded earthworks (a 10-gun crescent with five four-gun redans each) located across from each other just north of Belle Chasse (Batterie de l'Anse) and at English Turn (Batterie de la Pointe). Later rebuilt again in 1754 as four-bastioned squares, renamed Fort St. Leon (19 guns) and Fort Ste. Marie (21 guns) respectively.

Spanish Period: Fort Santa Maria (1766 - 1780 ?) at English Turn. In ruins by 1780.

American Period: A fortified camp for barracks to house up to 3000 troops was built at the site of French Fort Ste. Marie at old Wood's Ville.


20 RBD Fort Jackson

(1824 - 1920's) Completed in 1832, Fort Jackson was originally built similar to Fort Morgan in Mobile, Alabama. In 1858 the exterior Lower and Upper Water Batteries were built to either flank of the fort. The Confederates gained control in 1861, but the star-shaped 69-gun fort was captured by the Union in April 1862. The interior barracks were destroyed. The Lower Battery was rebuilt in 1872 - 1876 for ten guns and five magazines. It was armed with at least two mounted 15-inch Rodman guns in 1898. It still exists, now seperated from the fort by a modern levee. Several gun fragments still remain. The two coverface batteries on the fort's outerworks were also rebuilt for four guns each. The lower coverface battery still exists. The upper coverface battery was later removed to built Battery Millar. Two new gun platforms and two magazines were built in the north bastion of the fort in 1874. Endicott batteries here are Battery Ransom (1899 - 1918), which is inside the old fort and is now used for park offices; and Battery Millar (1901 - 1920). (Paul Orr)


20.1 LBD - Fort St. Philip

(1761 - 1765, 1792 - 1923) Directly across the Mississippi River from Fort Jackson, at Bayou Mardi Gras. A small French work known as Fort St. Philippe (1761 - 1765) was first located here. It was abandoned. The Spanish then built Fort San Felipe de Placaminas (1792 - 1803) (18 guns). Suffered hurricane damage in 1793 and 1794. Became American in 1803. Also known as Fort Plaquemines and Fort at Plaquemines Bend. Suffered hurricane damage in 1814. It was strengthened in December 1814 after a British naval attack, and rebuilt in 1841. Suffered hurricane damage in 1854. Two Water Batteries were located to either flank of the fort just before the Civil War. Controlled by Confederates in 1861 - 1862, the 45-gun fort was captured by the Union in April 1862 along with Fort Jackson. Abandoned in 1871, but regarrisoned after smuggled liquor was found here. In 1872 the water batteries were reworked and joined together with a new section along the front of the fort to form a continuous 25-gun battery. At least ten guns were mounted by the 1890's. An unnamed battery of two M1888 8-inch BL guns on modified 15-inch Rodman carriages was located here in 1898 - 1899. The water battery was largely built over and/or destroyed by the later batteries, although several platforms and magazines are still extant. Endicott batteries here are Battery Pike (1898 - 1919), Battery Forse (1899 - 1918), Battery Merrill (1907 - 1920), Battery Ridgely (1899 - 1913), Battery Scott (1901 - 1920), and Battery Brooke (1904 - 1920). (Paul Orr)