Fort Gratiot

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Fort Gratiot (1814-1879) - A U.S. Army Fort established in 1814 during the War of 1812 by Captain Charles C. Gratiot, 2nd U.S. Infantry, in present day Port Huron, St. Clair County, Michigan. Named after the builder, Captain Charles C. Gratiot, 2nd U.S. Infantry. Abandoned 1821 through 1828 and garrisoned after that until 1879 when it was permanently abandoned.

Fort Gratiot Hospital/Officer Quarters Building Under Restoration (2013)
Fort Gratiot Marker Text
Fort Gratiot Site with Marker in Foreground and Blue Water International Bridge in Background

Fort Gratiot History

A U.S. Army Fort established 14 May 1814 during the War of 1812 by Captain Charles C. Gratiot and men from the 2nd U.S. Infantry at the head of the St. Clair River at Lake Huron.

The fort was constructed close to the shore of the Saint Clair River as a rectangular fortification 190' by 290' with bastions at each corner. The river side wall was made of vertical log pickets while the other three sides and the bastions were earthworks with a wide, shallow ditch in front of each. The fort had nine cannons initially emplaced including two 18-pounders, two 12 pounders, four 6-pounders and one howitzer. The 18-pounders and the 12-pounders were removed to Fort Malden in October 1814 leaving only the 6-pounders and the howitzer to guard the fort.

The buildings constructed to house the garrison included barracks for 200 men, officer's quarters, a hospital, a guardhouse, a powder magazine and a storehouse. The fort was completed in five months at a cost of $ 3,066.57.

The end of the war brought serious reductions in the size of the army and the expansion westward increased the need for troops elsewhere. The post was abandoned 30 Jun 1821 and the troops and supplies were sent to Fort Detroit. The post was regarrisoned in 1828 for the Winnebago conflict, rebuilt between 1828 and 1830 and garrisoned after that until 1 Jun 1879 when it was abandoned. It's designation by General Joseph G. Totten in 1840 and 1851 as one of the essential Northern Frontier Forts added to its longevity.

Current Status

One relocated marker and the Hospital/Officer's quarters building that is being restored are all that is left of the post.


Location: Port Huron, St. Clair County, Michigan. The map point is close to the marker site.

Maps & Images

Lat: 42.9963915 Long: -82.4276868

Sources:

  • Hawkins, Bruce, Sentries in the Wilderness: Soldier Life at Fort Gratiot, Michigan Territory 1814-1821, Museum of Arts & History, Port Huron, 1986, 36 pages
  • Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 419

Links:

Visited: 15 Aug 2013

Fort Gratiot Picture Gallery

Click on the picture to see a larger version. Contribute additional pictures - the more the better!

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