Fort Loudoun (1)
Fort Loudoun (1) (1756-1780) - A log, stone and earthworks fort established in 1756 during the French & Indian War by Colonel George Washington in Winchester, Frederick County, Virginia. Named for John Campbell, fourth Earl of Loudoun. Abandoned in 1780.
Fort Loudoun History
This fort was designed and established by Colonel George Washington as a 204' square fortification with four bastions and a double palisaded just north of the town of Winchester. The double palisade was filled with earth and debris for additional strength. The fort was designed to garrison as many as 450 men and mount 24 cannons. Two large 18' by 38' buildings were built along the south wall, one to house the officers and the other to house the guard and a jail. The two buildings were separated by the south gate. A third large 18' by 85' two story building was built across north wall to house the enlisted troops. Additional buildings lined the east and west walls. The magazine was built into the south bastion. Each of the four bastions was fitted with six embrasures at the top of the parapets.
Washington managed the initial construction from an office in Winchester until the fort was complete enough for him to move in. That log office is now the George Washington Office Museum in downtown Winchester.
By the winter of 1757-1758 work on the fort had progressed "tolerable well" and George Washington had gone back to Mount Vernon to recuperate from a bad bout of dysentery. Washington returned to Fort Louden but departed again on 24 Jun 1758 leaving Lieutenant Charles Smith in command of the fort. Washington returned to the fort briefly in December 1758 but rode on to Mount Vernon and announced at the end December 1858 that he would resign his commission.
Visitors described the fort as still unfinished in 1760 and 1761 but with the end of the French & Indian War the decline of the fort began. The fort remained a military installation through the Revolutionary War but was never attacked.
Three markers. Some portions of the fort foundation are exposed but not identified and most of the site is on private property in Winchester. The area around the intersection of North Loudoun St. and Clarke St. roughly forms the center of the old fort site. North Loudoun St. was built right through the old fort site.
Visited: 13 Apr 2012