Fort Moore (2)

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Fort Moore (2) (1846-1849) - First established as Fort Hill, a U.S. Marine fort in 1846 during the Mexican War by Captain Archibald H. Gillespie in present-day downtown Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California. The Marines were ejected from the site in September 1846 but the U.S. Army returned and established Post at Los Angeles in January 1847. Named Fort Moore on 4 Jul 1847 for Captain Benjamin D. Moore, 1st U.S. Dragoons, who was killed 6 Dec 1846 at the battle of San Pascual in San Diego County. Abandoned in 1849.

Left Side of Fort Moore Memorial
Right Side of Fort Moore Memorial
Complete Fort Moore Memorial. The Blank Central Concrete Wall is an Inoperative Water Wall

Fort Moore History

The Mexican Pueblo de Los Angeles was taken on 13 Aug 1846 by a combined American force of about 500 men under Navy Commodore Robert F. Stockton and U.S. Army Lt. Colonel John C. Fremont. Commodore Stockton appointed Captain Archibald H. Gillespie commandant of the southern district and left him with a small garrison of 50 men. The original fortification was a rudimentary barricade constructed after the garrison was attacked by local insurgents on 22 Sep 1846. The fortification was positioned on Fort Hill overlooking the Mexican Pueblo de Los Angeles and the Mission Nuestra Senora de los Angeles in an attempt to control the town below. Captain Gillespie and his garrison were subsequently ejected from the site by a superior force of 600 Mexicans on 30 Sep 1846. The fortification erected by Captain Gillespie was a simple barricade of earth filled sacks with his cannons mounted behind them. Captain Gillespie negotiated a surrender, with the honors of war, that allowed his forces to depart and rejoin the brig Savannah in San Pedro Harbor.

Commodore Stockton and Lt. Colonel Fremont recaptured Pueblo de Los Angeles on 10 Jan 1847 after defeating the Mexican forces in the battle of La Mesa. Lt. Colonel Fremont and Mexican Governor Andres Pico signed the Treaty of Cahuenga which brought an end to the fighting but the issues were not resolved until the Treaty of Hidalgo in 1848. Under Commodore Stockton orders, army Lt. William H. Emory, U.S. Topographical Engineers, planned and laid out a small fortification on the same hill that Capt. Gillespie had initially fortified. He broke ground on 12 Jan 1847 but the work stopped and Lt. Emory departed after his army commander, General Stephen Watts Kearny and Commodore Stockton clashed. Both the army and navy contingents departed the area by 20 Jan 1847 and the fort was abandoned unfinished and unnamed. This fortification was to have been a 400 foot long breastwork.

On 17 Mar 1847 the famed Mormon Battalion arrived in Los Angeles after a 1900 mile march from Iowa. Work on the fortification resumed on 23 Apr 1847 under a larger revised design on the abandoned works. Work progressed under the supervision of 2nd Lt. John W. Davidson, 1st U.S. Dragoons with the Mormon Battalion and the 1st U.S. Dragoons furnishing the labor. By 4 Jul 1847 the work had progressed enough for a grand dedication ceremony. A magnificent 150' flagstaff was construct from two trees obtained from the San Bernardino Mountains and a day long ceremony that include the first flag raising, a reading of the constitution, band music, the firing of cannons and the naming of the fortification as Fort Moore.

The Mormon Battalion was mustered out of service on 16 July 1847 leaving the 1st U.S. Dragoons to garrison the post until they were withdrawn in 1848. The post was abandoned in 1849 and decommissioned in 1853.

Current Status

No remains of the fort. The site is commemorated by the Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California. The Memorial is a massive structure with two commemorative panels on either end, a large flagpole and an inoperative water wall as a part of the middle section. The site overlooks historic central Los Angles, Union Station and the Los Angles City Hall complex.

USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) Database Entry: 1744883

Location: Fort Moore Pioneer Memorial, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California.

Maps & Images

Lat: 34.05836 Long: -118.24242



Visited: 17 Jan 2013

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