Fort Pike (1)
Fort Pike (1) (1819-1890) - First established in 1819 as the first, Third System Fort and completed in 1827. Located near Petites Coquilles (sometimes Petite Coquille) in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, and at first called Fort Petites Coquilles; soon named after General Zebulon Montgomery Pike. Abandoned in 1890.
The original plan for Fort Pike was drawn up in 1817 by engineer Simon Bernard and his assistant Capt. William T. Poussin. The fort was designed as a triangular masonry fort with an arc of gun casemates facing the water passage known as the Rigolets. A single story citadel in the center of the fort served as a barracks and as a refuge of last resort should the walls be breached. The other buildings inside the walls included officer's quarters and service buildings. The land side of the fort was protected by a system of moats protecting three pointed bastions that provided protective flanking fire.
During the Second Seminole War the fort was used as a staging area for troops going to Florida and as a confinement area for the captured Seminole Indians and their black slaves. To accommodate the prisoners some of the casemates were converted to cells. The captured Seminole Indians were sent to Oklahoma.
During the Mexican War the fort served as a staging area for troops headed for Mexico and Texas. After the war, the fort was placed in caretaker status and garrisoned with a single ordnance sergeant.
U.S. Civil War (1861-1865)
Fort Pike was captured by Louisiana troops on 10 Jan 1861, before the U.S. Civil War officially began. It was recaptured by Union forces 4 May 1862 and served as a base for Union operations in the area until the end of the war.
In 1871 the garrison was withdrawn and the fort left again in the hands of a ordnance sergeant. In 1884 the Quartermaster took possession of the fort in order to dispose of it. By 1890 the military presence was gone and in 1928 the State of Louisiana acquired the property.
Fort Pike State Historic Site, Orleans Parish, Louisiana.
Visited: 9 Dec 2009