Fort William Henry (3)
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Fort William Henry (3) (1755-1757) - A British colonial fort established in 1755 during the French & Indian War by British Sir William Johnson in present day Lake George, Warren County, New York. Named on 8 Nov 1755 for the grandsons of King George II, William, duke of Gloucester and Henry, duke of Cumberland; sometimes called just Fort William. Captured by the French under Marquis de Montcalm on 9 Aug 1757 and destroyed by them.
French & Indian War (1754-1763)
Fort William Henry was established by British Sir William Johnson right after the Battle of Lake George which took place 7 Sep 1755. The Battle was not a clear cut victory for either side but the French forces withdrew back to Fort St. Frederic at Crown Point and left the south shore of Lake George to the British.
Captain William Eyre was given the task of designing and constructing a Vauban style fort on the south shore of Lake George. The fort was designed as a square with bastions on all four angles. The completed log fort measured 400' from one bastion point to the next. The internal barracks and necessary buildings lined the walls. Cannons lined all four bastions and the curtain walls.
The fort turned back a French attack in March 1757 by a small force. A larger force under General Montcalm captured the fort on 9 Aug 1757 after a six day siege. The fort commander, Colonel George Munro, surrendered the fort to General Montcalm under terms that would allow the 2000 some men women and children to march to Fort Edward with their weapons and belongings. Fort Edward was just 16 miles south.
The Indian allies of the French felt cheated by this agreement and retaliated by first murdering the sick and wounded. The next day the Indians attacked the column of retreating British soldiers and civilians massacring a large number. Montcalm's regulars were unable to control the Indians and the massacre became the biggest atrocity of the French & Indian War.
Montcalm's troops burned the fort with the bodies of the victims inside. The French and their Indian allies returned to Fort Carillon and did not press the attack on Fort Edward. Fort William Henry was not rebuilt.
A private re-creation of the fort is built on the south shore of Lake George in the town of Lake George, Warren County, New York. The replica is operated as an attraction with tours conducted by guides in period costumes. Part of the tour includes cannon and musket firing. A large gift shop and book store at the entrance. The interior fort buildings include artifacts and interpretive displays. Large collections of artifacts and weapons are on display including cannons recovered from the lake. Numerous replica cannons line the bastions and the curtain walls.
Location: Lake George, Warren County, New York.
Maps & Images
Lat: 43.420278 Long: -73.711111
- 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 593
- North American Forts - Fort William Henry (3)
- Wikipedia - Fort William Henry
- New York Military Museum - Fort William Henry
- Fort William Henry Official Site
Visited: 13 Jul 2012
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