From 1721 to 1736, Fort King George was the southern outpost of the British Empire in North America. The fort was built to protect the young and struggling colony of Georgia against any potential threat from the Spanish in Florida to the south. The British constructed a cypress blockhouse, barracks, and palisaded earthen fort on the site in 1721. The fort was garrisoned by His Majesty’s Independent Company. The fort itself was eventually abandoned because of the hardship the garrison had to endure from the harsh coastal environment. But Scottish Highlanders came to the site in 1736 to found a settlement, called Darien, which eventually became a foremost export center of lumber until 1925. The state of Georgia has reconstructed the eighteenth-century fortifications using old records and plans. A museum offers displays and exhibits on the local Guale Indians, the old fort, the Scots of Darien, and the nineteenth century Darien sawmill.
Fort King George State Historic Site is located in southeastern Georgia, near Darien, 3 miles east of Interstate 95 exit 49.
Seventeenth and eighteenth century settlements in frontier New England were often anchored by garrison houses, fortified homes in which residents could take shelter in the event of an Indian raid. These homes were usually constructed of massive logs. Their doors were reinforced by iron grates lowered by pulleys (called portcullis). Gilman Garrison constructed his garrison house in the late seventeenth century in Exeter, New Hampshire on a site from which he could defend his sawmill. The house was substantially remodeled in the eighteenth century by his descendant, Peter Gilman, a militia general and veteran of the French and Indian Wars, by adding a Georgian-style wing. The house is now preserved by the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities.
Gilman Garrison House is located at 12 Water Street, in Exeter, New Hampshire 03833. Take I-95 to New Hampshire Exit 2. Follow Route 101 west 3.5 miles to Route 108 south. Continue one mile to Exeter. Turn right onto High Street. The Gilman Garrison House is three blocks ahead, just after a small bridge.
At the time of the French and Indian War, No. 4 was the northernmost British settlement, thirty miles from its nearest neighbor. The fort was actually a fortified village, created by pulling together five existing province houses, building a sixth one, and connecting them with leantos, and a large two-story building containing the only entry gate into the fort. The recreated fort now standing in Charlestown, New Hampshire is a living history museum of this early period.
Fort at No. 4 is located in Charlestown, New Hampshire, 1 1/2 miles from Exit 7, off I-91.
Before Vermont was even a state, when it was still a sparsly settled region whose political status was disputed by New York and New Hampshire, Vermonters made two contributions to winning what was probably the most important campaign in the Revolutionary War. As General John Burgoyne advanced south through the Lake Champlain Valley toward Albany, he easily drove American forces out of Fort Ticonderoga, which had been assumed to be the major obstacle in his path. The American army retreated in haste from Ticonderoga toward Hubbardton, Vermont, which then has all of two houses. At Hubbardton, a detachment of the American army joined with some local militia to hold off the British pursuit for several hours. Only the arrival of Hessian reinforcements, and the prospect that the larger British forces would then be able to outflank them, drove the Americans from the field. Hubbardton was the first engagement in the campaign to show Burgoyne’s regulars that American troops could stand up to them in the field. Many of the Americans who fought at Hubbardton were also with General John Stark several weeks later when he inflicted a disastrous defeat on a Hessian detachment at the Battle of Bennington. The Hubbardton Battlefield is now preserved as an historic site by the state of Vermont. A visitor’s reception center houses a museum with exhibits on the battle and the Revolutionary War.
Hubbardton Battlefield is located 7 miles off U.S. Route 4, near East Hubbardton, Vermont.
Fort Popham is located at the mouth of the Kennebec River, near the place where English colonists made their first attempt to establish a settlement in New England in 1607. (The Popham colony, unlike the colony established at Jamestown the same year, did not survive.) Fortifications were erected at the site of Fort Popham to protect the communities along the Kennebec River during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Fort Popham itself is a semi-circular granite fort with thirty-foot walls. It was built in 1861 to protect the maine coast from Confederate raiders. Modifications were made during the late nineteenth century and the fort remained garrison in the Spanish American War and World War I.
Fort Popham State Historic Site is located on Route 209 near Phippsburg, Maine 04562, 15 miles from Bath and two miles away from Popham Beach State Park.
Colonial Pemaquid is located at the mouth of the Pemaquid River near Bristol, Maine. The site was a frontier settlement in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. A fort, called William Henry, was constructed to protect the settlement from Indian raids and pirate attacks. Archaeological excavations have unearthed the foundations of colonial structures and the officers’ quarters at Fort William Henry. A museum displays many artifacts uncovered at the site, including musket balls, coins, pottery, and early hardware. The site includes a reconstruction of Fort William Henry, which also houses museum exhibits. Guided tours are available during the summer months.
Colonial Pemaquid is located four miles from Damariscotta on Maine Route 129, then take Maine Route 130 for nine miles, bear right one mile.
Fort Constitution was one of seven forts that once constituted the defenses of Portsmouth Harbor. The first fortification on the site was an earthwork with four “great guns” erected in 1632. A timber blockhouse was built in 1666. A stronger fort, named Fort William and Mary, was erected later as one of the “castles” established along the Atlantic coastal to protect the colonies of British America. This fort was seized by Patriots at the beginning of the American Revolution. In 1791 the State of New Hampshire gave Fort William and Mary to the United States. The fort was repaired, renamed Fort Constitution, and garrisoned with a company of United States artillery. The fort was used during the War of 1812 and was a training center during the Civil War. The old fort was replaced after the Civil War with a massive, three-tiered granite structure that served as part of the modernized coastal defenses in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Fort Constitution State Historic Site is located on a peninsula at the northeast corner of New Castle Island, overlooking both the Pisquatua River and the Atlantic Ocean.
Fort Constitution Historic Site is located on New Hampshire Route 1B at the U.S. Coast Guard Station, New Castle.
Confederate Memorial Park is the site of Alabama’s only Confederate veterans home, which operated from 1902-1939 to care for elderly veterans, wives of veterans, and the widows of veterans. The park has two cemeteries where more than three hundred residents of the veterans home are buried. A museum houses artifacts from the “Old Soldiers Home,” as well as an extensive collection of uniforms, weapons, equipment and other items associated with the Civil War.
Confederate Memorial Park is located between Birmingham and Montgomery, a few miles off Interstate 65 and Highway 31 at 437 County Road 63, Marbury, Alabama 36051.
I first read the story of the Battle of Blue Licks as a kid growing up in nearby southern Ohio. It struck me then, and it strikes me now, as one of the sadder stories of its kind from the frontier period. The salt springs at the site had attracted animals for millennia and formed a center of Indian life. Early settler frequented the place to obtain badly needed salt supplies. Indians captured Daniel Boone here while he was making salt for his settlement. (He later made a daring and famous escape.) But the sad part of the story came in 1782. Blue Licks is most renowned as the site of the last battle of the Revolutionary War in Kentucky. In 1782, Kentucky militia pursued a raiding party of Indians and British soldiers to the vicinity of Blue Licks. Ignoring the warnings of Daniel Boone and others, the militia commander ordered an attack right into a perfect ambush spot. The merits of the location had not escaped the Indians and British, and the Kentuckians suffered great losses, including Boone’s son, Israel. During the nineteenth century, the mineral springs made Blue Licks a popular health resort. Today the park has recreational facilities, a lodge, nature trails, and a museum of frontier and Native American life.
The park is located 48 miles northeast of Lexington on US 68.
Fort Fetterman was established in 1867 as a defensive post by the U.S. military. It was one of four forts established along the Bozeman Trail to protect the westward-bound travelers. The other three, Forts Reno, Kearny and Smith, were deactivated in 1868, leaving Fort Fetterman as the lone bastion along the trail. Named in memory of Captain Willliam J. Fetterman, killed in a battle with Indians near Fort Kearny in 1866, the fort was in service for 15 years before deactivation. Fort Fetterman’s significance peaked during the middle 1870s when it served as the base of operations for several military campaigns against the Indians. When hostilities in the region ceased, the fort’s importance declined, and it was abandoned in 1882. Today the fort is a state historic site open to the public. Two of the restored, original buildings, an officer’s quarters and an ordnance warehouse, house exhibits highlighting the fort’s history and that of the region. Visitors are encouraged to walk the interpretive trail through the site. Historic guided tours are available upon request, and the park hosts the annual Fort Fetterman Days, a living history event.
Fort Fetterman State Historic Site is located approximately 7 miles north of Douglas, Wyoming on Highway 93, take Exit 140 off I-25.