Sunday, October 14, 2007

Fort Loudoun

Vonore, Tennessee. What can I really say about historic Fort Loudoun? It has been a part of my life for two years (come November). Often I am struck with awe at the beauty of landscape (though it is a bit marred by the new housing development that has gone up on the other side of the lake - realize I speak for myself here, no one else). Sometimes I get lost in time when the park has closed to visitors and we remain in in the 18th century, watching the sunset, swimming in the lake, and singing old tavern songs. It is really amazing in the fading light of an exhausted sun to watch a random person wall across the hill, lantern light shining the way towards the comfort of the barracks. Sometimes I look for the original occupants, trying to understand, but then I feel like an impostor on 17 feet of new soil that covers the original fort, a necessary change thanks to the work of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

    • Latitude: 35.598485
    • Longitude: ,-84.216642
    • 338 Fort Loudoun Road Vonore, Tennessee 37885
    • The fort was built to house the Independent Company of South Carolina (1756) and to help protect the British Colony of South Carolina interests from the French during the French and Indian War.
    • It was named after John Campbell, the fourth Earl of Loudoun, who was the British Commander-in-Chief in North America from 1756 to 1758. (3)
    • This secured an alliance between the British and the Overhill Cherokee Nation. (1)
    • In 1759, the British and Cherokees began warring over suspicions and betrayals by one another. (2)
    • These included the execution of 23 Cherokee at Fort Prince George in South Carolina in late 1759. (3)
    • In response, the Cherokees halted Fort Loudoun's supply line through the mountains to Fort Prince George. (3)
    • By June 1760, rations were reduced to one quart of corn per day divided among three persons. (3)
    • On August 6, 1760, the Cherokees laid siege to the fort and the Independent Company of South Carolina Surrendered. (2)
    • On August 9, 1760, the British garrison left the fort with 180 men and 60 women and children. (3)
    • On August 10, 1760, the retreating garrison was ambushed by the Cherokee and many of the garrison were killed or sold off into slavery. Those killed included all the officers, except for one, and twenty to thirty others. (3)
    • The fort was later burnt down by the Cherokee.
    • This the second reconstruction of the fort.
    • The first was reconstructed by the Works Project Administration.
    • The current site is now 17 feet above the original site and has ongoing reconstruction. (4)
  • CURRENT USAGE: Historic Site, Museum, and Recreational State Park

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