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"Quaint and Historic Forts of North America " Topic

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400 hits since 14 Jun 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Tango0114 Jun 2017 12:04 p.m. PST

Of possible interest?

"An account of the most famous fortifications of North America is, in reality, a cross section of the military history of the continent; and whatever ingenuity there may be in this method of presenting the conspicuous deeds of valor of the American people will, it may be hoped, add interest to the following pages.

So many races of men have wrestled for the North American continent in, historically speaking, so brief a space of time! We behold the Indian in possession though we do not know who was his predecessor in holding the land, though the mounds of the Middle West, notably Illinois and Arkansas, point to a race of a higher culture and more developed knowledge of building than the red men had. There come the Spanish with their relentless persecutions of the natives. There come the English, French, Dutch, Swedish. And the claims of each clash, to at length give way—despite the military acumen of the French—to the steady, home-building genius of the English.

Of the strongholds which the Spanish built to maintain their title to this part of the world there remain such substantial relics as the old fort at St. Augustine, annually visited by thousands of people, and that at Pensacola, Florida. The French are best remembered by their[vi] works at Quebec. Of the defensive works of the Dutch, on the Hudson, or the Swedes, on the Delaware, nothing remains. The English were not great builders of forts; they were essentially tillers of the soil. The most important English military work of early Colonial days in America was Castle William (Fort Independence), Boston harbor.

To the French with their restless explorers and indefatigable missionaries to the Indians must be ascribed the credit of most completely grasping the physical conditions of the North American continent and of formulating the most comprehensive scheme for military defense of their holdings. The French forts extended in a well-organized line from the mouth of the Saint Lawrence west and south through the Great Lakes and down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. They originated and executed, all things considered, the most daring and comprehensive military project ever conceived on the continent of North America.

In the preparation of this work it has given me great pleasure and has clarified to a marked degree my conceptions of the larger movements of American history,—especially in regard to the topographical considerations governing these movements,—to have visited the seats of early empire in this country and the various centres of military renown in its later days. All of the places described in this book are worth a visit by the sight-seer as well as the historian—that is, they contain visible[vii] monuments of the Past. I have, myself, taken the greater number of photographs which illustrate the volume. Others have been donated or purchased, as the credit lines will tell…"
Free to read here


Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jun 2017 12:59 p.m. PST

Well done, as usual, Armand.

There is an excellent series of Ospreys on the same subject, each book done by period and sometimes by nationality also.

Doug MSC Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Jun 2017 1:33 p.m. PST

Then there is the Russian Fort: Fort Ross located on the coast of California.

42flanker15 Jun 2017 1:18 a.m. PST

"a race of a higher culture and more developed knowledge of building than the red men had."

H'm. When was this written?

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP15 Jun 2017 2:01 p.m. PST

My family and I visited Fort Ross a long time ago.

Ticonderoga is definitely worth a visit, as is Fort Stanwix.

Fort Henry in Canada is also worth seeing, as is Fort Erie on the Niagara Peninsula.

Old Fort Niagara is impressive, almost as impressive as Fort Henry.

However, Fort Erie, the scene of a bloody siege, is definitely worth it. Parks Canada does excellent work.

Tango0116 Jun 2017 11:15 a.m. PST

Thanks Kevin!. (smile)


Rawdon16 Jun 2017 1:53 p.m. PST

Don't forget Louisbourg.

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