FORTS OF WASHINGTON
The first place to be called a fort in what is presently the State of Washington was constructed by the Spanish at Neah Bay in March, 1792. It was given the name Bahia de Nunez Gaona but was not completed and abandoned before the fall of that year.
The Hudson's Bay Company and the Northwest Company, both British ventures, built fur trading posts at Fort Vancouver, Fort Nisqually, Fort Colville, and Fort Spokane. American fur trading companies also moved into the region. John Jacob Astor centered his efforts at Fort Astoria on the Oregon side of the mouth of the Columbia River but the War of 1812 forced the transfer of this American post to British interests.
The United States military presence began in 1849 when elements of the 1st U. S. Artillery arrived at Fort Vancouver, the Hudson's Bay trading post on the Columbia River, and on Puget Sound where they established what was to become Fort Steilacoom.
During the Indian War of 1855-56 there was a flurry of fort building with the structures often consisting of a blockhouse with or without a fence which served as a place for the settlers to be secure from Indian attacks. Some of them were quite elaborate while others were rude and simple. Others served as centers of activity by both the Army of the United States and the Washington Territorial Volunteers.
W.W. De Lacy, Captain of Engineers of the Washington Territorial Volunteers, reported to Governor Isaac I. Stevens the existence of a number of forts constructed mainly by the Washington Territorial Volunteers during the war.
The following were included on DeLacy's list:
Fort Raglan at Packard's Ferry on the Nisqually River,
Fort Hicks at Montgomery's built by the Pioneer Company,
Fort White at the Crossing of the Puyallup River,
Fort Hays on Connell's Prairie,
Fort Pike and Posey on the crossing of the White River,
Fort McAllister on South Prairie,
Fort Lander on the Duwamish River built by the Washington Territorial Volunteers,
Fort Ebey on the Snohomish River,
Fort Tilton at the head of canoe navigation below Snoqualmie Falls,
Fort Alden, two miles above Snoqualmie Falls,
Fort Mason in Walla Walla Valley built by order of Colonel Shaw,
Fort Preston on Michel's Fork of the Nesqually built by Captain Miller's Company,
Fort Miller on Tenalquot Plains, and
Fort Stevens on Yelm Prairie.
He also listed a number of blockhouses built at various locations but these were not given the name "Fort."
Captain De Lacy also indicated that:
A. Fort Arkansas was built on the Cowlitz River by a group of settlers,
B. Fort Henness was built near Mound Prairie by the settlers and that
C. Forts Slaughter, Maloney, Thomas and a block house on the Black River were built by the regular U.S. Army Troops. (Whiting p. 4-6).
In some cases De Lacy's report is the only mention of the existence of these fortifications.
Herbert M. Hart in his book Old Forts of the Northwest
published in 1963 listed the following forts in Washington:
Fort Alden; 60 miles from the mouth of the Snake River, 1856
Fort Bennett; Vicinity of Fort Waters, 1855
Fort Bellingham; At Bellingham, 1856-60
Fort Canby; (Fort Cape Disappointment), Near Ilwaco, 1864-1950
Fort Cascades; Near Cascade City, 1855-1861
Fort Chehalis; Lower Chehalis
Fort at Cowlitz Landing
Fort Hicks (Fort Patterson)
Fort Lone Tree Point
Camp San Juan Islands (Camp Reynolds, Camp Pickett, Camp Steele)
Fort Vancouver (Vancouver Barracks)
Fort Walla Walla
Fort Yakima Valley
The author then listed these other locations:
Fort Wallah Wallah
Spanish Fort at Neah Bay
After the Civil War with the threat of a possible "invasion" by the Confederate commerce destroyers like the Shenendoah still in mind there was pressure exerted upon the government to provide forts to protect the coastline. By the Spanish American war period the government had fortified the mouth of the Columbia River and the entrance to Puget Sound.
Numbers of these forts were used off and on again for a variety of purposes until after World War Two when several of them became the property of the State of Washington and became state parks.
Some places called Forts were used only briefly and some of them are included merely for their curiosity value.
The alphabetical list that follows includes information obtained from many sources. In some cases it is necessary to look under the title Camp as well as Fort for names were changed over the years.
It should be noted that the batteries at the several coastal defense forts are listed separately. In many cases these batteries existed far longer than other fortifications and nearly all were given names of soldiers who were killed in the line of duty during war time.
This substantial two storied log blockhouse was erected in 1855 on Whidbey Island by settler John Alexander. It was later moved to today's city of Coupeville, the county seat of Island County where it is preserved in the downtown area. (Roberts, p. 829).
When the settlers along Penn Cove decided that their safety required a blockhouse, there was nothing halfway about the result. As soon as they had built a double story fort of tightly fitted logs, the settlers then surrounded it with a ten foot high double stockade. The second floor of the blockhouse was high enough to see over the stockade. The walls were notched every few feet so that riflemen could fire at any attackers. Broken glass and jagged metal fragments were imbedded in the top of the stockade as added deterrents to stockade climbing. (Hart, Pioneer Forts of the West p. 88)
Battery Ash consisted of two twelve inch guns built in 1898. They were sold for salvage in 1942. This battery at Fort Worden was named for Colonel Joseph Penrose Ash of the 5th United States Cavalry. He was killed in battle at Todd's Tavern in Virginia on May 8, 1864. (Gregory, p. 119).
Battery Bankhead is one of nine batteries built at Fort Flagler. The battery consisted of eight twelve inch mortars of which four were shipped to Europe during World War One. The battery was named for Brigadier General Henry Cary Bankhead who was a member of the Military Academy Class of 1850. He served in the battles of Gettysburg, Spotsylvania, and Petersburg during the Civil War and between 1866 and 1878 served on the American frontier.(Gregory, p. 114).
Battery Benson at Fort Worden consisted of two ten inch guns mounted on disappearing carriages constructed beginning in 1904. They were salvaged in June of 1943 and the counterweights were shipped to Fort Stevens to be used as mine anchors. The battery was named for Captain Henry Benson of the United States Artillery who served in the Mexican War but was killed in a Civil War battle in August of 1862. (Gregory, p. 119).
Battery Brannon consisted of eight twelve inch mortars in two pits constructed in 1899 at Fort Worden. In 1909 the carriages were removed for modification and during World War One four were shipped to Europe for use as railroad artillery. Major General John Milton Brannon graduated from the Military Academy as a member of the class of 1841. He took part in the Mexican War, in the Seminole War in Florida and in the Civil War. (Gregory, p. 120).
Battery Calwell was one of the batteries at Fort Flagler. It was built between 1903 and 1904 and was dismantled and shipped to Europe during World War One. It was named for Captain James H. Calwell who was killed in the Mexican War on September 18, 1847. (Gregory, p. 114).
Battery Crenshaw at Fort Columbia.....
Battery Downes consisted of two three inch guns built at Fort Flagler in the 1904 to 1905 period. They were named for Lieutenant Edward Elbert Downes, an 1896 graduate of the Military Academy, who was an officer of the 1st Infantry killed in an engagement at Salcedo, Philippines on June 23, 1901. (Gregory, p. 114).
Battery Grattan was built at Fort Flagler in the 1904-06 period and consisted of two six inch guns which were sent to Europe in 1918. The battery was named for Second Lieutenant John Lawrence Grattan of the 6th U.S. Infantry who was killed by Indians in August of 1854 near Fort Laramie, Wyoming. (Gregory, p. 114).
Battery Guenther was a World War One gun position at Fort Canby which mounted four twelve inch guns that were taken from Fort Stevens, Oregon.
Battery Harrison was a battery of four six inch guns at Fort Whitman on Goat Island facing Deception Pass. The construction of the Fort began in 1909 and was completed in 1911. George Francis Edward Harrison was graduated from the Military Academy in 1869 and spent his military career in the Artillery. He died March 26, 1909. Virgil Field in his book on the history of the ashington National Guard "presumed" that the battery was named for President William Henry Harrison. (Field, V, p. 456).
Battery Kingsbury is one of ten batteries located at Fort Casey. It consisted of three ten inch guns built beginning in 1901. They were named for Colonel Henry Kingsbury of the 11th Connecticut Volunteers who died of wounds received in a battle at Burnside Bridge. He died September 18, 1862. (Gregory, p. 116).
Battery Kinzie consisted of two twelve inch guns with disappearing carriages built in 1908. They were dismounted in 1944 and shipped to the East Coast. Battery Kinzie at Fort Worden was named for Brigadier General David Hunter Kinzie who was a member of the Class of 1861 at the Military Academy. He was active in the Civil War and served mostly as an artillery man. (Gregory, p. 120).
Consisting of two five inch guns built beginning in 1899 Battery Lee at Fort Flagler was named for Lieutenant Walter Hatch Lee of the Corps of Army Engineers. He took part in an expedition in the Philippines and was killed on June 10, 1901. (Gregory, p. 115).Virgil Field, apparently not having access to an official list, noted that it could have been named for General Robert E. Lee. (Field, V, p. 455).
Battery Mitchell at Fort Ward was located on Rich Passage across from Bainbridge Island and was named for Second Lieutenant of Artillery in the Spanish American War. He received his commission in the artillery of the regular army in 1901 (Field, V, p. 456).
Battery Moore consisted of three ten inch guns built at Fort Casey beginning in 1897. They were named for Brigadier General James Moore who was an officer in the North Carolina Militia during the American Revolution. He was successful in battle but died April 9, 1777. (Gregory, p. 117).
Battery Murphy at Fort Columbia was named for an 1898 graduate of the Military Academy who was killed on August 14, 1900, in action at Tanauan, in the Philippine Islands. (Field, V, p. 456).
Battery Nash at Fort Ward mounted three eight inch disappearing guns placed at the Fort during the 1899-1093 period. Brigadier General Francis Nash of the 1st North Carolina Regiment during the American Revolution was killed during the retreat following the Battle of Germantown, Pennsylvania on October 7, 1777. (Gregory, p. 123).
Battery Neary was one of the batteries at Fort Columbia. It was named for William Neary who was appointed a Second Lieutenant in the Third Infantry on February 6, 1888. He died of wounds received in the battle of El Caney, Cuba on July 9, 1898. Field notes that this battery was later consolidated with Battery Ord at Fort Columbia and the name was transferred to a battery at Fort Hamilton, New York. (Field, V, p. 456).
This battery at Fort Canby was named for Elijah O'Flying who was appointed an Ensign in the regular army on July 9, 1814. He died of wounds received in action at Fort Erie on September 18, 1814 (Field, Vol. 5, p. 456).
Battery Ord at Fort Columbia on the Columbia River consisted of a battery of three eight inch rifled guns with disappearing carriages erected beginning in March 1897 on the slope of Scarboro Hill at an elevation of one hundred feet. The armament was removed during World War One and one of the two emplacements was filled with dirt.
Lieut. Jules Garesche Ord of the Sixth U.S. Infantry was killed in action at San Juan Hill in Cuba on July 1, 1898. (Hussey, p. 24).
This battery consisted of two six inch guns and was built beginning in August 1903 at Fort Casey. The Battery was named for First Lieutenant Thomas D. Parker of the Second U.S. Infantry. He was killed in the Battle of Gaines Mill, Virginia, on June 17, 1862. (Gregory, p. 117).
Battery Powell had eight twelve inch mortars constructed in the 1899 to 1901 period. On July 11, 1903, during a test firing at Fort Worden the carriage on mortar number three was destroyed. In 1918 four of the mortars were shipped to Ohio. The Battery was named for Major James H. Powell who served with the 25th Missouri Volunteers during the Mexican War. He was active in the Civil War and was killed in battle on April 6, 1862. (Gregory, p. 120-21).
Battery Putnam at Fort Worden consisted of two three inch guns. The battery was named for Colonel Haldimand Putnam of the 7th New Hampshire Volunteers. He was killed at the siege of Port Wagner on July 18, 1863. (Gregory, p. 121).
This battery consists of three ten inch guns at Fort Worden. In 1941 the guns and carriages were removed and sent to the east coast for sale to Canada. Captain August Quarles was in command of a unit of the 15th Infantry in the Battle of Contreras in the Mexican War and was killed on August 20, 1847. (Gregory, p. 121).
Battery Randol at Fort Worden consisted of two ten inch guns. In 1918 the guns were sent to the European theater of operations and used on railroad carriages. The battery was named for General Alanson Kerwin Randol of the United States Volunteers. He was a member of the Class of 1860 at the United States Military Academy and was killed by Indians on September 29, 1879 while in action in Colorado. (Gregory, p. 123-24).
Battery Rawlins consisted of two ten inch guns built beginning in 1897 at Fort Flagler. They were named for Brigadier General John Aaron Rawlings whose military career included service on the staff of General U. S. Grant and concluded when he was appointed Chief of Staff, United States Army in March of 1865. He became Secretary of War and died in office on September 4, 1869. (Gregory, p. 115).
This battery at Fort Flagler was named for Colonel Paul Joseph Revere of the 20th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry who was wounded during the battle of Gettysburg and died on July 4, two days after the end of the battle. The two ten inch guns that made up the battery were sold to Canada. (Gregory, p. 115).
Battery Schenck at Fort Casey consisted of eight twelve inch mortars built beginning in 1898. They were named for Lieutenant Colonel Alexander D. Schenck. Colonel Schenck first served in the Ohio Infantry during the Civil War, became a member of the Military Academy class of 1867 and later served in the artillery. (Gregory, p. 117).
Battery Seymour consisted of eight twelve inch mortars at Fort Casey built in the 1898-1899 period. They were named for Major Truman Seymour of the 6th U.S. Artillery who was a member of the Class of 1845 at the United States Military Academy. He served in the Mexican War and was at Fort Sumter when the Civil War began. (Gregory, p. 117).
Battery Stoddard at Fort Worden was named for Major Amos Stoddard who served in the 2nd Artillery and Engineers beginning in 1796. He was governor of Missouri Territory in 1804-05 and was killed during the War of 1812 on Mary 11, 1813.(Gregory, p. 122).
This three inch gun position at Fort Ward was named for Thomas Tipton Thornburgh of the United States Fourth Infantry who was killed in action on Mill Creek, Colorado, while on an expedition against Indians of the White River Agency. He died on September 29, 1879. (Gregory, p. 124).
Battery Tolles at Fort Worden was named for Cornelius Tolles who was an officer in the New Jersey Militia during the Civil War. He died of wounds received in an affair with guerrillas near Newton, Virginia on October 16, 1864. The battery consisted of four six inch guns built in 1903-05. Two guns were removed November, 1917 for service in Europe and replaced in 1932 with guns from Willapa Bay. All guns were abandoned in 1945. (Gregory, p. 122).
Battery Trevor consisted of two three inch guns mounted at Fort Casey. The battery was built between 1903 and 1905. The battery was named for First Lieutenant John Trevor of the U.S. 5th Infantry who died in the battle of Winchester, Virginia, September 19, 1864. (Gregory, p. 118).
The guns of battery Turman were removed in 1918 and sent to Europe during World War I. The guns were two five inch guns installed at Fort Casey beginning in 1899. They were named for Second Lieutenant Reuben Smith Turman who was killed at San Juan Hill, Cuba, July 4, 1898. (Gregory, p. 118).
This battery at Fort Casey consisted of two six inch guns that were built between 1903 and 1907. They were named for First Lieutenant John Valleau of the 13th U.S. Infantry who was killed during the War of 1812 in an assault on October 12, 1812 against British forces. (Gregory, p. 118).
BATTERY VAN HORNE
These three inch guns were placed at Fort Casey beginning in 1903. They were named for Captain Isaac Van Horne, Jr. of the 19th U.S. Infantry who was killed during the War of 1812 in a battle against Fort Mackinac. He was killed in an attack on the fort on August 4, 1814. (Gregory, p. 118).
Battery Vicars at Fort Worden consisted of two five inch guns placed on site in 1900-02. The were removed in 1918 and sent to Europe. Thomas Allen Vicars was an officer of the 27th Infantry who was killed during a campaign against the Moros of the Philippines in May 2, 1902. (Gregory, p. 122).
Battery Vinton at Fort Worden consisted of two three inch guns mounted on pedestals. The battery was named for John Rogers Vinton of the United States 3rd Artillery who was killed at the siege of Vera Cruz in the Mexican War on March 22, 1847. (Gregory, p. 124).
Located at Fort Worden this three inch gun was named for Samuel Hamilton Walker of the Texas Mounted Rangers who was killed during the Mexican War leading troops at Haumantla, Mexico on October 9, 1846. (Gregory, p. 122).
Located on the south western corner of Fort Flagler facing Puget sound this battery consisted of two three inch guns. They were named for Lieutenant Thomas A. Wansboro of the U.S. 7th Infantry who was killed in Cuba on July 1, 1898. (Gregory, p. 116). Battery Wansboro has the only "guns" remaining at Fort Flagler.
Consisting of two five inch guns this battery at Fort Worden was built in 1900. It was named for William Horace Warner who was a member of the class of 1836 of the United State Military Academy.
He was killed by Indians in the Sierra Nevada Mountains while exploring the California mountain passes. (Gregory, p. 124).
Field notes that Lieutenant Warner was assigned to the topographical engineers when he was killed on September 26, 1849. (Field, p. 456).
Battery Wilhelm consisted of two twelve inch guns constructed beginning in 1897 at Fort Flagler. They were named for Captain William Wilhelm of the 21st U.S. Infantry who was killed while serving in the Philippines in June of 1901. (Gregory p. 116).
Battery Worth consisted of two ten inch guns at Fort Casey built beginning in 1897. They were named for Brigadier General William Scott Worth who was active in the Civil War and the Spanish American War. He died October 16, 1904.
Located near the city of Vancouver in Clark County, Camp Bonneville is a major training site for Fort Lawton's ARCOM (Army Reserve Command) units, headquartered in Seattle. (Roberts, p. 829). The camp consists of 3,840.6 acres north and east of the city.
Captain Benjamin L. E. Bonneville was an officer in the United States Army and an explorer of the American West. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1815 and served at a number of army posts. He was detailed to escort General Lafayette during his American visit in 1825 and later went to France.
He made extensive travels in the American west, sometimes on active service and at others times on his own attempting to develop his fur trading interests. He served in the Mexican War and was in command at Fort Vancouver from 1852 to 1855. He was recalled to duty in the Civil War and retired after the war. (Corning, p. 31).
A temporary Army post located on the Columbia River at Lake Chelan, it was established and occupied by three companies of the 2nd Infantry on September 2, 1879. It was abandoned on October 13, 1880 and its troops transferred to Camp (later Fort) Spokane. (Roberts, p. 830). The name, Chelan, is a modification of the Indian word, "Tsill-anne," which was the Indian name for Lake Chelan meaning "deep water." (Hitchman, p. 44).
CAMP DAVID S. STANLEY
On May 31, 1917, American Lake, near Cosgrove in Pierce County, was studied to be the tentative site for the present Fort Lewis. By June 16, however, a site two and a half miles southeast of the lake was selected. (Roberts, p. 831). Huddleston in writing his brief history of Fort Lewis noted that the location was changed because "...surveyors found drainage better on the south side..." of American Lake "...and that site was selected." (Huttleston, p. 6).
CAMP GEORGE JORDAN
This World War II Army post was located at 1st Avenue south and South Spokane Streets in Seattle was established for black troops in connection with the Seattle Port of Embarkation, who served as stevedores.
Named in honor of Sergeant George Jordan who was awarded the Medal of Honor on May 7, 1890 for meritorious service in action during 1880-81. Camp Jordan was opened on September 20, 1942 was formally dedicated November, 1943, and closed some time in 1947. (Roberts, p. 833).
Located a mile and a half north of Richland, on the Columbia River, in Benton County, the sprawling Hanford Reservation was established in 1943 by the Atomic Energy Commission for the production of plutonium. It had been used by the Army on a permit basis as a support for air defense units and operated by the General Electric Company.
In March 1961, the Department of Defense decided to return the property to the Atomic Energy Commission since the air defense units there were inactivated with no future Army use contemplated.
An independent installation until Jun l, 1959, it became a sub post of Fort Lewis. (Roberts, p. 832).
After the Seattle Fire of June, 1889, the Washington National Guard concentrated a large number of troops in and around Seattle to protect lives and property. Their encampment became known as Camp Moore for Governor and Commander-in-Chief Miles C. Moore. It was discontinued on June 20, 1889, when civil authorities announced they were well enough organized to allow the military to withdraw.
The State of Washington in 1903 purchased about 220 acres at American Lake twelve miles south of Tacoma for use by the National Guard. Maneuvers and encampments were held there for several years until 1915 when a permanent installation was established and named Camp Murray for Isaiah G. Murray, a pioneer settler in the area.
Engineers of companies E and F, 2nd Regiment U.S. Army arrived at Camp Murray on April 3, 1917, for training and ultimate duty in World War One. Improved and enlarged over the years and continued in use as the headquarters of the Washington National Guard, Camp Murray is presently one of the major training sites for ARCOM (Army Reserve Command) units of Fort Lawton in Seattle. (Roberts, p. 834).
One of the largest of the more than eleven blockhouses erected during the 1855-56 Indian War on Whidbey Island was built by James Davis, Davis Blockhouse was unique in its design for year round use and included a fireplace.
Restored in the early 1930s, it is now known as Cook Blockhouse, located adjacent to the present Sunnyside Cemetery just south of Coupeville. (Roberts, p. 831).
This was one of four blockhouses built in 1855 near Coupeville on Whidbey Island by Jacob Ebey, father of Colonel Isaac N. Ebey whose later death by the hands of Haida Indians was responsible for the construction of some of the island's defenses. A twelve foot high palisade originally surrounded Ebey's dwelling and connected the four blockhouses, one at each corner.
The present Ebey Blockhouse was restored by a later owner of the property. (Roberts, p. 832).
Located on Garrison Bay about a mile from Roche Harbor on San Juan island, English Camp was a British post maintained from 1860 to 1872 by Royal Marines to support the Queen's claim to the island. The establishment of the post was occasioned by the so called Pig War in 1859, an international boundary dispute that lasted for a dozen years.
The present boundary was finally fixed in 1873. San Juan Island was reputedly the last place in the United States where the British standard was officially displayed. English Camp's original block house, several other structures and the Royal Marine Cemetery still occupy the site, part of the San Juan Island Historical Park maintained by the National Park Service. (Roberts, p. 832).
A temporary blockhouse located at present-day Snoqualmie, King County and situated about sixty feet south of the Snoqualmie River, a short distance above its falls, it was erected in 1856 by the Northern Battalion of the 2nd Washington Volunteer Regiment. It was named for Captain James Alden. (Roberts, p. 829) See: Fort Alder.
A fort above Snoqualmie Falls where the community of Meadowbrook is now located near the town of Snoqualmie. It was built by the Northern Battalion, of the Washington Territorial Volunteers under the command of Captain J. J. H. Van Bokkelin.(SP?)
Its purpose was to prevent Indians from Eastern Washington from joining forces with Puget Sound Indians during the Indian War of 1855-56. The name was for abundant growths of native alder trees on Rangers Prairie. (Hitchman, p. 94) (King Co.).
Fort Alden or Fort Alder was built under the direction of Captain J. J. H. Van Bokklin(SP?) who was in command of the Northern Battalion, Washington Territorial Volunteers with headquarters at Fort Tilton.
Fort Alder was built during the last few days of February and the first few days of March, 1856. The fort was situated about sixty feet south of the Snoqualmie River and approximately six hundred feet west of the principal business center of the present town of Meadowbrook. (Whiting, p. 16-17).
The blockhouse was built on the Cowlitz River near Castle Rock at the southeast end of Arkansas Valley. It was built during the Indian War of 1855-6.
It was named for its location in the Arkansas Valley. (Hitchman, p. 94) (Cowlitz Co.).
This fort was built in 1856 and was abandoned in 1860. Constructed on a bluff overlooking Bellingham Bay three and a half miles west of the mouth of Whatcom creek. It was named for the bay on which it was located. (Hitchman, p. 94) (Whatcom Co.).
Located about twenty five miles south of the Canadian border, at the present town of Bellingham on Bellingham Bay, it was established to protect the Whatcom mining district on August 26, 1856 by 9th Infantry troops commanded by Captain George E. Pickett. Fort Bellingham was abandoned April 28, 1860. (Roberts, p. 829).
Established August 26, 1856. Located at the present town of Bellingham, on Bellingham Bay, about twenty-five miles south of the Canadian border. In 1855 a small blockhouse was erected by the settlers of the area because of the wide spread Indian disorders in the Pacific Northwest.
In response to the appeal of the settlers, United States troops were sent under the command of Captain George E. Pickett, 9th U.S. Infantry, and the military post was established. It was considered a temporary post, its chief purpose being to protect the Whatcom coal mining district form Indian depredations. Abandoned on April 28, 1860. (Fraser, p. 167-68).
The general plan of Fort Bellingham consisted of a wharf at the foot of the bluff and back about 100 feet from the edge of the bluff there was a palisaded inclosure measuring two hundred fifteen feet square. The northeast and southwest corners of the palisade were completed by the inclusion of a blockhouse
The ground dimensions of the block houses were twenty-two feet square and the top story of each was not much larger. the palisade posts were from mill cut timbers eight inches in thickness and random widths up to eighteen inches.
The posts were set into trenches and at the top the posts were dowelled together. The flag mast was located near the south wall about midway east and west. A drill ground was without the palisaded inclosure and lay directly to the east. A large gate was in the east wall line, and there was a gate in the north wall line near the northwest corner.
About midway along the south wall and outside the palisade posts there was a depression of about three feet; within the palisade line the ground was level, indicating that there had been a small ravine here and that within the fort grounds it had been leveled. (Whiting, p. 19-20).
This stockaded fort was built on the north bank of the Walla River two miles above Whitman Station. Construction began on December 10, 1855, by troops of the Oregon Mounted Volunteers under the command of Lieut. Colonel James J. Kelly.
It was named for Captain Bennett of Company F who died shortly before the fort was built. (Hitchman, p. 94) (Walla Co.).
A temporary stockade located on the north bank of the Walla River about six miles west of present Walla and two miles east of the former Whitman Mission. It was built in December 1855 by Oregon Volunteers and named to honor Captain Charles Bennett killed on December 7 during the "Battle of Frenchtown." It was abandoned in 1856. (Roberts, p. 829).
After the Battle of Frenchtown which occurred near the site of Waiilatpu Mission in December, 1855, Fort Bennett was established by Lieutenant Colonel James K. Kelley and a force of Oregon volunteers. The fort, so-called, was a hastily erected stockade, designed as winter quarters for the volunteers.
It was located about two miles east of the mission, which was some six miles west of the present town of Walla. Named for Captain Charles Bennett, Oregon Volunteers, who had been killed in the fighting on December 7. It was abandoned in 1856. (Fraser, p. 168).
The name "Fort Bennett" was transferred from one location to another. The stockaded burial place of Captain Bennett does not seem to be known. No material has been found that would indicate the original site of Fort Bennett.
Fort Bennett, Washington Territory, Established December 10, 1855.
"Tomorrow we will remove to a more suitable point, where grass can be obtained in greater abundance for our worn out horses. A place has been selected about two miles above Whitman Station, on the same side of the Walla Walla.
Consequently I will abandon this Fort, named in honor of Captain Bennett, of Company F who now sleeps beneath its stockade, and whose career of usefulness and bravery was here so sadly but nobly closed. James K. Kelly, Lt. Colonel. Commanding Left Column." (Whiting, p. 21).
This blockhouse built on the west side of present Centralia during the Indian War of 1855-56 was on the Military Road. It was built on the land claim of Joseph Borst and was named for him. It was also called Borst Blockhouse and Borst's Fort. (Hitchman, p. 94) (Lewis Co.).
The fort was later occupied as a supply depot by the Washington Territorial Militia. The blockhouse has been moved from its original site and is now in Fort Borst Park, immediately southwest of Harris Avenue in Centralia west of Interstate Highway Five. (Roberts, p. 829).
Fort Borst, near Centralia, Lewis County, Washington on the Chehalis River and on the land claim of Joseph Borst. Built in 1856. On the old Military Road just west of the junction of the Skookumchuck and Chehalis Rivers.
The name Fort Borst is not mentioned in the report of the Captain of Engineers, Washington Territorial Volunteers nor in correspondence between the Governor and the Secretary of War. (Whiting, p. 23).
Captain Francis Goff and 26 Oregon Volunteers founded Fort Borst in 1856 at the strategic point where the Chehalis River was crossed by the military road between Forts Vancouver and Steilacoom. Officially the structure was called "Blockhouse on Chehalis River, below Mouth of Skookum Chuck." Unofficially, because it was on the property of Joseph Borst, it quickly became known as Borst's Fort or Fort Borst. (Hart, Pioneer Forts of the West, p. 85)
Fort Canby was established on April 5, 1864 as Fort Cape Disappointment. On January 28, 1875 it was renamed to honor Major General Edward Richard Sprigg Canby who was killed in the Modoc war. When operational it had two full batteries of coast artillery weapons and with Fort Columbia and Fort Stevens constituted the defense system of the Columbia River. (Hitchman, p. 94) (Pacific Co.).
Construction of the post commenced in July, 1863. It was first garrisoned on April 5, 1864. Located on Cape Disappointment, within the mouth but north of the Columbia River. The quarters for the officers and men were located on the shores of Baker Bay (Which is now a Coast Guard Station). The site was chosen by Colonel Rene E. de Russy, Corps of Engineers, in charge of Pacific coastal defenses.
The post was originally designated Fort Cape Disappointment by Brigadier General Benjamin Alvord. On January 28, 1875 the name was changed to Fort Canby, in honor of Brigadier General Edward R. S. Canby who was killed by Modoc Indians on April 11, 1873, while engaged in peace negotiations.
The post was designed to guard the entrance of the Columbia River in conjunction with Fort Stevens, Oregon. It was not garrisoned in 1888 but was reoccupied the following year. (Fraser, p. 171).
Fort Canby, originally established as Fort Cape Disappointment on April 5, 1864. The name was changed to Fort Canby on January 28, 1875. It is situated at the mouth of the Columbia River north of Cape Disappointment east of North Head and on Baker Bay.
The fort was named in honor of General Edward Richard Sprigg Canby who was killed in the Modoc Indian War.
In 1906 the Report of the Secretary of War contained recommendations for the improvement of Fort Canby. In 1903 Fort Canby was occupied by a small detachment of enlisted men to guard government property. During the past thirty years Fort Canby has been declared of no military value on many occasions.
During World War II huge sums of money were spent improving all phases of Fort Canby. In 1950 Fort Canby was declared to be of no military value and it was turned over to disposal bodies. Provisions were made for the War Department to reacquire the site if it deems necessary in the interest of National defense.
The Fort area is now divided into a number of functions the most prominent being a Washington State Park. In addition there is a Coast Guard Station, a lighthouse, and a Lewis and Clark Expedition Building.
FORT CAPE DISAPPOINTMENT
See: Fort Canby
This "...rather large fort..." was built on a hill above the old town of Cascade City on the Columbia River near the present community of Cascade Locks. It was completed September 30, 1855, and abandoned November 6, 1861. It was named by the Washington Territorial Volunteers for the Cascades of the Columbia River which it adjoined. (Hitchman, p. 94) (Skamania Co.).
Established September 30, 1855. Located on the right bank of the Columbia River at the foot of the Cascades, near the present Bonneville Dam. The Cascades are the lower of the two rapids in the Columbia which interrupt the navigation of the river.
Established to protect the movement of persons and supplies along the river. In addition to the fort itself, two block houses were erected on the north bank of the river, one about midway along the rapids and the other at the head of the rapids, some five miles above the fort.
These block houses accommodated small garrisons. Established by Captain Granville O. Haller, 4th. U.S. Infantry. Evacuated on June 14, 1861. Reoccupied on August 20, 1861, because of the threatened renewal of Indian hostilities.
Finally abandoned on November 6, 1861. The military reservation which was privately claimed was relinquished on February 2, 1867 (Fraser, p. 172).
Fort Casey was built on the western shore of Whidbey Island in 1897 as a site for the Coast Artillery. Ten batteries were in operation. It was inactivated in 1950 and two batteries have been restored.
It was named for General Thomas L. Casey once Chief of Engineers of the United States Army. His father, Colonel Silas Casey commanded Fort Steilacoom in the 1850s. (Hitchman, p.94) (Island Co.).
Fort Casey, located on Admiralty Head, Whidbey Island, Washington. The dock and narrow gauge railroad leading to the fort were constructed by the United States Army Engineers in 1897.
A contract for the fort construction was secured and carried out by A. C. Goerig, Seattle. The Goerig contract included the placing of four disappearing guns and a battery of sixteen guns. A frame barrack for sixteen men and a single set of officer's quarters as completed on February 22, 1900, an at approximate cost of $6,980.00.
Mounting great guns....work at Fort Casey and Flagler has been completed. ( Seattle Post Intelligencer, January 26, 1900)
First wireless system in Northwest opened. Fort Casey talked to Fort Townsend by dots and dashes. ( Seattle Star, October 17, 1903)
Hon. Theodore Roosevelt, Executive Mansion, Washington D.C.:
I have the honor to inform you that Fort Casey, heretofore without means of communication with the mainland, is now and in the future will be in touch with all points of our great country, through the system of the Pacific Wireless Telegraph Company. (A. L. New, Seattle Star, October 17, 1903)
On October 4, 1904 the cableship Burnside was in Puget Sound and would shortly proceed to lay communication cables between Forts Worden, Flagler and Casey.
Many additions were made to Fort Casey during the next few years. Hospital rooms were added in 1906 and in 1907 fire control was provided. In 1908 a gymnasium and bowling alley were added.
There is a line of twenty-four new wooden buildings, barracks, cook houses, recreation centers, a theater and offices across one end of the parade ground which lay...untrod for twenty year after the World War. (Whiting, p. 29).
At Fort Casey ten batteries were constructed for the emplacement of thirty-five guns. The batteries were named: Battery Kingsbury, Battery Moore, Battery Parker, Battery Schenck, Battery Seymour, Battery Trevor, Battery Turman, Battery Valleau, Battery Van Horne, and Battery Worth. (Gregory, p. 116-118).
On February 11, 1860 the United States Army established a post on the south entrance to Grays Harbor at Chehalis Point. The post was abandoned June 19, 1861 as the United States Army withdrew for assignments in the Civil War. (Hitchman, p. 94) (Grays Harbor Co.).
The post was established when the Chehalis Indians threatened the settlement recently established at the mouth of the river. Captain Maurice Maloney, 4th U.S. Infantry, built two officers quarters, one barracks and a storehouse. A small guard house of logs was later built. The post was a camp and was never officially designated as a fort.
It was abandoned on June 19, 1861, by order of Colonel George Wright, 9th U.S. Infantry. Reoccupied in August, 1861, to restore the confidence of the settlers in the vicinity and to protect the Indian agent while an agency was being established. Permanently abandoned before the end of the year. In 1868 the government ordered the buildings at the post sold. (Fraser, p. 172).
Roberts calls this establishment Camp Chehalis (Roberts p. 830) as does Herbert Hart in his book Pioneer Forts of the West.
A blockhouse built during the Indian War of 1855 near Hungerford Point in Southeast Mason County was called Fort Collins. (Hitchman, p. 94) (Mason Co.).
This coastal defense fort at Chinook Point on the north bank of the Columbia River is two miles east of the community of Chinook. It was established on November 30, 1899 and was located on 720 acres of ground. It received its name in July, 1899 for the River which it guarded. (Hitchman, p. 94) (Pacific Co.).
Fort Columbia State park occupies 293 acres of the post and includes several battery sites and a number of military buildings.
A coast artillery post originally established as Chinook Point Post in late 1896. Fort Columbia stands at Chinook Point on the north shore of the Columbia River opposite, and about six miles within the river's mouth between the towns of Megler and Chinook.
Together with the batteries of Fort Canby and Fort Stevens, Fort Columbia's guns guarded the river's mouth. The batteries at the fort were named Battery Ord, Battery Murphy and Battery Crenshaw.
The post was declared obsolete after World War II. On March 28, 1947, the three forts of the Harbor Defenses of the Columbia were listed as surplus by the War Department. Fort Columbia was stripped of its armament and on March 31, 1948, transferred to the jurisdiction of the War Assets Administration. The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission applied for the property for historical monument purposes on August 26, 1948.
On May 12, 1950, a major portion of the reservation was officially transferred to the State of Washington. A dedication ceremony was held on June 17, 1951, and the old coast artillery post became Fort Columbia Historical State Park. (Roberts, p. 830-31).
The Fort Colvile that was the Hudson's Bay Company post was founded on the southeast bank of the Columbia River one mile above the Kettle Falls Cascades on April 14, 1825. It was completed during 1826 when materials from Spokane House which the Hudson's Bay Company had acquired by the merger with the North West Company in 1821 were moved to the Colvile site.
George Simpson noted in his journal that he had "....lined out the site of the establishment one hundred fifty feet square on a bank facing and commanding a view of the River, and I have taken the liberty of naming it Fort Colvile as both the establishments that bore that Gentleman's name were abandoned at the Coalition of the Hudson's Bay Company and the Northwest Company."
The area upon which the fort was built was flooded by Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake behind Grand Coulee Dam.
Andrew W. Colville, was a one time governor of the Hudson's Bay Company. (Hitchman, p. 95).
This United States Army post was located three miles north of Colville on a flat skirted by Mill Creek directly south of the site of Pinkney City in west central Spokane County. It was called Harney Military Depot when first occupied by the 9th U.S. Infantry on June 21, 1859.
The 9th Infantry was withdrawn at the beginning of the City War and were replaced for a time by the California Volunteers. Federal troops were withdrawn in 1881 and the fort was officially abandoned in 1882.
The Hudson's Bay Company post, Fort Colvile was fourteen miles to the northwest. (Hitchman, p. 95) (Spokane Co.).
Established June 15, 1859. Located on a flat on the left side of Mill Creek, seven miles above its confluence with the Colville River and about three miles east of the present town of Colville.
Established to control the Indians of the area, who had been very hostile, and to provide a base for the northwest boundary commission. Established by Captain Pinkney Lugenbeel, 9th U.S. Infantry, by order of Brigadier General William S. Harney.
First called Harney Depot, the post was later designated Camp Colville, then Fort Colville. The name was derived from the early Hudson's Bay Company post, which was named for Andrew Colville, an official of the company.
Abandoned in 1883. The military reservation was transferred to the Interior Department on February 26, 1887. (Fraser, p. 172-73).
Fort Decatur was established in what is now downtown Seattle during the Indian War of 1855-56 at the corner of Cherry Street and Front Avenue (now First Avenue). It was a blockhouse built with heavy timbers and a split cedar shake roof 25 by 40 feet in area. It was first called North Blockhouse but the name was later changed to honor the U. S. S. Decatur which played a role in the defense of the town during the war. (Hitchman, p. 95) (King Co.).
The writers of the Kitsap County history noted that Fort Decatur in Kitsap County was on the Decatur townsite which was later old Port Orchard, then Manette and now East Bremerton.
What was then the confluence of the Black River and the White River was a logical spot to establish a blockhouse when relations between the whites and the Indians began to heat up in 1855. The army established a string of such protections for the settlers between Steilacoom and Seattle, the one here being built under the supervision of Captain Frederick T. Dent who was brother in law to Ulysses S. Grant. (Cardle, p. 41).
Built during the Indian War of 1855-56 this two story log blockhouse was south of Seattle on the Duwamish River directly north of the town of Duwamish on the L.M. Collins Donation Land Claim. It was twenty-two feet square with a gable roof and the second story had an overhang. (Hitchman, p. 95) (King Co.).
Fort Eaton was built during the winter of 1855-56 on the Eaton Donation Land Claim four miles southwest of the Nisqually Flats. It consisted of sixteen log buildings erected in a square by local settlers for mutual protection from Indians. (Hitchman, p. 95) (Thurston Co.).
FORT EBEY (Territorial establishment)
Established by the Washington Territorial Volunteers during the Indian War of 1855-6 and named for Isaac Neff Ebey this fort was one mile upstream from Lowell in east central Snohomish County. Its purpose was to prevent Indians crossing the Nachess Pass from Eastern Washington in large numbers to assist in attacks on the west side of the mountains. (Hitchman, p. 95) (Snohomish Co).
Located on Ebey Island in the Snohomish River about eight miles above its mouth and east of present Everett, Fort Ebey was named for Colonel Isaac N. Ebey, U.S. Customs Collector, who was later killed and dismembered by Haida Indians in 1857. Fort Ebey, a single story block house was built in 1855 by Washington Territorial Volunteer troops who were later transferred to Fort Alden. (Roberts, p. 831).
FORT EBEY (World War II establishment).
Fort Ebey State Park is located on Whidbey Island, eight miles south of Oak Harbor off Highway 20 on Valley Drive. The fort was originally established as a Coast Artillery installation in 1942 to supplement Forts Casey, Flagler and Worden, all of which are currently Washington State Parks.
The War Department declared Fort Ebey surplus property soon after World War II and donated the reservation to the state in 1968. Fort Ebey was stabilized in 1980 and the 226 acre State Park that encloses it was opened to the public in February, 1981. (Roberts, p. 831-32).