My work at Fort Derussy

jude

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Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Messages
86
Location
Louisiana
#1
I just wanted to post my work that I have to say I’m proud of at Fort Derussy. These pictures were from the summer I’ve done more since them. The first 4 pictures or so showing before I started. The state that owns it hasn’t done anything with it in 20 yrs but I did get permission to clean up so I am. I can’t see this Fort being abandoned anymore. The water u see in one picture is supposedly where a Union shell hit a artillery bunker. Hopefully in years to come we can open it up to the public. Also the names of the slaves on the statue is the only one that honors slaves that helped build a fort
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Joined
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770
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Coffeeville, TX
#5
I had heard the Friends of Fort Derussy were moving some sort of old building out there for some reason or other.

It funny you'd bring us these good pictures, and today of all days. I was recently asked to co-host the new Trans-Mississippi forum, and I was thinking just last night "you know an in depth thread on the friendly fire accident at Fort Derussy would be a good first thread." and here you beat me to it! And you got a good picture of the pond made by it! Which no it wasn't made by a Union shell, it was where the powder magazine was, and I'm WAY over simplifying it, but basically some Union soldiers were fooling around and went in the magazine where they blew themselves and a chunk of the Fort to Kingdom Come, creating that hole.

I've kept up with developments and last I was told, back in October, the Friends of Fort Derussy were getting ready to do a lot of things out there and get the Fort opened back up since a certain hurricane torpedoed State operations there. Heck I recently found detailed "blueprints" of the Fort, (drawn up after the battle and Red River Campaign by the Confederate's topographic engineer in the TM), and have been "suggesting" the Fort be rebuilt. Its history would merit such an effort.

Thanks for sharing pictures, and cleaning up the Fort, God willing I'll be able to see it one day.
 

jude

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Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Messages
86
Location
Louisiana
#7
I had heard the Friends of Fort Derussy were moving some sort of old building out there for some reason or other.

It funny you'd bring us these good pictures, and today of all days. I was recently asked to co-host the new Trans-Mississippi forum, and I was thinking just last night "you know an in depth thread on the friendly fire accident at Fort Derussy would be a good first thread." and here you beat me to it! And you got a good picture of the pond made by it! Which no it wasn't made by a Union shell, it was where the powder magazine was, and I'm WAY over simplifying it, but basically some Union soldiers were fooling around and went in the magazine where they blew themselves and a chunk of the Fort to Kingdom Come, creating that hole.

I've kept up with developments and last I was told, back in October, the Friends of Fort Derussy were getting ready to do a lot of things out there and get the Fort opened back up since a certain hurricane torpedoed State operations there. Heck I recently found detailed "blueprints" of the Fort, (drawn up after the battle and Red River Campaign by the Confederate's topographic engineer in the TM), and have been "suggesting" the Fort be rebuilt. Its history would merit such an effort.

Thanks for sharing pictures, and cleaning up the Fort, God willing I'll be able to see it one day.
Ok so that’s what happened with the big hole. U hear of a few different things that why I said supposedly a shell hit it. But makes a lot more sense the way u said. Steve Mayeaux said something about putting a building to maybe put some of our equipment lawnmower etc there but that’s all I heard. We gonna try and get the friends of Fort DeRussy to have another clean up day but I’ve just been going do it myself being that I’m retired and have the time. We gotta keep this place up bc it will go to nothing. The state supposedly had funds to help restore it before the hurricane but the money went to hurricane relief so I know nothing will ever be done by the state now. I would love if u could send me a copy of the blueprints I would love to see them.
 
Joined
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Messages
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#9
Ok so that’s what happened with the big hole. U hear of a few different things that why I said supposedly a shell hit it. But makes a lot more sense the way u said. Steve Mayeaux said something about putting a building to maybe put some of our equipment lawnmower etc there but that’s all I heard. We gonna try and get the friends of Fort DeRussy to have another clean up day but I’ve just been going do it myself being that I’m retired and have the time. We gotta keep this place up bc it will go to nothing. The state supposedly had funds to help restore it before the hurricane but the money went to hurricane relief so I know nothing will ever be done by the state now. I would love if u could send me a copy of the blueprints I would love to see them.

Yeah I got a couple of folks interested in seeing the blueprints, which I really need to get back to them lol, but makes me wonder if I stumbled on something a lot of folks missed lol. Its in the University of North Carolina in their archives, (Gilmer Papers if I remember right), maybe I'll share the link or the image when I type up the thread this afternoon.

I've wanted to get down there and see the Fort, but circumstances tend to rise, and plans go out the window. But good work cleaning the place up, from what I hear it needs it more often, but me I'd like to get the funds and equipment out there and see it rebuilt than see it left to the sands of time. Lord knows it's history and condition would merit such an effort, if only the traveling public could be induced to come see it afterwards. Its such an unheard of battle that had importance in its own right.
 

Jimklag

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#10
I just wanted to post my work that I have to say I’m proud of at Fort Derussy. These pictures were from the summer I’ve done more since them. The first 4 pictures or so showing before I started. The state that owns it hasn’t done anything with it in 20 yrs but I did get permission to clean up so I am. I can’t see this Fort being abandoned anymore. The water u see in one picture is supposedly where a Union shell hit a artillery bunker. Hopefully in years to come we can open it up to the public. Also the names of the slaves on the statue is the only one that honors slaves that helped build a fort View attachment 218347 View attachment 218351 View attachment 218352 View attachment 218353 View attachment 218354 View attachment 218355 View attachment 218356 View attachment 218357 View attachment 218358 View attachment 218359 View attachment 218360 View attachment 218361 View attachment 218362 View attachment 218364

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You're doing a fine thing, @jude . Thanks for sharing the photos.
 

gary

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Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
6,323
#12
Good work!

What's the story behind slaves dying to build a fort? The overseers had to be careful with the lives of the slaves since the owner had to be compensated for the loss of his chattel/property. Slave owners were reluctant to loan the services of their slaves because it meant a loss of labor.
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Messages
770
Location
Coffeeville, TX
#13
Good work!

What's the story behind slaves dying to build a fort? The overseers had to be careful with the lives of the slaves since the owner had to be compensated for the loss of his chattel/property. Slave owners were reluctant to loan the services of their slaves because it meant a loss of labor.
While I'm not real familiar with the slaves that built Fort Derussy, I know where your liable to find out. "Earthen Walls, Iron Men: Fort Derussy, Louisiana and the defense of the Red River" by Steven Mayeux has the answer.
 

DaveBrt

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Joined
Mar 6, 2010
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Charlotte, NC
#15
Yeah I got a couple of folks interested in seeing the blueprints, which I really need to get back to them lol, but makes me wonder if I stumbled on something a lot of folks missed lol. Its in the University of North Carolina in their archives, (Gilmer Papers if I remember right), maybe I'll share the link or the image when I type up the thread this afternoon.

I've wanted to get down there and see the Fort, but circumstances tend to rise, and plans go out the window. But good work cleaning the place up, from what I hear it needs it more often, but me I'd like to get the funds and equipment out there and see it rebuilt than see it left to the sands of time. Lord knows it's history and condition would merit such an effort, if only the traveling public could be induced to come see it afterwards. Its such an unheard of battle that had importance in its own right.
They are in Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_DeRussy_(Louisiana)
 

jude

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Mar 18, 2015
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Louisiana
#16
We planted a certain grass to help protect the earthworks. But of course the state got mad and say we couldn’t do that bc it was a native grass
 

jude

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Mar 18, 2015
Messages
86
Location
Louisiana
#17
Ok thanks Dave I know they won’t give money bc don’t even wanna pay the insurance. I’ve just been using my equipment and on my dime. I don’t mind bc at least they are letting us work on it.
 
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#18
We planted a certain grass to help protect the earthworks. But of course the state got mad and say we couldn’t do that bc it was a native grass
I had heard about the grass being planted, (can't remember the exact name of that Asian breed I was told and read of), but I've seen where its been touted as good to combat erosion, but from my experience working with that stuff, I would say it has the opposite effect. I don't know where it was originally said it was good to combat erosion, I just haven't seen it the times I worked with it years ago.

Plus I can see where the State is coming from, some foreign plants can be invasive and hurt native plants.

EDIT: Just remembered the grass breed, Asian Jasmine, that's what I heard had been planted at Fort Derussy. And my experience was with my dad planting the stuff on hillsides and other sites after he demoed a building, and me seeing hillsides planted with it 5 years later and it was heavily eroded. Hence my dislike for that plant, as I've seen it often touted to combat erosion when I've seen different. Wasn't trying to be critical, Jude's work is beyond commendable.
 
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