Blue Mounds Fort

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Fort Blue Mounds
Blue mounds ft.jpg
Sign across the river from the original site.
Location Dane County, Wisconsin, USA
Nearest city Blue Mounds
Coordinates 43°01′03″N 89°49′56″W / 43.01750°N 89.83222°W / 43.01750; -89.83222Coordinates: 43°01′03″N 89°49′56″W / 43.01750°N 89.83222°W / 43.01750; -89.83222
Built May 10, 1832
Governing body State of Wisconsin
NRHP Reference # 01001044
Added to NRHP September 24, 2001

Fort Blue Mounds, also known as Blue Mounds Fort, was located in Blue Mounds, Dane County, Wisconsin, USA.

History[edit]

The settlement of Blue Mounds was founded in 1828 by Ebenezer Brigham on the south slope of the eastern mound of the Blue Mounds.[1] In 1832, when word arrived that Chief Black Hawk and his 1200 Sauk followers had crossed the Mississippi River, it was decided to build a fort to protect the settlers.[1]

On May 10, 1832, the construction of Fort Blue Mounds began with the help of the residents of Blue Mounds, led by the newly promoted Colonel Ebenezer Brigham.[1][2][3] The fort was built a mile south of Eastern Mound on the highest part of the open prairie,[2] allowing for a commanding view of the open country for miles.[2] Those who defended the fort were able to see to the east, south, and west, with the mound bounding the northern side of the fort.[2]

Word quickly arrived at the settlement of an engagement between Black Hawk's group and the Illinois militia on May 14, 1832.[1] In what was to be called the Battle of Stillman's Run, the Illinois militia were defeated by the Indians.[1] This, along with the closeness of the Ho-Chunk tribe, brought fear to the settlers, and they worked quickly to complete the fort in about two weeks.[1][2]

From May 20 to September 20, 1832, the settlers and miners joined General Henry Dodge's Michigan Territory Militia during the Black Hawk War.[1][3]

James Aubrey was the first commander at the fort, but after he was killed by the Indians on June 6, his first lieutenant, Edward Beouchard, took command.[2] He didn't command long before Captain John Sherman succeeded him.[1][2]

Archaeology[edit]

The site of the original fort was owned by Colonel Brigham's descendants until it was donated to the Wisconsin Historical Society, who dedicated it as a state historical site on September 5, 1921.[3]

Through excavation, it was found that the layout of the fort was very similar to one at Apple River in Illinois.[1] The fort was surrounded by a picket fence about 150 feet (46 m) in length on each side.[2] Its wall was made from oak trees that were about 16 or 17 feet (5.2 m) in height, with 3 feet (0.91 m) of trunk planted in the ground.[2] At two of the corners of the fort were 20-foot (6.1 m) square blockhouses.[1][2] Inside the wall was a log building in the center that was 30 by 20 feet (6.1 m) that was used as a store-house and barracks.[1][2]

Today[edit]

On May 22, 2010, the Blue Mounds Fort marker was rededicated following a three-year fundraising effort by the Blue Mounds Area Historical Society.[4] The marker, which was cleaned up and re-mounted on a chert boulder donated by Blue Mound State Park, sits on the site of the Fort, although it is not currently accessible by the public.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Birmingham, Robert. "Uncovering the Story of Fort Blue Mounds", Wisconsin Magazine of History, Spring 2003. Retrieved 14 August 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Wisconsin Historical Society Retrieved on August 19, 2007
  3. ^ a b c Wisconsin Magazine of History, p. 124 Retrieved on August 19, 2007
  4. ^ http://my.madison.com/Groups/Blue_Mounds_Area_Historical_Society_/ Blue Mounds Area Historical Society

External links[edit]