Fort Defiance (Illinois)

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This article is about the Fort Defiance near Cairo, Illinois. For others see Fort Defiance (disambiguation).
Fort Defiance Park is the brown colored rectangular area at the tip of the peninsula.

Fort Defiance, known as Camp Defiance during the American Civil War, is a former military fortification located at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers near Cairo in Alexander County, Illinois. The strategic significance of the site has been known since prehistoric times with archaeological evidence of warfare dating to the Mississippian era. It is the southernmost point in the state of Illinois. Fort Defiance Park, formerly a State Park, is owned and maintained by the city of Cairo. At 279 feet (85 m) elevation, Fort Defiance Point is Illinois' lowest point.[1]


On his trek up the Mississippi, Frenchman Pierre Laclede was among the first Europeans to land on the southern tip of what is now Illinois.


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Coordinates: 36°59′11″N 89°08′45″W / 36.9864411°N 89.1459038°W / 36.9864411; -89.1459038