Fort Jackson History


Fort Jackson is a decommissioned masonry fort located some 40 miles up river from the mouth of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. It was constructed as a coastal defense of New Orleans between 1822 and 1832.

Fort Jackson is situated approximately 70 miles (100 km) south of New Orleans on the western bank of the Mississippi. The older Fort St. Philip is located opposite of Fort Jackson on the eastern bank; this West Bank fort was constructed after the War of 1812 on the advice of Andrew Jackson, for whom it is named.

The fort was occupied off and on for various military purposes from its completion until after World War I, when it served as a training station. It is now a registered national historic landmark and historical museum owned and operated by Plaquemines Parish.

Fort Jackson was the site of the Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip from April 16 to April 28, 1862, during the American Civil War. The Confederate-controlled fort was besieged for 12 days by the fleet of U.S. Navy Flag Officer David Farragut. Fort Jackson fell on April 28 after the Union fleet bombarded it and then sailed past its guns and to capture New Orleans, leaving the fort isolated.

The fort has been owned by Plaquemines Parish since 1962. In the 1960s, Leander Perez threatened to turn it into a prison for any hippies and advocates of desegregation who entered the Parish.

The fort site was later opened as a park.The fort was badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina storm surge in 2005. Between Katrina and Hurricane Rita the following month, much of the fort sat under water for up to 6 weeks. Many of this historic exhibits in the fort were destroyed, and the fort itself suffered structural damage.

copyright 2008+  designed by John Harris