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Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip

The two forts which were the scene of Farragut’s first brilliant exploit in running by the enemy’s works with wooden vessels have not been regularly garrisoned since 1871 and have been maintained only in a casual sort of a fashion. Stronger and newer defenses have taken their place, though these two spots have had a long and honorable existence in the defense of the mouth of America’s greatest river and of its picturesque French Spanish American chief city, New Orleans. Situated 32 nautical miles by river from the Gulf of Mexico and about 22 miles from the lighthouse at the head of the passes of the Mississippi, they occupy the first habitable ground bordering the river, at a sharp bend known as English Turn. Fort St. Philip is on the northern bank of the river. Fort Jackson on the southern. Though so far from the Gulf by river. Fort St. Philip, owing to the peculiar formation of the mouth of the Mississippi, with long fingers spread out into the sea, is only a short distance from the Gulf as the crow flies. About a mile above the site of Fort Jackson there stood an ancient French fortification known as Fort Bourbon, which gradually yielded to the encroachments of time so that now there is of it nothing left. Fort St. Philip, itself, was founded by the French and was surrendered to the United States in 1803 with the purchase of the Louisiana territory. The situation of the two forts was early recognized by the United States as possessing much military value, and in 1812-1815 St. Philip was made over...

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