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Strongholds of the Past

The tourist on the coast of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia- for in summer hundreds of people seek out this pleasant land for its cheerful climate – may come upon a little bay on the easternmost verge of the land where is a deep landlocked inlet protected from elemental fury by a long rocky arm thrust out from the shore into the sea. He will not be able to surmise from the present aspect of his surroundings that this was the site of mighty Louisburg, the greatest artificial stronghold (Quebec being largely a work of nature) that the French ever had in the New World. Of this massive and menacing fortress, which cost thirty million livres and twenty-five years of toil to build after the designs of the great Vauban, hardly one stone lies placed upon another and grass and rubble have taken the place of the heavy walls. Standing on the ground where New France’s greatest leaders stood it is difficult today to picture the martial pomp which once must have claimed this spot, to visualize, more particularly, the setting for the farcical onslaught of the zealous New Englanders of 1744, under the doughty Pepperell, in their greatest single military exploit. The Treaty of Utrecht, which provided a basis of agreement for France and England in the New World for almost half a century, did not establish boundaries between the two countries and the contest to determine the question was unceasing, though not officially recognized. France busied herself in building fortifications and was ready frequently to formally draw the sword; yet it needed the outbreak of the War...

Historic and Quaint Forts of North America

Historic and Quaint Forts of North America. An account of the most famous fortifications of North America is, in realty, a cross section of the military history of the continent; and whatever ingenuity there may be in this method of presenting the conspicuous deeds of valor of the American people will, it may be hoped, add interest to the following pages.

Forts Trumbull and Griswold

The sunny waters of the Thames at New London, Connecticut, present a smiling aspect, and from the high flagstaff of trig little Fort Trumbull the stars and stripes float gaily. Across the river on the hill above the little town of Groton is the State reservation containing the remains of Fort Griswold, with rough zigzag paths approaching the summit of the hill. Adjacent to Fort Griswold is the stone monument which commemorates the Fort Griswold massacre. Many sunny years will not wipe out the memory of the bloody deeds of that violent hour. Fort Trumbull is situated one mile from the mouth of the Thames River and one mile and a half below the little city of New London, with whose history it is associated. A modest work of substantial construction, it covers only thirteen acres and is so restricted for living space that it cannot accommodate a full garrison within its walls. Fort Griswold is a work of far more ancient and rougher construction. It is not garrisoned today and has not been garrisoned for many years, though in the fighting days of the two forts it was the more important of the two places. The little village of New London is a favored watering place for many in summer and its safe and accessible harbor has made it desirable as a haven for the storage of summer light craft during the winter months. These same considerations hold true of Groton on the other side of the river. Thousands of visitors every summer go over the historic defenses of Fort Griswold or gaze upon the equally historic site...

Fort Ticonderoga

One could desire to be at the bold promontory of Ticonderoga in 1609, when the virgin woodside gazed anxiously at Samuel Champlain, that intrepid French adventurer, as he fired his bellmouthed musket against the mystified Iroquois. The echoes of the discharge of this ancient firearm were seldom allowed to die in these wildernesses until the beginning of the Nineteenth Century, until the complete ascendency of white man over red had been established. Standing upon the ramparts of the old fort one may today easily imagine himself in a virgin forest world. Civilization has set her hand upon Lake Champlain, but her work is not obtrusively near to the fort. The hills to the rear are still wooded; the waters, to front and sides, are clear; and the same blue bends over all. The immediate surroundings are little different from those in which Champlain fought his opera bouffe fight and inaugurated the long struggle between red men and white in this part of the world. We must remember that in 1609 the French had already taken hold of New France. They had a querulous, contumacious baby of a colony on the Saint Lawrence at Quebec and to this point came many curious red men. With some of these red men the French had formed alliance. One tribe of these allies had seen the thunderous cannon and guns of the French and had suggested that these weapons be taken out and turned upon some of the ancient enemies of that tribe. The idea had appealed to Champlain as eminently a clever one, and with eleven other Frenchmen armed with arquebuses and...

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