Forgotten Forts Series - Fort Macomb (LA)

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

NFB22

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Messages
1,669
Location
Louisville, KY
I have mentioned Fort Macomb before while describing Fort Pike but had never focused on it so I figured no better time than the present. Fort Macomb is a masonry fort located on the water passage named Chef Menteur Pass near New Orleans, Louisiana. The pass, along with another waterway named Rigolets (guarded by Fort Pike), were the two main water passages leading from the Gulf of Mexico into Lake Pontchartrain giving direct access to New Orleans.
Fort Macomb 1.jpg

Construction of the fort began in 1822 and was completed in 1827. The fort was a triangular fort with one side of the triangle constructed in an arc facing the waterway. The masonry work was constructed to house over 40 pieces of artillery with the bulk of that number facing Chef Menteur Pass and was protected by a moat with a bridge leading to the fort's sally port, its only access point. Originally the fort was named Fort Wood after Lt Col. Eleazer D. Wood of War of 1812 fame. Fort Wood would be used as a staging area during the Mexican-American War and the Seminole Wars but would never come under enemy fire. In 1851 the fort was renamed Fort Macomb after Maj. General Alexander Macomb who served as the commander of the United States Army from 1828 to 1841. One interesting fact about Macomb is he was never involved in combat in his career, he and Eisenhower are the only two known commanding generals of the U.S. Army to have never seen combat action.
Fort Macomb 4.jpg

From the time of its completion until 1861 Fort Macomb was under caretaker status. On January 26, 1861 the state of Louisiana succeeded from the Union and on January 28th state forces gathered outside Fort Macomb to take possession of the fortification. On that date a Sgt. Wilber of the U.S. Army surrendered the fort to a Capt Henry Clinch from the state militia. Thus began the Confederate occupation of Fort Macomb.
Fort macomb 3.jpg

Fort Macomb was garrisoned by Confederate troops with the purpose of protecting New Orleans although much of its armament was moved to Fort St. Philip on the Mississippi River. Southern troops stationed at Fort Macomb never fired a shot during Union operations against New Orleans in 1862. While Union forces bypassed Fort Macomb and engaged Forts St. Philip and Jackson on the Mississippi River and moved up to the city Fort Macomb stood silent. When Union forces occupied the city the Spring of 1862 forces at Macomb saw it pointless to garrison the brick fortification and abandoned the post without a fight.
Fort Macomb 2.jpg

In August of 1862 Union forces once again seized Fort Macomb however the fort would never come under enemy fire for the remainder of the war. Following the war the U.S. military continued to garrison the fort but in 1871 Fort Macomb was abandoned for good not even leaving a caretaker to watch over the fort in case of future military action.
fort macomb 5.jpg

Following its abandonment by the military the fort was transferred to the state of Louisiana. Since then the fort has become the Fort Macomb State Historical Site under the charge of the stae of Louisiana. Fort Macomb was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 and for a time was open to the public. Part of the problem for Fort Macomb is part of its foundation, like nearby Fort Pike, is made of Cpyress and is settling into the soft ground. Multiple hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico have taken their toll on Fort Macomb and it is once again off limits to the public. Preservation of the fort has fallen upon volunteers and multiple groups have pointed out the constant wake from passing boats and roots from overgrowth are crumbling Fort Macomb's walls. It looks like this one is all but forgotten ladies and gents.

http://www.fortwiki.com/Fort_Macomb
http://www.nola.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/03/fort_macomb_needs_volunteers_a.html

Also be sure to check out all other "Forgotten Forts" in the Forgotten Forts Series Index (Link Below)
http://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/forgotten-forts-series-index.80901/
 

NFB22

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Messages
1,669
Location
Louisville, KY
This one looks sad, just a big group of volunteers armed with rakes, weed wackers, lawn mowers, and other equipment could make big difference in a single day of work. Fort Pike looks very cool so im sure this one would too
Very true, the problem is finding volunteers. I would think you would also have to get state approval and access to the fort.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

IanMC2009

Private
Joined
Aug 16, 2012
Messages
35
Location
FL
Very true, the problem is finding volunteers. I would think you would also have to get state approval and access to the fort.
has the state tried to fix it up since all the hurricanes or have they abandoned it
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

pfcjking

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Messages
2,115
Location
Memphis
I am about 90% sure that this Fort was used as a filming location for the seaon finale of "True Detective" on HBO. I was so gitty watching the fight scene inside the old fort.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

pfcjking

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Messages
2,115
Location
Memphis
I haven't seen the show but I remember reading about it and when you said something I looked it up, and sure enough. Nearly the entire series is shot on location in Louisiana.
Back a few years ago, LA started offering some sort of tax break to the film industry. It has worked wonders. All those swamp shows, duck shows, alligator shows, vampaire shows, etc. The movie & TV business in LA has really taken off.

The Duck Commander's shop is literally a mile from my Grandmother's house.

Also, David Ladart from Swamp People is my Step Uncle. My dad is married to his sister. I've yet to meet him, but my dad is pals with him and has a freezer full of wild game that is kept stocked by him.

True Detective was an awesome show. Not child friendly in the least, but it was a good show.
 

Nathanb1

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
33,353
Location
Smack dab in the heart of Texas
Well, I came in from the back side.....I realized last night I'd seen that place before, and I knew it had to be here. Looks like two of us benefited from this thread. Good work, Nate!
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Nathanb1

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Retired Moderator
Joined
Dec 31, 2009
Messages
33,353
Location
Smack dab in the heart of Texas
And I will add--that was one scary set! Sheesh! Hopefully other companies will find a use for it now (they're sort of like lemmings) and some of that income will eventually go to preservation or something useful--instead of a politician's freezer.
(I didn't say that, did I? Let's see if the mods catch it.)
 

pfcjking

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Messages
2,115
Location
Memphis
And I will add--that was one scary set! Sheesh! Hopefully other companies will find a use for it now (they're sort of like lemmings) and some of that income will eventually go to preservation or something useful--instead of a politician's freezer.
(I didn't say that, did I? Let's see if the mods catch it.)
That thing is in terrible shape.
My wife is getting into photography, and I've been talking to her about going on a Gulf of Mexico "Brick Fort Tour" and letting her get some camera fodder for the fall festival crowd. I grew up going camping every summer @ Fort Pickens. I love the brick forts. They have stood the test of time, and are a testament too the quality of the engineering course @ early West Point. Some of the best ACW Generals cut their teeth as young engineers in charge of brick fort jobsites.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top