Fort Sackville - Vincennes, IN
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 38° 40.707 W 087° 32.139
16S E 453407 N 4281230
Quick Description: Today historians call this a battle for American, but in fact George Rogers Clark fought for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and claimed today's Illinois and Indiana not for America but for Virginia.
Location: Indiana, United States
Date Posted: 11/29/2008 8:42:16 AM
Waymark Code: WM58TB
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member The Blue Quasar
Views: 20

Long Description:

Markers Used Erected by: Illinois Historical Society, Indiana Historic Bureau, National Park Service, Indiana Daughters of the American Revolution, Huguenot Societies of the Old Northwest Territory, Sons of the American Revolution.
Marker Erection Dates from 1932 to 1998.
Location of all Markers: Central site is George Rogers Clark Memorial Historic Site, and out lying bordered by 1st St., S. 2nd St., Vigo St., and Main St.
Parking: GPS below is at the Cathedral, also: NPS Visitors Center (S. 2nd St.), and two city parks (1st St. & Main St.)

I will attempt to provide sense by posting the text of the several markers and the information of the battle:
ISHS & INB Marker:

After taking Kaskaskia of July 5, 1778, George Rogers Clark, acting under Virginia authority, sent Father Pierre Gibault, as his envoy, to Vincennes. Gibault convinced the villagers there to take an oath of loyalty to the Americans. In early August, Captain Leonard Helm arrived to take command of Fort Sackville. On December 17, British forces under Colonel Henry Hamilton recaptured the Fort. Clark with some 160 men reached Vincennes on February 23, 1779, after an eighteen-day march through flooded country. The move caught Hamilton by surprise. Two days later he surrendered. The Fort, renamed Patrick Henry, remained in American hands.

Sons of the American Revolution Marker:

1750 - 1846
--- * * * ---
Contains the graves (mostly unmarked) of some 4,000 inhabitants of early Vincennes, including soldiers and patriots of the American Revolution who helped Colonel George Rogers Clark to capture nearby Fort Sackville in 1779. The cemetery marks the site of the log church where the people of Vincennes swore an oath of allegiance to the Republic of Virginia and the United States on July 20, 1778. During the siege of Fort Sackville (February 23-24, 1779), Clark's men took positions at the church and cemetery. It was at the church that Colonel Clark and the British commander, Lieutenant Governor Henry Hamilton, negotiated terms of surrender on February 24. The surrender of Fort Sackville occurred the next day, February 25, 1779. As a result, Hamilton's plan to crush the Revolution in the west was checked and a basis was laid for the United States to later claim the area northwest of the Ohio River, from which were eventually formed the states of Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota.

The Old Cathedral and Cemetery are located in the Vincennes Historic District, which was laced on the National Register of Historical Places on December 31, 1974.

Huguenot Societies of the Old Northwest Territory Marker:

Site of Charles Gratiot House
Through the Patriotism of Charles Gratiot
in furnishing material aid,
Colonel George Rogers Clark
was enabled to keep his forces intact and
thus to recapture Fort Sackville in 1779.

Indiana Daughters of the American Revolution Marker:

Site of house occupied as Headquarters of
Before capturing Fort Sackville from the British February 25, 1779.
It was a private house facing the fort.
Later Colonel Henry Hamilton, British Commander of the Garrison,
was housed here after his surrender
and before his removal to Williamsburg, Virginia.

National Park Service markers:
(a) Fort Sackville in 1779:
Fort Sackville was constructed by the British during the Revolutionary War on the site now occupied by the Clark Memorial. Early in that conflict, the Redcoats dominated the frontier from posts north of the Ohio River by sending their Indian allies against the American settlers in Kentucky. As part of a bold strategy the end these attacks, George Rogers Clark and his small force of frontiersmen captured Fort Sackville following an epic mid-winter march through the flooded Wabash country in February 1779.

(b) Ferry Landing:


(c) Wabash River in 1779:

The French founded the settlement of Vincennes along the Wabash River in 1732 to protect this important trade route from the English and to strengthen relations with the Indians in this area. This region subsequently was controlled by the British following their victory in the French and Indian War three decades later. The Wabash River also was strategically important in the contest between the British and Americans for control of the West during the Revolutionary War and in the War of 1812.

(d) Inscriptions engraved around George Rogers Clark Historic Site:


FEBRUARY 25, 1779.

Erected by the United States on Land Provided by the State of Indiana, the County of Knox, the City of Vincennes, MCMXXXI.

* * * From earliest times the Wabash River was a route between North and South * * Here at a fording place it was crossed by a buffalo trace an ancient path worn by countless animals and aborigines in their migrations between East and West * Near this meeting of ancient ways moundbuilders left vestiges of a remote past and forgotten races * Here in historic times Indians dwelt and traveled both land and water routes French and missionaries followed * Early in the Eighteenth Century was established Vincennes the oldest settlement in this region * * *

* * *From France England won this region * * In the War of the Revolution the British Commander in the Northwest came down the Wabash making Fort Sackville at this crossing of ways the key to the frontier * * George Rogers Clark with his troops followed the buffalo trace from Kaskaskia toward Vincennes and captured Fort Sackville * * By this route came William Henry Harrison first Governor of Indiana and Louisiana Territories * Pioneers came seeking new homes in Illinois and beyond the Mississippi * * Here the youth Abraham Lincoln making his last pioneer move crossed the Wabash into Illinois * * *

* * * The Wabash River dividing the States of Indiana and Illinois was spanned after the Civil War by a bridge of timbers with an iron draw midstream * In 1931 the two states erected this bridge of concrete * It overlooks the scene of the victory which crowned the heroic march of Clark's little army from Kaskaskia * * Forming a link in the central continental highway which replaces buffalo traces Indian trails and dangerous fordings this structure commemorates the opening of the West and the expansion of our Country from ocean to ocean * * *

Name of Battle:
Capture of Fort Sackville

Name of War: American Revolutionary War

Entrance Fee: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

Parking: N 38° 40.755 W 087° 32.049

Date(s) of Battle (Beginning): 02/23/1779

Date of Battle (End): 02/25/1779

Visit Instructions:
Post a photo of you and/or your GPS in front of a sign or marker posted at the site of the battle.

In addition it is encouraged to take a few photos two of the surrounding area and interesting features at the site.
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