The Meeting of the Rivers - Cairo, IL
Posted by: YoSam.
N 36° 59.041 W 089° 08.407
16S E 309528 N 4095239
Quick Description: Tip of confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. On the northern bank of each is Fort Defiance, now a city park.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 9/16/2010 8:43:48 AM
Waymark Code: WM9PY1
Marker Text: THE MEETING OF THE RIVERS
Long known to the Indians who used the two great rivers as his highway for trade and war, this junction of the Ohio and the Mississippi was first sighted by Europeans when Marquette and Joliet glided past in 1623. Ten years later La Salle explored the area and established France's claim to the Mississippi Valley. From that time on this confluence was recognized as a strategic site for settlement and fortification. George Rogers Clark, following the capture of Kaskaskia in 1778, stationed armed boats at this junction to guard against attacks on the Illinois country by the British or Spanish. Here in 1811, the "New Orleans", first steamboat to navigate Western waters, lay at anchor during three nights of the New Madrid earthquake. In April of 1861 Fort Defiance was established at the confluence to thwart Confederate invasion and blockade the trade of the South. From here was launched General Grant's Great flanking movement up the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers, which began at Fort Henry and ended at Vicksburg, giving the Union complete control of the Mississippi.
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