The History and Genealogy of Callaway County, Missouri

Forts in Missouri - War of 1812



Upon the advisement of John Shaw, Fort Howard was erected. The fort took sixty or severty people to build over the period of two to three weeks. Two companies of Missouri Rangers were involved in its construction. The fort was a rectangle with its long sides running north and south. The stockade enclosed about half an acre. A well was dug inside the fort. Blockhouses were built on all corners except the southeast corner. The militia cut the pickets and the regulars put them up.35 The fort was located in the Mississippi river flood plain, below some bluffs. When the fort was complete, it was named after Governor Benjamin Howard. The fort became involved in one of the most active battles during the 1812 conflict, on May 24, 1815, the Battle of the Sinkhole.


The date of the erection of Clarks Fort is not really known though it was probably around 1812. Major Christopher Clark was responsible for the forts erection.


This fort was discovered by me on U.S. surveyors notes and map drawings of 1816. No other description has been made of the fort.


Built in 1811, the fort was built for the defense of the Kennedy family. Thomas Kennedy was responsible for settling the area. The fort was built in a square with two blockhouses angling in the square.


The Journey Fort was built by the three Journey brothers, Peter, Jospeh and James in the year of 1812. The fort was located fifteen miles west of the Pond Fort.


The Pond Fort was built by a company of Missouri Rangers in 1812, under the command of Captain James Callaway. It was named the Pond Fort because of a large pond north of the fort.


Though it is not really known who built Woods Fort, it became the center of military activity in the area. The fort was named after Zadock Woods who had a large dog-trot log house iside the fort which was used as a tavern. The fort was a rectangular stockade.


Stouts Fort was a small stockade located on top of a small hill. It was located about one mile south of the town of Auburn, Missouri which has long since disappeared.


Jacob Zumwalt built the main saddle-bag log house in 1798. A spring was located at the bottom of the hill, below the house. There were as many as ten families that lived at the fort during the War of 1812. Before the war, Black Hawk was a frequent visitor of the Zumwalt family. It is said that Black Hawk was in love with one of Jacob Zumwalts daughters.


Named after Captain White, the fort is located roughly two miles from Fort Howard and built on Dog or Big Prairie. The settlers in the area helped build the fort. The fort was rectangular in shape, the long dimensions running east and west. The fort embraced one and a half acres.


Not much is known about the fort. It was built on the Booneslick road, one and a half miles east of present-day Cottleville, Missouri. It was built by John and Nick Coontz in 1800.


Francis Howell built this fort in 1811. It was lcoated near a spring which is now part of the Busch Wildlife area, ten miles south-west of St. Charles, Missouri. Militia musters and drills were held there frequently.


Located in the Busch Wildlife area, only one and a half miles from Howells Fort, Castlios Fort was not as large as Howells. John Caslito built the fort on Howells prairie near the Dardenne creek.


Little is known about the fort. Flaunders Callaway built a log house near Charette, a French settlement that has long been washed away by the Missouri river. Some historians believe that this two-story log house was part of Callaways Fort.


The fort was built by Daniel Morgan Boone with the help of his neighbors. It is said that the fort was the largest and strongest in the district. The fort seems to have had two or three blockhouses and picketing. Daniel Morgan Boones house was located within the fort.


This fort is only mentioned once in records. There is no other reference to it.


Loutre Island is located northeast of the present town of Hermann, Missouri. The island is located in the Missouri river basin.


McDermits Fort was probably located several miles up the Loutre river from the other Loutre Island forts. No location for the fort is known at this time.


Little is known about this fort. It was located on the west side of the Loutre river, not far from its mouth, near Loutre Island. It was built on the east end of Bests Bottom.


Built by the Missouri Rangers in 1812, the fort was named in honor of Colonel Eli Brady Clemson. It was located on the Loutre Island, next to the Missouri River. Captain James Callaway spent a considerable amount of time at the fort during the war, referred to it as Camp Clemson in letters to his wife. The only description of Fort Clemson calls it a small, crude fort with barracks.


Located in Bests Bottom at its western end, Isaac Best had built a blockhouse for his family. Quicks Fort was not far away. In 1814, Best and his family abandoned the fort and retired to Fort Clemson.


As with the other forts near the Island, little is known about it. It was located on the bluffs above Loutre island, not far from Fort Clemson.


Located eight miles up the Loutre river, Jacob Grooms built a fort before or during the year of 1814. This fort may have been located along the same common road near McDermits Fort.


Cote Sans Dessein was a small French settlement located east of present-day Jefferson City, Missouri, about twelve miles. The name means shoreline without design, because of the unusual mound formation it was located on. The hill rises up in the middle of the Missouri river valley, next to the river. The formation is approximately forty or fifty yards wide, thirty or forty yards high (varying from end to end) and one quarter of a mile long. The settlement consisted of several dozen log homes with about 200 inhabitants. Two forts were erected for the villages protection.


Sometimes spelled Thibault, this fort was possible built by, or at least part of it, the Missouri Rangers. It was named after Joseph Tibeau. This fort was the main fort of the settlement. The fort was a two-story blockhouse with portholes on both floors.


Roys Fort was named for the Roy (sometimes spelled Roi because of its French origins) family that occupied it. It was located thirty or forty yards from the Missouri rivers edge and roughly 400 yards east of Tibeaus Fort. It sat on the flat river basin. The fort consisted of a blockhouse only. Roys Fort was much smaller than Tibeaus Fort. A log powder magazine stood about halfway between the forts but closer to the river than the forts. The Battle of Cote Sans Dessein occurred on April 4, 1815. The forts were attacked by the Sac and Fox Indians.


The Booneslick settlement was the last American settlement on the frontier. This settlement represented the most exposed American citizentry in the newly established territory. Several dozen families lived on both sides of the Missouri river.


Stephen Cole settled the area in February of 1810. He settled in an area one and a half miles east of the present-day Boonville, Missouri. Where he put his fort is now called the Old Fort Field. In the summer of 1812, Stephen Cole and his neighbors built the fort. Little is known as to what it looked like other than it did have a stockade.


Hannah Cole moved into the area with Stephen Cole in 1810. After the killing of Samuel McMahan in 1811, it was decided to build a stronger fort around Hannah Coles cabin which was located on a bluff overlooking the Missouri river. The fort was a stockade of heavy picketing.


Named after the Cooper family who lived there, the fort was a large stockade with log cabins built together to form an enclosure. The fort enclosed about one acre of land and had only one gate out of the enclosure.


Sometimes called Andersons Fort, the fort was built in the Missouri river basin directly east of what later became Saline City, Missouri. The fort was built in 1814 and consisted of a blockhouse (possibly just a large log cabin) and a stockade. The fort was named after Jesse Cox who had moved there with his son-in-law, William Gregg and Coxs two sons.


The fort was located at a large spring and named after Captain William Head. The for was a small stockade. The fort was located several miles north of present-day Rochport, Missouri.


Little is known about this blockhouse except for what I recently discovered in the legal records records. Located on William Reed's property which is now in the Missouri river.


The fort was orginally named after Rev. David McClain (sometimes spelled McLain) and called McClains Fort. It was later renamed after Captain Stephen Hempstead. The fort consisted of probably two blockhouses and a stockade that surrounded about two acres of land.


Named in honor of David Kinkead, the fort was built similar to Coopers Fort and Fort Hempstead. It was a series of log cabins to form an enclosure.


Named for William McMahan who settled in the area. Located to the west of Boonville and four miles south of Arrow Rock, Missouri. This blockhouse was burned by Indians.


This fort is only mentioned once in a document but could be aa odd phonetic spelling for one of the above mentioned forts.


When Fort Osage was abandoned in 1812, George Sibley established a trading post or factory near present-day Arrow Rock, Missouri. The exact for the fort is unknown. The fort was built in 1813 and abandoned in 1814 when Indian raids around the area worsened.


Because of the agreement between General William Clark and the Sac and Fox Indians of the Missouri river, a trading post was established on the Little Moniteau creek, located upriver from present-day Jefferson City, Missouri. The fort was a two-story blockhouse.


Fort Osage was built in 1808 because of a treaty agreement with the United States and the Osage Indians. The fort was abandoned in 1812 when hostile Indian attacks increased on the Missouri river. The fort consisted of five blockhouses, barracks, a hospital, officer quarters, factory and traders area. The fort was reoccupied after the war.