Fort Pike was the last of the three forts we had time to explore while visiting New Orleans. Fort Jackson and Fort Macomb were not open to the public, but all three are a must see if you are in the area.
Cracks can be seen in the brick structure of Fort Pike after Hurricane Katrina
After the War of 1812, the United States built the fort in 1818 to protect New Orleans and the Gulf Coast against British or other invasion of the United States. When Union forces captured New Orleans in 1862, the Confederate forces evacuated Fort Pike. The Union reestablished control of the installation, using it as a base for raids. The fort also became a site for training of United States Colored Troops, established in 1864. These soldiers in the South included mostly former slaves. The USCT were critical to Union success in the war.
The fort was abandoned by the United States Army in 1890. No cannon was ever been fired in battle at Fort Pike. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. It was maintained as part of a state park, known as the Fort Pike State Historic Site.
Before Hurricane Katrina, the fort's brick-and-mortar structure was decaying. It temporarily completely submerged the entire fort, and destroyed adjacent state park buildings.
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