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Fort Loudoun was a British colonial fort in present-day Monroe County, Tennesseemarker, near the towns of the Overhill Cherokee. The fort was reconstructed during the Great Depression and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965.


The British colony of South Carolinamarker built the fort in 1756, naming it for John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun. It was intended to defend Cherokee and British settlers on the frontier against American Indians allied with Francemarker during the French and Indian War. The Cherokee themselves requested the fort's construction. Its nominal purpose was to maintain the Cherokee-British alliance and guard against French attempts to gain influence among the Cherokee. The fort was located a few miles downstream of the Cherokee capital Chotamarker. It also served as a diplomatic and trading outpost.

Mutual suspicions and betrayals repeatedly undermined the Cherokee-British alliance. Open warfare erupted between the Cherokee and the Britishmarker in 1759, and the Cherokee laid siege to the fort late in the year. It fell on August 6, 1760. The Cherokee attacked and killed part of the garrison in an ambush four days later as they returned to South Carolina. Although the Cherokee and British fought several wars, their alliance was always reestablished afterwards.

After the fort was burned soon after the British left, the site was abandoned for nearly two centuries. In 1917, the Colonial Dames of America placed a marker at the site of the fort. With sporadic support from the state, and from the federal government via the Works Progress Administration, preservationists researched the fort's history and reconstructed the facility starting in the 1930s during the Great Depression. The reconstructed fort was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965.

The present-day reconstruction of the fort sits on the bank of the Little Tennessee Rivermarker, but the fort was not originally on the waterfront. When the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) construction of Tellico Dammarker threatened to flood the original fort site, preservationists moved the reconstruction. They dismantled the fort, used fill dirt to raise the site 17 feet (5m), and rebuilt it. The dam brought the river closer to the fort than it was originally.

Fort Loudoun Interior

Together with an interpretive center and recreation area, the fort is part of Fort Loudoun State Parkmarker. The Tellico Blockhousemarker site is also part of the park. It features foundations reconstructed based on archaeological investigations. The blockhouse was built on the river opposite the fort by the U.S. Government in 1794 and was in operation until 1805.

Loudon County, Tennesseemarker; Loudon, Tennesseemarker; and Fort Loudoun Dammarker are named for the fort.

Also located on the same island as the fort is the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum. The TVA deeded the land around the museum back to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee.

See also


  1. Historic Fort Loudoun, Paul Kelley, Fort Loudoun Association, 1958.
  2. and

External links

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