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Date Posted: 09:02:53 02/28/07 Wed
Author: Steve Mayeux
Subject: Re: Fort Derussey??
In reply to: Smotherman 's message, "Fort Derussey??" on 13:07:04 02/24/07 Sat

You do need permission to visit Fort DeRussy - and as of now, you (and all other BGR participants) have it. The property belongs to La. State Parks, but has not yet been developed.

As for mosquitoes eating you up when sleeping out there, I don't understand that. I was out at the fort until 2:30 a couple of nights ago (with a group of "ghost-hunters" - it's a long story, don't ask), and didn't have any mosquito problems at all. But like they say, timing is everything.

Directions to the fort: Find Marksville, on Hwy 1 about 45 minutes southeast of Alexandria or an hour and 45 minutes northwest of Baton Rouge. When you see the Dodge dealership on Hwy 1 (Tunica Drive), turn there and go past the dealership, on into town. Just past the fire station, veer left and continue up that road until you see the sign to the hospital (Hwy 1192). Turn right there, and about two miles past the hospital, the road forks. Take the right hand fork (Fort DeRussy Road). About a quarter mile down, you'll see the Fort DeRussy sign and a green gate. Go past the gate a few yards, cross the bayou, and a hundred feet or so past the bridge, turn left into an open field. Park at the foot of the footbridge you'll see ahead of you. If there's some orange snow-fencing blocking the bridge, step over it and take your tour of the fort. Anyone says anything to you, tell them I said it's OK for you to be there.

About the monument on the other side of the bridge: It's dedicated to the memory of the slaves who died building the fort, and is the only monument in the country honoring the contributions that slaves made to the Confederate cause. And no, there is no monument at the fort to the Confederate soldiers who died there. If you have a problem with that, that's unfortunate. However, no one was being reimbursed for dead soldiers, so no record was kept of the CS soldiers who died at the fort. If you have a list of their names, I'd love to see it. But you don't, and neither do I. There is a granite marker to two Confederate soldiers who were killed in the gunboat fight at the fort in '63, but that's down on the old river channel, and unless I'm there to show it to you, you won't be able to find it. And it was knocked over by cows, and needs to be uprighted.

Give me a holler at smayeux@fortderussy.org, and I'll try to meet anyone who wants the grand tour, and show you around the place. Otherwise, make yourselves at home.


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