Fort Beauregard (5)
Fort Beauregard (5) (1862-1863, 1864) - A Confederate U.S. Civil War Fort established in 1862 along the Ouachita River near Harrisonburg, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana. Likely named after the first Confederate general officer, General P.G.T. Beauregard, (Cullum 942). Abandoned and destroyed in the face of an overwhelming Union force in 1863. Partially rebuilt in 1864 to stop Union gunboats but failing in this the Fort was again abandoned.
Fort Beauregard was a Confederate enclosed casemated earthworks fortification situated on a 190' hill behind Harrisonburg in Catahoula Parish, Louisiana. This fort was one of four forts stretching for two miles below the town and more than a mile above, designed to protect Monroe, Louisiana from Federal gunboats coming up the Ouachita River. At the time of its capture in 1863, the fort was armed with four large 32-pounders, four 6-pounders brass cannons, three 3-inch rifled cannons, and one 12-pounder howitzer. The fort was planned and built under the supervision of Lt. Alphonse Buhlow.
On 10 May 1863, four Union gunboats appeared on the river south of the fort and anchored within sight but out of range of the fort's guns. The Union flotilla under Commodore C.E. Woodworth demanded unconditional surrender, and when that was refused by the fort commander Lieutenant Colonel George W. Logan, they began shelling the fort. At the end of the day, the gunboats withdrew but they returned the next day to continue the bombardment. After expending some 150 shells the only damage to the fort was to some parapets and the flotilla withdrew. Casualties in the fort included Lieutenant Carter who was mortally wounded by a large fragment of shell and three wounded enlisted members. Fire from the fort was described as most effective, striking the boats repeatedly and exploding rifled shells in their midst. Union losses were described by the Confederates as eight killed and thirty or forty wounded.
On 4 Sep 1863, a Union column led by Brigadier General Marcellus M. Crocker advanced on the fort but found that it had been evacuated that morning by the garrison under Lieutenant Colonel Logan. Working through the night, the Confederates had destroyed the casemates, supplies, and larger guns, and withdrew with their horses, mules, wagons, 3-inch guns, and the 12-pounder howitzer. As they left they set fire to what remained. Union troops entering the fort found it still burning and they continued the destruction, spiking the four 32-pounders and the two 6-pounders and taking two other 6-pounders with them. The name of this Fort Beauregard disappears from the Official Record after September 1863.
In 1864 Confederate authorities ordered that Fort Beauregard be repaired and reactivated but without the big 32-pounder guns. This left the fort with just the 3-inch rifled guns. The smaller guns were not effective enough to stop a Union floatilla from steaming by on their way to capture Monroe.
Roadside Marker in town by the courthouse in Harrisonburg, Louisiana. The remains of the fort are located in the Fort Beauregard Historical Park aka Fort Beauregard Veteran's Memorial Park just about .25 miles north of Harrisonburg, Louisiana on Hwy 124.
Visited: 3 Nov 2020