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Fort Lauderdale (1838, 1839-1842) - A U.S. Army post established in 1838 during the Second Seminole War by Major William Lauderdale, Tennessee Volunteers, in the present day City of Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida. Named by Major General Thomas S. Jessup in S.O. 74, 16 Mar 1838, for Major William Lauderdale. The fort was relocated twice in 1839 and finally abandoned in 1842.
In early 1838 General Thomas S. Jesup dispatched Major William Lauderdale and his 200 mounted Tennessee Volunteers along with Lieutenant Robert Anderson and a company of 3rd U.S. Artillery to present day Fort Lauderdale to pursue hostile Seminole Indians in the area.
On 6 Mar 1838 Major Lauderdale established a post on the north bank of the new river at present day SW 8th Terrace & SW 4th Court. The post was built out with a 30' square, two story tall blockhouse that was later enclosed with a 60' by 50' stockade. Major Lauderdale was joined by Lieutenant Colonel James Bankhead and four artillery companies from Fort Dallas. Major Bankhead assumed command of the 600 man force.
Actions against the hostiles resulted in the surrender of some 44 hostile Indians and Major Lauderdale and his volunteers departed for Fort Jupiter on 4 Apr 1838. The remainder of the garrison abandoned Fort Lauderdale on 7 May 1838.
In February 1839 Company K of the 3rd U.S. Artillery under Captain William Davidson reestablished Fort Lauderdale at a new location. The new location was closer to the ocean and built out as a temporary post with tents surrounded by pickets, a single watch tower and a canvas covered log blockhouse.
The second post was located near present day SE 9th Ave and SE 4th St west of Tarpon Bend.
A more permanent post was begun even closer to the ocean and it was completed by the end of September 1839. The new post was more substantial than either of the first two forts with two story blockhouses at three of the angles and a substantial stockade. The new fort was garrisoned until January 1842 and then abandoned as the Second Seminole War came to an end.
The third post was located approximately at the present day south beach parking lot across from Bahia Mar.
No remains, present day city of Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida.
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida.
Maps & Images Lat: 26.11726 Long: -80.15270
- Roberts, Robert B., Encyclopedia of Historic Forts: The Military, Pioneer, and Trading Posts of the United States, Macmillan, New York, 1988, 10th printing, ISBN 0-02-926880-X, page 181
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