Fort Defiance (Illinois)
Fort Defiance, known as Camp Defiance during the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, is a former military fortification located at the confluence of the Ohio
Ohio River
The Ohio River is the largest tributary, by volume, of the Mississippi River. At the confluence, the Ohio is even bigger than the Mississippi and, thus, is hydrologically the main stream of the whole river system, including the Allegheny River further upstream...

 and Mississippi
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 rivers near Cairo
Cairo, Illinois
Cairo is the southernmost city in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is the county seat of Alexander County. Cairo is located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. The rivers converge at Fort Defiance State Park, an American Civil War fort that was commanded by General Ulysses S. Grant...

 in Alexander County, Illinois
Alexander County, Illinois
Alexander County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 8,238, which is a decrease of 14.1% from 9,590 in 2000. Its county seat is Cairo. Alexander County is part of the Cape Girardeau–Jackson, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical...

. The strategic significance of the site has been known since prehistoric times with archaeological evidence
Archaeology of the Americas
The archaeology of the Americas is the study of the archaeology of North America , Central America, South America and the Caribbean...

 of warfare dating to the Mississippian era
Mississippian culture
The Mississippian culture was a mound-building Native American culture that flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from approximately 800 CE to 1500 CE, varying regionally....

. It is the southernmost point in the state of Illinois. Fort Defiance Park, formerly a State Park, is owned and maintained by the city of Cairo. At 279 feet (85 m) elevation, Fort Defiance Point is Illinois' lowest point.


Frenchman Pierre Laclede
Pierre Laclède
Pierre Laclède or Pierre Laclède Liguest was a French fur trader who, with his young assistant and "stepson" Auguste Chouteau, founded St...

 on his trek up the Mississippi, was among the first Europeans to land on the southern tip of what is now Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...


External links

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