Database:   Fort Bute   Fort New Richmond   Spanish battery   Fort Panmure  

Fort Bute/Fort New Richmond/Fort Panmure.

Other names:

  • Fort Bute: Manchac, Fort Manchac
  • Fort New Richmond: Baton Rouge
  • Fort Panmure: Fort Rosalie

What:

  • Fort Bute, Manchac, 7 Sep 177
  • Fort New Richmond, Baton Rouge, 21 Sep 1779
  • Fort Panmure, Natchez,
    • 17-19 Feb 1778 Raided by Capt James Willing, American
    • 5 Apr 1778 Captured by British. Built Fort Panmure
    • 5 Oct 1779 Captured by Spanish
    • 22 Apr 1781 Recaptured by British

Where:

  • 30.318744 -91.134895, Fort Bute, Manchac, 7 Sep 1779
  • 30.454563, -91.189286, Fort New Richmond, Baton Rouge, 21 Sep 1779
  • 30.447114, -91.189355, Spanish battery, Baton Rouge, 21 Sep 1779
  • 31.5596174,-91.4092635, Fort Panmure, Natchez, 5 Oct 1779, 22 Apr 1781

Maps: [map notes]

  • 30.318744,-91.134895, Fort Bute, Manchac, 7 Sep 1779, *Don Bernardo de Gálvez vs. Lt.Col. Alexander Dickson

  • 30.454563,-91.189286, Fort New Richmond, Baton Rouge, 21 Sep 1779 *Don Bernardo de Gálvez vs. Lt.Col. Alexander Dickson

  • 30.447114,-91.189355, Spanish battery, Baton Rouge, 21 Sep 1779 *Don Bernardo de Gálvez vs. Lt.Col. Alexander Dickson

  • 31.5596174,-91.4092635, Fort Panmure, Natchez,
    18 Feb 1778 Area raided by Capt James Willing, American
    15 Apr 1778 Captured by British. Built Fort Panmure
    5 Oct 1779 *Don Bernardo de Gálvez (Captain Juan Delavillebeuvre) vs. Lt.Col. Alexander Dickson (Capt. Forster)
    22 Apr 1781 Recaptured by British

Sources:

  • Albert W. Haarmann, "The Spanish Conquest Of British West Florida, 1779-1781", Florida Historical Quarterly, Vol.39. No.2, Oct 1960, p.107-134

    "Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Dickson of the 16th Regiment, the commander of the English posts along the Mississippi, had apparently reliable reports that the Americans were preparing for a descent down the Mississippi to take the British posts in that region.

    ...A small force of fifty men were sent to Fort Panmure to take the surrender of that post. The English officer in command, Captain Forster, surrendered on October 5. "

    Other great details found here.

  • Robert V. Haynes, Mississippi Under British Rule - British West Florida:
    "Although neither of the two Floridas joined the American Revolution, the patriot cause, nonetheless, had a profound impact on West Florida. In early 1778, James Willing, a former resident of Natchez, led a band of marauders down the Mississippi River from Pittsburgh. They wreaked havoc from Walnut Hills (Vicksburg) to Baton Rouge upon everyone suspected of being sympathetic to England. Willing made Colonel Anthony Hutchins, a well-known Natchez Tory and British pensioner, his prisoner and forced the remaining inhabitants to take an oath of allegiance to the United States of America. With Hutchins and most of the pillage in hand, Willing and his followers proceeded to New Orleans where they hoped to secure loans and military supplies for the young republic."

  • Thomas E. DeVoe and Gregory J. W. Urwin, "The Regiment of Louisana and the Spanish Army in the American Revolution":
    "Even though Spain committed the bulk of her naval and military power to the abortive, four year siege of Gibraltar, at various times between 1779 and 1781, at least 17,000 Spanish soldiers and sailors saw service on what was to become American soil, capturing a number of English garrisons in the process and seizing the province of West Florida for their monarch.

    The man who was almost solely responsible for this triumph of Spanish arms was Bernardo de Gálvez, a young professional soldier born in 1746, the captain of the grenadiers of the Regiment of Seville, the colonel of the Fixed Infantry Regiment of Louisiana, and the Governor of Louisiana from 1777 to his premature death in 1786. When the Spanish Court informed its colonial administrators on May 18, 1779, that it intended to declare war on Great Britain by the twenty-first of June, young Gálvez realized that weeks would pass after that before the English commanders in North America learned of the commencement of hostilities. He decided to utilise that period of grace to surprise and seize the enemy forts facing his province on the Mississippi River.

    On August 27, 1779, Gálvez launched the first of his three brilliant campaigns. A violent hurricane had devastated his base at New Orleans only nine days before, spoiling, sinking or washing away nearly all the provisions and boats the enterprising governor had assembled for his expedition with such great difficulty. Undeterred by this grave setback, Gálvez quickly made good his losses or did without, and set out only four days after his originally intended date of departure.

    Gálvez marched out of New Orleans at the head of 170 veteran regulars drawn from the Regiments of Spain, Mallorca, Havana and Prince, 330 untested recruits from his own Regiment of Louisiana, twenty carabiniers, sixty white militiamen, eighty free blacks and mulattoes, and seven American volunteers. As they tramped along the Mississippi shore, they were accompanied by a flotilla of flatboats bearing four 4-pounders, one 24-pounder, and five 78-pounders. Forging on ahead, Gálvez mustered 600 additional men from the Acadian and German settlements and 160 Indians, bringing his hodgepodge force up to a grand total of 1,427 men-at-arms.

    The Spanish troops covered 105 miles in eleven days, losing at least a third of their number along the way to fatigue and disease before they caught sight of the first enemy post at the village of Manchac. At dawn the next day, September 7, Gálvez's militia rushed Fort Bute and took it from its shocked, twenty-seven man English garrison without the loss of a single Spaniard. Resting his soldados a few days, Galvez then pushed on to Baton Rouge, which was defended by 146 Redcoats, 201 Waldeckers, 11 Royal Artillerymen and 150 armed settlers and Negroes shielded by the walls of a stout fort with thirteen guns. By the time he reached there, September 12, fever and privation had pared his dwindling army down to 384 regular infantry, 14 artillerymen and 400 militia, Indians and Negroes. Utilising a clever ruse on the night of the twentieth, Gálvez was able to place a battery unseen within musket shot of the British fortifications. At 5:45 A.M. the next day, the Spanish guns began to blast the palisade to splinters and level the earth-works. The English took this punishment for three and a half hours, and then they raised the white flag. Included in the capitulation agreement was the surrender of 80 Waldeck grenadiers staffing Fort Panmure at Natchez. Captured Totals In the matter of just a few weeks, Colonel Gálvez and his motley army had captured 550 British and German regulars, 500 armed settlers and Negroes, and three forts. They had added 1,290 miles of the best land along the Mississippi to their sovereign's domain, and all at the ridiculously low cost of one Spaniard killed and two wounded. It had been a brilliant coup, but Gálvez was just getting started. He had been maintaining an effective espionage service in British territory since 1777, and his spies told him that the rest of West Florida was ripe for the plucking. "

  • "West Florida: 1779-81 Campaign", PatriotResource.com:
    " The Spanish support of the Americans in West Florida against the British was led by Don Bernardo de Gálvez, the Spanish governor of Louisiana. De Gálvez became acting governor of Louisiana on January 1, 1777, replacing Luis de Unzaga de Amézaga. He was appointed to the post by his uncle José de Gálvez, who was the Spanish minister to the Indies. Soon after taking office, de Gálvez offered his services to the American cause to Oliver Pollock, acting American agent in New Orleans.
    ...
    The first objective was to gain complete control of the Mississippi River, but before Gálvez could launch his offensive, a hurricane struck New Orleans, scattering several of his ships and leaving the city vulnerable to British attack. He took some time to reorganize his defenses and finally on August 27, 1779, Gálvez set out on foot for Fort Manchac with a company of 667 men, while a handful of ships moved up the Mississippi River. Gálvez was joined on his campaign by Oliver Pollock, who was now an official agent of Virginia and the Continental Congress. Pollock served as his aid. Only when Gálvez was in sight of Manchac on September 6, did he inform his men of the declaration of war. The next day , he launched a surprise attack on Fort Bute which met little resistance, because the British had grown suspicious of Gálvez' activities and already withdrawn their main force to Baton Rouge.

    Gálvez immediately moved north to Baton Rouge. He spent several days reconnoitering and planning an attack on the well-fortified British position. Finally, on the night of September 20, Gálvez erected a battery and began exchanging artillery with the British. It was a diversionary tactic, while Gálvez had his men erecting another battery within range of the fort. The British were so preoccupied with the other battery, that they never noticed and so it was built quickly and without the men coming under fire. The next day on September 21, 1779, Gálvez attacked and captured Baton Rouge. As a provision of surrender, Fort Panmure at Natchez had to be included. Fort Panmure was peacefully surrendered to Spanish Captain Juan Delavillebeuvre on October 5, 1779, by the stunned British commander, who had no prior warning before the Spanish captain's arrival. Now that the Mississippi River had been secured, Gálvez could turn his attentions to Mobile and Pensacola, which was his true goal. "

  • Archive"Voyage of the Rattle Trap, 1778. James Willing's campaign.

  • Fort Bute
    • ArchiveHistorical marker. Fort Bute approximated from historical marker, Located in Burtville, LA, Dist. 61, Hwy 30:
      " English Manchac
      Part of West Florida, now in
      East Baton Rouge Parish.
      Bayou Manchac starting at the
      Mississippi River through the
      lakes was main travel route to
      Gulf of Mexico, 1699-1799. Site
      of Fort Bute captured by
      Spanish Governor Bernardo de
      Galvez, 1779.
      "

  • Fort New Richmond
    • "Battle of Baton Rouge, 1779, Wikipedia.

    • Plan Of Fort Baton Rouge. Collot, George Henri Victor ; Tardieu, P.F. 1796 from the David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. Also, available here from the LOUISiana Digital Library.

    • "This Day in History". 1779 Capture of Baton Rouge.

    • Battle of Baton Rouge. Answers.com.

    • Baton Rouge Historical Markers, including for the British fort and for the Spanish battery, regrettably without street locations.

    • Archive"Down by the River". US Army Corp of Engineers. Includes account of Fort New Richmond.
      "In 1779, during the American Revolution, the British built on the bluff at Baton Rouge a dirt stronghold named Fort New Richmond. They surrounded it with three acres of sharp pointed cypress stakes, called cheval de frise or palisades, to deter attacks. Overlooking the waterfront, the earthen fort stood just south of the present day Pentagon Barracks, about where Boyd Avenue or Spanish Town Road intersects Lafayette Street.

    • Archive"Mississippi Forts":
      "The British took control of West Florida in 1764, but did not rebuild the fort until 1778, renaming it Fort Panmure. The Spanish captured the fort in 1779, the British briefly recaptured it in 1781, with the Spanish regaining control until 1798. The Americans took over in 1798, known as Post at Natchez, or Fort Sargent. The site is directly to the rear of the Rosalie House (1820)."

    • "Revolutionary War, Pensacola, Florida":
      "At a time when Spain was outfitting one of their best for an invasion of Pensacola, the British counterpart was busy fussing over lack of funds and no quality workers for his Forts. He was also asking for a "transfer" out of the place. The Spaniard, Gov. Gen. Bernardo Galvez y Gallardo, conde de Galvez, had just completed a very successful campaign against the English in New Orleans, Natchez, and Baton Rouge. Indeed, this leader showed his brilliance from the outset of this campaign. As Galvez had his 14 ships ready to attack at Baton Rouge (1779), a great storm struck sinking most of his ships and destroying their provisions. Undaunted, he recovered cannon from the sunken ships, built a shore battery, and attacked the fort. He succeeded where lesser leaders would have confessed failure."

  • Natchez
  • RevWar75 RevWar75
    listing: 2/18/1778 Capt. James Willing's Raid, Natchez. American victory.
    listing: 4/15/1778 Natchez. British victory.
    listing:
    9/7/1779 Fort Bute (Manchac Post, Orleans Island). Spanish victory.
    9/21/1779 Fort New Richmond, Baton Rouge. Spanish victory.
    9/1779 Fort Panmure, Natchez. Spanish victory.
    listing 4/22/1781 Fort Panmure, Natchez. British victory.

Related sites:

Confidence level: See above.

12-8-16