Fort Panmure

“During the summer of 1764, a large detachment of British troops occupied Fort Rosalie at Natchez, which was thenceforth known as Fort Panmure,” says the historian-geologist, Wailes. Fort Rosalie, however, was at that date mere ruins, overgrown with trees, and there is a tradition that a new site for Fort Panmure was selected. It seems to be assumed that the old fort was reconstructed, and, of course, for a permanent occupation barracks were constructed for the troops. This occupation must have been sometime after Maj. Loftus, attempting to ascend the river to the Illinois country, was turned back by the shots of a few Indians near the heights which afterward bore his name, the site of Fort Adams. That event was in March, 1764. The troops were withdrawn from West Florida to St. Augustine in 1768, and Fort Panmure left in the care of one man. It is not likely that the fort was garrisoned at the time of Willing’s visitation, in 1778. But Natchez district was loyal to the British government, and shortly after the Willing raid, says Wailes, “Governor Chester sent Colonel Magellan to raise four companies of militia, and with orders to fit up Fort Panmure. The command of these troops was given to Lyman, Blomart and Mclntosh, who were soon ordered to Baton Rouge in consequence of the prospect of a war with Spain, and a Captain Foster, with a hundred men, was left in command of Natchez.” After this, it appears, occurred the conflict between Capt. Michael Jackson, whom the Pensacola governor sent to take command at Panmure, and Col. Anthony Hutchins and Capt. Lyman, in which the possession of the fort was contested, with some bloodshed. The fort was surrendered to Galvez, without resistance, after the capitulation of Baton Rouge, in which it was included, and at that time there seems to have been a small garrison of regularly enrolled British soldiers, possibly “Hessians.” In the revolt of 1781, the garrison under the Spanish flag was besieged by the Natchez district people and compelled to surrender, but the fort soon returned to the hands of the Spanish officers and Creole soldiers, and so continued until the evacuation of March 30, 1798, upon which the United States flag, that had flown for a year and a month from the camp of Ellicott or Guion, hard by, was raised over the ancient works. (See Fort Rosalie.)

Governor Williams ordered “the old blockhouse” to be torn down and the timber sold, November, 1805.

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Mississippi History

Source: Encyclopedia of Mississippi History, by Dunbar Rowland.

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